Monday, July 15, 2019

have I mentioned how hot and dry it is here and progress on many fronts

Almost noon and it's 88˚ with 63% humidity, real feel 98˚. I spent the past two and a half days deep watering, moving the hose every half hour or so. Did some hand watering this morning while it was overcast which gave way to partly sunny, spread the last bag of mulch around the rest of the azaleas, something I should have done months ago, picked up the last couple of plies of deadheaded purple coneflowers and trundled the garden cart over to the burn pile and dumped it all on the still smoldering mound of ash left from when Marc torched it early last week after that huge branch fell off the native pecan tree. It wouldn't surprise me if the next time I went over there the new debris had caught fire. And that was enough of doing outside. 

Marc is in Hell aka the shop starting to make the molds for the heron box.

I have 10 coats of latex on the split log, 2 more to go at least. 

This one will be hard to support for pouring the wax into so I think I will probably get some of that plaster coated gauze bandage stuff and cut it into strips, soak it in water, and apply it to the outside of the latex mold to give it some support and strength, like a cradle. I don't have high hopes of finding it here in this little town so I'll probably have my daughter pick some up for me and bring it when they come out next weekend.

They've been out pretty regularly lately as they are buying a manufactured home to be put on their unimproved 5 acres on the other side of town so they're clearing more of the land and building up the pad for the house to be put on. 

They had the well drilled a couple of years ago but still need a septic system and electricity brought in but they're ready to move out of the city and especially ready to move out of the house they are renting and stop paying that high rent.

I got a surprise package yesterday. My brother who lives in Washington state bought and set up some beehives a couple of years ago, the fancy kind where once the bees have made enough honey you just turn on the spigot and the honey flows out. He's never gotten any honey because the bees he buys have never survived the winter so he buys new bees in the  spring but this year a wild colony moved into one of the empty beehives bringing their honey with them so for the first time he got to turn that spigot and he sent some to Pam and I. I poured it out of the cute little jar he sent it in into something more user friendly. It's lighter in color and has a different flavor than the local honey I buy here.

Joanne asked me about the flowers in the last pic on my previous post. It's a bridal bouquet plumeria. The leaves are shaped differently, sort of spade shaped and the branches grow straight up. I have several but this particular one just shoots up getting really tall before it blooms. I've cut this one back more than once in an attempt to get it to be shorter. It was already scraping the ceiling of the garage when I brought it in for the winter last fall. I don't know what I'm going to do about it this year. Pull it out of the pot and lay it down I guess. It will have to go in the ground next spring. Just to give you an idea how tall it is, the shorter crown of foliage is 3 or 4 inches taller than I am and I'm 5'4".



  1. I keep trying to convince myself to get into bee keeping but I just don't want one more thing to care for. But what a gift that honey is!

  2. How nice to get honey in the mail. We have quite a few people selling honey around here and it is terrific to get it from an entrepreneur than mass produced by a corporation.

    The weather is lovely but tomorrow we start a heat wave which they are predicting will break all records. I did a lot of outside work today because I expect that I will be housebound for the next week.

    Take care of yourself, Ellen.

  3. I wonder if people realize the work in siting a manufactured home. Or the expense. All the best to your daughter.

  4. The process of your work is fascinating! SKILLS!! As you know there are loads of beekeepers up here and all of the honey is wild tasting good! Quite a variety- what a lovely thing to receive!

  5. You have reminded me that I have been REALLY craving honey lately. I'll have to see if I can find some local honey somewhere. I have to be careful though because I eat it with peanut butter & can consume a jillion calories without even thinking twice. Ha!

  6. It's hot. Yesterday the heat index was 103. I nearly died when I went outside to call Lucy in. Like walking into an open oven. Weather people say it will be like this all waak and into next too.

  7. Beekeeping is pretty low key. If you don't want to harvest honey, then just leave them alone to pollinate (our plants have really flourished!). Maybe check them once every 2-3 months is all. And if you want honey, a Flow Hive is pretty simple. Took about an hour to drain off 5+ pounds of honey from one frame. So... lots of benefit and almost no care.

  8. That honey!!!

    I'd love to do bee keeping but we already have too many hives around us, there is a local authority limit and our bee happy neighbours beat us to it. I am seriously considering ducks, the type that doesn't need a large pond and eats slugs all day long. Or a small group of quail.

    My daughter wants a small herd of alpaca. One day.

    1. how can you have too many hives?! especially with honey bees on the decline worldwide? even ducks that don't need a large pond poop prodigiously.

    2. These are hives that people installed. It's part of a nationwide initiative. There are free courses by amateur beekeepers telling you how to do it. It's not so much about the honey and I doubt there is much of that.
      We are also encouraged to plant bee/insect friendly plants because the proper German garden has too many plants like geraniums and hydrangea and roses that may look good but attract not a single bee.
      Bee hives are now also installed on local authority buildings, school roofs, the bus depot and so on. However, monocultures are still planted with massive subsidies by the farmers.

    3. And of course there is also at least one household protesting because someone has a bee sting allergy. Hence the restrictions. As if it helped.

  9. I've never seen a plumeria like that. Interesting! I'm glad your brother finally got some honey. Maybe now that they're native bees, as opposed to introduced ones, they'll be a little more hardy and will last the winter?


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