You don’t even know

When the cempansuchil (marigold) is blooming for the dead, the bees are putting up stores for the winter. In the October twilight there is a strategic moment, the perfect angle of light, like the fissure in a diamond that when tapped just right will reveal its beauty; this is moment for which Victor waits.


His gaze is soft, his body relaxed. The descending sun appears to hover above the ridge. He raises his arm, “Aya”(there) he whispers… slowly his finger draws a line across the landscape, his arm falls. A few minutes later the action is repeated.Five times he locates bees returning to their nest by gazing into the slanted light of dusk that makes them visible. Visible to him that is, I see nothing but the winged ants and mayflies, and they are all within a hundred yards. He is watching swarms that are a half a mile away. He can differentiate them from other insects because he knows at what altitude they fly. As they light he visually calculates where they are landing. This is nothing short of magical in my mind, but I suppose it is achieved with an intimate knowledge of the terrain, and a well-practiced spatial sense.

In the morning he will set out to find the hives, as honey must be harvested while the bees are still groggy from the evenings’ chill. If they are not found he will watch again tomorrow and adjust his coordinates. On this occasion, he found all five hives the next day.

The seemingly miraculous aspect of this accomplishment makes me ponder the difference between my perspective, and Victor’s view of his skill. I think of it as something incredible. He says, I just know how to see, as if it were very simple, very easy. This is also difficult for me to see, though I can attest that the honey is very good.

umpa lumpas

A quick note on the mushrooms in the photo, they are the hongos azules found on the Cero Frio, the mountian that we live on. I took the photo, and refer to them as umpa lumpas for obvious reasons to anyone that has every seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.the first years 065