Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Busy bees and cool chick(ens)

Well the air conditioner must be the greatest spot in the world to hang out. Lawrence went out to check on the bees and they are very beezy making comb and honey. We were able to sample some of the honeycomb!!! Honey was very sweet, bees wax....well tasting like wax!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Breakin trail

Phew!, we (more like hubby) have been working on the wooded section of the property this year. Previously our work concentrated on restoring the stream banks, mowing down thistle and burdock (rather than use herbicides)and we are being rewarded this year with almost park like pastures. It still amazes me 1) that I get to live here 2) how effective mowing is against weeds. We always get quite a following when we mow, from the barn swallows sweeping up the insects we stir up to hawks on the lookout for a tasty rodent treat.

Just one fence line remains in the way of connecting the east side of the gorge to the west and then we will be able to bike, hike, or ride throughout the entire property. It's very rewarding to see our work opening up spaces, encouraging new growth and more wildlife.

The maple tree is one that I consider a memorial tree for my grandfather, it sits on a hill overlooking all of the property.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Barn Swallows, not house swallows

Well, once again it's the time of year where the BARN swallows try to nest on the house. Don't they know they should be in the barn? Front of the house looks like something from San Juan Capistrano (place known for thousands of these birds).

Orioles have been back and at the hummingbird feeders for approximately one week now. Interesting battles between the orioles and the hummingbirds, even with two feeders. A neighbor down the road has been getting Indigo Buntings at her thistle feeder. These birds have an absolutely wonderful iridescent turquoise color, may start feeding thistle here.

Bee's seem to be very happy. I called Lawrence in with a degree of worry in my voice told him I needed him to specifically identify what i had on the computer screen. His first response to the photo of the bee was, "yes, its one of mine' when i repeated that he needed to specifically id it, he came up with "Stevie # 3" Stevie can be viewed in the photos here.

I still have awe that I have been fortunate enough to have this property. Front pastures are beginning to look like a park. This year marks the fourth summer on the property and almost every single day I count my blessings for the beauty of this place.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

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Woo hoo

I finally was able to squirrel away enough money to buy a nice (very entry level) camera. I havent had a decent camera in over 20 yrs. I am attaching a slide show of some of the shots I took today

Hollywood horse aka Grace, was very difficult to photo as she kept getting closer and closer even fogging the lens at times.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tiny jumping fish

LOL, this afternoon at dusk we were walking along the creek when I spotted a expanding ring in the water. I knew it had been made by a fish jumping, but when I saw the little tiny sardine come fully out of the water in a wonderful dolphin jump it was funny. It was a tiny brown trout, this year the creek seems to be fuller than usual with all sizes of trout. Two blue herons are visiting daily, we have Canada geese a pair that come over every morning, lots of Robins this year,and goldfinches. I hadn't seen many robins or Goldfinchs in years past. I am waiting on my bluebird pair that has nested in the same house for 2 years to come back. Hoping that maybe they are just using one of the 6 new bluebird houses I placed this spring. I have also seen what appeared to be a teal, but it moved away before i could fully identify it.

Cows are all doing wonderfully. We moved them to the small pasture Saturday so they could eat of the rapidly growing grass and allow the two bigger pastures to rest and recover. Bob, (the bull) is apparently excavating a basement in the small pasture. There is a small gully where the runoff goes and Bob gets in the gully and scratches his head at surface ground level. He has taken the 2ft wide gully into a 4 foot wide gully. His hair on his head, does look marvelous!!

How many geese fit in a dog house? Apparently the answer is 4. The geese all roost in the dog house that I put out for them to nest in. It is a multi-purpose house as they lay eggs, some sit on the eggs and all but one goose gets to come and sleep at night.

Broiler chickens are getting big, dumber every year, but we don't buy them for their IQ.

This year we are really able to see the wonderful changes and improvements that we have been making over the last 3 years. Pastures and creek bank are restoring wonderfully, I believe that is also the reason for the increased trout numbers.

Picture was taken on 5.6.9 evening toward the east, if you look close you may be able to see the full moon also. PTL for this beautiful place.

Bee's are making comb and the queen is laying, overall it looks like a happy hive. I am surprisingly more excited about the bee endeavor than I thought I would be. How sweet is that? ahahhaah sweet..honey..... :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Been Beezy!!!

Wow, it has been very busy around here, the spring clean up, clearing more trees in compliance with the forestry plan we have developed with the forestry service, and bees!!!

Yes, it's true. We now have a hive and as of noon today bees to occupy the residence. I am excited but filled with a little bit of trepidation as I react strongly to certain insect bites/stings. Re-assured by the fact that the bees will leave me alone if I leave them alone. Hoping it will be a successful endeavor for us. I didn't realize that all farms in years past had a hive or 3-5. Hubby wasn't taking any chances with them, a wise decision.