Monthly Archives: December 2009

Final post of 2009 – Once in a blue moon…

An interesting year, 2009… and it’s ending on an interesting note – the first “blue moon” since 1990. Here’s a photo I took a few minutes ago (maybe I’ll take some Canon EOS training classes in 2010 🙂

While I’m at the keyboard, here’s a pic I took of the hawk who claims our area as its territory. This was two days ago as I was heading out on my bike ride. The hawk is up in the walnut tree, scouting for breakfast. Strangely enough, our roof-living mourning doves weren’t on the roof waiting to be served as breakfast for the hawk 😉 Immediately after I finished taking about 10 pics of the hawk, it was buzzed by Molly and followed by a couple of crows (or ravens, I’m not sure which they are).

Here’s hawk: (click the pic – hawk’s pretty cool looking in this shot)

And finally, here’s one of our local Molly’s. In this photo, Molly had just alighted on the almond tree after furiously buzzing the hawk a few times. Molly stayed where it was to watch the excitement of hawk being buzzed… and leaving the area in what appeared to be a sauntering style of flight. (click the pic for a close up of Molly)

I hate cats…

Who come in our yard and “do their business”… worse yet, I hate the cat owners who let them roam wild, waiting to become coyote food or claw-sharpening pincushions for raccoons.

But the other day when it was near-freezing and a howling wind was blowing through the area, I saw this cat on our fence and thought to myself, “man, how tough must it be where this guy lives that falling asleep on our fence looks like a good option?”

It came back yesterday while I was at the keyboard but I was too slow in grabbing my camera to catch a pic… it was gingerly walking along the top of the fence, weaving itself in to the bushes along the top to take a quick snooze. This really is a pic to CLICK to see how pretty this cat is….

Winter solstice (week) around the area…

Out on the trail yesterday I snapped a shot of the water riffling down past the dam… nice colors and in spite of the noise from nearby Hwy 17, very relaxing to watch.

And just a few minutes before that, I took this shot of “our” local Osprey cruising overhead…

followed by a giant Egret who was busy fishing the just-lowered ponds…

followed by these neat little Wood Ducks in the back pond – they are just too cool for school! (You’ll really be missing something it if you don’t click the duck pic!)

And while I enjoy watching wildlife, I most enjoy watching CatGirl and the pack around the house. Here are CatGirl and Knothead taking a nap by the bedroom / patio door… a little bit ‘o sunshine and fresh air and they’re doing just fine hanging out. (CLICK THE PIC FOR CLOSE UP)

Beek’s Log: December 24, 2009

Went out yesterday to do a quick “drive by” inspection while it was warm and sunny… popped the outer covers on both hives and found them fairly active inside and out, so closed them up and took a few pics.

This first pic is of a frame from the late hive, Freddie.

See the different colored cells? Those colors are the color of the pollen the bees stored to feed their emerging bees. CLICK THE PIC and… see the shiny cells? Those are cells that have honey / nectar that had a bit too high water content to be capped prior to the demise of the hive… so they remain uncapped, waiting to be harvested by the bees from Ray and Fuzzy (or perhaps by another roaming swarm)

The second pic is of bees using the reduced-entrance to the hive (reducing the entrance keeps the colony a bit warmer in our freezing nights).

Wwhen you CLICK THE PIC you can see a bee with full pollen bags (on its legs) entering the hive. Like a lot of beekeepers, I find sitting by the hive, watching the action is somewhat mesmerizing and very relaxing.

Delilah and Sis, world travelers…

I am working on a video for Bright Orange and this afternoon I needed to rinse through a couple thousand photo’s I’ve taken, in order to create a pool of candidate-photos to include in the videos.

I was clipping right along, doing pretty well until I came across this photo of Dee imitating King Kong on sis’ replica Eiffel Tower… the one she bought after we took her to Paris for vacation… the one we brought home after she passed away.

So, here’s to Dee and Sis, our world travelers.

Beek’s Log

Extremely nice late December weather the past few days. Cold nights, warm early fall-like days.

Headed out to the hives today to check on Ray and Fuzzy… both are doing great! I put several quarts of sugar syrup on them over the past two week’s freezing nights / heavy rains and they’ve put the extra calories t0 good use.

It was a bit cooler than I like to pull frames, so I popped the outer covers on both of them and can see that the top broods are filling up with comb and capped honey pretty nicely. Tops back on, I then parked myself a few feet in front of both of them to observe for a bit and saw quite a bit of traffic in and out. Lots of pollen going in – good, that means they’ve got brood to feed… queen’s healthy, hive’s moving forward – and watching them @ different times of the day, I noticed a difference in the amount of pollen being carried in (per bee) later in the day – somebody must have found a good source and upon return, did a waggle dance to make sure they all knew where it was.

Very cool!

I took a couple handful’s of hive entrance photos and will post those later.

Lots of gardening / raking / rototiling in the back 40 today, followed by some pre-Christmas / Birthday Girl shopping.

And me? I got a nice Bright Orange Ornament from Mrs. Cranky Pants 😉

Nite, all.

Phew(!), good news about Gary

A quick follow-up post to report that we heard from our friend Suz that her brother Gary made it through his medical procedure yesterday with flying colors. Since he’s an ex-Navy guy, I tried to do a semaphor flag “he’s fine” but it came out as “Chocolate pudding is good for you”, so… I let it pass 😉

Congrats on the great news, Suz and family 🙂