Monday, October 25, 2010

Fit for TWO Queens

The girls knew something was up when they were allowed free range in the garden AND their hen house started being dismantled. What was most exciting was the unearthing of creeping and crawling things for them. Then the real fun began. I had decided earlier in the spring that it was time to replace the old hen house and run with something more suited to their place in our life. I finally bit the bullet and purchased a "mini coop kit" from Horizon Structures. The kit arrived earlier in the week and I arranged with my friend Mike to put it together. With Mike's know-how it only took him three-and-a-half hours to assemble. I was nothing more than the gofer. I guess the description "mini" could be applied if the structure was on a larger "farm" than we have, but to us it looks gigantic. I plan on reworking the raised beds in the center of our "back 40" (feet, that is) to give more visual space. The beds are now more than 10 yrs old and the wood is starting to rot at the joints. It provides the perfect opportunity to redesign things. Call it a face lift for the garden. And who knows, there's lots of room for more hens . . .
Meanwhile, the bees with my help are getting ready for colder weather. They are being fed a thick sugar syrup with Honey-B-Healthy and Fumagilin-B to ward off Nosema. Also, soon I will place grease patties with wintergreen oil and trace mineral salts inside the hive to help them even further, through the colder months. It was a modest honey harvest, but sales were fast and furious for what there was.
I was able to enjoy bit of nature in the back yard after many weeks away. Every August we are visited by hummingbirds. Also, the monarchs are on their 3,000 mile trek to South America. This one met with an untimely death at the jaws of a preying mantis on our Bodelea. I look forward to more time in the garden next year.

1 comment:

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

That's an amazing shot of the mantis and the monarch!