Time Is Flying

It’s hard to believe April is almost over already. This post contains some of the things that have happened in the past two weeks.

Chicks

After a week at the farm my husband decided it was time for the chicks to learn what farm life is all about. He opened up just one side of their pen so they could roam and learn to forage. It is amazing how they instinctually know how to find bugs and worms and grubs. Some breeds are said to be better at foraging than others. It’s a trait that we look for when choosing what breed(s) of chickens to raise.

It didn’t take long for them to spread out and begin scratching and pecking. They didn’t wander too far from their pen, or the coop and they mostly stayed close together or split into two smaller group.

They also learned quickly (within one day) how to find their way back into the coop which makes closing up the coop at night very easy.

They have been very entertaining to watch (Chicken TV). It’s always funny to see when one finds a big grub or worm and the rest of the flock begin chasing it to try to steal it away. At night they all huddle together in one or two of the nest boxes. It’s a tight fit but they seem to like it that way.

This year there was also a new star in the show. It was quite comical watching Ranger trying to wrangle those young chicks. I’m not sure what he was trying to do with them, and I don’t think he knew either. He would follow them trying to keep them all together as if herding them (he never tried to hurt them). If they went into the coop through the small chicken door, he would follow them in and as they exited through the big door, he was right behind them. If one or more of the chicks went under the coop, where he could not go, (it sits about 6 inches above the ground) we would hear BaROOOO. Again, I’m not sure of his intention. Was he trying to tell us that a chick was where it shouldn’t be or was he telling the chick to come out of there? I’ve not yet become fluent in beagle. LOL!

Bee Day

Our bees came last Saturday. This year we decided to try raising Carniolan bees, a breed we have not raised before. I didn’t go with my husband to pick up the bees or to the farm to hive them, so some of these pictures are from a couple years ago. We ordered three 3# packages like the ones in the picture below.

Most of the bees that you see in these clusters are worker bees and a few are drones. In the middle of the cluster is a small separate cage like the one in the photo below. Inside the cage is the queen bee and a couple of attendant worker bees whose job it is to feed and care for the queen.

Once the bees are in the hive my husband uses a nail to put a hole in the queen candy. That is the white stuff that you see in the end of the queen cage. He then places the queen cage in the hive. Over the next few days some worker bees will eat a hole in the queen candy that is big enough for the queen to get out of the cage. The reason for leaving the queen in the cage is that the bees will stay where the queen is and there is less chance that the colony will abscond from the hive.

This year rather than feed sugar water my husband had some frames of honey that he had saved from last year’s hives. Each new hive was started out with a couple of frames full of honey for food.

It was Wednesday before the weather warmed up enough for the bees to come out of the hive.

These pictures (above and below) were taken on Thursday.

Today, Friday, my husband opened the hives to be sure the queens were out of their cages. In two of the hives the queen was out, and all was well. In the third hive the queen was still in the cage and many of the workers were still trying to free her. She was alive so he opened the queen cage and released her into the hive.

First Flowers

We began seeing our first blossoms this week.

These mini daffodils are always the first to open.

Some of the larger daffodils have begun to open as well.

The chives are not blossoming yet, but I could begin harvesting them any time.

These primroses have begun to blossom – I do hope the chickens leave them alone.

I spotted this crocus in bloom. Last year we had more crocuses, but this is the only one I have seen so far.

The forsythias are taking their time but one bush has a few flowers that opened this week.

Tie Dye

One of the things I have have been doing is sorting through my clothes and getting rid of some that, for various reasons, I no longer wear. I came across a pair of white denim capris that I haven’t worn in sometime because they had some stains on them. They still fit and were in good condition, so I decided to tie dye them make them new again.

I’m quite happy with the way they turned out. Quite stylish.

Thanks for visiting.

Do you find that time is flying by?

25 thoughts on “Time Is Flying

  1. Somehow I missed this post. The spring blooms are always so welcome after winter is past. Chickens are definitely comical, but wreak havoc with landscaping. Ours always were allowed free range. I enjoy them but I love my flowers too. Hard to have both. Those pants turned out awesome. Very trendy. Great job salvaging something most people would have just tossed in the garbage!!

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    1. Our chickens don’t do too much damage to our plants but when they dig in the mulch they tend to throw it over the primroses and the primroses struggle. I was happy with the way the pants turned out too. Wasn’t sure I’d like them until I saw them done.

