Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Smiling Days

Smiling Faces. Like sunshine - a real day brightener!Oh, and the Queen newly hatched for which I was waiting on a mating flight? Guess again. The hive swarmed 3 days after "piping" was first heard! (just as described in a bee keeping manual!) I came home to an EMPTY (nearly empty) hive !! Luckily they played it beginner-style for me and lighted on a baby fir about 50' from the hive. Swarm was just 4-5ft up in the tree. EZ!! Dana was a HUGE help that day and calmly assisted me in capturing it. Exciting! That was many weeks ago...alas. BLogger grrl had the blahgs. Regardless the hive is today doing well enough. I will state that I am sorry to say I cannot say the same is true for the remaining cluster of the primary swarm (leading to further discussion: had they ALREADY swarmed and these were the after-swarms...?) The anemic cluster of bees that remained I installed into a nuc (literally one frame -at most- of bees) The queen mated and actually began laying a respectable brood nest. But the cluster dwindled... and at last inspection (a few days ago -6 weeks out from swarm) was queen-less - with laying workers! So I dumped it out, and gave it up. :( I have a sneaking suspicion the Italian hives are falling prey to the buckeye poisoning...Bee foraging on California Buckeye below. Bad bee! My carniolians are in SUCH better shape. They have already put away 1/2 super of excess honey and are busy busy busy all day. The Italians have a lack luster energy that does not impress me. Brood nest OK in both remaining hives though. We'll see. Close up of swarm below.. Pretty Massive Swarm...This is 7 WEEKS after being installed on drawn comb as a 3 lb package! Impressive.
Zuchinni... Pumpkins....& Winter Squash.First of the Sunflowers. Roses Galore... Snoopy's Sticker Issues. I swear. Damn wood ticks at our throats 9 months out of the year, and the remaining 3 months are a nearly equally frustrating infestation of STICKERS! Gah~!~ His fluffy border Collie Style coat, with an impossibly thick Kelpy Style undercoat, is SOOOO good at collecting stickers! Deep ones! 40 minutes of brushing daily, and still, I could dig out fox tails that had burrowed their way in. PLUS - with the 100* + weather we have been having, he was becoming a terminal mouth breather and driving us all nuts! So, to the groomer he went. And lovely he looks. It is a short military-style-do and it brings out the buffcake Pitbull (just 1/16th!!) in him. Now, the stickers are easily brushed off and the mouth breathing has abated. Besides he is OH SO FUN to pet now! Furry, like a koala! I love it and will continue to treat his coat this way in the warm months. Pre-shave pics above and below.... And Post Shave. What a nice smooth pup! He is silvery grey, i like it a lot.
Ocean Trip to celebrate End of School. Seals! Kite Flying! And Sunset Supper with good friends. As promised - More Shots From Rainbow Buffet. This is S. She did a modern dance piece. These pictures capture two moments of tension in her piece. Great lighting and angles on these shots if i may say so... Beautiful subject doesn't hurt!
Close Up of S. & T. Intense Nature Love Story. Saw it three times, still not sure i get it...cool image though.
R. and R.! at SAF. It was a brightly lit stage and the backdrop provided additional flash. Great day, awesome performance
Odd Disc Shaped Rainbow that just hung in the sky in Mid June. These have a name...
Poppies. Wow are they EZ to grow! Toss out the seed nearly anywhere late September and they mope around all through the winter quite well actually and provide dramatic swaths of color from May onward that we, and the bees, really enjoy.
Persimmon. This tree has a suicidal amount of fruit set this year. Last year less than 10. This year more than 1000, i swear...doubles everywhere, and like 15 on every damn twig! Trying to thin....Below, Nectarine. The birds are being complete jerks this year and are going after apples and plums before they are even close to ripe! Very discouraging, and annoying. I even say "I hate birds" sometimes...
Day Lillies. Love 'em. Below, oddly enhanced Onion Blooms and a Midnight Black Hollyhock. The hollyhock in that shade is OK ... but kinda boring... especially if you planted them EVERYWHERE!! Sheesh! One argument for buying the mixed packet!
The garden is really jumping in the heat we have had over the last two weeks. Daily temps in excess of 90*. Hot nights. I irrigate and mulch. We watch the sunflowers literally fly skyward! Just 3 weeks until we begin school again for the '09-10 school year. Many changes are abreast for my family and we anticipate them with curiosity. Meanwhile, I am glad to have finally updated this blog and hope to return to my more regular style of posting. Or not. ;)