Beau April 25th, 2009
Spring has moved so quickly that we’ve seen temperatures in the high 80’s for the past few days. It has been downright hot and windy! Where’s my cool spring air? Ok, I’m not complaining- and the leaves are just bursting forth along with insects and everything else. The bees have been frantically busy, and I’ve tried to keep up with them, adding boxes of “supers” so they have plenty of room and can continue to build comb and store honey. The bees need these warmer temperatures to help produce and manipulate the wax while building comb. Since this is the second year for my bees, they still need to build, or draw, honeycomb on many frames of plain blank foundation– the sheets of wax or plastic that give them a start in each frame.
The redbuds were beautiful this year, and the bees took the most advantage of it that they could.
They didn’t seem to mind when I got up close- they simply went about their business. For at least a week I enjoyed the hum of their efforts all around the house. I love this rear-shot of a a honeybee, heavy with pollen, cruising in to another redbud flower.
The critters of the pond have really emerged too. I’ve noticed that the bass and bluegill have begun swishing out nesting areas for the spring spawn, and the frogs are all about now. And we have more turtles this year! I’ve seen at least four different ones around the pond, and caught a picture of these three enjoying the the sunshine on a warm afternoon. I need to sneak up closer to see if they’re the same species- I don’t think so, but they “plop” off the log really fast if I try to get too close.
We did have a pair of wood ducks hanging about near the woody area at the top of the pond. I hoped they were nesting, and saw a pair last year with a half-dozen ducklings paddling about.
But lo and behold, yesterday I found that our too-friendly Canada geese have returned, bringing with them a half-dozen of their own goslings! If you know much about these big, beautiful birds, you know that having them around- right here where we live- is a mixed blessing. While wonderful to watch, especially while raising their young, they can also be a mess- leaving bird stuff all around the pond, and they have voracious appetites, pulling grass by the rootful from around the edge of the pond. I do enjoy watching them swim gently around the pond, and the little ones are really cute.
I was successful at discouraging them from nesting here in February and early March, but there are 2-3 smaller ponds in the area that they can use for nest sites. Once their young have hatched in March, they gradually get to know the area. And yesterday they walked them through field and forest to our pond where they would like to spend a lot of time. It’s fun to watch them paddle about and learn to fly, but I’m not really a fan of the idea… given their tenacious nature however, we may have little choice!
The oak trees are in full bloom right now too- these red oak catkins must be 3 inches long. I wonder if bees gather pollen from oak trees? Maybe not when their is so much flower nectar and pollen available. But they do gather maple pollen, so…
I hope you have time to get outdoors and enjoy the warming weather. Spring and fall are my favorite times of the year- I don’t think I can really pick just one!