Saturday, October 24, 2015

New chicks, bee problem, raspberry nips, first fire

I cant believe its almost Halloween.  Where did 2015 go?   I'll figure it out later.
Right now I have a broody hen .... again.  A few  blogs ago I told you that I separated out the roosters and penned them up. I also told you that my leghorns started laying back in August.  A few weeks ago I caught one of the leghorns  going over the top of the barn to get into the rooster pen.  Now I have a wyandotte sitting on four fertile leghorn eggs. I should have taken them away from  her but I really want to see what the chicks are like.  I was worried that it is late in the year for chicks but professor internet assured me that the mamma  would take good care of them.   We will watch them carefully  anyway just to make sure. I didn't bury the brooder in the back of the barn after the spring chicks  used it so its within easy reach if needed.
I have a bee problem. I'm not sure what to do about it.  Two kinds of bees showed up this summer at mystic cedars.  The classic farmed bee, which I'm sure came from the   semi that spilled on 405  about 3 miles from our house , back in the spring.  I don't  know where their hive is  but its close.  Then, In the railroad tie retaining wall, in the back yard, there is a colony  which seems to be some sort of native bee.  The problem is with the retaining wall bees. 1. We cant have them breaking down the retaining wall. 2 . They are right above the potato bed and every time I try to dig potatoes , they swarm.  If  anyone has an old bee hive they are not using.... can I have it?.  I want to try to move them to the back of the property. I understand that if I put a  bee hive next to them and bait it, that they will move into it voluntarily.    I will also accept any advice  from beekeepers on how to deal with the situation without harming the bees.  I really have no idea what I am doing here. I just know that they are too close to the house (about 25 feet).
The house.  It smells really good right now because I just got the last of the herbs  in.  They are hanging in a corner of the kitchen drying..  I'm  way behind on winterizing the  property because I had the flu a couple of weeks ago  and it stopped my process cold.    When I started feeling better I got the upstairs fireplace  cleaned out and laid logs for the first fire of the season.  I'm just waiting for a cold enough evening to throw a match on it.      If I wait long enough I might even have a glass of  this years raspberry wine to go with it.  I have two 5 gallon carboys going right now. One blackberry. One raspberry.  I keep taking nips from the raspberry because its so tasty.  I realized this year that since we began our  'artisan lifestyle' that I really love autumn.  Yes the garden is gone  but we have such  yummy things around the house that came out of it. Jellies, wines, pickles, herbs and more.  Because this year  is so warm ,I am still getting a little bit of produce from the beds.  We are still enjoying a few  stray green beans, snow peas, potatoes and carrots.  
The light is leaving quickly now  so I am finding myself textiling more and more in the evenings. 
Yep, life is good at Mystic Cedars.