Beau April 7th, 2009
Looks like we didn’t get that hard freeze last night in our area. Thankfully the buds and flowers look pretty good this morning, with one more night of near-freezing temperatures to go. With any luck, this is the last of the cold temps for spring. I say “Hooray!” and it’s time to really get the garden going, as well as a host of other projects.
I even covered the bee hives a little for the next two days. Just a little insurance to help them stay warm during these cold nights- brood production should be ramping up and the bees might not be able to keep the bee larvae warm enough. When it’s really cold, thousands of bees gather in a cluster to share and produce enough body heat to keep themselves, and the brood on the combs, warm enough. In late spring the queen produces a lot of brood in anticipation of all the worker bees they will need to gather nectar and pollen for the year, but a cold snap can force them to gather in a tight, central cluster within the hive and not keep some of that brood warm enough to survive. Whether or not a little insulation does any good on a cold night is the question, but I figure it couldn’t hurt! I’m sure they would be fine either way, but I like the idea of helping them out.
Dandelions provide a huge source of pollen and nectar in early spring for the bees. I’m amazed at how much they can carry on those little legs.
We were hiking around the woods a couple weeks ago (I’ve been looking for morels ever since!), and we came across an old piece of lumber in the creek bottom. I don’t know where the wood came from, but it had a couple of really old nails in it- the square shape kind that almost look like they were hand forged. I doubt they are that old, but it really makes you wonder about the history of it all.
I’ve been pulling out a few of our own old nails while cleaning up the garden. The raised beds are falling apart and the wood is full of ants, so it’s time to replace or remove them. They’re 15-20 years old, and I know the history- my folks put these in originally. Strange to be taking out nails that their hands put in. But I’ll save the nails and use them again, maybe for a tree fort for the boy. But the garden rows have a nice top layer of compost now and we’re almost ready to go.
I’m going to try harder to find some morels this year… they are just too delicious when you find some. I was skunked last year, but really didn’t try that hard. I haven’t found any on our property over the past three years, so I plan to range out a little and cover some bottom ground in the area and see if that helps.
Some of the old timers say to look for morels around fallen elm trees or around the may apples. That hasn’t helped me yet, but I do like seeing the may apples come up. When I find the first morel I’m going to do a little victory dance and remember the site. I don’t have any secret spots yet like Ed does, but lately his victory dances have more to do with what goes out, rather than what goes in!