My nephew was incredibly flexible when he was young. He reminded me of the comic book character Plastic Man. Family members joked that he was made of rubber. He could bend his hands backwards and contort himself into poses that could only be achieved by a human body less than a decade old. One of his more impressive tricks was dropping from a standing position into a perfect split. He would do this so suddenly and so completely that all the females marveled and all the men winced with pain at the sight of it. My nephew grew up and is now an adult about to leave for college. He doesn’t perform gymnastic parlor tricks anymore, and I stopped thinking about splits until I became a beekeeper. Doug and I have been doing splits this spring but not the kinds of splits that lead to a groin injury. In the beekeeping world, a split is what you do when you divide a bee colony, and bee splits can be just as tricky as the splits performed by gymnasts.Continue reading
“Have you been vaccinated yet?” I don’t recall a more frequently asked question since, “Do you know who shot JR?” I haven’t been vaccinated yet because it isn’t my turn. If Dolly Parton can donate $1,000,000 to develop a successful vaccine and still wait her turn, then so can I. Because I haven’t been vaccinated, I continue to avoid crowded spaces and stay mostly at home, which is why the arrival of spring is even more anticipated this year. The humans and the dogs in our house prefer to be in the yard more than inside the house. When the snow is on the ground, the dogs mope around the house and sigh deeply as if their lives are miserable.
Every day in late winter I study the ground to see what has sprouted. The winter aconite is always first to bloom.
On warm days I watch the bees go in and out of the hives. The ground still looks mostly brown and devoid of wild flowers. My flower beds have a few early crocuses, and the daffodils just started blooming. The bees are managing to find pollen, probably from maple trees, and are bringing it back to the hives. We lost one hive this winter. We don’t know why the bees died. They were alive the prior week. The bees may have frozen, but we are just guessing at this point. Bee autopsies are problematic to perform. For those keeping track at home that makes 5 out of 6 hives with bee colonies. Next month Doug plans to split the existing hives, so we should be able to grow our apiary this year.
I have all my garden seeds this year and have already started some plants under grow lights. Radish seeds have been direct sown into the garden and have sprouted. I’m anxious for peas. We canibalized old fence panels for the pickets, which will be excellent supports for pea trellises.
Carmen is grateful that the ground has thawed and she can resume her excavation of mole tunnels. Carmen is teaching me not to be so focused on accomplishing spring tasks and to be more focused on enjoying the sunshine. Her favorite napping spot is beneath the willow tree. Every time I see her there I can expect to have the old folk song “Bury Me Beneath the Willow” in my head for the rest of the day.
Hopefully the sun is shining where you are and you will have an opportunity to receive your vaccination soon. I would very much appreciate your input on what you would like me to write about next. Here are some of the posts I considered writing:
- Using Dogs and Gardens to Fight Depression
- How I Plan to Eat 40 Pumpkins in One Year
- Vegetable Academy Awards (aka – What I am planting in my garden this year)
- My Wash and Wear Dog – Carmen’s Story
- Splitting Bee Hives to Grow Your Apiary
- Why I Deleted Social Media Apps from My Phone
Finally, in case you didn’t know it already…….It was Kristin. Kristin shot JR.