another from Suellen Saidee Cook
We've got chickadees nesting in our nest box. Chickadees only have one brood per year, so a second family made use of our bird box :^) They have been keeping their parents busy and we have enjoyed the peeping.
Our garden thrived throughout our cool wet spring and we've been enjoying daily salad greens with lettuces, arugula, sorrel, kale, and chard. We are planting seeds and starts this week for our fall salad munching.
Our wild backyard featured volunteer poppies, borage, and glorious 10' tall foxgloves this year.
Loving the lavender...mmmmmmm
bird & bee from Katie Daisy's With Love, Adventure, and Wildflowers Notes
I have had this quote pinned to my bulletin board for over 20 years...and it has never seemed truer.
Spring Solstice Bee Report
To feed or not to feed? That is the question... our bees were flying on a sunny day in the first week of February; I opened our Sweinty hive and looked through the handy acrylic cover and saw that it looked like our bees had made it through the winter and they appeared to be strong and active. The trouble is--how to keep them that way through our wet and cold Seattle spring weather?
This year I decided to try the dry sugar feeding method and followed Michael Bush's advice.
On Feb 8, I placed newspaper on top of the frames and covered it with dry white sugar. The moisture from the hive quickly saturated the sugar and the bees began to use it.
Twenty days later, on February 26, most of the sugar had disappeared=another dose of dry sugar.
Twelve days later, on March 9 the bees had moved all the sugar! Another cup of sugar...
Just one week later, March 15, that sugar was gone--today I replaced the newspaper and gave them another large dose. Michael Bush says that they'll use it if they need it, otherwise ignore it.
In addition to the sugar, the bees are bringing in boatloads of pollen which means that they are busy making bee bread and feeding the new bees. We have seen several sunny morning orientation flights, so that's promising.
Something about twos
Today’s date, 22/02/2022, is a palindrome date replete with “twos” and happens to fall on a Tuesday. This perfect alignment will not occur again for another 400 years.
It also happens to be Imbolc, which is a pagan holiday celebrated from February 1 through sundown February 2. Based on a Celtic tradition, Imbolc was meant to mark the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox in Neolithic Ireland and Scotland.
Interesting to note: The celebration of Imbolc dates back to the pre-Christian era in the British Isles. The word "imbolc" means "in the belly of the Mother," because the seeds of spring are beginning to stir in the belly of Mother Earth. The term "oimelc" means ewe's milk and a time of new beginnings.
A first for me: I managed to create a post that includes palindromes, sheep, and pagan holidays-- :^)
Keepers of the Light
I'm still here! Heading into 2022...
These images by Suellen Saidee Cook capture the spirit.
Midwinter finds Seattle cold, dark, and wet...but with lovely chilly sunshine breaks in the weather that draw us outside; we've been meeting up with a gorgeous barred owl in the arboretum and our neighborhood Cooper's Hawk has been gracing our backyard often these last few days.
Missing the snow, but we are keeping our spirits bright with saunas, candlelight, and eggnog!
Beyond the Pale
Feathers 4 Me
Crow, Cooper's hawk, and Stellar Jay feathers, left for me near our bird baths :^)
Party animals-my favorite coffee cup by Vicki Sawyer
Inside the beehive
We've been waiting for a sunny and calm morning to do our inside the hive inspection (and for me to model my new beesuit :^) Today was perfect with morning temperatures in the mid-60s. We gave the hive entrances a few puffs of sage smoke to keep the bees calm. Our goal was to make sure that the brood comb and honeycomb were being drawn out straight and also to make sure that the queens were laying both worker and drone brood.
Everything looked good: lots of brood and lovely drawn honeycomb. Can you spot the baby bee?
Bonus image: the day after we hived our second swarm we noticed freshly excreted wax under the hive; it looked like a pile of ice chips. Before swarming the bees the bees load up on honey so they are ready to draw comb when they find a new home. Apparently, they couldn't harvest it fast enough! This little pile fell through our bottom board which was why we could see it.