Tag Archives: flowers

The Arrival of Spring

“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.

Forte and Carmen get bored staying inside during the winter.

Every day in late winter I study the ground to see what has sprouted. The winter aconite is always first to bloom.

Honey bee foraging on winter aconite

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.

Doug is building 2-frame hive boxes to start new colonies. We will know that spring has taken hold when Doug decides to shave the winter beard.
This bee has full pollen baskets and is coming back for more crocus pollen.
Daffodils bloom in all sorts of forgotten places and serve as living monuments to past people and events.

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.

Forte is always happy to drop his ball in the work zone.

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.

Carmen prefers napping outdoors.

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:

  1. Using Dogs and Gardens to Fight Depression
  2. How I Plan to Eat 40 Pumpkins in One Year
  3. Vegetable Academy Awards (aka – What I am planting in my garden this year)
  4. My Wash and Wear Dog – Carmen’s Story
  5. Splitting Bee Hives to Grow Your Apiary
  6. Why I Deleted Social Media Apps from My Phone

Finally, in case you didn’t know it already…….It was Kristin. Kristin shot JR.

Grocery Shopping with Honey Bees

Grocery shopping has taken on a new meaning in the pandemic.  Grocery shopping is my favorite of all the household chores.  I love the orderliness of a grocery store, the bright lighting, and the products from around the world.  I like trying to find the subtle Jedi mind tricks that the grocery store uses to get me to buy more.  Grocery shopping has become a more harrowing and utilitarian chore since the pandemic.  I no longer linger in the aisles.  I get in and out like a commando hoping that I haven’t contracted a deadly virus along the way.  Our local bee club hosted a virtual club meeting this month with the Kentucky State Apiarist, Dr. Tammy Horn Potter.  She educated us on honey bee nutrition and discussed what forager bees have on their “grocery list.”  In this post, I will share with you some of Dr. Potter’s facts, which blew my mind.  Her talk resonated with me since I like both bees and grocery stores. Continue reading