Thursday, April 21, 2011


 DSCF1127 Boy do we have eggs!  The girls have been busy and Charlie has been nastier than ever.  The other day Max went out with me to the Chicken Yard with his wooden stick (yeah, it looks like a Trident) ready to beat on Charlie, if need be. DSCF1121 Charlie attacked Max his previous visit and nailed him on the hand (and drew blood!), so this time Max was prepared, complete with gloves.

Charlie only tried to attack once---preferring to seek safety under the raised red roof. DSCF1124 He usually waits until you walk away, with your back to him, and then he scrambles out and tries to spur you.  (Once, I went into the shed to get the eggs and when I turned around, there he was, perched on the entrance, glaring at me.  I had to charge at him to get him to move.)

Well, our trip was successful this time---no one was injured.  The girls just watched all thisDSCF1125 and kept their distance from us and Charlie.  Inside, one girl was laying while another waited her turn.  DSCF1123 They probably wonder what is going on…

Have a fun Easter and eat lots of nutritious eggs!  DSCF1117

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bees are here!

 DSCF1112 Steve (Hubby) received his first colony of bees in the mail (yes, you read that right) this week.  So, now he has to feed them (sugar water) DSCF1109 until it gets warm enough for them to go out on their own.  It’s been down below 40 for a few days, so they would rather hang around the hive than venture out too far.

The other day we both donned our bee “outfits” and went to try to locate the queen that was sent in a cute little plastic tube.  First, Steve had to smoke them some to hopefully calm them. DSCF1105 It seems to subdue them enough to get close without any trouble. Well, we found the empty tube---so the queen was probably somewhere in the midst of all those bees. DSCF1106 She was marked in white, but we still didn’t see her there and we didn’t want to go probing too much into the swarm. DSCF1108 Mad bees are no fun.

Actually the hive is supposed to be undisturbed for about a week to give the bees time to settle in with the queen.  They go through an enormous amount of sugar water in a day.  When they can begin to produce honey, then we can quit with the sugar water until winter (or fall?).  After this colony is going strong, Steve may transfer it to a more distant location (an empty field) where the bees can fulfill their jobs without a big commute.  We’ve found that as long as you avoid their “beeline,” they basically don’t bother you.  One just has to remain calm and move slowly when around them---no swatting or flailing allowed.

So bee it.   DSCF1113

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Flood over---at least we hope so.

DSCF1092 Well, according to the paper here, the flood alert for our lake (Clear Lake, the largest freshwater lake in CA) is over.   This lake hasn’t flooded for more than 10 years!   Usually it takes a few days after the rains to settle down and start receding. DSCF1093 When we were up in Lakeport last weekend for the concert, during the height of the flooding, I took some pictures.  Normally, this park is an ideal place to visit and enjoy the lake---DSCF1094 but as you can see, the water crashed into the beach area and flooded out the picnic and kiddie playground places as well. DSCF1095 Then, I came upon this sign situated beside the restaurant by the lake (and almost IN the lake) and had to chuckle.   DSCF1096

But things are finally drying out here and Max could actually mow the lawn yesterday without getting bogged down.  The “girls” are still laying like crazy and Charlie is as nasty as ever.  Steve put a loop on the end of a long stick and uses it to lasso Charlie and get him up and away when we’re in there to feed them or collect the eggs.  Charlie has learned to avoid the loop!  Spot is as sweet as ever, coming up first thing when I go out.

Gypsy Girl and the cats have been going strong. DSCF1085 Kit-Kit still wants nothing to do with Gypsy, DSCF1088 but Caruso continues to be friendly and play/fight with her.  Crazy boy!  Gypsy loves our big acre and is a true rocket-dog outside as she streaks around the yard.

Spring is definitely here!