Saturday, May 26, 2018

November Hill farm journal, 55

The garage painting job, including the stairway up to the main floor, is complete and it looks terrific. Next we will paint the interior doors down there and replace insulation in the large storage room. Yesterday I bought supplies to create a bee hive storage area in the smaller storage room. Which brings me to sad news.

The honeybee nucs I had ordered have been delayed twice already, and I got word this week that they have been delayed yet again. Delivery date is now June 16th. Unfortunately, the nectar flow in our area is completely over with at this point, and it’s the nectar flow that gives honeybees the energy to draw out new comb grow the colony. I would have to feed many gallons of sugar syrup at this point, and I really don’t want to start my beekeeping experience that way, so I have canceled the order. I will have to try again next spring.

However - I now have a beautiful bee hive that is going to be empty, so when I get back from Rochester I’ll set it up in a good location with some swarm lure and see if I can get a swarm to move in. It may or may not work but at least I’ll be doing some experimentation. More on that later.

My pollinator beds are going wild. Everything is growing like mad and the rattlesnake plants, the coneflowers, and the asters are getting ready to bloom. I’ve been able to keep up with the weeding, and with the rain we’ve had I haven’t had to spend time watering. It’s going to be stunning as we move into fall.

This was over a week ago - these plants have added a quarter of their size since then. I’ll do a pollinator bed post when I get back. I need to document everything in the beds so I can look back next year and monitor the longer-term growth.

Our tree plantings are also doing well. The little dogwoods are happy, as are the paw-paws and the inkberry hollies. The two volunteers that are now about 12 feet tall have turned out to be peaches. They are loaded with fruit! I’m not sure how well they can do where they are. There’s a red maple to their left that is blocking the sunlight and I may be willing to take that down. It’s not huge and since it’s not great for horses anyway, I don’t mind not having it there. Will think on it and decide in the next few weeks.

Several times over the past week I’ve come upon our resident black racer snake who is living in the barn. Zero mouse poop! I never have my phone with me when I see him/her but eventually I’ll get a photo. 

A few nights ago husband spotted this on the path to the barn.

What a handsome creature!

This morning I spied hummingbirds around the front porch. The bird song continues to be a near-constant soundtrack to the days and even the nights. 

Except for the ticks, it’s a gorgeous time of year. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

Everything seems to be blooming and looking beautiful. Wonder what that creature is, maybe a giant slug of some sort. Sorry to hear about the bee hives but maybe a swarm will take up residence on their own. Have a great trip to Rochester. Stop by if you have the time! We're in the middle of renovations but if you don't mind a mess we'd be happy to see you.

Matthew said...

It is impossible to overstate the awesomeness of your pollinator garden this spring :)

Even the temporary guests - my mom's coral honeysuckle - are now blooming, perhaps inspired by all of the other native flowers bursting forth around them.

Bravo for the garden!

billie said...

A, sorry for the delay in approving comments here - for some reason I didn’t get notifications. Hope there’s no glitch happening! I so wish I had the time to drive over. I will make it one of these days, I promise! Would love to see you and your lovely farm.

billie said...

M, I miss the garden too!