The Bee Hive goes Up a Level

Still wrapped in the gentleness of the summer glide we had a productive day yesterday.


Summer sauce went into jars. Dried capsicum into jars. Stuff I am not going to eat came Out of jars and into the mouths of my piglets. I have a terrible habit of keeping things in jars just because they are pretty!

Look at Big Dog. He has a perfectly good enamel potty filled with fresh water and The Big Dog chooses to drink out of the old tin kettle for the cats, he can barely get his nose in there. What wrong with that lovely potty.


It matches the lovely jug. The shot below is for Maria my most favourite cousin who is a teacher on the outback in Aussie.  Good morning Maria Christina  Cuz!ark-026 My red light! ark-030 ark-036

A lot of thought goes into a good Chicken Tractor you know. Though we will call it The Ark.


ark-041 The bees have their third story. They are doing very well, lots of honey, brood and activity. Learning from last years mistakes I am going to start feeding them their horrid sugar water soon.  The flowers are coming to an end and there is no rain in sight. I think we may be in for a long cool autumn. I don’t want them using up their honey stores before winter and starving. ark-046

Good morning. This shot was a set up.  Both dogs have been told to Sit and Stay. I seldom do that for an image for you. But I wanted you to see how tall the field corn is. We are surrounded on all four sides with the corn and frankly I love it when it is high.  I get to live in a walled garden for the summer. People driving past on our gravel road only see the very tops of our rooves.



Todays work (among other things) is to prune the grape vines. Sunlight needs to get to the grapes. Are you there Roger? What am I meant to do with the prunings? You told me once they are good for something special. Charcoal? Grilling? We best find out soon or the animals will be eating them.


The ark is finished! There will be a tarp on top that I can roll up. This is such a learning curve but I am thrilled with the design my friends came up with. Though they have told me that it will still be a few weeks before the birds are big enough to come out into the field. They are still very small and need to feather out. That’s fine. There is plenty of room in The Black Mariah.

Soon I am going to have to invest in a winter dressing gown. It is still quite chilly in the mornings.

Have a lovely day.

your friend, celi

59 Comments on “The Bee Hive goes Up a Level

  1. I love your idea for the ark. I have been considering putting up a hoop tent next year and your idea is great. I may try to use it!!! Also…who doesn’t love a farm dog??? I work at an organic farm in Pinckney, MI, and the two farm dogs are always there to great me…that is, until I give them a homemade dog biscuit at which time they go bury it!!

    • This was a great idea of my friends wasn’t it. john is thinking of adapting it to make another one to cover the tomatoes and extend their growing period, maybe some winter lettuce!? I would LOVE that.. c

  2. what a great chicken tractor! i love the shot of the dogs in front of the corn. i bet it will seem strange for a while when all the corn is cut.

    • You are absolutely right .. it feels like a wall has come down, silently, quite a shock really for a while.. but a good one too, till the winds come.. c

  3. So this is to be the post where you DO prove that the corn on the Prairies really does grow ‘as high as an elephant’s eye, reaching clearly up to the sky’ . . . 😀 ! What a great, great photo of Boo and Ton which methinks will end up straight on my computer background!!! And they really do listen to their Mistress . . . ni ni, will go to sleep smiling!!!

    • Boo is really getting sit and stay now, such a blessing when it starts to work in their little heads.. c

  4. Good morning Celi; well now all you need for the chicken ARK is two small wheels from a push mower to go on one end so it will be easy to move. this will allow you to move by your self to give the little chicks fresh grass. you want to mount the wheels just at the end of the framing so that when you pick it up on one end it will roll easily. be a blessing mike

    • Excellent idea. I have all kinds of carcasses of old machines out here, i should be able to find some wheels.. thank you mike.. c

  5. it is wonderful reading your post and completes the pleasure by reading the is just like a community and it is great to see how everyone is involved.
    You really have learned a lot this year. Even disasters bad things like bees dying are not wasted as you know what to do next time.
    How high is that corn!!! wow wow wow….not surprised about the ghostly story of children getting lost in it.I can see why..even an adult could get lost in that lot….
    And as for The Ark..superb! well done…we shall read lots of tales about that I know we will……