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  2. You are a busy bee Ruth, not just with your bees, but your chicks, gardens – flower or otherwise and your sewing … not a tie-dye queen as well. I like what you did here, just like I liked the last tie-dye project. I hope the cold weather does not affect any of your crops, bees or chicks. Ranger is cool no matter the season. πŸ™‚

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    1. Not sure how the daffodils and forsythia will survive the cold but I’m glad that none of the fruit trees are blossoming yet. The chicks are fine and the bees should have plenty of food in their hives to get though these cold days. We have brought all of our seedlings indoors. They are doing too well to risk losing them now.

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  3. Those jeans do look nice, I love how the pattern turned out. I will say a prayer for your bees, it is good that you are doing this, as the world needs more bees and beekeepers. I have a tiny city garden here our desert, but we are able to grow some things for awhile. The summers are brutal here. We have to separate the chickens from the other side of our yard where we have flowers and my herb garden. Chickens are funny creatures to watch, you’ll get many laughs from it.

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    1. I wasn’t sure how that pattern would turn out when I was tie-dyeing them so I was happy when I untied them and saw that it looked so cool. Oh I understand having to keep the chickens separate from you plants. They have no boundaries and can be very destructive to plants. For years we have enjoyed watching what we call chicken TV. It is most entertaining.

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    1. We have found bee keeping very frustrating. Even when we think we are doing things right we still lose bees. It is rewarding to see all those pollinators doing their thing and the honey that we have harvested is the best but if these don’t survive next winter we are probably done.

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  4. Time is definitely flying by. I can’t believe that Christmas was 4 months ago and that in a month we have the Memorial Day weekend. Usually, the time between those two drags for me but not this time.

    Reading about bees is always fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

    The pants look great and it’s pretty neat that you were able to salvage a pair that was good but stained. Quite a good idea!

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    1. I’m glad you like the bee info. Thanks for letting me know.
      Tie-dyeing the pants was a win-win. I could not donate them with stains and didn’t want to toss them because they were still good. Also a buying a new pair would cost between $20 and $30. This worked out well.

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  5. What an amazing life you have! I enjoy reading your weekly post updates about the farm and all the animals and such that you raise. Those bees look very healthy and that makes me reassured because there is such dire news about how many bees are dying off. I’ve seen one great big black bumblebee here already, but they’re not indigenous, so I wonder if he/she/it got blown off course or something. Humongous bee! I let my dandelions and other flowering ‘weeds’ do their thing so the bees here have some natural foods, plus they love the flowers! Spring is such a great time, but you’re right, it’s over far too fast.

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    1. Thanks Melanie. I usually just think of it as a simple life but I do appreciate it. It is what I choose. We had beautiful weather today and the bees were all out. I’m not sure what they were foraging but my husband did see some coming back with pollen. We should have dandelions blossoming soon they are one of the first bee foods here in our area. I’m glad you let yours grow and other wild flowers too. Dandelion lives matter! πŸ™‚

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      1. Yes they do, and I always thought they looked so cheerful besides. Up here unfortunately, I live on a patch of “bad’ ground. My house was built over a dump pile consisting of old concrete, metal rebars and junk from the construction of the community way back when it started. They didn’t remove the garbage, they just poured a very thin layer of topsoil over and sod and then put in a few ‘decorative’ bushes and plants. None of the original plants have ever thrived (save my Rose of Sharon tree), and all but one “fire bush” is gone. I’m considering some forsythia where the old bushes were, but buying plants can be spendy and I’d need someone to come dig a big enough hole to put the bush in. I had five to start out with. I ‘pot plant’ my flowers and don’t bother trying to till up the natural soil. Therefore the dandelions and sunflowers and such have a natural habitat to grow in. I’ve got hollyhocks coming up too. I have to be vigilant because the sunflower that sprouted naturally was pulled up by a neighbor who considers sunflowers “weeds”. They go after the dandelions too, but I think I’ve made my point clear that they are not to spray nor touch “my’ part of the land. The rest of it belongs to the HOA and I have no say. They’re fond of just grass and nothing else.

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      2. When we bought our farm the neighbor used to spray the ditches with round up to keep the weeds down. When we realized what he was doing my husband politely told him we did not want him to spay ours. He got offended and hasn’t been friendly since.
        Our first dandelions opened today which means the bees should have a good supply of food from here on out (by the time the dandelions are finished the clover and other things should be blossoming). You’re right dandelions are cheery – I love to see a yard full of them against the green, green grass. πŸ™‚

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