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Author Topic: Spring is in the air!!  (Read 8191 times)
Dane Bramage
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« on: February 28, 2010, 05:07:07 PM »

We've been blessed with a very mild winter here in the PNW this year (Fall was cold tho!).  My bees have been out in force often and consistently already... just getting around to taking some pics today (60°F & sunny).  They are bringing in loads of pollen! 





The willows are in bloom, red maples.. loads of others.. even dandelions!



Looking closely, you can see how loaded down they are.



The chickens like the weather as well!  Smiley



Hoping for a big year!!

Cheers,
Dane
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2010, 05:51:24 PM »

yup.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2010, 06:43:31 PM »

I'm envious.
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2010, 10:17:10 PM »

Amazing photos as usual!  Yes, our winter has been amazingly warm & mild! Trees are blooming all over! Daffs are up, crocus, forsythia, wild cherry, star magnolia!  Woo Hoo, winter is on it's way out!

Jody
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 12:09:30 AM »

IT SNOWED 4TIMES  THIS YEAR IN LOUISIANA.NEVER DID THAT BEFORE.NOW ITS 32 BY THE WEEKEND IT WILL BE IN THE 70S.BEES ARE BRING IN ALOT OF POLLEN WHEN THE TEMP. LET THEM.
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2010, 05:55:11 PM »

Amazing photos as usual!  Yes, our winter has been amazingly warm & mild! Trees are blooming all over! Daffs are up, crocus, forsythia, wild cherry, star magnolia!  Woo Hoo, winter is on it's way out!

Jody


Thx & I hope you are right Jody (Winter out)!  We had record colds late Fall followed by this record warm Winter.  My fear is that we'll have a record cold Spring or something.  There is so much in bloom, way early, already... the red-tip photinias are almost ready to pop, even some pears, which has me worried.  All we need is a nice frost to freeze off those buds.  Undecided

Well.. crossing my fingers!  Here's some more images from earlier today.  Some (unknown ID) ornamental shrub next to the house that flowers, and is popular, early:





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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2010, 06:55:43 AM »

Dane...

Your pictures are ridiculous..... as usual!  Seriously, well done!  You could make big bucks selling quality photos like that!
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2010, 11:03:58 AM »

Thanks Homer.  grin

I got lucky with the lighting on those last two.  I thought it was cool to be able to capture the bee and it's shadow (on the leaf below).
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2010, 11:44:43 PM »

Ah Dane, when I see a post of yours, and I know that there are pictures forthcoming within that post, I get pretty excited.  You know I have told you time and time again that I believe you have a special skill to capture those lovely little ladies on their lovely little flowers and so on.  Your pictures are always a wonderful view for the eyes, mind, body and soul.  Always keep those pictures coming to us, you know we all love to see them.

Spring is here too, things are budding open, the forsythia has been blooming for a couple of weeks, no dandelion views yet, crocus, snowdrops, many things. But I think you are even more further along than my area.  I would venture to say a couple of weeks. I wonder what that white flower is, kind of reminds me of jasmine.  Does it have a perfume?  Did you notice?  Anyways, friend, so nice that you have brought these beautiful pictures to tease us of your beautiful place that we all know you live in.  Beautiful days, with health and love, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2010, 11:03:51 AM »

cindi!  where have you been?

funny, i have some dandelions but not the forsythia yet.  some plums and one of Japanese pears have bloomed, but most is a good week off.  gotta love spring!
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2010, 03:02:28 AM »

Spring?  What is that?  I was hoping all this white stuff would be gone by now.  Can anyone send me some nice warm weather they're not using?  I and my girls would appreciate it... grin
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2010, 12:13:00 PM »

@Cindi ~> Thank you!  You are so very sweet, too kind.   Kiss
That bush is not a jasmine, as far as I know.  It has a lovely scent, but different.  I will have to see if I can categorize it.  I do seem to have a few varieties of jasmine, or at least ones that smell of jasmine.  Some bushes that bloom late summer, vines that bloom in spring... and this sole specimen that is blooming right now:





It smells very lovely.  grin

~

Absolutely gorgeous day yesterday, 68°F 100% sunny and calm winds.  Forecast is for more typical seasonal weather (read: wet & cold), so I was out turning compost, etc., - had to bring my camera with though (a good excuse to take a brake from the rake & catch my breath!).

Bees were extremely busy:





I had my macro lens, for close-ups, captured a couple of cute single bees.  Blonds have more fun?

