Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Few Spring Peeps

It has been almost a week since I last wrote, and in that time the farm has had a miraculous transformation from bare and brown with a few leftover piles of snow, to vivid green with choruses of birds singing their hearts out.  Spring has sprung!

My new camera is a dream but I have some sort of glitch downloading photos to my computer.  So, this post will contain a few assorted photos that did successfully download.

The errant daffodils in the vegetable garden are  just starting to open up.  They are beautiful, but I am determined to move them out of the asparagus bed this year after they bloom.

The weather has been sort of crazy - near 80 degrees the past couple days--and it feels like I am so far behind. I planted onions today. They can  tolerate light frost --a good thing because   possible snow is forecast later this week.
My beehive from last year is now  cleaned out, ready for  a new package of bees.  It was a really tough winter for honey bees. I have talked to four beekeepers who lost all their hives this year. The new bees are shipped from from California, where apparently they are having a  rainy spring, tough for honeybees. The bees have been delayed twice and won't get here until May 7th.  That's actually better for me...
because I have two new beehives to paint and get ready.  The new hives are Warre beehives. They are smaller and easier to handle. I also think they are much more aesthetically pleasing than the Langstroth hives.  I hired my retired friend Ron, a carpenter by avocation, to build the hives for me.  Ron built the hives over a weekend--it would have taken me at least a month and they wouldn't have looked nearly this good! He also found some nice recycled lumber that greatly reduced the cost--the savings paid for his labor.
Our Dexter cow Lariat's official due date  is a week from tomorrow.  She is so round! I have been brushing her  a lot, and occasionally leading her around on a halter so she is comfortable being handled. She is very friendly and gentle, but I have been warned that cows are unpredictable when they have their calves. If I find her in labor, I want to move her into the stall inside the barn, so today I cleaned out the stall and put a deep layer of fresh straw in there.  There is a pretty good  chance I will just go out to do chores and discover her with a newborn calf.  I want to be there when  the calf is born, but above all, I just hope all goes smoothly and there are no complications.
Speaking of cows, I created this udderly ridiculous bra, inspired by our milk cow LaFonda,  for Bra-Chester, a  breast cancer awareness event for  which artists are making artful bras.
Yes, I have cows on the brain. 


Rain said...

Oh we miss raising bees--my husband loved it many years ago! Good luck on getting your cow inside and hope she delivers without a hitch! Love-love the bra!!

gz said...

Spring has definitely sprung, despite being chillier here again.

Instead of taking over half an hour to warm up and start drawing, the kiln flue was doing its stuff in less than ten minutes!

Hawthorn said...

Love the udder-bra :) , we've also had a few warm spring like days here and everything sprung into action, but now there is a sharp nip in the air - brrrr

Sharyn Mallow Woerz said...

We re-beed our hives Sunday. We got Italian and Black queens this year. See if there is any difference. Have you tried the Country Rubes bottom boards? Well worth the price, unless your new hive setup is a non-standard size.

katiegirl said...

Good luck with Lariat!! I can't wait to see calf pictures!! And I love the bra!!!!

Mary said...

love the hives. We had to start over too. Winter is tough on them, so are chemicals from farm fields. We are using a hybrid local bee and they made it through the winter great. Might even be able to split the hive.