Sunday, September 27, 2015

September in Pictures

And maybe a few words of explanation here and there.  The fact that I at least TOOK pictures throughout the month reaffirms that I intended to be blogging along, it just didn't happen.  :-/

The fall flowers bloomed, such as our purple coneflower.

Our vigorous honeybees swarmed for a third time - usually a bad move as the swarm can't hope to make enough honey to sustain themselves through the winter.  Luckily they went into a bush two feet off the ground and a beekeeper came and collected them so they'll be cared for and have a better chance of surviving.

Not sure what he's going to be, but this pretty caterpillar was hurrying over the hot concrete on our side porch one afternoon.

The sheep enjoyed about three weeks in the south pasture which had regrown nicely.  There were many days in the nineties and the flock would graze until mid morning and then come into the bunk and hang out under the big fans.

One day Peanut wasn't feeling well and was slow to go out with everyone else.  The heat likely gave her a touch of pneumonia.

Some of the oldest ewes kept calling to her to come along which was sweet and kind of remarkable since she's a bottle lamb with no real "family ties" but she must be everyone's friend.  A few days of antibiotics helped a lot and she's fine now.

We had enough dry weather that we could get our second cutting of hay.  Woot!  Now we have enough for winter.  Then we got some good rains which made these butterflies happy...

...and pushing along an awesome crop of apples off our old trees.  This is a Pound Sweet.  I've got applesauce in my future.

Stewart Little did some growing!

And got shorn along with all the other lambs.

Alexi....silly kitty. Sigh.

I had an order for six half fleeces going to Israel.  That's a first for me.  I managed to get them all in this box. (Cat not included).

I did a fair bit of dyeing for the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival.

Then it was the festival weekend and our spot (in a brand new building!) went from this..... this.  I think it looked pretty good and nobody knows what we didn't get finished to put on the shelves except us.  ;-)

And now the month is almost over.  The woods are changing fast.

And tonight is both a super moon AND a lunar eclipse.  And we don't have clouds!  Whee!

The next big jobs will be cleaning out the barn before the sheep come off pasture (still several weeks away, I hope!) and of course firewood.  Oh, and picking corn.  And still skirting and dyeing wool. Yardwork, yeah. Someday I have to do dishes.........  well, a whole shiny new month is coming up and I have high hopes!

Monday, September 21, 2015


5/4/2002 - 9/17/2015

Farewell to a most excellent cat.  Congenial with the other barn kitties, a good mouser, appreciative of petting and scritches and friendly through the screen door to the indoor cats.  Sadly missed.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Busy Day and Night

Our honeybees have been working so hard this year!  They've put out two swarms who have gone off into the world and are hopefully doing well.  Now that the goldenrod is in full bloom they are really going nuts bringing home pollen to convert to honey.  They pack it into little baskets on their hind legs and tote it into the tree.

I didn't even realize I had caught a bumblebee taking a look at all the activity until I biggified the photo.

For some reason, watching each bee march into the crevice with their yellow legs makes me think of Yosemite Sam stumping along with his big flaring chaps and six-guns.  ;-)

And after the bees have worked all day bringing in pollen they are busy all night too, taking turns standing on the 'doorstep' of the hive fanning their wings to move air and evaporate excess moisture from the new honey (and just cool the hive from a day of high summer heat) and bring it to the right consistency for preservation.  The flashlight didn't bother them but the buzzing from the tree could give someone the heebie-jeebies if they were leery of bees in general.  Be sure to turn up the sound to get the full effect.
I'm seriously thinking of using the winter months to learn enough about keep bees that I'll be prepared next summer when a swarm decides to leave the tree.  This main group has survived the winter and is doing well now. If it survives this coming winter too it will certainly indicate they are a hardy line and if I could just put them into a "real" beehive.....
Just what we need - more livestock and associated work.  Heh.