 



I made both the above images into large (1920x1200) wallpaper images ~> one, two & (one extra)
three

The hens were following me around as I turned the compost.  I've many terraces and am using a terrace/incline approach to composting the poplar leaf, willow mulch (from downed tree), sheep & chicken manure, etc.,.  Sort of using gravity to help along.  Giant worms.  The hens are eating like queens!





Lastly, a couple shots of some of the back yard.





Cheers,
Dane

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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2010, 01:09:39 PM »

looks like you are already starting to build up!  yes, it was a great day.  finally warm enough to do a proper inspection.  did you lose any over the winter? 

i found lots of capped brood. glad so much was capped as we are in for a bit of a cold snap. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Dane Bramage
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2010, 07:21:29 PM »

@kathyp  ~> yes indeed, it sure seems as though they are in building mode already.  Intense activity!  Seems even more than in the height of summer.  I'm guessing that's only because they are all coming and going at once.  Are your colonies really active as well? 
Even with the warm weather, I'm reluctant to do any inspections - have not done any.  I don't want to break propolis seals, especially with our weather (cold & rain, even potential frosts, incoming!).  Undecided  I've just been doing some open feeding, which has gone quite well.
I did have a few losses over the winter, but not many.  Actually I'll have some extra packages (3# Carni queen) after 4/2 as I ordered extra, just in case .

btw, like your Atlas Shrugged (& libertarian oriented) sig-line quotes.  Good stuff lady!
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kathyp
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2010, 07:57:30 PM »

swapped out ayn for ronnie  grin

they are active.  i did a first inspection yesterday.  found that they were pretty packed with honey, so i stopped feeding for not.  i was open feeding also.  things are starting to bloom, but we are behind you by a bit.  lost 2 that i expected to lose and found one queenless yesterday.  will probably have to combine it.  no drones and to early to by a queen.  popped a frame of eggs in to hold them and double check.

looks like we might have a good year!  now it just depends on the rain not messing up the bloom.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Dane Bramage
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2010, 12:32:46 AM »

We'll have to chat about some books soon.   Wink

looks like we might have a good year!  now it just depends on the rain not messing up the bloom.

Uh oh, here it comes!

...SHARPLY COLDER AIR WILL ARRIVE IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND
NORTHWEST OREGON BY MONDAY MORNING...

AFTER JANUARY AND FEBRUARY BROUGHT ONE OF THE MILDEST STARTS TO
THE YEAR IN MUCH OF SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON AND NORTHWEST OREGON...A
MUCH COLDER WEATHER SYSTEM WILL MOVE IN TONIGHT. THIS SYSTEM WILL
BRING THE LOWEST SNOW LEVELS TO THE AREA SINCE LAST DECEMBER.

SNOW LEVELS WILL DROP SHARPLY LATER TONIGHT AND EARLY MONDAY
BEHIND A RATHER STRONG COLD FRONT...DOWN TO 1000 TO 1500 FEET
ABOVE SEA LEVEL. THIS WILL BE SUFFICIENT TO CHANGE RAIN TO SNOW IN
MUCH OF THE COAST RANGE AND THE CASCADE FOOTHILLS.

A COLD...UNSETTLED AIR MASS WILL THEN LINGER THROUGH MONDAY
EVENING. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED
TO DEVELOP DURING THE DAY MONDAY...AND THE HEAVIER SHOWERS WILL
LIKELY PRODUCE SMALL HAIL. ANY HEAVIER SHOWERS MONDAY AND MONDAY
EVENING MAY ALSO BRIEFLY CAUSE WET SNOW TO FALL TO ELEVATIONS
LOWER THAN 1000 TO 1500 FEET...BUT SIGNIFICANT STICKING SNOW DOES NOT
APPEAR LIKELY BELOW AN ELEVATION OF 1000 FEET THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT.

ANOTHER RATHER COLD SYSTEM WILL KEEP SNOW LEVELS LOW AND ADD MORE
SNOW TO THE MOUNTAINS TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. MOTORISTS TRAVELLING
THROUGH THE CASCADES THIS WEEK SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED
ROADS. DRIVERS IN THE COAST RANGE SHOULD BE READY FOR ACCUMULATING
SNOW ACROSS THE PASSES AS WELL.

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« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2010, 05:34:41 PM »

Ya know dane, instead of being an engineer, you out to branch out in professional photography! Great photo's as always. Keep them coming!

...DOUG
KD4MOJ

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annette
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« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2010, 10:58:20 PM »

As usual Dane, I added your photos to my photo library.
Thanks for sharing
Annette
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2010, 01:14:56 PM »

@KD4MOJ ~>  Thx Doug!  Oh, I do some branching.  A veritable neo-Renaissance 'round here.  Wink  It's especially nice when the hobbies are profitable.  grin

@annette ~> thank you & you're most welcome Annette! 
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2010, 01:38:15 PM »

Got some significant bearding yesterday.  It got up to about 68°F but... this is surprising and a record for me here!



