The bee’s legs softly tickle the bare skin of Sherlock’s arm. He watches the small insect crawl industriously from his wrist to the rolled-up fabric of his shirt-sleeve near his elbow.
Perhaps, he muses, it is attracted to the thin layer of salt on his skin, the result of his bicycle ride in the noon heat.
Having reached the cloth, the bee turns, wandering in the opposite direction until, suddenly, it halts and takes off, buzzing away to join its companions in the meadow.
Sherlock props himself up on one elbow and uses his other hand to shield his eyes from the sun. Through the gently swaying grasses and wildflowers
he can see the beehives near the edge of a line of oaks and ash-trees. The hives are busy, now that summer seems to have decided that a return is worthwhile after all.
Today, the 31st of August, is the first day of sunshine after a mostly miserable, wet and cold month which felt more like early autumn than what August is supposed to be, even in England.
But today summer reigns with a vengeance: high temperatures, bright sunshine, the smell of ripe fruit and of flowers, the chirping of crickets and hum and buzz of bees.
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