The Best Little B&B in Texas

Early buttercup (Ranunculus fascicularis) with sleeping bee


After a long day of foraging, what bee wouldn’t enjoy the opportunity to take its ease on a buttercup’s petals, or to indulge in complimentary pollen once it awoke?

This bee continued to sleep until increasing sunlight and warmth caused it to stir, shake its wings, and fly off. Perhaps it had reservations at an equally elegant and well-appointed buttercup down the road.


Comments always are welcome.

86 thoughts on “The Best Little B&B in Texas

    1. Smiles are a great way to start the morning; I’m glad I could evoke one for you. I rarely see sleeping insects, but every time I do, I smile myself.

  1. Your R&R (ranunculus and relaxation) revived a special memory: Mom and Dad kept bees for years, in Colorado. One frozen winter morning, they found a hive that had run out of honey stores and was on the verge of collapse. Dad quickly dumped the apparently lifeless bees into his wheelbarrow and ran them into the garage, where Mom mixed some of our stored honey with warm water, and drizzled it over the sleeping mass. I held some in my hand with a few fine strings of honey, where they warmed quickly, and sought out the drops with their tongues while still laying inert in my palm. Within minutes, the wheelbarrow was empty, and they were flying out the garage door and back to their hive in a golden cloud, lit by the rising sun. We fed that hive until spring from our stores, revising our understanding of how much honey we could harvest, and how much to leave for the hive’s survival.

    1. I have a friend who keeps bees, and you can bet I’m going to send this on to her. What a charming story, although it must have been a nerve-wracking experience at the time. Bee keeping is far more complex than I ever realized — it must be one learning experience after another.

      1. That’s a wonderful story. Bees are boss. I always fret whether our girls have enough honey for winter. Of course here in Texas, it’s not much of a worry. But I still fret until that first hive check in mid to late February.

    1. My history with insect photography has not been particularly stellar!! I should look out for the sleeping one for a better chance of a nice sharp image. Funny the sharpest insect I ever shot was a fly on the leg of a wood stork. Naturally I didn’t even see until computer viewing. You do great with it…even when they are awake!! :)

      1. Isn’t it amazing how much we see after the fact? It’s especially true with insects — and spiders, especially. Those silly crab spiders lurk everywhere. I suppose that’s part of their trickiness: they survive by surprising their dinner. It does occur to me that every one of my sleeping insect photos was taken in the morning, before the slugabeds got their day underway. I’ve read that that’s the way to get decent butterfly photos, too. Look for them early, while they’re still drying their wings.

        1. I learned a little bit about composition in my early digital photography years. I’d examine a picture and in the computer it is quite large and you can move it around to see just parts of it. I realized that I wished the parts were the whole as they were often more interesting than the whole but fairly useless being a small section. So that gave me a new way to look at things when framing with the viewfinder. I guess film photographs when scanned into the computer will show things not picked up looking at a print. Nice side effect of going digital. What wonderful tools we have now!! That fly on the wood stork leg was a small part of a ‘big’ wood stork, but it added to the image I thought in the way the old Dutch Masters in the flower painting would have the odd insect or amphibian or something with the flowers. Adds something hard to define.

          1. You do some of the same things with your studio portraits that include flowers, shells, etc. It’s an interesting way of seeing — one that you share with those Dutch masters!

            1. I do like the combination of natural textures that don’t exactly go together but somehow work. Even Ansel Adams had a picture of a rose on driftwood as I recall. Shapes, shadows, textures, and lighting seem to capture something in us. Then of course color!! I am just so grateful that such things as IOLs can replace cataracts so I can see all this great detail. So lucky!!

    1. I’ve learned more good Maine expressions from you, Laurie! This is a new one; I don’t remember you using it before — or I’ve just missed it. It certainly seems appropriate in this case.

