The Art of BEEing: Winterizing

The bees and I seem to have reached some form of an agreement.  I worry over them, they let me occasionally have a visit in their hive and give the neighbors something to talk about, or they have me do a photoshoot (which also gets the neighbors talking).  I’ve come to realize that except in an unusually odd year there isn’t going to be any honey production in my area, and I’m 95% certain that the substance they store away is based more on local hummingbird feeders than plants.

Regardless, they seem to be doing fine.  After the aborted swarm attempt in 2017 when I fed them too heavily in early spring, I have opted to avoid feeding unless they are clearly in need of it.  This year I fed all of 4 gallons of sugar water, yet they see to be doing about as well as they were this time last year.  My theory is that by not feeding them they do their own colony size management in response to changing conditions, and my inputs are at best superfluous if not outright damaging.

But there are a couple of things that make sense for them.  As we transition into the desert winter I’ve replaced the bottom board and removed the shades which kept the baking summer sun off of the hive – now the afternoon sun is a helpful heater before the nightly plunge in temperature.

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Book Review: Berlin to Bucharest – Travels in Eastern Europe

Berlin to Bucharest – Travels in Eastern Europe

Gill, Anton

Grafton Books, London, 1990

Beginning in Hamburg (en route to Rostock) and ending in Albania, the author relates details of his travels just behind the iron curtain in the final days before it fell apart in a shower of rust.  East was East and West was West, and bored young men with machine guns saw to it that it remained so while this odd Englishman bounced around rutted backroads in a rented car.

It is not a guidebook in any normal sense, in fact one tends to think that those few passages which sound like a guidebook were rather loosely based out of the pages of whichever English language guidebook he happened to have left open on his table in hopes of luring some adventurous local into conversation.  It is instead a guide to the people and perceptions he came across in what appears to be a marvelous web of friends of friends of people he has worked with or meets along the road.

The bridge at Mostar was still standing when he visited, perhaps as the final English-language author to comment on it while it still stood.  The tensions within the lands he traveled were beginning to strain the iron around them, and cracks had already begun to form.  His view, however, was not at the impending tear but on the remaining whole substance which, even after the events which the future held out for them, still forms the basis of the populations through which he traveled.

 

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Random Food of the Day

Ahh, the joy of past food fads…  Highlights from a vintage cookbook I found in my mom’s kitchen.  As far as I can recall we were never subjected to these.

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Random Food of the Day

The final 2018 chili pepper harvest – caught it the night before the first frost.

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Book Review: Autumn Across America

Autumn Across America

Teale, Edwin Way

St. Martins, New York 1956

This book is part of a 4 volume set written over several years where the author and his wife set off on road trips across the country to follow the progression of a season.  This was the second volume, and as with the first the general premise is that the author and his wife, both naturalists, write a naturalist biased travelogue as they go around the country.  Observations about the land, flora and fauna, weather, etc.. are interspersed with comments on the trip and places and people visited, meals eaten, etc.. which give the entire book a mix of scientific, travel, and history perspectives which works very well.

In Autumn they generally head east to west, starting on Cape Cod and ending in  Point Reyes.  The route had generally been across the northern tier to Washington, then down the coast, but with some excursions further south.

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Book Review: North with the Spring

North with the Spring

Teale, Edwin Way

St. Martins, New York 1951

This book is part of a 4 volume set written over several years where the author and his wife set off on road trips across the country to follow the progression of a season.  Spring was the first traveled and written, and it appears to have set the tone for the others.  The general premise is that the author and his wife, both naturalists, write a naturalist biased travelogue as they go.  Observations about the land, flora and fauna, weather, etc.. are interspersed with comments on the trip and places and people visited, meals eaten, etc.. which give the entire book a mix of scientific, travel, and history perspectives which works very well.

In Spring they began in Florida and worked up the east coast and Appalachians  to the Canadian border.

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Random Food of the Day

Bun Bo Hue at Bellwood Pho in Victorville

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