Busy day. Had lots of yard work to get ready for the end of warm weather. I even cut the grass today. I didn’t notice how long the grass had grown on account of all that rain. Man, what a mess the clippings made. But soon enough all that will be done with. It was nice to get out and look around the fields. There were tons of honey bees on the goldenrod. Now that I’ve renewed my interest in keeping bees, I was looking at the varieties of bees that were on the flowers. And I noticed they were almost exclusively Italian bees. These are a southern bee and they don’t fare well in cold winter areas. But they’re the kind of bees that people get when they buy a package of bees from one of the big breeders down south. So most likely these bees aren’t feral bees but some beekeeper’s hive.
Funny, I got a little annoyed that someone was encroaching on my goldenrod. What the what! The only advantage of the Italian bees is their mild tempers. They’re the least likely race of bees to sting you even if you’re in their nest messing around with the frames full of honey and brood. So, knowing there are a lot of apiary hives around me was a little bit of a downer. I’m hoping to catch a swarm next spring. But if there are a lot of apiary hives in the area chances are that the swarm will come from one of them. That means the bees will be southern bees and most probably also bees that have been living under a regimen of chemicals to ward off varroa mites and other plagues. I won’t be using those chemicals so the bees will have to depend on their natural robustness to survive. But since they’ve been dosed with various chemicals, they may be quite weak.
That makes me think that I may as well purchase a bee package from a breeder who keeps northern bees under a natural beekeeping regimen. I know there are several breeders in Vermont who have this type of bee. I’ve read about these northern bees. They’re known either as Russian bees or dark bees. They are extremely cold hardy and are specialized to collecting a large amount of nectar in order to survive the long cold northern winter. Of course, that might mean a very long drive back and forth to Northern Vermont. That’s a hike. It’s possible they’ll mail the bees but maybe not. Anyway, interesting things to think about today.
While I was working on the garden, I saw both grasshoppers and katydids that were so worn out that I was able to go up to them and pick them up by the wing covers.
Even the few butterflies I saw, some fritillaries and painted ladies, were flying very slowly. And they were much less skittish than normally when I approached them while they fed. Of vertebrates, there were some turkeys in the yard, a few small frogs and a vole that shot out of the garden and headed into the blueberry bushes when I approached. I managed to get some shots of the turkeys as they noticed me and retreated into the forest.
Then I walked over by the swamp. It was looking very beat up.
But this time of the year has its charms. A good day out in the air.
Camera Girl with her hawk eye spotted a group of turkeys walking through the forest. So, I took my trusty Sony A7 IV and my Minolta 200mm f/4 macro lens with Sony LA-EA5 adapter and flashed off fifty shots of the uncouth looking modern dinosaurs. I’ll work on them later but here’s a representative jpg.
I guessing the turkeys are looking for food before the big freeze down happens tomorrow. We’ll be dropping thirty degrees down into negative single digits tomorrow night. This should be a good test of the supposedly repaired heating system we live with. A really annoying aspect of the “repair” is that the suction fan has a vibration that is very audible in the living room. I’ll have to become an acoustical engineer and figure out where some fireproof acoustical insulation will solve that problem. Oh, the joys of owning a very unorthodox house.
I looked up the name for a group of turkeys. It’s called either a gang or a rafter. A rafter sounds like an architectural term whereas gang captures some of the disreputable and disorganized facets of the behavior of a bunch of dopey birds. And that immediately got me thinking of the Republican lawmakers. They’re a gang of fat, stupid and disorganized bird-brained followers who couldn’t shoot fish in a barrel. I think of them because things are going so horribly for the Democrats and Biden that it must be about time for those losers that are supposedly on our side of the fence to help the Democrats out by missing some opportunity to kick them while they’re down. Already that dope Cruz was yapping about how the January 6th farce was a terrorist attack. I used to like him but what is wrong with him if he says something stupid like that. It’s the unforced errors that drive me crazy with these “friends” of ours.
The biggest surprise of 2021 was Joe Manchin stabbing the Dems in the back. It was wholly unforeseen and miraculously potent. Combined with the COVID revolt, it has poleaxed Biden’s presidency good and proper. But I’m waiting for our Manchin. I’m assuming it will be Romney. He’s a sniveling coward who loves to play the principled man of honor when he knows it will get him the spot light. But with the disarray on the left maybe we’ll be spared until the midterms when with any luck they’ll lose the Senate along with the House.
I wonder how long it will take the Supreme Court to make up their minds about the vaccine mandates. I confess I’m pretty excited about a win there. That also means I’ll be very disappointed if they fink on us and throw in with the Fauci fascists. But things seem to be going our way on this in the public opinion field. People are waking up to the fact that these vaccines are at best useless and at worst a very dangerous thing to do to young and healthy people. Anyone with children and grandchildren should be paying close attention to the information on both efficacy and safety. These drugs would never have been approved on a normal testing basis by the FDA.
So, stay warm this week. The Polar Express will be coming through and providing a good excuse to stay warm and watch some old movies or read a good book. I’ve been managing to put the time to good use writing. I produced about five thousand words of prose in the last two or three days. Not bad. Of course, I’ve still got seventy or eighty thousand words to go. But Rome wasn’t built in a day.