Friday, March 24, 2017

beekeeping tales, 3: the purple deadnettle buffet is open

I'm woefully behind in blogging and have several posts lined up, but today I got sidetracked in the back yard when I noticed a fairly huge group of honey bees foraging the purple deadnettle that has volunteered as our garden ground cover through the winter.

My bees should be here in May but for now I'm thrilled to see honey bees, an assortment of native bees, and at least one ladybug enjoying the feast of nectar and pollen.

Below you can see the red pollen from the purple deadnettle in a nice clump on the bee's head. 

This is my favorite shot. See those tiny grains of pollen? 

I admit it. After bee school and a terrific workshop on natural beekeeping with Michael Bush I'm starting to "bee" smitten! And I passed the written portion of my certified beekeeping exam so am ready to start working on gaining the basic skills for the experiential part of the test. I have the bee suit and now that barn construction is done will be getting my hives situated and ready for the bees.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Technical difficulties! and a few updates

One of my birthday gifts this year was a new iPad Pro, which I badly needed as my old, very old, iPad 2 was getting clunkier and clunkier. However, as seems to be the case with technology and devices, sometimes when you upgrade things aren't all Good.

The one thing my old iPad did perfectly was allow me to blog with easy access to my photos.

For whatever reason, I haven't yet figured out how to get this fancy, fast, new iPad Pro to do that simple task. Sigh. No photos until I can sort this mess out.

Meanwhile, we are about halfway through the barn roof and new shelter construction. We had snow this weekend (very pretty, melted quickly) and the herd got to test out the new shelter. About 1/3 of the new metal roof is installed so I've been able to see how great it's going to look. Now we have the issue of gutters to deal with, as we learned on Sunday that snow slides off metal roofs quite differently than on shingles! We had a minor spook fest once the snow started melting.

We also decided to hold off on the weathervane as our contractor said with our history of lightning strikes behind the back field he would like us to do some research before we put something tall and metal on our barn roof. Any experience out there about this issue?

Tonight I'm taking my certified beekeeper written test. One more step toward the bees!

And Bear Corgi finished up his Basic Obedience class and got his certificate of completion. He is doing so well and in a couple of weeks we begin Canine Good Citizen class.

That's about it. Daughter's spring break just ended, son is narrowing his graduate school decision. I'm happy for both of them, and so very proud.

Let me get cracking on this photo issue so I can get back to posting with pictures very soon!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

What to do if your child's birthday is on Leap Year Day

Tell her this is the most special birthday ever because it only comes every four years. She is one of a few very special people who have this birthday!

On the Leap Years break out the biggest celebrations possible.

When people say to her, "oh you poor thing, you only have a birthday every four years" make sure and correct their mistake. She is extremely lucky to have this very rare and wonderful birthday!

On the years when there is no Leap Day celebrate for the entire week beginning with February 28th and roll on through March 6th. This makes up for the lack of the 29th.

Remember that she will encounter odd issues like not being able to actually fill in her real date of birth on forms that don't have the 29th as an option. Teach her to insist on having her REAL date of birth listed no matter what.

I've lived on the Earth for 57 years but I've had 14 real birthdays. But because my mother told me from the time I can remember how special this was I have grown up feeling fortunate. And yes, last week was a rolling birthday party here on November Hill.

Can you even imagine how huge the party will be here on November Hill in 2020 when my numbers hit 60 and 15? Something to look forward to, for sure. :)