Everyone, Both our dogs are getting very old. Dot is 16 Daisy is 17. Daisy only wants to go out the front door, someone needs to let here out. Guess what she does not ask to be let out either, so she puddles or otherwise. Yes we have a pet door but Daisy does not like walking down 6-7 steps to get to the back yard. So the again she leaves messes by the front door and does not use the pet door. She is a very shy dog.
So I gathered up some scraps today and Meg and I built a doggy ramp today. So now both dogs are scared to death of it. I added some strips of wood to make it less slippy for them. Blocking to steps confuses them. Oh did I mention Dot is mostly blind!! Dot is the leader of the dogs, so until she goes freely Daisy won't.
Our cat Valentine the mouser is in huge trouble. First Meg found a big mouse in the living room by the house plants. This mouse is very brave running around in day light. She likely brought it in the house to start with. So she's outside we bring her inside, nothing. I might add she is the best mouser we have ever had, her pancreas does not work well leaving her hungry all the time, good for mousing, bad for us the pills cost a buck a day.
So later today Meg brings me an large male Eastern Fence Lizard she found Valentine had in the house. Released him outside no harm done.... This evening I'm showered an ready for movie time, I have to chase down mouse traps, Handy Andy up the road did not have any. I hope Valentine wakes us to tell us she has caught a mouse tonight.
Are the flowers blooming early here? Yes the Dwarf Crested Iris bloomed last year on April 20th, here they are today.
Our summer phlox we weeded it today, the tallest summer phlox in enormous, 2 foot around and it reaches 5-6 foot tall. Watching the butterflies on them can be breath taking at times.
The garden is abundant with butterflies right now, lots of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Pipevine Swallowtail, the first Spicebush Swallowtail today, a Cloudless Sulphur was visiting the columbines today. A Northern Water Snake was seen hunting along the ponds edges, second one ever seen here ever.
The bees, oh my. The nuk hopefully has a queen by this weekend, today was day 15, it takes 16 days to raise a queen . Bees choose eggs that could be as old as 3 days, so she could have emerged already. We wait another week and a half and hopefully she will have mated and is laying eggs. The past two days the bees in the nuk have been bringing in pollen. Bees usually bring in pollen to feed larva, by now all the larva should be capped. So the bees are at least hopeful of new brood. The mother hive I feed them yesterday, I lifted it and it seemed very light. Lifting a hive tells you how much honey stores there is, too light and the bees could starve.
We are still weeks away from the Tulip Poplar, out number one nectar source of the year. I think most of the maples are done, so the bees should be getting dandelion right now and what is left of the Eastern Red Bud. Blackberry blooms are very close maybe a week away, so honey should begin to store up.
Two last bits of bee news.
First I hopefully have a cut out to do in a barn. This would be a feral hive residing in a barn, I'll take the bees and comb and put them in a hive here.
Second new bees are arriving on April 14th, Meg and I have a very cool new hive we are working on. This hive is a modified Kenya Top Bar Hive. I customized it with a screened board board that one can insert a sticky board for mite testing. It also will have a window so we can see inside, unlike any window you have seen on a hive. Best part Meg has beautifully painted it.