Glory Downs Farm

Glory Downs Farm

Thursday, January 26, 2012

For your listening pleasure.

"Tails in the WIndSun."

Who knew a group of chicken butts could

Don't see the art in this?

What's wrong with you?
Maybe need to study some post modernism or cube art stuff. 


"Some Pig!"

"And so Wilbur came home to his beloved manure pile in the barn cellar. Around his neck, he wore a medal of honor. In his mouth, he held a sack of spider's eggs."

I'm secretly hoping that someone will read this quote who hasn't had the pleasure of reading "Charlotte's Web." If they have not read the book- then I hope that they look at this quote from it with a great amount of uncomfortableness and unease. 

"Ohhhhhhh do you let someone know if your hotcakes are selling well????"

Its a rather big microphone.

But when you have a big singing voices, one is needed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Andy Dufresne

"Turns out Andy's favorite hobby was totin' his wall out into the exercise yard, a handful at a time.  Andy decided he'd been here just about long enough. Andy did like he was told, buffed those shoes to a high mirror shine. The guards simply didn't notice. Neither did I... I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a mans shoes? Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of  smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to. Five hundred yards... that's the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile."

We have a chicken that escapes daily. 

It took us a bit to figure out how she did it. No holes to climb thru. The fence too high for her to jump over.....not sure how she did it.

Until David saw her on the roof.

Seems as if she figured out that she can jump on the water pail, and launch herself onto the roof, then hop onto Fort Knox section of the yard, and onto the grassy ground.

Each day I go out there and hustle her back into the coop.

Now do you remember when I said that we named the new yard "Shawshank?"  We named it that, knowing that one day a chicken WILL figure out how to get out of that yard. Well this chicken did, which is why I aptly named her Andy Dufresne.

Fun thing about Andy is even though she has a daily bout of freedom she doesn't give up her duty of laying eggs.
Seems as if she made a little brood box for herself under the coop to lay her eggs in comfort.  I discovered them the other day when I dropped something right near the little opening that she must use as the window.

Can't be mad at a geologically aware chicken.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The gals were out in full buzz today! It was sunny and warm and I was able to slip some sugar syrup in their hive. these two gals were sitting ontop of the hive sipping up some water. So many bee's out in the yard that I kept getting hit by them- even a stray hornet passed me by


The Wee Morning Wood Trucks.

Yes. Thats a big pile of wood chips.

I can't tell you how it got here. And I can't tell you what the purpose of them are. But I can tell you that we are getting about 15 more loads of this stuff by the end of this week.

We awoke just before six am this morning to Harlem barking up a storm.  It was still dark and I thought it was the middle of the night. My first reaction was that Harlem heard some deer in the back yard and went outside to ask for their hall passes. But David seemed to know what it was and jumped out of bed.

It was then that I saw people in our woods and the big dump trucks taking up our driveway.  Any other night and that would scare the piss out of me. But I knew that these woodchipdumptruckmen would be here periodically thru the week. I just didn't expect them in the wee hours of the morning and neither did David.

He ran outside to talk to them, and all about ten minutes later was inside to explain to me why they came so early. He also mentioned that Ash apparently knew that they would be here at six in the morning and sat in our yard to greet the men. I guess Ash got the memo.

I cracked up laughing as David explained that the men where in shock to see a fox running around their dump trucks inspecting them. These men were also exclaiming their excitement in another language making it seem even more -elaborate. 

I ran out there to call Ash over so that he didn't get in their way- and since they were driving huge trucks my fear would be that they wouldn't see him when they left. Ash quickly came over to the steps and sat. We enjoyed each others company at the breaking of dawn and watched the trucks leave together.

I never thought that in mid January, at six am. I would be outside of my porch steps, sitting with a big pregnant belly, with a sweet fox, watching woodchipdumptruckmen leave our driveway while my husband was inside throwing wood on the fire to keep the house cozy.

Life is pretty cool sometimes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Old Fashion Letter from Old Fashion People

A letter we received from the Amish Auctioners we get our produce from. Thought it was too cool not to post. Made me feel all farmer like. Worrying about weather and such.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

If he were human....

Ash would be a woodcutter-

Seems the sound of David splitting woods triggers his appetite. 
Maybe he's just really interested in wood cutting. 
Who knows.

But I like his visits.

Onion head Man

Yes Onion Head Man.

I figured that would get your attention better than "How Beekeeping works on an Island off the Coast of Honduras.

Am I right?

Well there is another reason why I titled it that- but I'll get to it in a minute.

When we were in Roatan, we went in search of (well the rest of the non pregnant group did) a drink called Giafitti(sp) (pronounced Giff-fah-tee)  Its an island sort of moonshine like drink. Basically rum with about twenty different kind of roots soaked into it. Roots like almond, ect, ect-

Anyways we found a bar. As the group order shots of the island hooch I sat and talked a bit to the bartender. Somehow the conversation of beekeeping came up.  

I was trying to get an answer out of him whether or not there was Africanized honeybees on Roatan. Not sure if the bartender knew what I meant he kept saying they were "Crossbreed."  I saw a bunch of honeybee's on the island myself and I must say that when they are a singular bee on a flower, they were sweet and gentle and unaware of my face inches from their golden body collecting hibiscus pollen.  If these were Africanized bee's they were very polite and quite striking.

Anyways, the bartender went into a story about how he collects honey.  All excited I asked if he had hives-
"Yes!" he said "I have one in a tree!"

"ohhh." was my reply..

He went on to tell me that when the time was right to collect the honey he lit a fire under the tree. When The smoke rose up the bee's got agitated, and left. It took awhile, but once they finally did he climb up a ladder to their hive, wearing nothing but a baseball cap and grabbed the honeycomb as quickly as possible.  He laughed as he told the story about how he did this- while dodging lingering bees.

