Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mischievous Agapios

Last weekend I tried to let the boys graze in the yard for a bit. Rebel really just wanted to eat but Gapi had other ideas.

I am just trying out the video feature on the camera I've had for years and I took this on the fly so excuse the quality. I'll keep practicing so I can get some better videos to post in the future.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Little Bit of Heaven

Sure wish you could smell this, it is pure heaven! This bloom is on one of the Sweetbay Magnolias that grow "wild" in our yard. They just volunteer themselves right up around our front yard and I'm blessed by their sweet aroma with no effort on my part. Each time I walk by one I'm drawn in to pause for a moment, breathe deep, and let myself be transported away. At times little drifts of aroma pass by as I sit on the porch or by the pond and I'm always thankful that they chose to plant their roots here and provide us with a little piece of heaven.

On a side note they are recognized by many names and I call them Swamp Magnolia. My husband interjects each time that they are Sweetbays, I don't think he likes me using "Swamp" when talking about these little beauties. I happen to really like swamps, wetlands, and following little creeks deep into the forest.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I Need Help

Really I do.

Have I told ya'll yet that I've been studying beekeeping. I don't know why this started, little things here and there peeked my interest until I went for it and signed up for a course last fall. I was hooked, they are the most fascinating beings - love them !! The weather turned too quickly into the nasty winter we endured so we didn't get to play with them hands on and I've just recently gone back to do that part of the course. That morning I had a mixture of excitement and nervousness and really wondering what the heck I was doing? Once I was there by the hive I lost myself into the wonder of the bees, the hum, they busyness,  the work they do, how their society works, the pure genius of their creation, and they were just so damn cute.

Now I guess I'll get to the point of where I need help. Seems bees are struggling to survive these days and we are to blame for this weakness. They require more care and you have to go into the hive more than just to steal their honey, but to also keep check for disease, pest etc and each time you inadvertently squish some bees. The instructors have also told me that to maintain strong hives and prevent swarming (bees leaving) among other things I'm gonna have to re-queen periodically which will require me to purposely kill the old queen. As I was whining  inquiring (more than once) about this the class began to rag me and someone said "you can't name all 60,000 of them". You see I can't kill anything, well except mosquito's, ticks, deer flies and maybe one or two more but they ask for it.

I don't see wanting to not squish any cute little honey bees as a problem but this morning it hit home that I've got a bit of an issue. We've got fire ants but who doesn't. In the past I've not really done anything about it and they've pretty much stayed off to the side and we've respected each others space. Well recently I had some kids over and while wondering around I kept having to point out mounds to stay away from. Then I began to notice them building new mounds in the middle of the pastures. The final straw was when I found them in my composted manure I wanted to spread back on the pastures and around the yard. I reluctantly bought something to treat the mounds and the directions were to do it early morning when they were active. So this morning I go mound hunting, toxin in hand, and they were busily going about there chores minding their on business as I pour the nasty powder over them and their home. The more I covered the more teary eyed I got .... over Fire Ants, geez.

Yep I'd say I've got a problem ;-).