  2. Very clever title for your post and wonderful photo. The first time I encountered sleeping bumblebees, I thought they were frozen in place by an unusual late August chill. They were massed on a stand if Montauk Daisies next to the door. I absolutely adore Bees, although I am profoundly allergic and have had 4 anaphylactic reactions to stings. Because I believed the Bees that morning to be dead, I blithely entered the door, knowing that I was safe from being stung. Silly me. They awoke just as I wanted to go back out through the door. Needless to say, I am still here unharmed and we all lived happily ever after. Delightful post today.

    1. Believe me, more than once I’ve touched a little foot to see if the bee (or whateveer) was dead, or sleeping, Of course, that kind of foolishness can wake the presumably dead, making a photo impossible. As with so much in life, sometimes it’s better to just wait around, and see what happens. There are some articles I found that were filled with tips for figuring out if a bee truly was asleep. Wing position is one clue, but I can’t remember now exactly what to look for.

      I’m glad I’m not allergic to them. I react most strongly to fire ants, but even in that case the pain doesn’t last very long.

      1. Oh man don’t get me started on fire ants! Thanks for the hint about sleeping bees. O think it’s like dogs – let sleeping dogs and bees lie. Great post today.

    1. I’m wondering if you know the story behind the title? There was a film called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas — it was based on the true story of an entirely wacky weather guy on a Houston tv station who made it his mission in life to shut down a certain establishment with its own long and fabled history. Look up Marvin Zindler if you want another few laughs. He was a really good guy at heart, and did a lot of good for the Houston community — but his claim to fame lives on, even in this title.

    1. This one demanded to be played with: the title, not the bee. I was willing to let him sleep as long as he wanted, mostly because I thought he was so darned cute.

    1. To be honest, I almost missed this photo opportunity. I assumed the bee would fly away, and when I noticed that he hadn’t, I circled back to see what was up. The truth was that he wasn’t up at all; he was deep in sleep, dreaming of whatever bees dream about when they’re feeling safe and secure. I loved the way he was curled around the flower: all snugged up!

    1. One of the things I learned in the process of putting this together was how many actual bed and breakfasts there are that include ‘buttercup’ in their name. There’s one in Wimberly, as a matter of fact, although most of them I found are in the British Isles. I thought the bee looked cozy as could be. Your suggestion that it looks like a curled up baby is exactly right.

    1. Over the years — partly because of my work — I have developed some patience. In this case, it served me well. You might enjoy reading Sam Rappen’s comment on this post. As a beekeeper, you’ll appreciate both the problem and the utterly amazing solution!

      1. I’ve watched various native bees sleep in flowers, but weirdly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of our honeys do that. It also might be that the honeys are so common in the garden, I don’t necessarily spend time watching if one is still on a flower. I should pay more attention.

    1. I spent yesterday in the company of hundreds — maybe thousands — of bees, all buzzing around Blue Curls and Baby Blue Eyes. The butterflies are out, too: dark swallowtails were especially noticeable. What a great time of year!

  3. One could argue that that which your title hints at could indeed be a bed and breakfast. ..with benefits. Possibly this sleepy bee was made so by an overindulgent pollen appetite. Like Eliza above I too cannot wait for the return of bees. All bees. They are beautiful to behold and contemplate and this picture really whets one’s appetite for such activity.

    1. I had fun with that title; it certainly does recall a famous Texas tale, not to mention a great film. The bees have been everywhere of late, and the bloom of a whole variety of flowers certainly could lead to a little pollen overload. One thing I’ve learned is that native bees often are solitary rather than hive dwellers, so it makes sense that they’d be more inclined to sleep in flowers.

  4. This photo is just fabulous! I can’t wait until our wildflowers get going – I love watching bees do their bee things. Mike looked yesterday & said that we’ve got a LOT of Bee Balm coming up so there should be some bee activity this spring.

    1. Well, to paraphrase a saying that baseball-loving you should recognize: if you plant it, they will come. I spent yesterday walking through patches of flowers that were buzzing with bees — hundreds of them. They paid me no mind whatsoever. They were far more interested in their flowers.

  5. Just when I begin getting frustrated on a morning walk looking for a “composition” or a “unique subject”, Nature sticks something in front of my eyes which makes the whole day better. You know, like a Bee in a Buttercup.

