Sunday, May 24, 2009

Special Report- Bee Attacks Man, Man Turns into Rodent

My husband has a nice nose. Just look at the above photograph. It took a honey bee to help me appreciate the beauty of my husband's nose. One of our sweet bees was in a bad mood this weekend and decided she wanted to take Glenn down (he was quietly watching the hive from ten feet away). She circled Glenn a couple of times before stinging him right on the nose.

Is he a rat? Is he a squirrel? I haven't made up my mind. Thank you bee for reminding me what an attractive fellow I married. And thank goodness swelling goes away.

In other bee news, we decided to do another inspection this week and found that the hives seem to be strong. We found plenty of eggs and larvae in both hives and could locate both queens.

Here are a couple of fun honey bee pictures I took this week.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Snake Update

Look who we found today. When Oliver heard that our snake was out in the garden he made sure to put his snake boots on. We strive for safety in this family. Here is Oliver showing me the snake ("Snakiss").

Otter (our cat) finally noticed Snakiss and jumped a mile in the air. The butterfly, however, appears to be unfazed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Snake Saves the Day

We have a gopher in the garden. He has been creating tunnels under our peas and destroying them one by one. The battle between Glenn and the gopher has been intense this week. One could find Glenn in the garden digging up Gopher holes, filling in gopher holes, putting road flare smoke into holes, and even setting our cat over a hole. The gopher has won every battle by digging new tunnels, avoiding the smoke and laughing at our inept cat.

Then this beautiful gopher snake came into our lives. My sister and her family accidently picked up the snake (it climbed under their car and hid for a week) while visiting the Carrizo Plain. My sister gave this wonderful gift to Glenn after she learned of his gopher problems.

Here is a picture of my mom holding the snake. She was the only one brave enough to touch the snake so I could photograph him. I made her wear our bee gloves.

We put the hungry snake into the gopher's most recent hole. So far the snake appears to be winning. We have not lost any vegetables to the gopher in the last twenty four hours. We did, however, lose some trees to deer and have a new bug eating our artichoke plant. And the battle continues....

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Glenn's Garden

I take no credit for the wonderful vegetables growing in our front yard. Glenn and Oliver have planted nearly every seed, watered every plant and pulled every weed. We moved into our house about a year ago. The place where our garden now grows used to be fill dirt, plastic, rocks and ugly pompous grass. Glenn wasted no time moving out rocks and moving in sheep and horse manure. By June of last year, Glenn had a small vegetable garden growing. This year we have already eaten peas, artichoke, beets and chard from the garden.

This first shot is of the garden in June 2008.

Glenn put in an irrigation system this year which saves him several hours a week. This is our garden in March 2009.

April 2009

May 2009

On a side note, I found this lizard living in our artichoke plant eating ants. Oh, how I love reptiles!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lip Balm Give Away

Glenn is taking a Master Gardener program through the UC system in California. He is learning so much about seed saving, irrigation, plant disease and native species. One of Glenn's assignments is to show some flowers and vegetables at the Mid-State Fair. I thought it would be fun to make it a family affair and show some of my pictures at the fair too. Here are three shots I took yesterday for the "Nature" category.

I wanted to do a lip balm give away on my blog so here it is. Just comment or e-mail me at and let me know if I should enter the lizard or one of butterfly pictures.

***I'm already changing my own rules. On Wednesday I will put all of your names (those who e-mail or comment) into a "hat" and pick one. That way everyone will have an equal chance! The winner will receive two lip balm scents of their choice.