Archive | May, 2015
It has been rainy and muddy again this week, with more rain today. Hopefully the forecast for a sunny dry week coming up will prove true, we could sure use a break, although we are certainly better off than the folks down in Texas. They are really getting pounded!
I have let the open area in the back grow wild this Spring for my bees to have forage on the blooming weeds and wildflowers. Much of what you see in the picture is volunteer plants from my prior planting of deer browse. A lot of it is matured out and going to seed and the birds are really loving it. I see goldfinches, blue buntings and cardinals feeding in there everyday. I need to disc it up and replant the flowers for my bees.
I found these blooming in the area, maybe that is where my bees are finding all that orange pollen.
I bought these two bags of seeds to plant, one bag of aromatic wildflowers and one bag of honey bee mix. I can’t wait to see what comes up.
While I was in the store I noticed this selection of high-priced “organic seed survival kits”. The label said the seeds were organic and non-GMO. Don’t fall for that folks. If you are worried about GMO crops just be aware all of the vegetable seeds you can buy at places like Lowes and Wal-Mart are non-GMO. There is no reason to pay a high premium price for these kits. Just go to the seed display and buy individual packages of things you would like to grow and eat. If you want larger quantities, go to your local feed and seed store and they will sell you seeds by the pound.
The biggest thing that happened on the homestead this week was rain. Thursday we got 2.25 inches in just 20 minutes! The water ran so hard and fast it really messed up my culverts on my woods trail. This smaller one washed completely out and the culvert ended up hung in a tree.
The water ran across the berm over my big culvert and washed away 4 feet of dirt on the downstream side. When it dries up I will add more dirt and put more rip-rap rocks to help hold it down. As it is it is just barely wide enough to drive my tractor across. More to come tomorrow.
I would like to take a moment to thank all the veterans out there on this day, as we remember those who gave all in service to our country. We should all thank God we live in this country, even with all our problems the USA is still the best country in the world in my opinion. So if you are out and about just enjoying a day off, at least take a moment to think about those who serve so that we may enjoy our freedoms. Thank You, and God Bless You.
We had another cool rainy week around here. It is finally dry enough for me to go to work, just in time for the weekend! The weatherman is predicting rain everyday next week, I really hope they are wrong. I did have an interesting experience with my bees yesterday. I have been opening up at least one of my hives everyday for the past two weeks, without my protective gear and without incident. I have been refilling the entrance feeder with sugar water in my swarm hive everyday without incident as well. Today when I pulled the feeder out, the bees came out after me! A half dozen of them flew around my face and one stung me on the cheek. I finally managed to get the feeder refilled after 3 tries, and then I sulked away with my feelings hurt. The sting was no problem so I guess I am not seriously allergic to the stings. That’s good to know. I guess I am going to get a lightweight jacket and veil for quick checking on my bees. The president of my bee club says a sting on the eye can cause blindness and I can’t risk that so I better take precautions.
I did some cleaning up and reorganizing in my shop. I went from the picture above to the one below.
I still need more organization, but I have space enough to have a 4X4 wooden work bench now. I made one this week and I will show it to you next week after I get the wheels on it.
I also built a screened wall in my new addition where I am storing my dirt bikes. The cats decided the seats on my bikes make a good place to sharpen their claws so I had to screen them out. They have already ruined the chairs in my man-cave, but I don’t need ruined seats on my bikes!
I put a new carburetor on my Champion Generator. I left it full of gas over the winter and the carb was varnished over. I cleaned it up and the generator ran, but I couldn’t get the gas to stop leaking out of the carb. I ordered a new one from Amazon for $20 and after installation it runs perfectly again. Lesson learned!
I found my first small pieces of Native American artifacts today!
I also encountered this huge skunk in a field today. I’m glad I didn’t get sprayed! He was digging up insects and grubs to eat.
I saw this on the road at an intersection and it turned out to just be a lug off of a semi-truck.
I also found this piece of plywood on the shoulder. It is big enough to make two tops for my hives so it pays to keep your eyes open even if sometimes you just stop for a useless lug nut. Keep prepping everyone.
Blues legend BB King passed away last week at the age of 89. I have featured BB on my blog several times and I will have him in the future. Although the man himself is no longer with us, his music lives on forever. Here is his most famous song from the early 1970s, a time I consider BB to be in his prime before his health issues started to take a toll on him. Enjoy!
I had to work every day this week so I didn’t accomplish much in the homestead area. I will show you how my work went instead.
I was driving down a back-country road and came upon an accident being cleared. As I was sitting and waiting, I looked over to the side and saw this;
Goats! I took this picture and sent it to Sweet Thing and wondered if the owner had any goats to sell. She sent back “No! You can’t have any animals until you retire. You are too busy to take good care of them while you are working so you will just have to wait. No goats, chickens, rabbits, quail, pigeons, peacocks, cows or mules!” Well, we will just have to see about that won’t we?
I was riding my ATV through a field and I came across these resident Canadian Geese. Hey, Can I have some Ducks and Geese on the homestead?
I picked up this nice deer shed on the edge of a field. This could have been a nice 10 pointer!
The honeysuckle is blooming like crazy, and when I drive my ATV past a big mound of it the smell will just overwhelm me sometimes. I just have to stop and breathe it all in!
A bee keeper finally put some of his hives on the border of one of the fields I check. These are some really old, ratty, worn out hives let me tell you. The tops are bowed and warped and don’t seal up and there are big cracks between the supers where the bees go in and out. As bad as they look I bet the owner will not be on top of his game and probably some of these hives will swarm this summer. I am definitely going to put a trap near these hives, maybe I can catch one of his cast off swarms.
It rained here yesterday and again all this morning. When it stopped I checked my rain gauge and had 1.75 inches. As I was checking it I could hear bees buzzing from 100 yards away. I walked down to my hives and they were really flying during this break in the showers. I hope my bees don’t swarm and fly away! Keep prepping everyone.