Harvest time

21 September 2013 8:31am | Posted by Alex

Harvest time!

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One of the younguns started laying!

15 September 2013 5:36pm | Posted by Alex

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Launch Day

25 July 2013 1:12pm | Posted by Alex


Tasting the ropes:

Ready to head to the lake:

Christening her Wren:

Off we go:

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Just paint and varnish to go

14 July 2013 7:49pm | Posted by Alex

The outside of the hull is painted, she's right side up, and the mast fits nicely. All that's left is to paint the inside, varnish the seats and spars, and add some bunks to the trailer. With any luck, we'll bring her down to Mirror Lake next weekend and get her wet.

Joy's mother made her a flag:

All the spars hanging up to be varnished:

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Nearly ready for launch

26 June 2013 11:05am | Posted by Alex

Lots more progress this weekend on getting her ready for launch. We're down to a ever shrinking punch list of things that have to happen before we splash her. Photos below the cut.

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29 May 2013 4:50pm | Posted by Alex

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Shellback Update

26 May 2013 10:38am | Posted by Alex

I just realized it's been quite a while since I posted any photos of the boat. I've made quite a bit of progress since the last update.

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Bees settling in

17 May 2013 7:24pm | Posted by Alex

Yesterday evening we opened up the hive to take a first look at how they're settling in. It looks good in there. They've begun making use of all 4 of the empty frames they got when we installed them into the hive body. There are healthy looking larva and plenty of capped brood, even on some of the new frames, so the queen has clearly been busy. We haven't seen her yet, but with all the evidence of her activity we're not worried.

This year we interleaved the additional frames with the 5 from the nuc, which isn't what what the books recommend (mostly they say to keep the existing frames in exactly the same pattern that they come in), but seems to be encouraging them to spread throughout the hive body better than last year. They had covered the frames they had densely enough that we added the second hive body. It's frames are just undrawn foundation, but if the spring keeps up like it has so far they should be drawing those out soon.

This afternoon, the weather was perfect and they were, well, busy as bees.

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And the bees again

29 April 2013 12:38pm | Posted by Alex

Remember how surprised we were in mid-winter that the bees had made it that long? Well, unsurprisingly they didn't make it all the way to spring. This year we're moving the hive to the other side of the property so they aren't disturbed by the noise and wind of traffic. Between that and giving them a full hive body of drawn comb to start off, we're hoping that our hive will be a pleasant enough place to live that they won't swarm. Here's hoping.

Last night I went over to Merrimack Valley Apiaries in Billerica to pick up a Nuc. We'd ordered one last fall, figuring either we'd need it or we wouldn't mind a second hive. Good choice, as it turns out we sure needed it. Bees are surprisingly calm around dusk and the nuc was in a mesh bag under a sheet, so the car ride was quiet. But they were angry to be opened up just at sunset and moved into the hive. One tenacious little lady in particular followed me around for five or so minutes after I'd finished, repeatedly crashing into my veil, so I wandered around the yard until she got distracted and went home. This morning they're out in full force, busily mapping the neighborhood.

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Chickens come, Chickens go

25 April 2013 5:54pm | Posted by Alex

We've not had great luck with the chickens this year. Dotty, the last of the Wyandottes, died a week or so ago. Here she is right before she got sick.

Red, our last remaining chicken, has finished her course of antibiotics, just in case, but she's awfully lonely. She's taken to following Owen around the yard whenever he goes out to play and has nearly followed Joy on walks around the neighborhood. Last night she hung about roosting on the railing of the front stairs just to be close to her "flock".

She'll be less lonely soon though, as her new flock was born yesterday and arrived home today. There are a pair of Golden Comets, a pair of Easter Eggers, and a pair of Speckled Sussex now cheeping in the corner of the office. These guys are active, excited, and hungry. They all figured out the chicken nipple right.

Much like last year, the cats are desperate to get in.

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