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« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2010, 09:23:54 AM »

Ah Dane, again, some more beautiful pictures for me to gaze at.  I wonder if that most beautiful white flower is the tulip tree's flower.  It looks gorgeous.  You have a most beautiful yard, I can see that and tell that thing for surely, lovely.  I don't have any bees.  I lost my one colony, think the warm weather, building brood and then the rain for a month did everything in, sigh.  Oh well, things always work out in the wash now don't they, smiling.  To have those wishes of a wonderful and awesome day, for that great health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2010, 11:24:57 AM »

Thanks Cindi!  I'm now fairly sure that white flower is actually a Magnolia.  I should be better at identifying plants!  embarassed
I'm sorry to hear of your colony loss.  It can be frustrating, to be sure (had my fair share of winter losses!).  Do you have replacements lined up?
One of my Icelandic Ewes had two baby lambs just this morning.  So cute! (will post pics ASAP).

Cheers,
Dane

Edited to add ~> Twin doelings  grin
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Cindi
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2010, 11:37:53 PM »

Oh Dane, two little pieces of beauty from the heavens above.  Those are lovelies.  I love the black around the eyes, beautiful, bet you gonna have some very nice pictures coming along, when you have that spare moment in time.  Do have that most awesomely wonderful day, filled full of love and health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Dane Bramage
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« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2010, 08:13:14 PM »

 grin 70°F today!   cool







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« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2010, 11:18:02 AM »

Oh, are they not the sweetest things!
I love your pictures, thank you for sharing.
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2010, 01:05:04 AM »

Thanks & you're welcome Natalie.  How about a little video?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vji6D2tVZ2A" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vji6D2tVZ2A</a>

 grin
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« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2010, 02:46:00 PM »

Thanks for the video, I hadn't seen the icelandic sheep before, what a beautiful breed they are.
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« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2010, 11:09:22 PM »

Oh my gosh Dane


That was the sweetest video ever.  Just watching them shake those little butts and walk under mama sheep. Very sweet and very funny indeed!!
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2010, 06:54:25 PM »

You're welcome & thx Natalie. Smiley

lol @ annette.  They really are super cute aren't they??  Are you duly impressed by the tandem feeding technique?  heh heh.  I did a little acoustic guitar accompaniment in the background.   I might have to put mama sheep on lead vocals  Wink

Well, the weather sure has take a turn for the miserable of late here.  I had checked my hives and they were already starting to fill burr comb under the lid with honey, so I supered up and put on pollen traps too.  That was last week.  It's been raining with highs in the low 50's since.  Pollen traps are back off (too much vent on the top-entrance Sundance II for this weather).  Now I'm sitting here with packages to install and not quite knowing what to do... rainy & 47°F atm.  I guess I'll give it a go tomorrow if the rain stops long enough and it gets up to 52° (as forecast).   Cry rolleyes

Happy Easter!
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kathyp
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« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2010, 06:57:56 PM »

it's crap.  don't think it's going to be much better until tuesday or wedness day.  snow on the mt.  hail and cold here.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Dane Bramage
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« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2010, 07:11:00 PM »

it's crap.  don't think it's going to be much better until tuesday or wedness day.  snow on the mt.  hail and cold here.

I'd like to just leave my packages intact and install them when the weather is better.  Of course I don't want them to die in the packages!  Lips Sealed   Any tips on prolonging their life in packages (misting + extra feed?)  I'll probably just install them tomorrow regardless.  Maybe it's best just to get them in their homes (packages were shaken on Thursday, so they're due for install).  As long as the rain is not soaking them, they should be good... probably won't be doing many orientation flights right away!  lol!
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« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2010, 07:21:45 PM »

they should be ok.  only takes a second to shake them in.  it's the stragglers that suffer, but if you can set your package on the hive front so that it's easy for them to find their way in, and protect them temporarily from the rain, they should all be in by evening.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2010, 11:23:59 PM »

Michael Bush posted here recently that he hives them in the snow and rain. Says they fly less.  Good luck with all those packages Dane.
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2010, 12:34:41 PM »

Thanks ladies.  Kiss  I was able to get them in that same day without incident.  I couldn't seem to get back on the forum here until this morning though (website was down/inaccessible).  Actually, there was a lot less flying then would have occurred on a warm day.  Perhaps it is advantageous to install them on days such as that.
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2010, 08:02:14 PM »

Despite the fairly miserable weather, seems the bees are getting at least a bit of nectar/pollen from the cherry trees.









