Tuesday, May 26, 2009

White House Quacks, Barks & Stings

WH View from Putting Green on South Lawn near Oval Office (Photo Courtesy Architectural Digest)
New First Families are the regular order of the day when presidents switch in and out. The multi-faceted talented White House staff takes that in stride. It is the more unusual outdoorsy happenings from the pets and critters, great and small, that give the Executive Mansion a bit of swerve and verve. During the chills of winter, the first lady signed off on a first-ever bee hive for making White House Honey. A horticulture plan must be in place for the right types of flowers to groom next to the hive. Bees are pretty active in the spring and summer collecting pollen from all the flowering plants. It just so happens a White House carpenter extraordinaire and bee master reside in the body of Charley Brandts who takes great pictures of the hive on the WH grounds when not wearing his superhero bee keeping cape.

Michelle Obama said some eyebrows definitely raised when presenting the garden design (chefs, bee keepers, head horticulturist, Chief Usher, National Park Service) plans to a skeptical Malia & Sasha who have a vested interest in their new backyard. The grounds team appropriated prime space for their swing set. Deep in the southern 9 acres is Momma Obama's garden, with the hive closer to the tennis court and the children's garden and that big grand fountain surrounded by blooms. Prior summer flowers for the fountain included geraniums, marigold lilies (lots of marigolds in the Obama Victory Garden) and petunias. Add the inquisitive nature of Sherlock Holmes to one rambunctious puppy and things can get a bit tense. Bo's walks are matters of national security. Seriously. When in DC, the president walks Bo. Not sure what Secret Service protocol is for a bee protest.

Bo passes the West Wing on a walk with White House Horticulturist Dale Haney. He has a great deal of experience with First Family pets too.)
Bo is closer than most Americans will ever be to the "football" - the codes for the nuclear weapons. The White House doctor will make sure no allergy sufferers are without the appropriate antidotes. Interesting, because in about 6 weeks, the Obamas will host a major annual gathering of congressional spouses, children and friends on the South Lawn, close to the Fourth of July, before he and Michelle make another international tour, including Ghana. At this time, it is not clear whether either or both of the First Daughters will accompany their parents on such a major trip. The East Wing is already gearing up for the inevitable press crush probably making the First Family appreciate the secret life of bees more.

(Charlie Brandts removing North swarm of bees after installing the domesticated bees on South Lawn)
A few suicidal bees roaming on pollen patrol could send things out of hand, if not paying attention during the season. That already happened in the near the West Gate, with the same beekeeper going out in full regalia to collect the Queen Bee and the swarms and rescue the media from enduring bee stings while doing their live shots on the North side of the White House. The "Renegade" bees (ha ha code name puns) moved in without an election to enjoy an annual springy "Renaissance" garden as the shy "Radiance" of the brilliant sunshine pours on the youngest "Rosebud" determined to use the outdoor pool to teach her new Portuguese Water Dog how to swim.(Photo with hive to the left Courtesy of City Bees, a blog with several posts detailing the insider story of the Obama's sanctioned bees.)

It is known that squirrels frequent the South Lawn. In the middle of this natural park, a Ducky Mom created her own tour of the West Wing shepherding her ducklings past an assistant press secretary's window inspecting the White House grounds. Michele Obama did not arrange for ducks a la orange in the ramped up local food initiative. (Outside West Wing of the White House Photo courtesy New York Daily News)

Sorry for the longer than planned posting absence, but an emergency illness arose stinging me in more ways than one.


meredithp said...
Thursday, 28 May, 2009  

I enjoy this blog so much, both the current and historical references. I know it's a lot of work, but I so appreciate it. Keep it up, please.

Nana R said...
Sunday, 31 May, 2009  

Thank you so much for the encouragement. It is truly appreciated!

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