We have planted some very tiny akeakes that I have pulled from the side of the verges as I am out walking. They are so tiny that they are not visible, only the stakes mark the spot, but from tiny acorns mighty oaks grow. And they were free.
The next photo only shows one side of the house frontage and three quarters of the bark.
We used the little bullie to move the bark, then I spread, god it challenges unused muscles in the upper arms and surprisingly the thighs. Need to get back on the bike and get fit, walking just doesn't do it.
We did all this saturday morning before the heat set in, it was a very hot morning so we knew it was only going to get hotter. Plus it was the Wairarapa Balloon festival weekend. We had already been down to Henley Lake at 7.30am to see them lift off and do the dash and splash so we had had an early start and decided to make the most of the day.
Later that day I spent some time finishing a block on my patchwork quilt, ready for class Monday, I am behind the other 5 students so feeling guilty.
Sunday night and Dave getting rapidly unwell from what turned out to be camphylerbacter, we decided to take the honey off the hive. Suited up, smoker lit the newbies got underway. Actually it was so straight forward as the bee excluder worked like a treat. Dave lifted off the honey box, I stuck the mite strips into the lower box and stuck the lid back on. We brushed off the few bees that remained in the honey and straight into the kitchen. I had already set up my bucket with muslin, everything scrupiously sanitised and tools laid out ready to scrape the honey off the frames. It was such a hot day that the honey was very warm and runny and scraping was a breeze. We then hung the bucket with muslin, honey and wax into the wardrobe that houses the hot water cylinder and solar panel system. A very warm cupboard, within 1 and 1/2 hours we had 7 litres of honey dripped through. The colour is golden and I wish this blog had a smell tool, it is the most fragrant aroma coming from that bucket.
I am hoping to read one of the many books I have borrowed from the library on bees and related bee subjects to learn how to turn the large amount of wax into something useful, maybe candles.
I was also hoping to have the honey in jars by Monday night but Dave has got a real nasty bug and all tasks unrelated to looking after him have gone on hold.
And today the kitchen sink has blocked up, called out the plumber at 5.00pm to find out that this new high tech sink has a filter system that does not allow anything other than liquids to be poured down it. Tea leaves do not qualify and pots full of leaf were extracted from the pipes that go back to November. Someone should have told me, or we should have bought a simple old fashioned sink that managed to dispose of everything.
I have been watching River Cottage Road Trip between writing this and he has just made rosehip syrup, on my daily walk down the hill from home there is a lake. On this lake edge there are a number of wild roses with the same hips he used. Yes, I will have to pick a kilo of hips and try his recipe, he said it was like a caribbean cocktail. Might enhance the nightly gin.