Hot day on the prairie.

So TonTon and I went for a walk with the camera today and here are  a few of the shots.

Only Thing Two will eat with a chicken. Thing One is appalled and has gone back to bed.
That is Thing One reclining in the back there. A Laid Back Cat . They should be out in the barn chasing mice. But Oh no.. Too hot
This is Queenie. Our baby Hereford and future mother of the beef herd. She loves the camera. !Daisy cooling her feet in the duck's paddling pool. She has no respect that cow.
Mia my most favorite lamb. Though she goes a little heavy on the mascara!
Mama the senior sheep (she had quads this spring) and a smattering of her chook flock.

There now. A few of my Motley Crew. As you can see it was a very quiet day on the wee farm. Bees are all present and accounted for. Phew.  Vegetables are growing and the animals are just hanging out like  sleepy girls in the long grass.   c

It all started out so well…

I woke up this morning to this gorgeous day. The dogs and I start at 5.30. Still, sunny and so lovely. After the walk around the fences,  I began to make Ricotta cheese with the whey from yesterdays cheddar and started the butter.  I took yesterdays cheddar out of the press and popped it into my cheese fridge (a converted wine fridge.. I never keep wine long enough to  even NEED a wine fridge!!) So I am toddling on with my day, happy as the proverbial lark, wander out to hang a load of washing on the clothesline and find this:

 ANOTHER SWARM!.( the soundtrack of the day hits the LOW notes.)  However  (deep breath) this time I am ready. I only panic in a very mild way. Then I make up the little cardboard super that I bought last summer  (when I remember where I got it I will tell you), it is called a Nuc.  ‘Course now I have to convince them to move out of the wee oak tree and  INTO their little mini home. First I will take the passive route and allow them to decide to go in. Evidently if you put the box on a white sheet they see the little dark hole and walk right in. So I will make the offer. Mm.  Well  my plan is that the little scout bees will be flying about, then they will look down and “Wow look at that piece of real estate, it even smells good and there is a feed waiting  woo hoo.” They  will fly back to Old Miss the Queen sat up there all Queenly like in her oak tree her bee minions fanning her to keep her cool. The Scouts will do the  Waggly – ‘Found us a new pad’  Jiggly dance, everyone will agree in record time and later this afternoon they will pick up their beds and walk right in. Single file would be pretty!?

Nothing happened for a long time. And then nothing happened again. Well  I got bored waiting. I went out with my hoe, climbed up the wobbly yellow ladder and gave the branch a good hard wack, they dropped with a shush onto the white sheet like good little bees and Who Knew commenced to crawl right in. I was impressed –  I have to tell you that I was actually feeling rather smug!.   Well I sat down and watched them crawl in and then I watched them crawl BACK OUT! oops.

There now, well, that was earlier.  Now it is evening I am sitting in my study writing and waiting for the night to fall. We have eaten, pork soaked in home-made mint sauce, grilled onions in a herb vinaigrette and newly dug potatoes drenched in my own butter.  Our John the silent one who gets up for work at 4.am is snoring quietly in the West Wing. Dogs are walked. All I have to do is lock the chooks up and carry this box of bees to its new home.

And as you can see the bees have slowly slowly been absorbed by the little cardboard Nuc.

Tomorrow I will work out how and when to transfer them from their Nuc (fabulous name) to a proper hive but not yet.   Of course I don’t actually have another hive but I think I can cobble some bits and pieces together.  But tonight all I have to do is move them under the trees  to the bee garden.  Soon.

Night is falling, the birds are changing guard and soon the fireflies will begin to dance up out of the cornfields.

Time for a wee wine on the verandah as I wait for the bees to drag their last few lazy bones inside the  refugee  shelter. Then I will move them (actually I am not sure exactly how I will move them but I do not want to break the ambient tone we are developing here.) Then it is a swim, then a shower then bedtime for me.

Ni night,  (next time I promise I will begin the introductions!)

cecilia

Sustainable chatter.

This is brilliant. I am sitting here at my old desk in our little old House on the Prairie  writing to you and I have NO IDEA how to make this blogger stuff work.  But I am desperate to just find the voices. . My husband (known from now on as ‘The Silent One’ .. he is that type.. we bought him an IPad for Christmas and never heard from him again)  Anyway he and  I live right out here in the boonies, far away from everything.  Real Middle America.  The Midwest.  The land is flat and home to Industrial Horticulture. They grow Corn and Beans round here. It is barren.  I am from New Zealand and he is an American through and through right down to the home made fruit wood charcoal in his grill.  (In NZ we call this a Barbie, (the grill that is)  no relation to the doll). And the house he grew up in is just around the corner.

Now I  know you are looking at the picture above us (I think as I cannot see my published page yet) and wondering what has gone wrong-  there she is in the prairies surrounded in NO PRAIRIE just corn, and yes it is growing so fast shortly it will be as high as an elephants eye and the header has a picture  of  a forest!!.. Mm. that is because all this is so new to me that i have not worked out how to load my own pictures yet.  So please bear with me or give me some serious advice.  But I LOVE to learn so drop in again.. it will be better every time.

The Fourth of July is a perfect time to start.  Because the independence of the internet is mindblowing. Tomorrow I will begin to introduce you to the cast of characters that make up our tiny farm. We have sheep, cows, chickens and the usual motley assortment of dogs and cats. Oh and guineas. Lest we forget they will remind us. Plus huge vegetable gardens. Lovely meadows laden with clover and grasses.  Flower gardens, piles of flowers. And herbs, herbs, herbs.

I know you are wondering why I am on here. What we want to achieve is a state of self sufficiency in a sustainable manner using organic methods. We do not have air conditioning or central heating (yes we do get to 10 below and more in the winter and  wabder about the 90’s ion the summer).  We grow all our own vegetables and meat. The Silent One is working on solar water heating (without buying a ready made unit from God Knows where) and I am working on a way to heave the water up out of the ground without using electricity.  Pioneers did it!! But nothing is perfect.  My bees swarmed yesterday. More on that tomorrow. And the Japanese Beatles have arrived today.  mm

However.. tomorrow I will begin the introductions and tonight I will work on my layout. O I HAVE been able to load a pic so ignore paragraph two.. it is now obsolete!!

What do you think!?

Cecilia