    • We are a very special community. It is like coming in from chores to have a cuppa with the family before going back out.. just wonderful.. c

  6. Well, would you drink out of a potty, no matter how pretty it is?!!

  7. Love the picture of the dogs. You could enter the tallest cornstalk contest at the fair with that one to the left of Boo. The chicken tractor is looking good. I would like to have one like that. My dad has one, but he built his so it is not much more than chest high at its highest point. Makes it really hard getting the stray egg or chicken that needs to be caught. Of course this is his hens year around home, so the close quarters are good in the winter for heating. Be sure you put your tarp up so you can see the chickens when you move the Ark, because for some reason it doesn’t seem to occur to all the chickens that when your house starts moving towards you it is a good idea to move away. The have been a couple of unfortunate incidents with Dad’s hens, no permanent injuries but some loss of feathers and hurt legs/bodies.
    I am just the opposite as far as being surrounded by corn. I much prefer beans or hay fields or pasture. I guess I inherited the nosy gene from my grandmas. I like to be able to see to the road to see who is going by or coming up the lane, to see what the neighbors are up to, to see when the deer make a mad dash across the field, plus it makes it easier to find the cows when they stage a pasture break. I’m not fond of windbreaks that totally surround a house either, I like for the breeze to be able to blow. But I don’t like a constant wind, Kind of hard to please aren’t I? lol

    • Well at least you know what you want. i am already training the wee chicks to run to the sound of my voice which I hope will help and yes i do see that i will have to move it slowly. NOT a job for John I think! If i get the wheels on it i might be able to just pull it which means i will be facing the chickens as i pull, i think this will make it a bit safer for them! It will be a chore but I think it will be worth it.. we will see. (she says ominously).. c

      • Oh it is definitely worth it. The hens are seem pretty happy with the new grass each time and there is no chicken house to have to scoop poop from. I know I would have been much happier as a kid and as an adult with chickens with no scooping. I think when the hens had their unfortunate incident it was a case of Dad being in hurry, plus wanting to work on something else and not being able to hear Mom yelling at him to stop over the engine noise. He is much more careful now but still gets irritated that the hens don’t get in any hurry to move for him. Mom could always get the chickens to come to her. She would talk to them and several were named. My grandmother (maternal side) kept a flock of chickens until she died. They then became our flock of chickens. Now they are my dad’s chickens, probably the last ones to live there.

  8. How cool Celi! The ark looks great and the corn too, but I can’t stop thinking about a scary movie… 😉 children of the corn, I think is called…
    As for the grapes vines prunings, we use then for the BBQ. It gaves an amazing taste to the meat.
    Have a lovely day my friend!

    • I was thinking that might be the one, roger posted a shot of vine prunings once at a local old restaurant.. must have been for the smoke! thank you Giovanna! c

  9. Interesting … does the ark have a door for you to enter to do water changes and catch birds? It is much higher than I had imagined. Longing for summer here looking at your pics. Laura

    • yes it has a good big door, so I can go in and out easily. the height makes it easy for me because these birds are already flying up when they get a fright.. if I was working with them from above they just might fly right out! c

  10. I wonder if the tin kettle keeps the water colder than the enamel? Love those dogs. And, of course, the Ark!

  11. We looked at purchasing a house once buried in the middle of a field of corn. I didn’t like the feeling. Made me feel claustrophobic. 😉

  12. I love your chook Ark Cinders…is it tall like that so you can mount perches and be able to stand up in it yourself? I think the idea of using one for stretching the growing season for maters and things is excellent…you could grow lots of things in there! The picture of the dogs of the corn is amazing! Is that your corn or the bad corn and how many ears grow on one stalk? Ok, I think that’s quite enough questions for one day!
    You have a lovely Bloody Mary Sunday!! 🙂

  13. Shouldn’t the ark have runners like a sled?
    *departs, singing* ‘The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye, and it looks like …’

  14. C, I noticed more how big Boo is compared to Ton versus the corn – wow, wonder how much bigger he will get, oh and noooooooo, can’t believe you have cool weather already!
    Have a beautiful week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  15. A friend of mine told me that Oprah Winfrey started a farm in Hawaii and has a mobile chicken coop! She calls it a wheel barrrow coop or something like that.

