The balance sheet of love.

“Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” Today broke peaceful; fog-muted, bathed in pastels. A morning crisp but just barely. A beautiful and perfect day. Except that it wasn’t. Today was the last day we had with Teazel. Teazel is–was–a lionhearted Jack Russel not much bigger than aContinue reading “The balance sheet of love.”

Milkweed & Monarchs

We spotted our last Monarch butterfly about a week ago as it assumably was passing by on the way to overwinter in Mexico. It stopped in to dine on our flowers before heading on its way south. One of the things we still have blooming profusely is tropical milkweed–Asclepias curassavica. Many experts now say toContinue reading “Milkweed & Monarchs”

Pollen feed-frenzy

I can’t stress enough the value of having an experienced mentor when you take on beekeeping. I had never considered putting pollen out for our girls until prompted by my #Hivesforheroes mentor, Scott Steele. At first I put the pollen he gave me out just to be polite, so when he asked if I hadContinue reading “Pollen feed-frenzy”

Big Branch Apiary meets Hurricane Ida

First, let me say we weathered Ida without losing a single bee or feather from the flock. It’s been a week since Hurricane Ida tore through southeast Louisiana. I’m sitting here on the steps of our RV, our home until we get the barn up, sipping coffee to the hum of generators. The weather isContinue reading “Big Branch Apiary meets Hurricane Ida”

Orphans, a farm life reality.

Back in June our peahen took an interest in nest boxes on par with a vegan’s interest in the Whole Foods produce department. Eventually she selected her  box. Over the next few weeks she lay three large, buff-colored eggs and then started setting. I was so excited. I looked up how long it took toContinue reading “Orphans, a farm life reality.”

Mosquito abatement

Anyone living in the gulf south knows how bad mosquitoes can be. This year, 2021, has been exceptionally wet. Besides the flooding, it’s resulted in an impressive squadron of hungry mosquitos. My signature summer scent is deet, and still I get bit. But my mosquito bites are nothing as bad as what the chickens suffer.Continue reading “Mosquito abatement”

Greeting from Monarch Waystation #31399

So much of the natural environment is at risk these days. The Earth is seeing the rapid reduction things from bees to glaciers and it often feels like nothing can be done. The entirety of the problem is too much for one person, one corporation, club, NFP, or government, but maybe if just one smallContinue reading “Greeting from Monarch Waystation #31399”

Mite Patrol: update

In the post “Mite Patrol” we discussed why chickens take dust baths and shared how we manage the mite load in our flock. But I think we may have come up with something better than Sevin® dust to add to their dust bath area: diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is made of minute exoskeletons of diatoms,Continue reading “Mite Patrol: update”