Monday, June 29, 2009

life is "discovery"

there's new life in the house with the addition of our kitty RYDER (the black tasmanian devil cat!)

we have to get back to "child proofing" the house. things you never think of ....are now suddenly CAT TOYS!

bagpipe tassels, toilet paper rolls, earphones, ribbons, strings. heaven forbid i leave any "projects" laying around.....BEADING, sewing....

there was a "fuffy" of cat hair on the counter this morn???? i haven't seen him up there???? he could have done quite a bit of "damage" to the piles of herbs drying on plates....i wonder....maybe it just "flew" up there.

he got "trained" last week regarding the kitchen table. the spray bottle.

i can't believe i'm doing this

i can't believe i'm doing this...yes - i'm about to BLOG about a vacuum! ready?

it's a "bissell lift-off (pet) revolution". anyone who has pets - this is a must. they really did design this for getting into tight spots and pulling hair from carpet/furniture.

i can't say enough about "feels" heafty and solid...and it's a TRANSFORMER! you can detach the thing - from itself and use it as a canister vac. it has a nice feature in "turning off the brush" for hard surface much more quiet.

it's bagless and easy to clean.

spring graftings

i was just about to give up on the spring graftings. examination of the apple tree grafts two weeks ago revealed SUCCESS!!! we have leaves on about half the grafts!!! (i'd say that's about 10 out of 20). i think this is an acceptable first attempt.

i'm going to do more grafts in 2010 now. i'd just as soon graft the entire tree over (finger pointing to the mouth gesture "YUCK" at the thought of the yellow delicious apples these trees bear)

gardens around here are LATE by about 3 weeks. it's an odd year to be sure. some things just didn't want to come up. earlier this spring, going through the herb garden - i had some things die off that SHOULDn't have!

i'm predicting a LONG HARD WINTER - the bees are already PROPOLISING the hives (they're making them tight with "bee glue". we'll see if the bees know......

Monday, June 8, 2009

addition to our family

Welcome RYDER to our family. (i'm assuming maybe it's "midnight ryder") He's a nice, calm, no-issues 1+ year old fixed male from our local shelter. I had gotten him as a companion to our 9 year old spayed female.

so far....she HATES him.

i told my girlfriend that we have "SIRENS" at the house...and she asked, "WHAT???" yeh - you know the sound they make when they're upset - like the wind-up to the HISS/REAOR/PFFFF (i can't do it here - you have to hear it).

i wasn't sure if i was doing the right thing last week - picking this guy. he was pretty "rough". apparently he and his brother were surrendered to the shelter back in april - because the guy lost his job. his brother was going home with another family on friday too (the day i picked RYDER up). i think he was REALLY stressed - he was skinny and he was stinky and kinda a rag-doll in your arms. they bathed him as part of my "conditions" (so stressed - he wasn't taking care of himself?)

like i said earlier - this is a NO ISSUES kinda cat. i know limie will come to like him. everyone is eating and going in boxes. the sirens still continue - but she's allowing him to get closer.

Monday, June 1, 2009

beekeeper's diary

the presentation went quite well. lots of intelligent questions! hmmm...the question of the day? from a first-grader, "how does the bee get the nectar from the flower?" this is when i got to tell them that the bees tongue is like a straw!

how did the observation hive work? good - but it requires some rework....needs more ventilation! the girls were getting pretty warm. i waited till the last minute to take them from the hive and put them in there.

now regarding the hive!? in popping the top to get two frames for this observation hive - i was PLANNING on grabbing end frames (which usually have LITTLE activity on them - mostly honey) WRONG! the hive was bursting with bees and SWARM CELLS and i knew i would soon be fighting nature to keep the girls in their box!

last week i hived 5 swarms - MY OWN! i managed to keep 3 in the "emergency" deeps i made for them. two disappeared for someone's garage/house/barn . i recombined one boxes swarm (back with itself) after a week. and i moved two of my swarm boxes and "supersceded/combined" them with two week hives that i keep off premise.

i'll be checking them this weekend - but NOT SATURDAY! we're competing! (Celtic Nations Pipes and Drums) This is our first year as a grade 4 band. (we're moving up!)

the buzz in the backyard

the buzzing tree! the ladies were taking full advantage of the close proximity of this crab apple tree to their hives. i stood for about a half an hour just watching and listening.


the old way. one of our bee-suppliers has a collection of skeps and smokers. they're just the archetypal image of beekeeping, aren't they?

spring tonic

doesn't get any better than this....our spring tonic - asparagus and morels. this is what we ROAD-HUNTED in one day.