March 3rd, 2009


Not my greatest triumph

On Saturday I was at the Picocon SF con and went to lunch with pwilkinson and his sister B. at a nearby Chinese restaurant that happens to be in a basement.

As we left the restaurant B. noticed a very large bumble bee on the steps to the restaurant, looking rather dopey because it was a warm day which had presumably disturbed its hibernation, so she carefully scooped it onto a book I was carrying and moved it to a nearby bush where it wouldn't be stepped on.

So today, as I was coming back from lunch, I noticed another bumble bee on the walkway from the school's playground to the street, where it was certain to be trampled as soon as the kids started to move from our main building to our other site. The surface of the walkway is a steel grid over a very deep light-well for our underground gymnasium, and the bee was painfully struggling from one metal bar to the next, making very poor progress.

So I picked up a leaf and tried to get it to climb on so I could move it to the nearest bushes. Instead it immediately retreated into the grid, head-first, slipped, and plummeted down 30ft to the courtyard outside the gym. Needless to say the silly bugger didn't fly to safety - it hit hard, sat there for about 30 seconds wriggling its legs, then got up and walked away.

I thought about going down to rescue it, but by then I was late, and the way things were going I would have probably trodden on it by mistake...