2.21.2011 Small Steps

We’ve had a lovely run of mild weather (not counting the ferocious winds) and this morning’s sunrise revealed a flush of green in the grass reminiscent of a five o’clock shadow. There was also a wash of red on one of the big trees behind the chicken coop. A maple. How lovely. It’s very old and a good chunk of it needs to come down before it hurts someone, but, hey, I’ve got a maple! Maybe I should get out there with a drill and a bucket and see if I can get some sap with which to make syrup.

Kids were off from school today for President’s Day. Naturally, I scheduled their dentists appointments for today. No cavities, but my oldest has to have his last two wisdom teeth out. Really soon. Like tomorrow. But we settled for next Monday.

The thing is, going all the way into town for a dentist appointment pretty much sucked up most of the morning and some of the afternoon. I got home to find my Buff Orpington happily brooding away on the three golf balls I stuffed under late last night. My husband thinks this is a brilliant idea. In 21 days we’ll have golf balls with wings and we ought to be able to sell those for some serious money to aspiring golf pros.

Today, the egg take was only four from the other chickens. I’m stashing them, unrefrigerated until I have 10 or 12 ready to go. (Orpingtons are big girls, close to 9 lbs.) Probably tomorrow or Wednesday night is when I’ll make the swap. So exciting to have a broody hen! If all goes well, I’ll have a dozen chicks that have a $2 profit margin built in that none of my hatchery chicks will have. Course they won’t be purebreds, but I figure once the feathers are off, or the eggs come out, no one but the readers of this blog will know. Since there are less than a half dozen of you, I’m thinking the chicks are golden.


I also visited the beehives today. They are still working on the fondant from weeks ago. I saw a lot of workers bringing back loads of pollen from the maples and plenty of capped honey. I didn’t see any brood on the frames but I didn’t check them all or even search for the queens. Today was just about checking their food supply, tidying up a bit and trying very hard not to run screaming from the hives every time the bees got annoyed. Today was all about overcoming the fear I have of my bees. I had to stop a couple of times and just breathe and three times I had to step away from the hives, take off my veil and allow the bees who were buzzing inside the veil to escape. I didn’t get stung. Not once. That I felt at any rate. I think I may have taken a couple of hits on my hands, but I was in full kit today, and the stingers didn’t make it through my gloves. I don’t know that today’s inspection left me a confident beekeeper, but I no longer dread going back in there.

I guess you could call that progress. Sort of like hearing “no cavities” or having a broody hen. Small steps. In the right direction. Not bad for a Monday.

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