gardening


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Bits and pieces of the weekend, in pictures:

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But first, a thank you to the computer that makes blogging, art, music, etc. all happen. 

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Fresh homemade peach and strawberry cobbler.

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Lots and lots of tomatoes (and peas) coming on their way

 

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Sweet Pea and Prayer Flag.

 

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Prayer Flag in the garden.

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Ruby Salai supervising.

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A field of young sunflowers and raspberries.

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Another prayer flag (near the fountain and roses).  There are 5 in all, I think – 3 of them have honeybees on them.  I tried to put one up on the fence near Terpsichore, but several drones gave me warning buzzes, so I honored them from a distance.  They are very, very busy up there.

 

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A prayer flag for a special herb garden – if you look closely, it says ‘Go on, be a devil.’

Today was a very exciting day for the Terpsichore hive.  My dear friend who writes Seeds in the City was up for a visit, and we all suited up to visit the hive and see how things were going. 

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Wow!!  The smell of honey was overpowering.  The buzzing, however, turned from a lovely hum to a startled-gradually-rising-in-pitch-buzz, and things got a little dramatic after that.  But first impressions first…

 

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This hive is incredible.  It is almost two months old, and already we have added another brood box and a honey box (this morning).  Mark is going up to Mann Lake next week to get another box or two plus frames. 

The words that come to mind this evening after reviewing the hive inspection (that sounds so cold and clinical, but in essence that’s what we were doing) are: Industrious, fiercely protective, dedicated, expressive.

Thinking back:  Terpsichore was a very fitting name.  I took at tip from another favorite blog, Birdchick, and spoke to the bees while painting their hive.  I wished for them to be productive and to feel secure and safe.

Well, there was drama – my dear friend and hive sister Seeds in the City was stung.  :(  It’s bound to happen to all of us, but it was still unfortunate and I feel sorry.  It appeared to happen as she was lifting one of the boxes – a bee was buzzing around her jeans, and it looked as though it was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  She was able to get the stinger out, but not after getting her bee jacket and pants off to do so!  Ouch.  Hope it cools down soon. 😦

It was intense – when she was backing away after being stung, a literal formation of bees was gearing up to go after her!  It reminded me of all of the cartoons I’ve seen of bees forming arrows or fingers before chasing after their victims. 

 

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There is some mold that has formed on one side of one of the brood boxes, and there was some in the bottom board.  The original brood box has bubbled a bit in the paint, too.  The mold was cleaned off of the bottom board and left out so that the hive could better aerate, but the main concern was seeing the box that had the mold (it’s black and flat) – the bees had built comb on frames that were far away from the mold.  Three frames were completely untouched!  We’re guessing that the exceedingly damp weather has caused it, but are at a loss as to how to combat it. We share our land with 13 redwoods, and an organic vegetable and herb garden, so things are lively – but we’re also in a very compact eco-system (designated rain forest, no kidding).  It could be the excessive morning dew, but we’re still not sure.   I’m still looking for answers, and will write  as things unfold.  For now, we’ll just keep watching and hoping that the girls will work with us, as they appear to be doing with incredible finesse.

They have a new addition to the hive for now, and hopefully the airing out will help get rid of anything undesirable.  There is so much honey at the moment it’s incredible!  If things continue going this well, we will add a second hive.

 

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Sleep well, bees.  You are loved.

Just some thoughts

In a way, I adore Sunday evenings, as they’re generally more relaxed than other evenings.  On the other hand Sunday evenings also signify the need to think ahead to the upcoming week. 

I definitely feel SO much better come Monday morning if I’ve taken some time to prepare for the week, especially if that includes a homemade packed lunch.  I have made it a prerogative to bring homemade lunches from now on, but the less rushed and thrown together, the better. 

Pictures and good memories

I’ve been pretty sick this weekend, so getting out into the garden was my prize.  I only wish I wouldn’t get so disappointed with myself and accept that every little bit I do is GOOD.  I just want to do so much, and to care so much more for all the things we are growing and tending.  The cats and I had fun:

 

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Early Girls and Romas are growing well, after a transplant (and soil amending).  Some cages were added today.

 

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The first of the Favas.  :)  From seed.  A first-time!  Can’t wait to sample these.

 

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Lapis decided to take a nap right where I had been sitting a few minutes earlier, using the hose as a pillow. 

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One of my favorite pictures of Ruby Salai, ever.  She never strikes poses, and I just happened to catch her ‘just right’. 🙂

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Here’s what was picked today – not a whole lot, but just enough to savor the first ‘harvest’ of the garden.  I plan to save as many seeds as I can this year, if all grows well.

With a homemade cherry pie baked, laundry and housework done, library books and movies retrieved, it has been a productive weekend.  Still not feeling so well, and am hoping that a good night’s sleep will make all the difference.

May you enjoy this Full Moon and your Sunday.

sunflowerprojectIt’s not a great picture, but I’m at work and wanted to post this before starting more serious things.  Received a packet of seeds and a letter from SFSU’s Great Sunflower Project.  I’m excited to be a part of this worthy project, and hope that our bees will be happy with lots of sunflowers.

Feeling renewed today.  (Venus going direct – thinking about it)

I’ve made mistakes and assumptions with our land, and have acted foolishly.  I’ve done great things with it as well, but continuity is what I’m striving for.

But I need to change my outlook on how I want to bring this land to life with a bit of me in it.  So shall it be.  This packet of sunflower seeds will be going in this weekend.  I was so happy walking in the garden last night, watering and saying hello to the bees.  This grounding earth, this blessed feeling of creation – I will strive to remember it when tides of emotion really want to carry me somewhere else.  Ashe.

It’s been crazy at work, and I hope to upload more pictures and write longer posts this weekend.  Went up to water the garden, see how the new seedlings are doing, and to say hello to the bees.  All looks great, especially since Mark put some ant-repellant on the rods holding up the hive.  Just a few ants straying along the top of the hive, as though they were caught up there when he applied the oil (ant-repellant used here was motor oil, go figure!).  The sugar water was just about gone when I lifted up the telescope lid, but there were lots of busy (did they look bigger to me?  It’s probably my imagination, but they did!) bees clustered around it having some dinner.  It’s been very blustery lately, and while the bees have been buzzing around, they’re in by the time I get home from work, about 6PM.  When I walked up there, I saw one stray bee flying around, eventually going right into the hive (with pollen hopefully?).  I love them.  Going up there after work gives me such peace.  It calms me down to water the garden and then go up to say hello to the bees.

Hope you’re having a good evening, too.

Wow, was suddenly greatly inspired by looking at Bee Creative.  Look at these Prayer Flags.

Her site is beautiful.  Have a look.

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Basil (several kinds), favas, sunflowers, sweet peas, lots and lots of weeds cleared -land reclaimed for planting.

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At the top left of this picture are raspberry vines, uncovered from the weeds.  Sunflowers are above them.

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A particularly successful loaf of bread, baked Sunday afternoon.

I swept pathways, painted seed row markers for the garden and got housework done.  By the end of the weekend, I felt good and grounded.

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