Saturday, February 15, 2020

How One Little Bee Saved Her Entire Hive

The greenhouse pansies are still going strong.  This is no surprise as the winter has been fairly warm other than a few odd days here and there like the last two nights when it went down into the mid teens.  The sun came out this morning, so I cracked the door open about 3/4" for some ventilation.  

As I headed to the house for lunch I stopped in to see how the blooms had weathered the cold snap and check to see is anyone needed some water.  I was completely surprised to see one of Stella's honey bees in there working!  It was 40 degrees and pretty breezy.  Way too cold in my mind for a bee to be out and that far from home.  

It's not unusual for bees to break their cluster on warm winter days and fly out to do some house cleaning and early foraging.  I worried though, as the winter weather has been so crazy, that maybe they had used up their winter stores and decided to run up and check.

While you should never open a hive under 50 degrees, you can lift up the intact hive and check the weight.  I knew heading into winter that I could barely lift it.  It should still be pretty heavy.  If not, they might be running low on honey and appreciate some sugar syrup.

As I approached the hive though I found an even bigger problem.  The over saturated ground had given way under one of the concrete blocks it sits on and the hive was in immediate danger of toppling over.  Even with a ratchet strap around the hive bodies, a fall would surely have cracked open the hive bodies, exposing the bees to cold, wet weather, surely killing them.

It took some doing, but Stella's son and grandson helped me get it reset on two new stable blocks.  By the time we got that accomplished I decided not to disturb them any further by checking their weight.  Stella's going to cook some syrup to set out in the morning and if they don't actually need it, they might just appreciate a little treat.  

I'm not sure if the greenhouse bee made it back up the hill.  I sure hope she did.  I wish I'd thought to capture her in a cup and carry her home just to make sure.  She's a pretty clever bee though and while she was most likely just down here looking for flowers, there's a little part of me that believes she came down to tell me I needed to go fix her hive.  

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Glamour Shot

While this looks like a fancy shot, it's actually a very simple photo trick I learned by accident a few years ago.  Biscuit is just standing right at the end of the barn with the sun (even though it's cloudy) is lighting his face.  

The camera meters on his brightly lit face which then underexposes the shadowed barn behind him.  You can see his face is a little overexposed in this bottom picture because the camera was trying to pick up some of light behind him.  For the upper shot I zoomed in with my telephoto lens, made sure the camera was metering his face correctly and bingo, his face looks good and the background disappears.  

Handsome Bikkit ;-D.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Another Colorful Hat

After making the Forest for the Trees hat using the white Lamb Camp Legacy yarn, I started looking for a pattern to highlight the medium gray yarn.  This Agate Cove Hat popped up on my Instagram feed and I knew I had my next project. I could feature the medium gray, but also have fun with all three colors :-).  

The designer says "This hat was inspired by the variety of beautiful agates that can be found in some of the pebbly coves here in downeast Maine."  Hmmm, I don't have an agate, but I do have a rock from a beach in Maine...and it happens to look almost exactly like the colorwork!  

Actually, in looking at this picture, I think the hat also matches the now perpetually damp stone at the Wool House.  What a muddy wet winter.

The pattern called for worsted weight yarn and the LCL yarn is DK weight (and the dark gray/black might actually be closer to sport weight now that I've knit a little with it) so I did a gauge swatch and then did an easy calculation to determine how to adjust the pattern for the thinner yarn.

The colorwork looks complicated, but it's not.  It's done with slipped stitches so you are only using one color per row ever though it looks like two.  I learned this trick with the Voe Hat a couple years ago and it might be my favorite way to work colors now.  Definitely beginner friendly!

I knit the hat to the full suggested height, but thought it looked a little too "slouchy" for me, so I took out a few rounds and shortened it just a bit.  I also added some tassels to the top.  I don't know what possessed me to think of that, but I like it.  I wrapped each tassel with a different color just for fun.  

See!  I can do colors ;-).

*     *     *     *     *

There is plenty of all three colors of yarn available in the Farm Shop.  Even though I probably can't resist making something small with the dark gray yarn, I promise I won't knit it up all myself :-).

Monday, February 10, 2020

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Our 15 Minutes Of [Snow]

We enjoyed it while it lasted :-).

Mini Moose and Chocula

Big J aka Jared

Mini Moose and the little darlin' ;-).  

Big Moose.  He's just so fun to photograph.  What expression.  

Chocula, Tessa and Tabitha.  Chocula was picking hay of Tessa's back.  I'll have to up his pay :-).


Petunia and Tessa


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