Thursday, April 08, 2010

Spring Frenzy

Spring exploded into a frenzy of activity a few weeks ago and I've barely managed to keep up with it all. For a couple of weeks our bees swarmed constantly.

We managed to rehive three swarms, so we now have seven bee hives total. Two swarms congregated on branches so high in the air we could not possibly get to them. They ended up joining the ranks of feral bees in our neighborhood and I hope they prosper for the good of all.

I don't know how many swarms we missed. A couple of our hives swarmed over and over again. The bees would pour out of the hive and then swirl into the air. Bees would climb all over themselves getting out of the hive.

The pile would grow and grow.

Until the bees would launch themselves into the air filling the sky with their buzzing.

Most of the time we would discover the swarm from the loud buzzing. Even my neighbor said she could hear it on her own property. We also witnessed a mating flight early one morning. At first we thought it was a swarm, but then the bees all went back into their hive. They swarmed for real a couple hours later.

Finally, unprepared, out of spare equipment and exhausted, Kurt opened the repeatedly swarming hives and eliminated the queen cells to give us a bit of a break. In the meantime, we've built a couple more hive boxes, frames and started our goat barn.

I don't know why, but apparently the Lord thinks we need dairy goats. We've wanted them for a long time, but something always stopped the process. That is no longer the case.

Recently, when Strider, our LPG dog kept getting out of his fence and we were so busy we prayed for the Lord to keep him inside, I told Kurt I thought the Lord was getting us ready to finally get our goats because we were learning all about building secure fencing. Literally moments later the telephone rang. Out of the blue the people from whom we always wanted to purchase goats called wanting to know if we wanted to buy some goats. We definitely wanted to get the goats, but after months of fixing our new house and building chicken coops, we were as broke as we've ever been. So we prayed.

Still feeling the Lord's leading in this we told the goat people we were going to go forward though we had no idea how. But first, we had to finish building the meat chicken coop for the chickens that had already been ordered.

As we discussed how were were going to manage the whole dairy goat thing, we considered robbing the kids' piggy banks for goat money. Then we got an anonymous gift of money so we could buy our goats. It was exactly the amount we thought we would need. God definitely provides.

As we started looking around for materials to build a goat shelter, we realized we were going to need much more money than we expected. Then someone told Kurt she and her husband had built a horse shelter on rented property and then got rid of the horses and were planning to move. They told Kurt he could have the shelter if he wanted to disassemble it. He did. God's provision continues to amaze us, though I don't know why. By now you would think we would be perfectly familiar with God's love and goodness considering our history. But we continue to be amazed anyway.

The horse shed ended up being a tremendous blessing, way better than anything we could have ever imagined for ourselves. We needed to replace the roof, but so far everything else is working.

Gregory and Kurt started assembling our new barn in the front yard, where we plan to pasture the goats.

A couple of times the Lord sent friends over to help out when we most needed the help. He is so good.

They have now finished the outer structure and we are going to have to figure out how to build the inside part next. We also need to buy fencing materials and get our pastures ready. Everything seems to take such a long time.

As we were building, I noticed the tree next to the barn has wisteria dripping from its limbs.

I love experiencing our first Spring in our new house. There are so many surprises to discover.

Yesterday, as I worked in my garden I paused to listen to the cry of the seagulls. I glanced back at the woods by the creek and noticed something different. So I went to explore.

I discovered a wall of flowers cascading down from the highest tree branches on the edge of our woods.

It was beautiful and looked like something you would find in Hawaii.

The annoying vines constantly cropping up to strangle the trees and block our access to the creek had burst into bloom.

The blooms were not only beautiful, but smelled divine.

The blossoms are fairly large and Gabrielle knew what to do immediately.

The flowers are quite delicate looking.

And they do look like a large dogwood blossom with five petals instead of four.

A friend suggested they might be wild dogwood.

I'd sure love to know what these are if anyone knows.

In the meantime, I've planted most of my garden. I've been busy taking care of our meat chickens and turkeys. I've done a bit of knitting. In fact, I finished making the fingerless gloves I promised to Asa.

He loved them and I am very glad. I hope they help keep his hands warm next winter.

I've also done some canning. A couple days ago I cooked and canned four and a half gallons of turkey soup with the turkey carcass left over from Easter.

I love stocking our pantry with homemade food. And home canned food works as fast food around here.

Today we got rain and so we are inside. But we will be back to the Spring frenzy soon with more gardening, bee chores, chicken and turkey raising and butchering and preparing for our dairy goats. I also promised my Mom I would finish her sweater by the time she visited next month. Whew! We are going to be busy for awhile still.


fleegle said...

They look like a wild rose to me.

Glad you like my socks!

Heather said...

You sure have been busy. I'm excited for you to get the goats. That shelter looks fabulous.

The Gingerbread House said...

I knew you were up to something and couldn't wait to see what :o)...glad your busy doing!
The goats sound like a good idea..
and the flowers are beautiful...and I'm glad they smell good :o)....Ginny

Beck's Bounty said...

Spring is a wonderful time, is it not ?!?! Thanks for sharing all of your endeavors.


Joanne said...

Wow! You sure have been busy! Those flowers are gorgeous!

Amy said...

How are your bees doing? I have heard of many home hives no longer having bees. The flowers look stunning!!

Anonymous said...

The flowers look like a type of single petal camellia.

Anonymous said...

Love the work on the blog!