Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beehives and Rainstorms

    This week has been the week of the bees. Well, maybe more the week of preparing for the bees. Monday afternoon I got out in the backyard and pruned the blackberry bush way back. Never fear, the blackberry bush got it's revenge. Countless times over, in fact. I now have a cut up hand and ripped up skirt as souvenirs. (Note to self, do not wear a skirt while working in the yard. As not only will it get torn to shreds when pruning blackberry and rose bushes, but it will get stepped on and muddy, and sometimes almost pulled off while crouching and standing in the garden.) As I was saying, I pruned the blackberry bush in the corner back, and used some of the bamboo polls and old lattice to rig up a lean-to/arbor for the berries to climb over and shelter the beehive. Come this spring we should have the beehive tucked away in its' own little secret garden in the corner with the bamboo growing on one side, the lilac bushes growing on the other, and the blackberries growing behind and over the top. And to water the bees and keep the dogs away, we will have finished the pond in front.

    Tuesday, while we had a dry fairly warm (50°F) day, I spray painted the roof of my hive copper. This weekend I plan to paint the body of the hive yellow, and next weekend I'll paint some blue flowers on it. We also plan to dig the rest of the pond and either pick up or order the pond liner. I can't wait for our mud pit to become a lovely water feature instead!

     Today I practiced a total disregard for the weather and dug up the back corner of the yard in the rain and hail...OK so in reality I slept in far too late, got up had breakfast, and then wasted an extra hour watching an episode of Green Wing on youtube. All the while the sun was playfully ducking in and out of the white fluffy clouds. I decided I better hurry my butt up and take advantage of this good weather since the forecast called for 80% chance of rain all day, and thus far no rain. Well, sod's law, just as I got some clothes on and grabbed the shovel from the front yard, the clouds rolled in. No problem. Just 'cause it's cloudy, does not mean it's going to rain this moment...
    Not ten minutes into digging up that corner and it starts raining. Not bothered. It's only a light rain, and I'm home all day. I can take a shower to warm up when I'm done, and have a nice hot cup of tea...Who knew Oregon had tropical typhoons?? OK, so it wasn't a typhoon, but it WAS a torrential downpour which came on as quickly as a typhoon. Needless to say, the chickens and I got the huge mound of dirt in the back yard dug up and some of it transfered to the raised beds in the front while the rest got piled around the pond as a dirt wall to give it more depth once the liner is installed. I put the girls in their coop when a waterfall started pouring out of my gutter into a small lake in front of their front door. I think I may need to remove some leaves from my gutter, what do you think? When I finally had enough, and was soaked through and wearing gobs of mud for shoes, I decided to dump the last wheel burrow load of dirt, cover the rototiller with the wheelbarrow (we cover the engine with the upside-down wheelbarrow to keep it dry until the Pallet Shed is complete), close the gate (no latch so we roll a large log in front to keep it closed), and head inside. How could it be any worse than torrential rain, muddy shoes, and soaked through clothes and hair? Why, hail of course! While I'm slipping through the mud trying to rush through all these last minute things it starts to hail. At this point, I'm starting to worry that with my luck this hail is going to become softball size and knock me out, so I rush through these last few tasks and book it inside. My sweater is hanging off of me and dripping all over the floor. I try to get as much mud off my tennis shoes as possible, but there are muddy foot prints all over the kitchen. At this point I can barely see where I'm going for all the water dripping down from my hair and running into my eyes. So I take a nice warm shower. I'm invigorated by my rainy outing and feeling quite warm and cozy after my shower. There's nothing like a shower after a long week of camping. Or a monsoon. I decide that if/when the rain stops I will go outside and measure the pond for ordering the liner...
    Well it's been about half an hour since my encounter with the storm and what should happen? As soon as I finished my shower the rain stopped. By the time I got dressed and put some shoes on, there were breaks in the clouds. As I continue to write this, the sun is out and shining, and the puddles have already disappeared. Hmph!
    Well, at least that back corner that has been bugging me for nearly two years is a little more leveled out finally. I got to have fun in the rain. The chickens caught a few worms. My dogs got to sneak into the front yard for a good bark. And I get to go back to watching another episode of Green Wing, while the sun streams through my window and the wind whips the chimes around outside.

 The girls helping me dig in the backyard...well, maybe they were really looking for worms...

I promised a couple pictures of the coop :o)

Pond in progress (that concrete plate in the center is where our downspout drains to, so we're going to turn it into an island)

The sun has come back out and is shining down on my newly added dirt pile in one of the raised beds.


  1. It's looking great, Kat! And the girls look pretty happy to be clucking at your feet, too. =)

    Are the dogs having fun with all the changes going on outside?

  2. The dogs are dumb. They're just happy to have a yard to run around and bark in. :o) But seriously, they really don't seem to notice the difference. Tanner likes to play "balance-beam-walker" on the raised edge of the pond though.