Sunday, September 16, 2012

Moving Time and I'm Blogging!

Don't tell Nate that I'm blogging instead of packing! It's a secret between you and me, internet, and you'll never tell.

Our new home in the backwoods boasts a fun wildlife population (I had to write that word 3 times because I kept writing "poopulation"). One of our new wild buddies is the ENORMOUS PRAYING MANTIS, pictured left. I'm looking forward to a home life of wigging out a lot.
It's really a crazy life twist and a huge blessing that we get to live in what is one of the most beautiful places that I've ever seen. 125 acres of mountain farm land, that includes 4 cow pastures and 9 cows, one of which is a Texas Longhorn. I had the distinct pleasure of feeding one of the Black Angus cows some apple the other day. The hot, thick, rough tongue slurping up that apple was weird and funny. I wonder if adulthood is when you stop describing things as weird/funny? If so, forget it!

"Minna, you accidentally posted pictures of the Versailles gardens instead of the farm you're moving to." Actually, no I didn't! I'm just the luckiest person in the world! Nate has done a doozie of a job getting a huge chunk of this land mowed enough for it to be easy to get around on the four-wheeler. I'm glad the four-wheeler is so loud that Nate can't hear me yell, "AAaaaAAUUGH while I'm driving it.
If you go down this pasture pictured left, and drive a wooded path straight and then another one to the left, you will get to what will become my new bee yard! It is the most beautiful bee yard in the world, and it will soon boast the most beautiful and healthy honey bees. Nate and I worked on a level and sturdy hive stand yesterday, because the last thing I want is for my hives to topple over. We had to drag lumber and tools out in the four-wheeler trailer, and it made me appreciate the bee yard I'm leaving behind. I could just sashay-chantay right out to the yard with an iced tea in my hand, no big deal. I'm not looking back though; this new bee yard is surrounded by goldenrod in full bloom, and the ladies are going to poop their striped pants when they see it.

I wish some of these pictures of the cow pastures also featured some cows, but I guess they were out hoofing somewhere else that day. They get around.  And below, an obligatory mountain shot! The glory! Stay tuned for pictures of the bee yard, the longhorn, and maybe some other weird and funny animals that stray out of the woods to say hi!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good Things, Bad Things

Fall arrived! The nights are cool and great (like me), and the days are more beautiful because you know the sun is about to take a major heat break. It's the final days for: bare chests, shorts, sandals, driving with the windows down, not taking a jacket to work, etc. I'm also from Florida. All my Finnish cold tolerance expired a long, long time ago. So I moved north to North Carolina! Great idea!

At right: Scoot along, Rebecca! She is our friendliest chicken, who didn't make it into the chicken coop one time last week because she stuck around the yard too long waiting for corn. Nate found her by the gate cowering. Chickens have really bad vision when it gets dark, so she probably just panicked and hid. But look at her go in the sunshine!

At left: Nate got more chicken time than he bargained for when he brought corn out to the yard! Those chickens would do just about anything for corn. They made a toddler cry by jumping up and grabbing corn out of his hand. They killed a guy who had corn.

Cute babies alert! Out of each batch of baby bunnies we always get a stout little explorer sweetie whom we like to call "Romperstomp." He is the first one with his eyes open, plummeting out of the nest box looking for the life-giving teat. We had a little tragedy with our newest Romperstomp, however, when he got his leg caught in the wire cage two days ago, flipped out, and broke it in the struggle. We put him back with the others to see how he would fare, and he seems to be scooting along with the others. Who knows, it may not be broken! Scooter might live a good life. We are keeping an eye on him though, and if he starts struggling then we will reevaluate.

But holy moley check out this egg that one of the girls laid! It was probably Nathan (the chicken), because she has a strong history of laying double-yolk eggs, and this was definitely one of those. Look at that thing, towering over all the other eggs like it's Dubai.
And the ducks got so big! Bunch of naggy biggies in the yard. Napoleon turned out to be the drake... his head got way bigger and his bill is a little bit yellower. Plus he's not as naggy. He's got a soft little submissive quack, and the ladies just waddle around telling him to get a job.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fresh to Death Yard

Being new to Western North Carolina, I don't really *get* the nectar flow dearth for honey bees. This is about a month around August when there are tons of flowers blooming, but the bees aren't bringing any nectar back to the hive. I don't know when this is ending, but I went in the bees today, and they're not drawing any comb or storing any nectar, so I guess it's still on. There is brood of all ages, so I'm queen-right, and probably at least 45lb of honey, so I hope they will survive the winter.

There's a picture of me pretending to know what I'm looking at in my discount beekeeper's outfit. Camouflage makes the bees less likely to see you, so you're less likely to get stung. Also, they're a lot like T-Rex (which is the same singular and plural, apparently) in that they can't see you if you don't move. #beelies

It's hot as farts out here, and hard to believe that winter is coming. True to form, Willis the cat doesn't give a crap: