It's May, you guys. How is it May? Almost half the year is gone already! On the plus side... it will be summer soon. Outside, the trees all have leaves or are actively growing new ones, the weeds have bloomed, the wasps are out *grumbles*, and we are on the cusp of humidity here in NE Kentucky. Yes, it is currently that short, maybe 2-week period we have here where the weather is warm and sunny, but the humidity is low. Because when the humidity kicks in, whew, it's tough to be outside in the afternoon. The garden is growing by leaps and bounds, to my delight. It also appears our bees have decided to stay. What I can I say? April kicked ass. Let's summarize the whirlwind that was last month-
• I timed my visit to the local library quite well. I stopped in on the first day of their annual book sale. First dibs at hundreds of various books!! I had a hard time narrowing down what I was going to get (I only have 2 hands, after all!), but in the end I chose a wide variety. I'm fascinated by the cult of Scientology, I still like young adult novels that go down like Tic Tacs, and really, who can resist a William's and Sonoma recipe book on grilling for $1? I couldn't.
I'm just not creative enough, because I've spent endless hours (ok, minutes) trying to caption this shot. It looks like he's sticking his tongue out at me, but in reality, he was licking his chops :-)
• The hubby and I picked up a few hanging flower baskets to put out by our garden in April. Much to my delight, the butterflies around here love them!
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail|
|Back at watch.|
• We got our bees in April! I've already regaled you all with the tale of the bees, so I will just reference that story here.
About 10 days after the hubby set up the hive, he went in to see if the bees were building the hive and if he could find the queen. He wasn't messing around this time. This time, he suited up and smoked them a little bit. Smoking them changes something about the hives hormones for a couple of hours, and the bees become very docile. This isn't something they enjoy, so you don't do this very often. But, when starting a hive, you have to check things out a bit more.
After going through a couple of frames, he comes to an empty one where the bees are building the wax themselves. I guess this is odd because he gave them several frames with a wax template already installed, so they wouldn't have to. I guess they like to work :-)
He found the queen though, which is great news!
Can you see her? Yeah, me either. It's like "Where's Waldo?" up in there.
Here it is zoomed in-
So the queen is about a half inch down and to the right of the hubby's finger. She has a longer body that is just brown and smooth, not striped like the other honey bees. Anyways, it's great news that she is there and no one killed her, as well as that she didn't leave.
We got a little birdbath that looks like a mushroom and has a garden gnome on it to make a bee waterer for our guys. I read honey bees drown in bird baths a lot of times when they are looking for water. By adding rocks to the bird bath, it gives them something to rest on while they drink up-
|For the birds AND the bees.|
• April has brought so much wildlife to the homestead. More than I've seen any other year. Some wildlife I have pictures of, some are just way too fast for me, my clumsy hands, and my camera. Such as the packs of deer that pass through the yard. Some I have been able to get pictures of. First up- Mom, look away!-
Ugh. A Black Racer. This thing was huge. I was walking out to fill the bird feeders one day when I spotted this in a tree and almost had a heart attack. After screaming and running back to the house, I thought about it. Then I went back out and got a couple of pictures. I just had to. Black Racers are non-venomous snakes that live around here, and like to eat things like mice and chipmunks. I like chipmunks as much as the next person, but a chipmunk invasion is not needed by anyone. I'm ok with controlling the population. I also read they aren't much of a threat to pets either, as black racers are super-fast and will run from most anything.
Interesting fact, I read this about Kentucky snakes- All venomous snakes in Kentucky have vertical pupils. All non-venomous snakes have round pupils. It's hard to see in the picture but the snake's pupils are clearly round. I got my info from The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, so I'm trusting those peeps.
|The whole darn snake in shrub-like tree.|
|Sassy little dude, he was.|
And probably my most exciting window-watching payoff to date-
A fox! Oh my gosh, I was entranced. These are beautiful creatures. I never got a shot of his tail, as he turned and ran really fast when he noticed me watching him through a window, but his tail was gorgeous! Full and red, with a white ring at the top. After doing a little Internet research, I found that foxes like to eat corn in the summer. I was baffled at first, because when I went out to where he was eating, I saw he was eating in the same exact vicinity of the corn I put out for deer. Apparently he likes it too. I also read that they aren't likely to attack a pet. I'm always with the dogs, and he runs if even sees me in the house. Plus, we are putting up a fence soon. I'm not too concerned with Mr. Fox.
• As I mentioned before, the garden is poppin'. Potato plants have sprung-
Radishes are turning the best color of magenta ever. Truth be told, this radish is long gone. I already ate it, and it was pretty darn tasty :-)
More strawberry growth-
• It was kind of sparse month for recipes, thanks to my mini-vacation and sporadic posting schedule, but here are my favorites-
It's just waaaaay too much dirt to have sitting in the front yard.
Oops, I know I said finally, but that was about April. And today is the first day of May, which happens to be a very special day. Today is my dad's birthday, and also our nephew's birthday! I thought I'd throw out a flashback for Dad's birthday-
High School Gradulation, circa 2001. Ah, back during the days I colored my hair on my own. Girls, I know you hear me. Dad, Happy Birthday!
And happy birthday to our nephew Gavin!
|Race for the Cure, 2015|
Another month on the books. Jessica out :-)