Spring is getting away from me!April 13, 2010
The month is nearly 1/2 over and I haven’t written anything since the end of March! It hasn’t been for lack of anything to say it has been for lack of any time to say it.
The last couple of weeks have seemed particularly crazy, probably because the kids had some time off from school but my husband and I did not. The following week my husband had a conference in Denver to go to for a few days. The kids are old enough to be a help rather than a hindrance and we were fine on our own, but just all that changing of schedules makes things a little crazy. On top of that a group of my students were presenting some research we did. It is a large-scale survey of beekeepers and a beekeeper and fellow educator from about 3 hours away has helped us out. He came down for the presentation and we all went to lunch and then the exhibition. Again, not a problem, a good thing (my students did a great job explaining the research to everyone who wanted to hear), but still an additional stressor.
[n this picture from the paper my research group is right at the top of the page. Hayley’s head is cut off, you can barely see Rebecca, Larry is the beekeeper/educator/consultant, then Candice and Anne.]
Back to stressors. My son’s track season has started, so now there are often two or three meets a week to attend. The first one of the season was a windy chilly afternoon. But it was a good day for my son who had some good performances and a couple of personal bests.
Track means rearranging piano lessons for my son to who knows when. And my daughter still has her dance classes and piano lessons to work in to the mix. Meanwhile the yard and garden are beckoning. My husband has cleared and tilled the vegetable garden and has planted about a quarter of it. He’s the sewer, I’m the harvester – I’m not sure now it worked out that way, but it works for us. I am clearing the flower beds one at a time. The edging needs fixing on a few of them too, a nice task for a pleasant evening – if we could find one when we’re home.
The yard is in need of the first mow of the season and we missed an opportunity. My son came home and was at loose ends – he was so bored he actually offered to mow, but alas the mower isn’t up and running yet. [Yes, I know a riding mower is not green – someday we’ll invest in a greener alternative – but at the moment it is the only way to deal with about an acre of yard (it is primarily grass, but we it is definitely not a lawn)].
Finally, yesterday I had a project to finish up and two classes to teach. Done. It means I am now caught up by the skin of my teeth in my classes – not at all ahead, but at least caught up. On Tuesdays I work from home, the weather is beautiful and my body has had enough of this go go go (as evidenced by the cold sore that popped out on my lip) so I did no more “real” work other than what I needed to do for classes tomorrow. Otherwise I’m trying to chill a bit.
Part of my chilling out today involved attending to the the bees – not that they appreciated it. They had built some comb straight up into an empty box that I had on top of their hive for feeding them this winter. When I saw it the weather was too chilly to do anything about it so I put some more frames in the box, some with comb from last year, in hopes that they’d give up on their project and use the lovely drawn stuff. Nope – when I got in there today, about a week and a half later, they had 3 more good size pieces of comb built with connecting pieces too. So today I needed to cut off those pieces of comb (using some smoke to persuade most of the bees to get off of it) and rubberband them into empty frames. The bees will fix up the comb and attach it to the frame so it doesn’t fall out when the bands eventually fail. I felt like a real beekeeper – and I didn’t get stung either!
And speaking of bees. This weekend I go and get my package of bees to replace the colony that died. I think I have their new home already and waiting for them, but I should check on it this evening. New bees are a sure sign that spring is here to stay.
Another sure sign is asparagus! We had our first taste last week – looks like we’ll be able to have it with dinner tomorrow night too. After that it will start coming in fast and furious and we’ll eventually be sick of it. My husband will pickle some, I’m sure. I think I should freeze some too – we can make some asparagus soup this winter with it.
This year, because I’m reading more blogs from around the country I’m more aware of how much earlier spring comes to some parts of the country and then again, how some parts aren’t anywhere near where we are now. It is the time of year when spring doesn’t just mosey along but instead sprints ahead. One day there are barely any buds on the tree, the next there are blossoms. One day the bees have a little extra errant comb, a week later there is 2 frames worth. I wish my own life weren’t so hectic so I could sit back and watch it all happen.