Saturday, June 30, 2012

June heat wave

Folks,

April and May were very wet and the garden became lush because of the damp weather. June has been hot, yesterday and today were supposed to perhaps reach 105 degrees f..... The next few days at least 100 degrees.

I'm almost done with my big deck and porch project in Chapel Hill see my post here is a sample photo of my handywork. The landscaper is coming soon to fill in the bottom of those stairs. I might build a play house at the bottom of the hill also.
Back to our garden. Saw this male Black Swallowtail that just emerged next to my bees the other morning. Meg usually collects caterpillars in our garden and her second grade class raises them. We have very young caterpillars right now, they will be finished by July18th when school starts back.
I cleaned up about one third of the ponds edge, bet I carried close to 200 pounds of black berry canes up the hillside while cleaning up. Hoped to get better access to see frogs and dragonflies. Best photo thus far was taken in the main garden. Here is a Great Blue Skimmer easily told by the white face and large size.
Back in 2008 we planted these black-eyed Susans, they barely have lived through all the droughts we have had. And they are planted a bit too much in the shade and just out of reach of the sprinkler. I'm sure it has been three years since we saw a bloom!
Holly Hocks these were planted last year, two seasons before they bloomed, very lovely indeed with blooms over 3 inches each beautiful.


So Meg has been on and off mad at me for not going on a vacation. Just too many unfinished projects to do , my customers waiting way too long and our two elderly dogs now need cleaned up after almost daily. We could not find a house sitter to take care of them nor did we want to drop them off at a kennel. The new cat we named Manny he's a real cut up most of the time. Mad at me tonight for closing the back door on him, it was 100 degrees outside and I left the back door open for a seconds as I filled a glass of water then pushed it closed, he screamed and ran away mad, never knew he was there.

The bees are doing great. My smallest hive Lindsey has for a week had more bees on their porch than the other 4 hives here combined. They lack having much comb and I just started feeding them. My bees at Scott and Paige's garden looked like they made no gains in the past 3-4 weeks, I gave them some syrup on Friday morning and instantly saw 4 bees with pollen! My busiest hive in the farm hive those bees are smoking. The five hives here all seem to be doing well.

20 comments:

Freda Cameron said...

Your so skilled! Beautiful deck project! I'm sure those customers are thrilled.

June was nice up until the last few days!

Thyme has turned out to be the biggest food source for the feral honeybees from our neighbor's tree. We have masses and masses of thyme, all blooming right now and I've never seen so many honeybees since we built here in 2005! Wonderful that they've made a come back after the hive nearly dying out a few years ago.

Stay cool!

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

What a deck! I'm so impressed also with your butterfly photos. It is hard to catch those little buggers. Thanks for sharing. Funny how animals think we are there only to care for them. Hope the cat cools off, literally and figuratively.

Mil said...

The deck looks great. Can't wait to see the pics when the project is finished.

Glad to hear the bees are doing well too. Are bees are good also. We are planning to harvest honey on July 4th.

Skeeter said...

That deck is wonderful. I could see myself hanging out on it for sure. Will they screen in the bottom portion or leave it as is? Just wondering as the bugs can be such a pain in the summer months.

I think of you every time I look next door and see their bee hive. They got it for their son to do his 4H project. They never tend to the thing and now it is falling apart. We suspect a lawn mower hit it and it damaged it. We see bees coming and going but it is just there. I assume they come into our gardens for pollen and I am glad to provide them this treat. If not for me, they would have to go a long way to find food....

Caroline Gill said...

Stunning photos, Randy, as ever. The decking project looks incredible! I love the Swallowtail and the Dragonfly (Skimmer) photos ... superb!

It's even got a bit warm here too ... at last. But not in your league! Still good for the Olympic torch procession this evening.

Kalantikan said...

At last i was able to enter your site to comment. It has long been telling me that a malware infected your site, so it is closed to save me from being infected. Oh Randy you are so good, not only in photography but also as a carpenter! hahaha. I wish someone nearer me is just like you. That house project is so very good and artistic. I can also still remember all the projects you did in your farm. What about the blue bottles?

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Randy,
You sure have been busy! I love your work on the deck and the photographs of the insects. I'm glad to hear the bees are doing fine.

I see someone got that malware message on your site. I've been having folks tell me they get that when they even just start to come to my blog. Freda Cameron helped me figure out some things to delete a couple weeks ago, but just today, someone emailed me to let me know he got that message on his PC. One of the problems was a blog in my blogroll that led to a site that caused malware. I spent some time on my statcounter today, trying to see if I could find the site that was causing problems before, but didn't see it. Have you been able to figure out what to do about this problem?

RobinL said...

Such a beautiful deck Randy, I wish I could hire you to build us one here in Columbus! As always, I love seeing the butterflies and other critters there in your garden.

Indie said...

What a gorgeous double deck! And what a beautiful butterfly. I haven't seen many Black Swallowtails here - we usually just get a lot of Eastern Tigers.

Your garden is looking nice and lush! My backyard hose just burst yesterday from the heat. At least we've been getting some rain - my garden could certainly use a break from the heat!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Did you get my email? Hope the malware stuff is taken care of.
Love your Hollyhocks, they look like little pom-poms...in soft white and soft pink.
I understand about taking care of elderly dogs. Our 18 year old one passed away in May. They take a lot of care...but we love them.
Love the spindles on the porch, makes the view less obstructed.

Casa Mariposa said...

Thanks for the ID on the little butterfly. I have a lot of little ones that move so quickly I can barely tell what they look like. The past 2 wks have been brutal but we have cooler temps heading our way soon. Your back patio looks great!

Karen said...

Hi Randy, I sure love the deck. Fantastic job. As for the heat wave, I could really do without it, ha. I'm a Rust Belt kid, we're used to cold temperatures! Still no rain, either--my bait didn't work.

Every time I see bees in my garden I think of your hives.

I got such a kick out of the Beaver Queen Pageant.

Noelle @ small sheds said...

I am in love at the house. It really looks lovely and refreshing. I really wish you post some more photos of the house. Anyways, you have indeed a lot of visitors in your garden. Lovely photos!

Kim and Victoria said...

Beautiful porch and deck!
Beautiful hollyhocks! Beautiful butterfly!
Too bad about the missed vaca. Maybe a nights stay at a hotel?

sweetbay said...

Randy the deck and porch look wonderful!

I hope you get some rain from these storms. Cooler weather is going to be such a relief.

Those hollyhocks are so lovely.

Shady Gardener said...

Randy!! That is an amazing structure!! You are so talented! (Have you shown a photo of your bottle wall lately?) I need to search your site. :-)

I'm understanding the heat - truly. Do you realize it was so hot (111 degrees?) last Thursday, I actually stayed in the house ALL Afternoon and Read A Book!?! ha.

Hope we both get rain soon.

tina said...

The new decks look so inviting! Ceiling fans and all. What a pretty swallowtail and dragonfly. I too find Susans to be not so drought tolerant. I don't understand how everyone says they do so well no matter what. Hopefully they will keep on blooming and no more droughts@!

Carol said...

Hi Randy,

It is fun to finally see you. You are doing so fabulously with your bees . . . you would think you had been at it for twenty years or more. Beautiful butterfly capture! Your work . . . the deck and porch is stunning and blends in so naturally with the house and land. I wish you were nearby! I hope the heat wave has subsided for you too and that you are getting some rain. It turns out that many folk are reporting sightings of the Giant up here in Massachusetts. Global warming migrants. Hopefully you and Meg can get away for a few days at least . . . soon.

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