Thursday, April 17, 2014

The “chicken corsage”

I think the world is ending sooner than we thought.
It’s a corsage made of flowers and fried chicken.  This is a real product. 
The video is worth watching

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Frogs and Bees

(not a photo of the actual fungicide)

Ok. This isn't really a joke.
Researchers at my alma mater, the University of South Florida, recently found that the fungicide chlorothalonil, in the same family as DDT, killed almost 90% of the frogs exposed to it. They tested several species of frogs, and all had the same reaction. They are now testing the chemical's mortality rate for other organisms, including bees.

The link is here.

That frogs are in decline and have been for some time is a well known fact. They have been compared to the "canary in the mine shaft" as an indicator of a healthy ecology. It will be interesting to see what further study reveals and if there is a honey bee connection..

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Getting frames together for the bees!

Lots of ends, tops, and bottoms for the frames

First on the list was to build a jig for putting frames together. I built a couple the hard way one at a time and I could see this was going to get really boring very fast.

Some of you that understand these things may notice that the slots are in the wrong place. The frames are wider than that! A brighter lad than me might have made it square, then it wouldn't have mattered.  This is a result of thinking that I really don't need to draw this out on paper, it's so simple. What could go wrong?
Fortunately there was an easy solution. I could still cut the notches for the sliding boards where they belonged and it might even look right to anyone but someone that knows what they are. Those people will see right off what I did and perhaps laugh a little later, but undoubtedly would be too polite to do so in front of me. At least now that I have a nail gun near by.
The two sliding boards temporarily hold the ends of the frames in place so the bottoms and tops can be added. I found that it goes a lot faster to hold one ends worth of the pieces together and apply the glue all at once, and then place them in the jig, as opposed to applying the glue once they are jigged up.

First glue & nail on the bottom boards.

It works just fine, and sure is easier than holding the pieces with one hand, stapling or nailing with the other, and pulling the nail out of my thumb later. It's also ten times faster and they end up perfectly square when they are finished..
Almost done  a set of ten plus an extra. Flip the whole thing over and glue and staple on the top boards, remove the two sliding boards, & they come out of the jig.

I didn't get the last photo, but you get the idea. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

R.I.P. Robert Butler Florida Highwayman

Robert was a friend of mine.  Somewhere I have some photos of when he visited us here in Muddy Valley. He will be missed.

He was a member of the well-known African-American artist's group, The Highwaymen
The history of the Florida Highwaymen artists, of which Robert Butler was a part, is a fascinating story.  During the early 1950’s and through the 1980’s a group of 26 African-American artists known as the “Florida Highwaymen” used vivid and bright colors to display the beautiful untouched Florida landscape. The Florida Highwaymen painted wide-bent palm trees, serene sunsets, churning oceans and bright red Poinciana trees. They painted from their garages and back yards on inexpensive Upson board and then on the weekends they traveled to sell their Highwaymen paintings to hotels, offices, businesses and individuals who appreciated the artwork for around $25 a piece. The creativity and talent of these artists has made them famous for their idyllic landscapes of rural Florida and they were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004.  Their works are also displayed at Florida’s state capitol.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March Elk

 There were five bulls butting heads on the field cam. If you click to enlarge it you can see them.

 The camera up in the woods on the hill has taken some pretty nice shots. I'm going to leave it in that location.
This guy has dropped his antlers. They are somewhere between the two cameras.
 He walked up to the camera & then noticed a couple of blacktails were following him, turned & chased them away.

 They are in the lower right corner.

This guy must be a critic!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Something poetic in the skeletal look of this orchard ladder in winter. Like the bones of last year's harvest, the meat tucked safely in jars on the shelf and in the freezer.

Nobody home here. Or they haven't gotten up yet.

A comment on the weather. 

Daisy in front of the barn. 

Some scrap metal. Somewhat sanitized by Mother Nature.

Maybe walls next year?

The ramp into the basement. I think I brought enough wood down before it snowed. The last time my feet went out from under me bringing a load down, it took a year before my tail bone stopped hurting. I did add gravel after that, but I'm playing it safe.

No refresh on the furnace yet, some smoke would have looked better. I'd take another picture, but it's snowing pretty hard now.

I brushed the snow away from the entrance for them.

It has warmed up to 28* and has been rising all morning. Of course right after I took these pictures it started snowing again, adding to what fell last night. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Music for a day like today!

It's snowing again now. This was from yesterday. At least it's warmed up today. Currently a balmy 24*F
Yes, the wood pile is getting low.

                                                              The Statler Brothers  For Budde!