Friday, May 27, 2022

Country Days! Family, Cats, Art, Bees and a Walkabout.......

 Mama Kitty has been visiting us daily ever since we arrived!

I'm happy I brought some food cat food with us!
They are happy about a free meal they do not have to work for!

Speaking of meals......
Roy and Ruth Ann paid us a visit here at the ranch on Wednesday afternoon.
We all sat on the deck and talked and laughed and had a good time together!

Louis Dean made us his famous 'goulash' aka 'hamburger stew!'
I thought goulash has pasta of some kind in it.
Not his!
Hamburger, onions, celery, potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans......
Sherry brought deviled eggs and garlic toast while Ruth Ann brought a cake for dessert.

I made the salad and pepper poppers!

It was a good meal and we all ate out on the deck.

I love hearing everyone talk.
It's like my favorite sound!
Guys talking to guys and ladies to ladies and then everyone together!
There was Roy and Ruth Ann, Grandson Robert, Dean and Sherry and US!

Even the cats had dinner with us.
Roy has such a soft heart for critters.
They may have had the broth from our soup tonight!

This is the boy cat from the litter Amber and I got our sweet kittens from.
He was big and fat last time we were here so we are thinking he got locked up somewhere because he is skinny now! But not for long because we are feeding him every day now!

This was my view on Thursday morning!

O'm determoned to get caught up on some of my art projects!
Those sunflowers block the view to the garden.

Here is Louis Dean tending to his plants.
He had to pull up several rogue sunflowers which had invaded his space!

At last!
I finished this painting for my friend, Tim!
When I told him about it on Facebook, he said he could use some prayers right now....
he loves the Lord and we love him and are asking God to take care of whatever his needs are.

I based in the hummingbird painting for Louis Dean and this encouraged my heart so much!
I was beginning to think I forgot how to paint.

I am embarrassed that I can NOT get Louis Dean's face painted!
I've prayed and painted and wiped it off and prayed and painted again.
Now I am giving up and will hang this canvas high on a wall at home and perhaps the day will come when I can take it down and finish his face.

I'm calling this one done!

Lots of new projects are being planned as in this bluebonnet landscape,
I do better with landscapes.

Tonight Louis Dean and I took a walkabout the ranch during the Golden Hour.
We walk down this road until you come to the junction.....

and turn left toward the apiary.

All the foragers are bacj home by now except for the last few stragglers.

I dearly love to hear the HUM of a good healthy hive.

We have four gives right now.

All four full of happy healthy bees producing some sweet honey for our summer harvest!

We walked around the duck pond and I got some cracked corn from the feed truck and put the ducks up. Dean and Sherry were out and about collecting bees from a rescue situation.

Sherry has such pretty chickens!!

The amazing photo above is from a friend's Facebook page and the photographer gave me permission to use it here on the blog. It's so perfect!

So...Sherry told me yesterday that the 'Speaker Box Bees' - which she and Dean had worked so hard to rescue and all three of us had worked to get them into a hive last month - had absconded. They went out to check them three days after introducing a new ($40) queen and they had totally accepted her - and then another few days later they checked on the hive and no one was home! No dead bees. Just NO bees! They were GONE!

We are learning all the time and the more we know - the more we know we NEED to know!
Sherry said next time she'll use a queen excluder.

So last night and again tonight - she and Dean were out rescuing another hive.
Someone had already been out and taken the queen bee and a cluster of others.
But the guy took them early in the afternoon while all the workers and foragers were still out.
The homeowners were NOT happy when all those bees returned!
That's when they called Dean and Sherry and that's where they went tonight to set up a swarm box to catch the rest of the bees.
They will be out again early in the morning before the bees wake up so they can close up the swarm box and bring those bees back to apiary and add them to one of our existing hives.

Beekeeping  is not easy. It's actually a lot of trouble and very time and energy consuming.
You have to have your wits about you and you need to plan things out.
But it is worth it all when you harvest the honey and open that honey gate on the extractor and see all that golden honey flow into the honey bucket!

We are hoping and praying for a good honey harvest this summer!!


Hootin' Anni said...

Incredible efforts from you beekeepers! And in turn, you educate us all who visit!! I never realized so much work is involved....great get together photos and fabulous meal ..for the kitties too. And last but not least, I adore you sharing your art work!!!!

Vee said...

Oh that's not good that they all took off...was the Queen responsible for that behavior? Nice to know that she had been accepted.

I have a kitty visitor most days who looks a lot like Mama Kitty. Mine sleeps nearly all day on the potting bench that John made me. I miss her when she doesn't show up.

Your art work is always beautiful and I am glad that you have the opportunity to paint in the country.

Fun to have guests whom you don't see too often anymore.

Have a blessed weekend...

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Your art work is beautiful but as for me, I guess I did forget how to paint. I haven't done anything at all for over a year. I used to enjoy if very much. You definitely have lots of beautiful country there to get inspiration from. I will join you in praying for your friend and hope all works out for the best. Enjoy all your country critters there!

MadSnapper said...

I am laughing so hard at the absconding queen bee and her flock. too funny. maybe she will bring them back. your art is beautiful and i think make his face a blank and some day finish it. it looks just like him except for the face. maybe you will be inspired in the future. print a photo and cut out the face and glue it on???

Robin from P'ville said...

All you have to do is paint Louis Dean handsome and call it good. 😊

photowannabe said...

Love your art work and I like the character feeling of LD in that painting. The time will come when you want to "finish" it but I actually like it as it is.
Boy, those bees are a lot of work but the result is so SWEET.
So much to learn about the comings and goings of bees..I know so little.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Thank you, Linda, for visiting my blog "Closed Doors, Open Windows". It's always so nice to meet new friends here in blogland. You look like some friendly, busy, happy folks! Your beekeeping business does look like a lot of busy bee work!! LOL. I don't think I could manage that very well, but my hat is off to those of you who do! Your meal with friends and family looked wonderful! I love meals put together like that...always the best kind with good people to share it with. Thank you for visiting and I look forward to getting better acquainted as the days go by!

Brenda said...

Looks like Pam has visited your blog…I like both of you and your blogs.thank you for keeping politics out of your journals…love your insights and family and that dear husband…Pam is so so sweet…you will love her blog too.

Carole said...

Bees do seem like a lot of work - but what results! cheers

Changes in the wind said...

The paintings look great even if you didn't paint LD face. I wonder why that queen bee left a perfectly good hive, seems odd to me but I know very little about bees. Glad you are enjoying your time in the country, it agrees with you.

Debbie said...

i will hope for good honey for you as well!! good luck with it!!

i love eating outdoors...or maybe i love the thought of it. first there are always so many bugs, then the temperature feels to hot, the food gets cold quickly...

i think it is mostly the bugs....

your paintings are lovely, i really like the one of ld!!

Debbie said...

gorgeous hummingbird also...i forgot to say that!!