Another big week on the wee homestead! We’ve got a giant surprise addition, a few little mysteries—one since solved—and a missed opportunity leading to a great expectation.
Not exactly a country pace around here lately. Everything bloomed early, we got a killing frost, who knows which fruits might still make a come back. No, not Mother Nature, please stop thinking that!
Just another day of chemical haze.
But, life goes on, at least for the moment, so on to brighter topics!
We got a big surprise this week! I’m pleased to introduce you to Shadow, our new 3 year-old Great Dane.
It was a sad circumstance that brought him to us, the death of his owner, but he’s settling in splendidly and we are so happy to have him.
In garden news I decided I couldn’t wait any more to get all the seedlings planted, so if it frosts now, we’re fucked. Please pardon my French!
Seriously though, I remember one year when we first came here and were still camping and building the cabin. After everything bloomed, all the Indian Paintbrush and Dogwood and Texas squaw weed and bramble, it snowed, on Easter weekend.
I wasn’t a gardener yet, so the frustration was lost on me. That was about 15 years ago and I remember I took a lot of photos, because it was quite beautiful to see the white blanket atop all the colors. No idea where those photos are now.
Now I’m sure it would be the beauty that’s lost on me if it were to occur again!
The bees are all over the bramble, which is readily recovered from the frost. As I followed the buzzing trail, I happened upon a tree I’d only noticed last spring for the first time. It was full of bees and not so common for this area, which made me very curious. I’ve been searching and inquiring for the last couple of weeks and finally got my answer.
It’s a unique member of the maple family called ‘Boxelder’ that’s not considered a particularly prized tree around here. Though in my book, if the bees like it, I like it!
And speaking of bees, we’ve had our first swarm! I figured it was about that time and have been keeping an eye and ear out for one. Unfortunately, it was too high up and my first two attempts to shake them down into a hive failed. By the time I’d gone back with another plan in place for their capture, they were gone.
But! On the same tree, further up at about 30 feet, I spot another one! On the left is the small one, in the middle is the big one, on the right is the pine tree with both of them, with a hive under each one hoping to capture them.
But the scouts had other plans, and off they went to somewhere else, not to my waiting and welcoming hives, move-in ready, with already drawn comb waiting for new arrivals.
That is, the small swarm.
I know it’s so hard to see in the photos, but the one at 30 feet is HUGE. And, it hasn’t moved now for 3 days, which would be unusual for a swarm. So, my great expectation is that we’re actually looking at an open-air colony! If so, I’m so excited, and will be reporting back on it’s progress.
I found this short clip of a lady who had an open-air colony in her garden, so amazing to see! Such a mystery are the bees to us still—the wildest wisdom of nature has yet to be even touched by science.
Like, how, why, and when do the bees know when to stay put and when and where to move on?
And here’s another burning question: Why are the Japanese bees so sweet and gentile, and why the so-called Africanized bees so very aggressive and nasty?! Now that’s gotta make you wonder, no?
And why can’t I say that without sounding ‘racist’?! 😂
Below is from a friend’s ‘Africanized’ colonies, but we also had such colonies a few years back, and I’m telling you, they are MEAN! They’ll sting en masse right through your suit and chase you down for half a football field just for the offense of standing nearby!
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