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Friday, May 14, 2004

Book Recommendation

A Book of Bees : And How to Keep Them by Sue Hubbell

Back in early April, I mentioned one of Sue Hubbell's other books, A Country Year: Living the Questions, where she writes about her time living in the Ozarks and raising bees as a profession.

While A Country Year was meant as entertaining reading, this book is Hubbell giving you clean and excellent information on the keeping of bees, along with some of the poetic language from A Country Year. Just like that book, I will finish this book in a day or two, as it pulls me through the various seasons of the beekeeper. Winter is prep time. Spring brings hard work and maintenance. Fall is harvest and preparing the hives for Winter.

I get fixated on ideas somehow, and Hubbell's books are feeding my current fixation on bees. My neighbors hive, clearly visible from my back yard, has grown more interesting. It gives me a life model to explore my newly gained knowledge without completely suiting up in bee gear. It is heartening to know that the flowers and trees in my garden benefit from these bees, as much as the bees benefit from them.

Other books by Sue Hubbell

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Jacaranda and Mimosa

The Jacaranda mimosifolia is quite popular in Southern California. In some areas, entire streets are planted with these trees, yielding an overwhelming puple scene at this time of year.

Here are some pictures from the neighborhood.

The term mimosifolia comes from the similarity of the Jacaranda's leaves to the Mimosa, or sensitive plant. Here is a photo of one example from just up the street.

Indiana.edu has some wonderful QuickTime movies showing the reaction of the mimosa to heat or touch stimulus.

Wildflowers Make Us ‘Mad With Joy’

Senior Life Magazine has a great article on where to see California Wildflowers. It details exact locations and also provides info on Carol Leigh's "Wildflower Hotsheet, a prime resource for explorers seeking wildflowers, depends on photographers who mail her reports."

I found out about this article via CalPhoto, a YahooGroups mailing list for photographers throughout California. It often contains info on where the flowers are blooming and when.

Monday, May 10, 2004

A few new things...

Trying out a few new things that Blogger.com has provided on their site.

You will now notice a "comments" link below each message. I am also posting
this message via the email posting service in order to test it out.

Be Well!

One small job a day

In my on-going effort to try and catch-up on my garden work, I am trying to do one small task each day. Bigger garden projects are made out of any number of small steps, so I am trying to take it one step at a time.

This evening, as things started to cool down before dinner, Joe, Rosanne and I set to cleaning out the long bed near the back door. This bed has the largest concentrations of bulbs and most of the foliage is now spent. I am always careful to let the leaves remain after the blooms are done, so that the bulbs can recharge for next year.

The cleanup only took about 30 minutes, but this is one less thing I will have to worry about as I prepare for our big summer garden party, which takes place in about a month. This bed is in a very high traffic area, so everyone sees it. Hopefully our little task today will ensure that it looks nice when the guests arrive.