My multi-year immersion into the lives of America’s native bees began with a gardening epiphany—European-import honey bees can’t pollinate tomatoes, but a variety of native bees can. This realization led to an obsession with native bees that cascaded into taking classes, wading through the scientific literature, raising bees, participating in bee science, modifying my garden, and trekking into fields and onto farms with bee experts to learn who America’s bees really are, and how they are faring. It also led to a book.
I’ve spent my adult life involved in science and nature. I tend to latch onto something and love it hard for a long time. I fell in love with geology in the very first geology class I took at Duke. Afterwards, I headed out to Montana to graduate school, a place where one can see the rocks so much better than in the deep south where they are so often covered in dirt and plants.
When I moved to Seattle I discovered gardening and fell in love with plants. After having a couple of kids, I started a garden design and coaching business. I’ve taught classes on geology, soils, gardening, and pruning. I started writing to promote the business, sending out monthly newsletters, and discovered the pleasure of writing and the power of story-telling. I’ve been surprised to find that my Georgia roots, which I thought were long-decayed, sneak into my writing. Despite living in Seattle for 25 years, when I write I hear the dropped g’s, slippery vowels, and soft, slurring rhythms that filled my childhood. This mid-life foray into writing has been an unexpected gift on many levels.