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marbles...

Sunday, March 5, 2017
... not admitting to having lost any, only having recent conversations related to the little round glass things? Are  you old enough to remember playing marbles, in a circle drawn in the sand on the playground at school? Or in the dirt driveway in the backyard with siblings or neighbor kids? Does anyone ever actually play 'marbles' any more? Other than buying a bag at a craft store to pour in a jar for keeping flowers in place, is there any use for them?

The answer to that last question is: yes. I saw a photo recently of a nifty yet remarkably simple bee-watering device.  All you need is a shallow dish that will hold water with fairly low sides, and enough glass marbles to cover the bottom of the container. Place it out in the yard where it would be easily accessible for insects like honey bees and butterflies. Add just enough water to barely cover the marbles. The marbles are going to keep the insects from getting waterlogged and drowning, when they discover the new 'watering hole'. They will alight on the marbles, with the water in the crevices, and enjoy a nice refreshing drink, then go on about their pollinating business.

You will, of course, need to remember to dump the water, and add fresh once a week. I understand it takes mosquitoes ten days from egg to maturity. If you are pouring out the stale water and refilling with fresh once a week, you are breaking the life cycle, gradually eliminating the hatching, biting, blood-sucking process. While providing fresh water for the bees and butterflies that you would like to have as friendly bugs that will pollinate in your garden.

The other reference to the antiquated marbles was at work today, when friend Mary was asking me if I ever played marbles. I did, and immediately told the story on my brother, who dearly loved to offer a game of marbles, knowing he would beat my socks off and get to keep all my marbles. I only wanted to have marbles in order for other people to play with me, and they only wanted to play with me because they knew they would go home with all my marbles, and I would go home crying. All the kids in the neighborhood were older than me. They were also guys who had much more experience, and skill, so would naturally thoroughly beat me at the game of marbles.

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