Well he got the honey.

His immediate story after collecting his memory, was how he used the honey for a bad cold he had.

He felt better within days.....

So anytime I look at the coming year in beekeeping with difficulty- I must remember this story.

Our baby is due the end of May- high season for the possibilty of swarming. Time to install hives. Major daily check, and management. Can I do this 9 months pregnant, and then later with a sweet baby on my hip?

I'd like to think yes.

What gives me courage to do so?

Not having to light a tree on fire, climb up it, and fight off Africanized crossbreeds for a bit o honey.

So back to "Onion Head Man."

When researching the innerwebs on what type of honeybee's the Bay Island do have I came across a story of a man who lives on Roatan, and reports on daily "going-ons," of the island.  The particular story was about a swarm that was caught outside a public building by a man who wore no protection other than an onion bag on his head.

This folks- is true beekeeping.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one

Comfort is all relative.....

maybe it laying up against a door jam with your eyes half closed.

maybe its snuggling up in someone else armpit.

its all up to you.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Well I'll be a Monkey's Uncle.

I walked outside today expecting cold frosty air- and instead got blasted by warm muggy air and a bee buzzing by my head.


So I went over to the hives like any good be charmer would and check in on the properties I manage there.

One hive was HIGHLY active. The other- not.

Good and bad news.

The Buckfast were non active. 

I gave the hive a kick with my foot (which I would highly suggest against any other time of the year) and still no buzz, no bee coming out, nothing.

I was prepared for a hive failure. We did have some cold weather last week and I knew that these gals did not have enough of themselves to keep warm- even if insulated. So I opened the hive to see the damage.

It was kinda a sad sight.  The queen laid fallen, and the "cluster," of bee's were spread out in two different combs. The bee's had failed to uniform themselves and the queen was alone.  I did see evidence that she had laid some eggs within the past week and a half, but the amount I could count on one hand.  They had really not touched any of the fondant, and I was amazed to see vast amounts of untouched pollen. Hmmm.   The most discouraging part of the whole scenario was the mold that had come into some of the combs. It wasn't a devastating amount but it was enough to make some combs look ugly. Mold=dysentery for bees.

As for the other hive (The Carniolans) I was happy to see that not only were they buzzing as I opened their hive- but their cluster had grown in size. It gives me reason to believe that the queen is still going strong and laying her winter brood to keep the hive doing what it should be doing. The hive smelled good and the bee's were on the fondant.  I took the leftover pollen from the other hive and scraped it off the comb.  I know that any other bee keeper reading this would yell at me for destroying "some" of the drawn out comb, but I figured it was better than risking putting in a moldy foundation into a healthy looking hive.  I left the Buckfast's foundation out on the ground as we are getting snow tonight. This will help freeze the comb and hopefully destroy any growing mold spores. I wanted to take their unused pollen and put it into the Carniolans hive. They will eat it- store it- use it for the babies. Why waste what is gold to them. Hopefully this little boost sacrificed from the Buckfast will help boost the Carniolans for the rest of winter.
Here are some pics of what I did- 

Here is the pollen that I scraped out. I smooshed it together to make a patty out of it and easier to lay across the top of the Carni's foundation. The white that you see in it is comb wax. It smelled slightly like bread.

Mold on the comb. Boo.

Putting the patty of pollen into Carniolans hive- their buzzing interest.

Less than ten minutes later- the numnums going on.

Note to self- When randomly going into a high don't wear all black. Also when you stick a hand into the hive that is covered in pollen and expect the bee's not to notice- you are an idiot.

No bee's, or bee charmers were harmed in the making of this blog.

The bee charmer almost was though........

not so charming.

Row taan.

This post could be pages long.

But I know what it feels like to click on a blog and see mainly words. It looks boring and dull and I get about halfway thru a paragraph before I lose interest.

I know it sounds terribly rude, but at times I am.

So what is this rambling about? Oh yes- "getting to the point."
Which is what I will do right now.

A couple days after Christmas we headed to Roatan, Honduras. Its one of the three small Bay Island's off the coast of Honduras, and to sum it up- its paradise.

This was the second time we went back with a group of friends- two of which have gone before, and were the ones to discover this little hidden island.  We stayed at the same accommodations as before since they were simple and slightly secluded.

This island is beautiful. That is it. Its a great word for a great island. The people are friendly, the food is good, and the ocean is pristine.  It has one of the world living reefs. Yes, living.

So instead of going on and on about how spectacular the trip really was- I will try to include little stories here and there in the newer post to keep your interest:)

Five Month Baby Bump!

Roatan, Honduras Beauty

Cactus Vine

Our road, on a non-muddy day



Palm "leaf."

Local Island Children playing at church.

Half Moon Bay Dock.

West End Construction.

No Shirt, No Shoes, Service.

For My Chicken Friends

Island Gal

Sassy Britches.

Front of where we stayed.

Take Root.

Please Call me Snow White.

Scuba Bubble Beauty.

Waters near Palmetto Bay 

ALl of Us!:)

Full of sun and Happy<3

"The Northerner, Roatan, Honduras."

Our trip to Roatan, was at the end of the rainy season. They often- during the rainy season- get storms called Northerners. I enjoyed the name of these storms very much, because at times I often feel like a Northern storm, myself. 

The Northerner refers to the winds they get from the North. Pretty simple.  Roatan is located in the Caribbean, and they get Trade Winds. The precipitation part of the storm was coming in from Mexico.  The storm caused a surge in the ocean, and some rather large waves for a rather calm ocean.  Although these waves might be considered "good surf," on the East Coast of the U.S., its considered rough seas there.  Keep in mind- this side of the island where these pictures were taken usually looks like a lake.   

Taken at Lands End.

Add caption

Waves on the lava rock.

Waves rushing in.