Photo Essay: Comings and Goings of the Past Week

May 1, 2020

This week it has rained quite a bit on Cape Cod. We’ve had stolen glimpses of sunshine and took full advantage of those infrequent moments. Living in the Northeast, I always feel that we are behind much of the country. We still don’t have any leaves on our trees yet, although we can finally see some buds. Spring bulbs are beginning to emerge and life reunfurls before my very eyes.

Daffodils, tulips and grape hyacinths are still the stars of the garden. I have some Solomon’s Seal near the foundation of the house and it always seems to pop up first.

I love the little white delicate flowers especially after a spring rainfall. They are so very delicate and fairy-like. They are like candy for early pollinators.

And of course, the May Apples arrive right on time with their tiny little umbrella like leaves to catch the drops of rain. I planted a couple in the back of our property with hopes that the will fill in the forest floor. They grow on a rhizome and this year there are seven. Gardening is full of patience.

The beaches are still open here on Cape Cod, although the weather has been less than welcoming. This misty day found myself and another lone walker in the distance. Some days, you just need to hear the pounding of the sea to the shore. It’s here that I find so cleansing to my soul.

My daughter and I finally got to all the cut and dried lavender that I harvested from last fall. It dried to beautifully in the garden shed and this week we are planning on making lavender sachets as tiny little gifts. We spent a couple of hours just sitting, talking and listening to the natural world around us as we removed each dried bloom from the stalk. It smelled wonderful.

This is the back garden that rarely gets photo coverage from me, but it too is turning quite green and the button bushes that fill the vernal pool seen in the distance will soon be leafing out. One of the places you will frequently find me is in those Adirondack chairs. My beehives are also down there too. Can you see them peeking through?

I lost one of my beehives in the beginning of March. It was doing so well, or so it seemed. But it seems as though the numbers were just not there to survive. It most likely died during a cold snap.  So, I took it apart and cleaned it all out. There are plenty of honey stores for the new bees that will arrive in a few weeks. There is even enough honey for me to hopefully harvest, if I can get my hands on the club’s extractor.

I took a photo of a close up of the bees on the screened bottom board of the hive that died. They were all still so beautiful. If you look up closely, you can see the varroa mites on the bees. A rare glimpse of this terrible mite that is, in my opinion, one of the biggest threats to our honeybees.

You can see the varroa mites, those tiny round brown dots, on the bees in the lower portion of this photo. Even though this hive was treated late summer, it probably was not enough.  Did you know that it was recently discovered that the varroa mites feed on the bee’s fat bodies instead of bee lymph as previously thought.  I’ll be sure to write a blog post about that soon for you.

Finally, the chickens are still laying up a spring storm.  The kids and I went back and we figured out that the flock of seven we have now is made up of girls that are five and four years old. The girls are still as curious and happy and enjoy the time that we are home with them even more so. The chickens enjoy being out more with us in the yard and seeing them doing their chicken things makes my heart happy.

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Melissa

Sharing adventures with backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, crafting, cooking and more.

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About me

Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.