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« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2010, 08:41:08 PM »

Dane

I always appreciate your photos and that you have them in the right format for me to save to my desktop.


Sincerely
Annette
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2010, 10:22:51 PM »

You're most welcome Annette.  It's a true labor of love for me.

Second set of lambs arrived a few days ago.  One baby ewe & a ram lamb this time, both solid black/moorit.













 grin

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« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2010, 11:24:57 PM »

very cute.  what do you do with them?
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2010, 12:07:21 AM »

Just to cute!!  You have a very interesting household with the bees, the lambs and the dogs. I am always amazed at how much love people have to give to others.

Thanks again for sharing.
Annette
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2010, 12:52:36 AM »

very cute.  what do you do with them?



Haha - actually most all of them will be for sale & sold, after they are weaned. I may keep a ewe.  Someone is already inquiring about the sole ram lamb.  You want some Kathy?  If I had a real farm I'd be able to grow the herd.

Just to cute!!  You have a very interesting household with the bees, the lambs and the dogs. I am always amazed at how much love people have to give to others.

Thanks again for sharing.
Annette


& chickens & cats too!  Interesting is right!  Wink  It's not bad though... not too hectic and they give love right back.  
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« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2010, 12:09:45 PM »

love that pic.

other than the horses i already have, i am limiting new critters to those that are edible or produce something edible.  still thinking about how to make a mini-milker work.  fixing the chicken coop this summer. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2010, 10:18:10 PM »

"We eats them!!"

Actually Icelandic Sheep are a true triple purpose breed; milk, meat & wool.  The meat is especially mild and even those who don't normally have a taste for mutton tend to like it.  I get some yummy Nubian goat's milk from a small farm nearby, else I would be milking the sheep more often (have only done it for a little while last season).  The wool is excellent, very soft & luxurious.  Not that I'm trying to sell you mine, lol - but they are a good breed (good grass mowers too!). 

More info here.
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KD4MOJ
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« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2010, 10:24:14 PM »

   HHmmmm Mutton.... never had it that I know of. 'Course that certain ***** restaurant down the street..... never know!

...DOUG
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2011, 07:49:13 PM »

Bump - new year new Spring.... finally!!!  We set records for most rainy days in March (29/31), most consecutive rainy days, latest ever to hit 60°F, etc. ,etc.,  rolleyes  Sheesh!  Bees overwintered amazingly well though (was a mild Winter) and are doing very strong in spite of the weather.  Warmest day of the year so far today.. of course, more cold and rains is forecast (tomorrow straight thru until next Saturday!).  :'(

Pear Blossoms:











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Mshel
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« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2011, 09:35:43 PM »

Really good pictures. grin
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2011, 08:27:04 PM »

Really good pictures. grin


Thanks Mshel.   grin

These next one's aren't as nice, but I wanted to share my first swarm capture of the year.   Unsure where they came from but they were just down in the wetlands from all my colonies.  The weather has been so crappy, delaying splits... still, could have been from one of my own.  I'll know better this next weekend when I break into them and do splits and super up. 

This was a perfect swarm to catch.  Good size (~4#?) and about 9' up on a smaller tree suspended between two branches.





The ground was really mushy (wetlands with record rains, after all), but not bad.  I was able to situate an empty box directly underneath.  First test was a shake of the smaller limb, which brought down 1/3 of the swarm.  Landed right on target.  So a kick to the main limb brought down the rest.







I grabbed two frames from another hive (capped & uncapped brood, etc.,) and, within 30 minutes or so they were all snug. No stragglers above even.  I'd say a 99% capture (a couple of dozen landed in the wet and didn't survive).

So, despite the weather.. I guess it really is Spring! 


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gardeningfireman
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« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2011, 09:52:42 PM »

What great pictures! Speaking of rain; we had over 9 inches in April. Broke the all time record here. And it is still raining pretty much every day.
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SerenaSYH
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« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2011, 11:10:24 PM »

OH, MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!! These are BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS DANE! I wish we were neighbors so I can have your bees visit my garden! as well as to test out my Baby Girl Eluane (she's a border collie) to see if she retained sheep herding "talent" in her. She is a way too timid and docile for a border collie unless it comes to the rabbit or the vacuum which she will herd like a crazed lunatic. Or if it comes to Agility, which she is as bold and as faaaast as they come!  cool Beautiful lambs, Dane! and the detail of the honeybees and wonderful closeups are dazzling! It'd give me such a thrill to see a swarm too!

All the excitement I'm missing out on stuck where I am at  Cry where honeybees are a rarity...
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