Monthly Archives: June 2014

Branches

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28 June 2014 · 10:44

A Trip to the Zoo

Drinking fountain at the Greenville Zoo

Drinking fountain at the Greenville Zoo

Yesterday, we drove down to Greenville, South Carolina, to the zoo. It’s only about an hour away, but it’s all downhill so it was hot. In the Smokies, we’ve been having a bit of a heat wave and the temperatures have been in the high 70s and low 80s, but in Greenville yesterday, it was over 90. Many of the animals were stretched out in the deepest shade and were difficult to photograph – both because of the low light and because of wire or acrylic barriers.

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Lily

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This thing is a pain to photograph. The flowers always face west or southwest so my background choices are the garden shed siding or the dirt road going up the hill. For this image, I played around with some of the B&W “nostalgia” profiles and found a high-contrast one that blacked out the siding.

Here’s the original color image:

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I would like to move this plant, but I haven’t been able to identify it so I don’t know where it would do well or what time of year is best for transplanting. If anyone can ID it for me, I’d really appreciate it! It grows in a large clump with long (1 1/2 foot) skinny and pointy leaves growing from the base. In late spring, it sends up a single stalk with several buds.

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The Bee Guys

This is so amazing! To continue my last post, the bee guys arrived. The fellow in the dark t-shirt is our neighbor who is a first-year beekeeper. He has a huge vegetable garden (read: half a farm) but I didn’t know he’d started to keep bees. The swarm is from one of his bee boxes. The fellow in the light shirt is an experienced beekeeper who is teaching our neighbor about beekeeping.

They brought a bee box, a bed sheet and various tree-trimming tools. They laid the sheet on the ground and placed the bee box on it and proceeded to trim the branches of the tree that were in the way of reaching the swarm.

Trimming around the swarm

Trimming around the swarm

Then they carefully cut off several smaller branches that had sub-swarms (for want of a better word) on them and shook the bees onto the sheet in front of the bee box. The box has beeswax in it and that attracts the bees into the box.

A small "sub-swarm"

A small “sub-swarm”

Then they put on their netted bee hats and cut the branch with the large swarm.

Cutting off the branch with the main swarm

Cutting off the branch with the main swarm

Safely down the ladder...

Safely down the ladder…

It's huge!

It’s huge!

Holding the branch near the bee box, they lightly shook the bees from the branch onto the sheet.

"Here's your new home, bees."

“Here’s your new home, bees.”

The swarm checks out it's new house

The swarm checks out it’s new house

Now all that’s left to do is wait for them to move into their new house.

Watching them move in

Watching them move in

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Swarming Honeybees

I looked out the window a half hour ago and saw this right across the road:

Honeybees Swarming

Honeybees Swarming

Since we usually hang around and talk a while with the bee guy when we buy honey, we could tell that it was a swarm. This is how honeybees create a new colony. When the queen bee landed on a branch, all the worker bees followed and created a huge clump:

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This isn’t the whole swarm – most of it was hidden in the tree. It’s huge! Our neighbor knows a local bee guy who is on the way, so I may have more photos later….

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Summer Blooms

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle

Daylily

Daylily

Catalpa Blossoms

Catalpa Blossoms

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A Little More Rain on the Way…

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4 June 2014 · 17:59