In New England, spring ephemerals and beautiful woodland wildflowers appear throughout the spring, lasting only a short while during this fleeting season. During this time of year, our fields and forests are community-based resources that can support our interests in botany, ecology, and even entomology, while connecting us to the seasons and the spaces that surround us.
Artist Georgia O’Keeffe was inspired by spring wildflowers. Poet John Greenleaf Whittier was inspired by the traditions associated with keeping honeybees. The honeybee and the wildflower inspire one another! And around and around it goes!
How do these ephemeral woodland flowers inspire you? What traditions do you partake in that might be associated with honey or beekeeping? You might be surprised to learn how they inspired the traditions of early America…
Depending on the climate and local flora, the taste of honey changes based on which flowers in a region the honeybees have pollinated. Learn more an annual honey festival that takes place in the Pioneer Valley each year, or sign up for classes with a local beekeeper association to learn more about apiculture.
Think about this:
What were some early American uses for honey? What other sweeteners might have been present or absent from their diets?
How does Georgia O’Keefe choose to represent the Jack-in-the-Pulpit? How does she create a sense of drama and intensity that may often be overlooked when seeing the plant on a woodland walk?
Why is the health of bees important for our own food production?