    Good grief that Blue Boo is growing fast! He must be some special fast-growing breed like the chickens. Ha!

  16. How nice to have a corn fence to surround you. Boo and Ton are quite the handsome pair. It’s good to see Boo feeling back to normal.

  17. Wow! The Ark is coming on well. I am curious to learn how you will put wheels on it without a gap for the chickens to escape. Me being a city girl and all that!

    • So am I! I guess they will set them high with just an inch of wheel below or something.. Not My department thankfully.. how ever when they go in the chickens will be too big to escape.. c

  18. PS. Yes, C…..vine prunings are a great thing to grill with…nice smoke for the barby! You can also use the prunings to make cool things with…like wreaths, etc. because they are so bendy! I have a grapevine wreath that I make over 20 yrs. ago and it still looks good! I just plop in on the front door for the fall, winter months and decorate it according to the season or you can just leave it plain! 🙂 Just as pretty that way too!
    And if you make dill pickles at all…stick a grape leaf in the bottom and top of the jar….cukes stay cruncy…don’t ask me why…just one of those crazy things!

  19. Dogs always prefer somebody else’s water, it seems…. I’m glad the bees are doing well. They are high on my “want” list for my future farm, once I settle down. I’m still too mobile and don’t want to move with bees.
    ~The Homesteading Hippy

  20. Ah, Big Dog is wise… cat’s get the best of everything – water, food… my Bo always thought so too.

  21. Some day I would like to tell you a story about our “potty”–which we called “the thunder mug.”

  22. I used to go home this time of year for Mom’s birthday. The corn was so tall and I loved to take different back roads when running errands just to look at it all. I know each field was pretty much the same but that didn’t stop me from driving around to see them. My next trip home would be in October and most of the fields would be stripped clean. How desolate looking! Good news about the bees. I think you’ve got everyone hoping they fare better this year.
    Enjoy your evening, Celi!

  23. Yeah for the bees !! I love the ark….wish I could experience a “farmy”
    chicken……YUM !!! I have a delish recipe for chicken thighs with rosemary
    and stone ground mustard !!

    • oo that sounds delicious! I must makes sure to water the rosemary so I have heaps when the chickens are ready! morning Nanster

  24. Oh my goodness, I am almost too tired reading about all the work you have been doing and looking at all the work yet to be done!!! It is a good thing you have some help on the farm. Your dogs are so handsome sitting in front of the corn ready to be harvested. My little Buddy, 12 week Yorkie, has learned how to sit and stay for a short period of time, really short so hoping that he improves with age. Take Care, BAM

    • He will improve with practice, 5 5 minute practices a day and he will get it. The corn has to dry completely before it is harvested, we have a ways to go yet.. c

  25. The ark is impressive. With a tarp over the top it would make a great tent for camping out. Or a hut for the kids to play in. The corn is also impressive: amazing to grow it so high without artificial fertiliser. And happy bees too; what more could you want?

    • That corn IS the GM corn. Without the fertilisers it would only be as high as the dogs. You can see around the edges of the fields often the corn is shorter where the oil based fertilisers have not reached. Another reason why this kind of cropping is doomed. Fossil fuels are finite. It will not last forever and is the basis for many of the agricultural chemicals. The earth will sort it out in the end. c

  26. I love the visual of you boxed in by the tall corn stalks – such a cozy thought. Across the street from where I grew up, there was (still is actually) a large field where the farmers would grow corn. My sister and I loved wandering through the maze of rows, weaving in and out of the stalks – calling out “Marco! Polo!” 🙂

  27. Your jug is indeed lovely and the photo as well… Judging by the glass, you’re living in a Century Farm, yes? Mayhap The Big Dog prefers his water galvanised rather than the High Iron potty version? Hmm, “eau de potty”… LOL! On second thought, perhaps it’s the thought that counts?; )

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