    Outstanding title, photograph and deep thoughts!

    Seems to me this could make a wonderful children’s story.

    “Beeatrice rubbed the pollen from her sleepy eyes. She knew she had a really buzzy
    schedule today, but the soft petals of her Buttercup Bed compelled her to turn over for
    just a few more minutes. Perhaps the dew would be dry by then.”

    Or – we could just sing.

      1. Well, well. As I was saying, I grinned at your comment about nature plunking things in front of us just because she can. I can’t tell you the number of times that’s happened to me, and it’s always an enjoyable surprise. I love your little story. You should flesh that out. Our kids need all the fun, instructive stories we can give them!

        1. For some reason, I didn’t receive notice of your actual reply.
          If my grandkids were still young, I might work on your idea. Now, though, I’ll give ’em the condensed version. “Join the Army, Bee all you can Bee and don’t forget to smell the Buttercups.”

    1. Good grief! What a way to start my morning! I finally could reclaim the video clip, and now I can’t stop laughing. I’ve never seen The Three Amigos, so of course I’d never seen that performance. What a hoot! The next time I see a bee asleep in a buttercup, I’m going to sing to it and see what happens.

    1. I’ve looked and looked, and I can’t figure out what L I B means. I usually can figure things out with the various acronym lists and such, but this one still is a mystery. Enlightment required!

      1. It’s from the old MR Ducks poem:
        MR ducks (Them are ducks)
        MR not.
        OSAR. CM wangs? (Oh yes they are. See them wangs?)
        LIB MR ducks. (Well, I be. Them are ducks.
        You have to imagine the all caps letters as read letter by letter by, say, Goober or Gomer from the old Andy Griffith Show.

        1. Of course! And you’ve mentioned this exchange before, somewhere in the dim and distant past. As soon as I began reading, I remembered it. Thanks for the morning grin!

    1. There’s something about any sleeping creature that really appeals to me: dogs, cats, babies — bees!It’s funny — I never used to think about insects or fish or birds sleeping, but apparently we all need those few zzzzzz’s to keep going!

    2. For some reason I can’t log in to leave a comment on your site, so here it is, apparently complete with the code that might be the problem — so odd!

      \cocoatextscaling1\cocoaplatform1{\fonttbl\f0\fnil\fcharset0 Merriweather-Regular;}

      \f0\fs32 \cf2 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0
      \outl0\strokewidth0 \strokec2 \shad\shadx0\shady-20\shadr0\shado0 \shadc0

      “As a former Iowa dweller, I well remember the trickery of March. One day you’re freed from school because of a blizzard; the next, you’re trying to sneak a drive in the family car and end up being pulled from a country ditch by a farmer. We get the same dynamic here in Texas, but it’s a much milder version. For us, the back-and-forthing often involves such questions as “jeans, or shorts?”}

      1. Thank you, Linda, I think I’ll try re-posting it. I shouldn’t grouse about March weather but it really does seem like an unstable sort with wild mood swings.

    1. You should have been in the Rockport cemetery last weekend. The baby blue eyes were thick as could be, and so were the bees! I’ve never seen so many, and their sound was as loud as bumblebees on wisteria! They didn’t care a thing about me — they were busy bees!

    1. I never would have thought of it as a black and white, but the simplicity of the structure probably would support that. When I get home, I’ll give it a whirl and see what it looks like.

    1. I did take the photo. Actually, I took about two dozen photos while the bee snoozed away. I was amazed that he didn’t wake, but it certainly made taking the photo easier!

  6. To bee or not to bee
    That is the question
    Whether ’tis nobler in the hive to snooze
    Or enjoy a bed of outrageous fortune
    To wake, to fly
    Against a sea of flowers
    And by opposing, pollinate them?

    (Cool picture.)

    1. And a very, VERY cool take-off on the Bard! If I ever find another sleeping bee, I’ll quote your creative lines: with appropriate credit, of course. It tickles me that the photo evoked your own bit of poetry. It’s another example of words and image complementing one another.

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