Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sefer Torah at old Glockengasse synagogue, Cologne
This year beginning at sundown Monday (today) starts the two-day celebration of Rosh Hashana.
They have a unique tradition of starting the Jewish New Year dinner by dipping apple wedges in honey. Part of the rationale behind honey's centrality to the holiday lies in ancient history. In biblical days, there was no sugar. Honey symbolized pleasure and was so important that the ancient Land of Israel is referred to in the Torah as "the land of milk and honey".
I didn't know all this since I'm not Jewish but in last Wednesday's News and Observer was an article "A Honey of a Holiday" with some recipes using honey.
But the general idea here, eat honey whether you're Jewish or not!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
in a Proclamation signed on August 26, 2008 by Governor
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Personality wise, I think she will be top chicken in the coop. A little pecky sometimes. Another brown egg layer and these sex link chickens do the job with egg laying from what I've been reading. She, unfortunately like me, is not very photogenic.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Lakenvelder cattle from the Netherlands like the chickens. Similar to our Belted Galloways that are famous at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro. http://www.fearrington.com/ And we have some right down the road from the house - I call them "Oreo" cows.
The dutch birds (chickens) are thought to be named after the town of Lakenvelt, but they were developed in Germany. So they are good egg laying hens, a little flighty, and have a "Type A" personality for a chicken!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Building a coop is not an easy job - particularly when you're not a carpenter - but you can do anything if you set your mind to it. The run and the small chicken house were built by my beekeeper friend. He is a carpenter but you can only ask for so much.
The nest boxes are on the end of the small house and can be accessed from the outside - really great idea. The top lifts up which I'll show on another day.
This part - the roosting coop was built by me and at no cost - free labor and materials. These are privacy fence panels - worked out to be about the right size - the little hens will stay nice and dry in there.
The run is attached with wire and the opening for them to go and come - the front door for access. I put a double layer of heavy duty plastic on the top and had some old shingles to go over that so it shouldn't leak.
Not bad for not knowing what the heck you were doing and the little hens are very happy in their new home.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Chickens - three little hens. I picked them up yesterday from Amy in Castalia - she had an ad on Craigslist - lots of chickens and other assorted animals at her place.
You think you know what you want until you actually see them - so, this is what I got and they are sweet!
A black sexlink, a red sexlink and a lakenvelder.
Black and white and red all over!
Lily is checking them out while they're having a little lettuce and pecking around.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Semperflorens Begonias - probably the most widely grown begonia and in some parts of the country is called "wax type" because of the waxy look to the leaves.
These begonias are grown mostly as bedding plants and annuals but are really a perennial shrub type of begonia in areas that don't freeze (they don't overwinter here). All have shiny leaves, green or bronze, flowers come in single and double and are ever-blooming in every shade of red, pink and white.
Photo by Julie Vanderwilt
America Begonia Society
Thursday, September 18, 2008
A suggestion from one of the older, more experienced beekeepers - since Nuc #1 (on the left) is irritable - get a pinwheel or a stick with a string to blow in the wind and put beside the nuc. This gives them a little distraction.
I'll try anything to get these girls to settle down a little.
I'm thinking my pinwheel might be a little much - I need to find something smaller.
This photo was taken after I put the super on Nuc #1 - we'll see if the "extras" work.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
So yesterday (and thank goodnes it wasn't quite so hot), I opened both nucs. Nuc #2 was calm and easy - no bees flying straight at me and when I put the jar of sugar syrup in the brood box, they were okay - again, no buzzing around. So I'll continue to feed them.
Now Nuc #1 - well, that's a different story completely. As soon as I opened the top, they were ticked off. The sugar syrup was gone so I just took the empty brood box off and opened the hive. I wanted to see what was happening, check for wax moths, etc. They are full of bees - I pulled out one frame and lots and lots of bees in there. I stopped with one frame simply because they were all at home since it was late in the day and they were a little irritated.
I put a super of honey on this nuc - it was old honey that I had put in the freezer (due to wax moths in a hive or something) and on Sunday I had taken them out to thaw. But this will give them some room and some food - not every frame was completely full of honey. I wanted to be sure they still have room to work.
They were busy, busy when I closed the hive. I hope this makes them calmer - maybe they just didn't have any room and that's why they were irritable. I sure hope so - I'm just trying to help those girls.
Beekeeping is sometimes a guessing game - I might do it right today and do it wrong tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
They have been found to be a natural insect repellent to the mosquitos which carry yellow fever and malaria, as well as the tick which carries Lyme disease.
And you can make wine and jelly from the berries.
The berries are at their prettiest right now - these bushes are some of several I have in the yard. The birds will not eat them until all other sources of food are gone.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This is a half gallon whiskey barrel with a plastic liner. I've been meaning to get some fish all summer. Didn't want to move fish from my big pond so Wallyworld (Walmart) here we come.
I got 5 fish and they were 38 cents each. They're little bitty things - about an inch long. They're still alive and swimming around.
I don't know if they'll overwinter - the fish in the big pond do and I never have any freeze to death. The pond has frozen solid but that was many years ago - our winters have not been freezing cold in many years.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Day before yesterday (the 10th), we got another soaking rain during the morning and light rain pretty much all day. According to my rain gauge - give or take a little - some over 4". And Thursday (the 11th) was overcast and still misting some.
And last night we got more rain - less than 1/2" and this morning is overcast.
It's supposed to be back to the norm this weekend - hot and muggy.
Lily will be ready will be ready with her pool full of water.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Beekeeper Elka Harabin uses smoke to calm the bees before opening their box to feed the hive seven pounds of sugar dissolved in water.
STAFF PHOTOS BY ROBERT WILLETT
Elka Harabin displays a section of a bee box. The box, started in a friend's downtown yard in May, is thriving.
Thank goodness folks are realizing the importance of bees - always glad to see coverage in the newspaper.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
I've cleaned the nest and hope they'll be back in the spring.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Our quilting bee met on the 23rd of August - a week early due to the Labor Day holiday. We had another all day event with good food and lots of sewing.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Playing in the river - does it get any better!
A fish fry with all the fixings and the best part - somebody else cleaned them and cooked them - fresh catfish and bream - eat, eat, eat!
And a trip to Mary Jo's in Gastonia - whew - it doesn't get much better!