Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn, my God, do you learn.

-C.S. Lewis

Stream In January

Stream In January

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

One last time, I hope.

The Old Farmer's Almanac forecasted a blizzard for this coming weekend. They missed the date, but not the event. Snow started falling around 1:00am Tuesday morning and continued until 5:00pm. Snow totalled over a foot. We were fortunate to have been spared the howling winds that usually accompany a blizzard. I hope this is the end of it. We have had over 4' of snow in WNC this winter. Combined with the 100" of rain that fell last year, our ground water levels should be in excellent shape for the coming spring and summer. I stepped out with camera and noticed a strange lump on the back deck. That lump turned out to be Ansley, our border collie/chow mix. Ansley spends a lot of time in the house, but loves to be outside in the snow. Even as I snapped pictures, she was content to sleep in the snow. There was about 6" of snow at 11:30.

This is what the back deck and garden looked like at 3:30. That's a foot of snow on the small table.

We shoveled out today. Even though this was a heavy snow, a good bit of it has melted today. The temps have warmed to the upper 30's and the wind has picked up a bit to blow most snow off the trees. Looks like spring could be on the way for the weekend. Highs my reach close to 60!!!!! Bees will be buzzing. Speaking of bees......

Ora bees are looking good. Walter bees were bringing in pollen last year in February, but I've seen no sign of pollen this year as most everything has been buried in snow since December. On warm days, Ora bees are taking heavy sugar syrup and Mega-Bee pollen. Unfortunately, I'm hearing of heavy losses of bees in the mountains this year due to starvation. I lost my Walter hive in mid-January.

Our Smoky Mountain Beekeepers Assoc. is hosting a Beginner Bee School on Saturday. Robert Brewer, from Hiawassee, Georgia, will be our speaker. We are expecting about 80 participants.
I'll post pictures from the event next week.

Plans for the coming season in the garden have been slow to fulfill this winter due to the bad weather and heavy snowfalls, but include a new shed for my tools and "stuff". (Mark and Steve are way ahead of me and I'm envious.) We're going to move the big compost boxes and make room for 3 more hives - 2 of which I hope will be TopBar Hives. G has already cleared the area where the hives will be located. I'm doing this to take advantage of a little more sunlight on the hives.

I've gotten involved in the Community Garden in Sylva after taking last summer off. I'll post more about that as things progress, but I'm delighted to be back there even though the distance is about 23 miles from the house. I hope to get there on Sunday and start mulching my plot. I already feel like I'm behind.

Think Spring!!! Oh, and I forgot about the chickens. Like I don't have anything else to do, I've been reading about chickens all winter and we're planning for a chicken coop that may be part of the shed. Haven't quite worked out the details or the area. I've been told about Golden Comet chickens that are quite good layers and I also want chicks that lay green eggs. Can't remember the name there, but have a friend who has these girls. The eggs are not large, but the yolks are creamy, golden yellow. Very good. Hope to start with a dozen chicks in mid-March. I've got a lot to do!!!!

Check out my good friends, Kelley and Quintin's, new website for another great view of rural life in WNC. www.balltownbeefarm.com