peony, pink flower

Bloomin’ and Buzzin’, My Garden Beckons

This is one of those rare weeks when I have no new artwork to show you (although I am working on remedying that) and no new art news to share with you (although hopefully next week I’ll have something news-y to post).

Since I’m completely art-less, I figured I’d get snap happy in the garden and show off a few things that are blooming and buzzing, and providing some inspiration for future art projects.

First Stop on the Tour: Take That You Vile Slugs!

Since I have a rather shady garden, I have to make the most out of every millimeter of sunny space I can find. So, not only do we have raised beds for veggies lining our driveway, but the south side of my house is also decorated with a raised bed and plenty of pots.

tomato plant

A (future) bushel of tomatoes.

Sadly, at the beginning of the month, I mistakingly thought it was spring (silly me) and set about to planting all the veggies and fruits I’d started from seed. Days later, not only did the Portland area get slapped with a freakish cold spell, but the slugs made a buffets of all my babies. Once warm weather was back in the forecast, I had to resort to getting new veggie plants from the nursery. Continue reading

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bees, honeybee, topbar hive

Bees Don’t Sweat

And to all those who remember a certain deodorant campaign, no, bees don’t perspire either.

Although those of us in Portlandia are now suffering from a resurgence of icky, cold, rainy weather, we did get a brief taste of summer recently with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s a sweltering 38 degrees to the metric folks out there). While I was able to cool off with a few gallons of iced tea and plenty of sweat (perspiration?), my bees are sadly lacking in both refrigeration technology and sweat glands.

So what’s a bee to do when the hot days hit?

Life Inside the Hive

Continue reading

Finn McSpool Enters The Land of Wine & Honey

As my loyal followers might remember, last year I delved into the wonderful world of winemaking, and that a few months ago I bravely bottled my boozey concoctions. Well, I recently hit the earliest aging time for fruit wine. Sure, sure, longer aging would lead to a smoother wine, but after having those bottles taunting me for six months, I had to have a sample.

wine, homemade wine, wine bottle

Of course, I didn’t want to drink alone so I invited my new friend from Dublin, Finn McSpool (created by Crawcrafts Beasties), to join me.

IMG_1568

But prior to getting down to our wine tasting, we had to check on the bees…not a chore you want to do under the influence. Continue reading

bees, beekeeping, top bar hive

Well, Hello Ladies! AKA “Saying Hi to My Bees”

When people ask me how many pets I have, my response is a quick “Four cats and two guinea pigs.” After getting the Are-You-A-Crazy-Cat-Lady look, the conversation continues on to either cute things the cats do (if talking to a fellow cat lover) or on to other topics (if talking to a normal person). But in the back of my mind I’m always cursing myself for forgetting to mention my thousands of other pets: my bees.

bees, beekeeping, top bar hive

What about me?

It’s Bee Time!!

Except for a couple days when the rain gods reminded us that we do indeed live in the Northwest, the weather over the past week has been amazingly warm and sunny here in Portland. This meant, in addition to the usual garden chores, it was time to take a peek into my beehive and see what the ladies were up to. Continue reading

A Little Beekeeping Rant

This week, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I left yet another Facebook beekeeping group because I could no longer take people’s complete idiocy (my Idiocracy tolerance is quite low). I tried to tolerate it mainly because i enjoy seeing pictures of people’s hives and bees, but the stupidity just got too high….especially the questions people were asking.

Now I can understand that odd things come up in beekeeping for which you may want input from a group – things like robbing and trouble with yellow jackets. But when you’re asking basic questions like why are my bees kicking other bees out of the hive or do I need to hose off my bees when it’s hot out, I have to wonder and shake my head at the fact that you clearly never bothered to learn ANYTHING about bees or beekeeping before you jumped onto this bandwagon as if it were a trend that was no more difficult than growing kale. Continue reading