nature miracles

Humans! They lived in a world where the grass continued to be green and the sun rose every day and flowers regularly turned into fruit, and what impressed them? Weeping statues. And wine made out of water! A mere quantum-mechanistic tunnel effect, that’d happen anyway if you were prepared to wait zillions of years. As if the turning of sunlight into wine, by means of vines and grapes and time and enzymes, wasn’t a thousand times more impressive and happened all the time…
—  Terry Pratchett - Small Gods

anonymous asked:

May I ask where you're located at? And how do your bees do during the winter months?

I’m currently in the good ol’ down south territory known best as Alabama! Central ‘Bamma to be exactish. And I personally have yet to fill my hives, but all of my local keepers have had consistent losses of about 1/3 of their hives over each winter. They of course build it back up through the summer, but there are always losses.

Except for one keeper…

I only know him as “the all-natural keeper.”

He keeps small-cell bees and they are for all intents and purposes invincible.

They are a miracle of nature and will never die.

Elf!Phan AU Prompt

Please note: This is not canon to the Elf!Phan AU, only inspired by the story. I did not create this AU either. All credit goes to @incaseyouart (or Vic)’s outstanding Elf AU. I highly advise you check it out. Thank you :)

Warning: Semi-Sad

•••••••

“I know things are hard right now, Phil. But you need to be strong.”

Phil walked around aimlessly in the small library located in his village. Other elves wandered about, attending to their lives, not paying Phil much mind. It’s funny, how on the outside he looks fine, but in the inside his world was crumbling from beneath him.

“You’re so strong. You’ve always been.”

Phil grimaced, flashbacks from last night flooding through his mind again. He bit his lip to keep in his tears. He wasn’t going to cry, not in public. But every time he closed his eyes, its all he saw. His brother Martyn, laying in bed. His body frail and sick. The way he kept on smiling, no matter how much pain it brought him. His trembling hands. His chest rising and falling heavily. How Phil could only stare, helpless, letting the inevitable truth devour his insides. Martyn was sick. He couldn’t be cured. And there was nothing anyone could do but wait.

“Look at me, Phil. Please. Promise me. Promise you’ll…you’ll keep your head held high. Don’t let your sunshine go.”

After a few seconds, Phil composed himself. He gave a big, fake smile to passerby elves, people he knew. He had to stay happy, for his brother’s sake. Phil walked through the aisles, skimming the numerous titles of the antique books, tracing his fingers along their dusty spines. In Martyn’s condition, he was forced to stay in bed, which got quite boring at times. Since he was too weak to hold a book by himself, Phil volunteered to read some for him. He tried to make the most of what time was left.

Alas, after several moments of looking, none of these books seemed fitting to his brother’s liking. Phil sighed, almost about to give up, when a thick leathered book skittered to the ground after making contact with Phil’s cape. Even in mourning, Phil found a way to be a complete clutz. Phil shook his head and bent over to grab the book.

“You have to be brave. Not for me, but for yourself.”

The sad look in his brother’s eyes. His messy hair thrown about on the pillow. Phil had knelt beside him, his eyes spilling tears onto the blanket. Phil caressed the limp, dying flower that sprouted in his brother’s head, it’s petals falling into his palm. Phil didn’t want to accept it, but he knew what it meant. And he dashed out of the room in a frenzy of sobs and grief.

Phil buried the memory deep within his mind, hoping to never see it again. He grabbed the thick book and was about to place it back on the shelf when the cover caught his eye. Exotic Flowers and Creatures: The Hidden Miracles of Nature.

Phil let out a soft “Huh.” as he opened the book. Inside laid thousands of documents about so many flowers and animals, even folklore tales. Phil loved nature, considering he was a nature elf, and found this quite intriguing despite everything going on. He was about to tuck the book under his arm, thinking maybe his brother might enjoy it as well, when his finger landed on two boldly printed words. The Panacea Bloom.

Panacea Bloom: One of the most legendary and rare plants known to elfin. It’s sweet, milky nectar, said to be found inside its center, can cure any kind of disease within hours. Panacea Bloom’s grow in the heart of the dark forest, guarded by the Sacred Tree (see page 64). For centuries, elves have looked far and wide for this exotic treasure, but only one elf was successful. Unfortunately, this elf disappeared without a trace, leaving no further evidence.

Phil stopped reading. He let the information roll around in his head. Nature Elves had practiced in the medical field for years, crafting and perfecting medicines made from herbs and flora. The doctors said Martyn’s sickness was incurable, but what if it wasn’t? What if the Panacea Bloom was found?? It had happened before. Surely, it could be found again.

That was all Phil needed. He hurriedly checked out the book, grabbing a couple others like it just in case. He ran out of the library doors and bolted off. He knew what he had to do. He knew he didn’t have much time. And he knew it was crazy, foolish, even dangerous. But what choice did he have? He was sick of just standing around, waiting for his brother to die undeservingly.

He was going to find the Panacea Bloom. And he was going to save his brother.

•••••••

Holy shit this is long.
I hope you enjoyed it. Again, go check out Vic’s art and everything else. She’s absolutely amazing.

Often I found myself expelling a quivering, involuntary “Whoa”

The trees are so big that it would be cowardly not to deal with their bigness head on. They are very, very big. You already knew this — they’re called “giant sequoias” — and I knew it, too. But in person, their bigness still feels unexpected, revelatory. And the delirium of their size is enhanced by their age, by the knowledge that some of the oldest sequoias predate our best tools for processing and communicating phenomena like sequoias, that the trees are older than the English language and most of the world’s major religions — older by centuries, easily, even millenniums. The physical appearance of a tree cannot be deafening, and yet with these trees, it is. Facing down a sequoia, the most grammatically scrambled thoughts wind up feeling right. Really, there’s only so much a person can do or say. Often I found myself expelling a quivering, involuntary Whoa. […]

Late one afternoon, I lay down in the snow at the base of one for a while, watching as the fog poured in through its crown, and I remembered how untroubled Riksheim sounded at the bar the previous evening when, lowering his voice, he mentioned that there was a particular sequoia near his house that he was keeping an eye on. He could wake up dead tomorrow, he said. “It’s just that flying, fickle finger of Fate. Every once in a while, it’s going to point at you.” Then he fluttered his long, bony index finger through the air and lowered it with a sudden whoosh. Out of nowhere: crash. And I realized that his experience of it — a feeling of forsakenness, of arbitrary cruelty — would be essentially the same as the tree’s.

Two days later, I was snowshoeing around alone when I discovered I was standing in front of the same sequoia I had lain under. There, in the sloping snow at its roots, I saw my imprint. My back and legs and arms were joined into a wispy column, with the perfectly ovular hood of my parka rounding off the top. It looked like a snow angel, but also like a mummy — an image of both levity and dolefulness, neither all good nor all bad. I took a picture of it: what little of myself was left after I’d gone. The figure looked smaller and more delicate than I thought it should, but the Giant Forest was so quiet that I couldn’t imagine who else it could be.

~ Jon Mooallem, excerpts from “In the Land of Giants”  (NY Times Magazine, March 23, 2017)