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Showing posts from March, 2013

Now we are three

It's really spring here.

I can tell because trees are blooming and I'm taking lots of pictures like this


 The first of a less-welcome spring sign happened when I walked into the house yesterday, and a child said, "You really need to see this."

"What?"

"Outside."

"Man! Did they swarm?"

You see, when I had checked out the hives in the early afternoon, making sure that all was well in the newspaper-combined one, I noticed that the other hive, the one with only one brood box, was looking significantly busy. I filed it under "give that hive more room," and just hoped it would work.

Hoping apparently doesn't deal with spring build-up. They had thrown off a rather nice-sized swarm.

Fortunately, we have the Most Attractive Apricot Tree Ever, or something like that. They landed where every swarm landed last year.

I deputized a photographer and got to work. First, I humped out a new brood box and honey super, plus an inner and outer cover.


Nic…

Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam...

Some marriages are made when eyes meet across a room. . . and they know.

Some arise out of more prosaic circumstances. The phrase "Do you have a cold chisel?" will  prompt giggles and knowing looks at my house.

Some relationships grow, and with shared experiences and the passage of time, develop into deep companionable partnerships.

Some marriages aren't so much of a choice. The families decide that the young people will be best served by this pairing, at this time, and from what I hear, it works out fairly well a lot of the time (barring abuse, but come on folks, this is a fairly lighthearted post).

With that in mind, I pulled a yenta today. When I collapsed the hives into smaller bodies, one looked questionable. A frame of eggs was dropped in, so if they wanted, they could bring up a queen, but over the past week, traffic in and out of that hive had dropped precipitously. Well, bee traffic had dropped. Ants had sped up their six-legged highway, and it was time.

Without smok…

Micro-microclimates

This is a story of three apricot trees.
Two trees, out front, are "Royal Blenheim," in back, a "Katy."
The Katy is the oldest, the front yard trees are roughly the same age.
They develop slightly differently, though.

The Katy blooms and leafs out first -- it's just a wash of spring green right now.


The slightly larger Blenheim is next -- still blooming, but at the end of its run for this year.


Finally, the one to the east end of the yard, still a bouquet.


They're not wildly different, just enough to notice.

Elsewhere, I'm trying to make a bird-free microclimate:


Bird netting -- threadlike nylon fishing net, cuttable as each intersection is a knot -- up one side, and Reemay along the other. Unfortunately, I may have out-clevered myself. The triple trellis of twine precludes arching netting over the bed.



With luck, the beans will be robust enough once I pull the covers off to resist the birds. One of the pleasures of growing things is trying out new approaches. S…

Laying foundations

Raise high the roofbeams, carpenters! Hymenaon, Sing the wedding song! Up with them! Hymenaon, Sing the wedding song! A bridegroom taller than Ares! Hymenaon, Sing the wedding song! Taller than a tall man! Hymenaon, Sing the wedding song! Superior as the singer of Lesbos— Hymenaon, Sing the wedding song! —to poets of other lands. Hymenaon!

I used to read just to read. Stories went by like potato chips from a bag, leaving crumbs and a greasy ring. Sometimes it's still like that. "She'll read anything," they joked, "Even the back of a cereal box."

It was true. It is true. How can one not? Well, except that there isn't as much time. Even the quickest reader needs to show some discernment if time with books isn't going to be all junk. And maybe I'm so full of stories that my bucket is spilling over. As I move around the garden, snippets of writing, essays about gardening, thoughts and musings coalesce in my head. Carrying a voice-activated recorder would probabl…

Cake and swag

The birthday was celebrated in the nicest sort of way. The birthday girl:


Birthday cake, after takeout Indian food, consumed with family and neighbors, all sharing wonderful stories of the new grown-up as a baby ("Look at how young you guys were!" was perhaps my favorite quote) and themselves as eighteen year olds. Some of the stories made me even more grateful for the kind of eighteen year old I have! There were playing toddlers, the eighteen year olds of tomorrow -- and that's about how fast it feels!


She wasn't the only one to get a gift yesterday, though. The nice people at Home and Garden TV gardens (whew!) sent over a product for me to try, and I'm sold.


It's Worker B Rescue Putty. So great -- beeswax, honey, and olive oil. It's similar to a balm I made but the honey makes it much creamier. Maybe I'll finally heal my winter-rough cuticles. And I'd still be happy to blog for the nice HGTV folks, OR be a subject for a makeover show, just sayin…

An Adult

She's much bigger now.


Happy 18th birthday to our first finished object.