My posts have been scarce – writer’s blah? winter hibernation?
To summarize: we had a decent crop harvest last year – mostly because we had another unexpectedly warm fall. In fact, we had an average harvest of the sorghum, black & pinto beans (for our own consumption0, as well as buckwheat – for cover crop seed (& bee forage).
Today – Mar 15 – we are clearly in transition to spring – although it is early by the calendar. We have had several days over 70 and it’s supposed to stay that way for the next week. We had a very mild winter – results:
- less ice hockey and cross country skiing
- better for the bees; so far, we have lost only 2 hives (out of 21). This is not entirely due to mild winter, cold weather by itself does not kill honey bee colonies, but it does add stress.
- maple: because of the mild winter, some folks were speculating that the maple sap might not flow this year – but we had an average yield this season – even though it ended about 2 weeks earlier than usual.
Now the grass is GREEN again and the buds on the fruit trees are swelling. The first fruit tree blossoms (apricots) opened up today. We are pruning fruit trees, wrapping up forestry/firewood, and the gardeners have lots of seedlings planted in flats
AND the bees are bringing in bright yellow pollen – they are so excited! I love to share their enthusiasm. We went to visit the bees again today (3/15): some of them are very strong/exuberant, others are quite small and just getting going again after the winter. At this time of year, the bottom line is they are alive! & surviving! We made sure that all hives had laying queens and plenty of pollen and honey. Bees are definitely my favorite nonhuman friends….
The frogs – western chorus frogs & spring peepers – have been serenading us for a week now. I try to imagine what it’s like for them: telling us all IT’S SPRING!, an awesome 24-7 party? an orgy? all of the above? I love their exuberance!