It’s been a hard winter for the bees. Harder than usual. We have lost 1 of our 3 colonies and it’ll be a few more weeks at best till we see reliably clement temperatures and blossoms for them. How can we help them?
Tag Archive for winter
Woke up to the smell of bread baking, teasing me awake…
Since the oven was hot already from the bread baking, I decided to make a cherry cobbler and a peach cobbler – using sweet cherries and peaches picked, processed and frozen last summer. Fresh local fruit is really hard to come by in winter (besides apples and sometime pears), so I rely on canned and frozen. Frozen cherries work perfectly for baking (and are great in smoothies or ice-cream too). I look forward to fresh fruit season every year, when I am able to bite into a perfectly ripe peach or pear, or delve into sweet cherries or figs. But this has to do. And it does.
Played with developing a new recipe – first results are very encouraging: carrot sherbet. Will have to play more, but yes, there is potential.
Admired seedlings in the greenhouse. Should not be too proud, that might jinx something.
Took a walk under lightly falling snow and witnessed a cow giving birth. Never had seen it. I did not even notice her on my way up. On the way back, in a wooded area (it’s fenced and part of a pasture where cattle is kept), I hear this sudden brief “moo”, turned my head, just in time to see a cow standing and her “plopping” something large and soft. I was incredulous. A birth? Sure enough, she started to lick the thing – so yes, it was a calf. I don’t know how long I stood there, on the other side of the creek, watching her and her new born – maybe 30 minutes? She licked it, stopped for a short while, licked it again. It was at first laying down quietly, with its ears flipping now and then. After a while, it struggled to get up and stay up on its tiny wobbly legs, falling several time (more licking). When it was strong enough to stand, it leaned against its mom (more licking), and was finally able to start drinking milk. She was all muddy from having laid on the wet ground. It was amazing watching it all happen – albeit from far: the snow falling, the cow alone in the woods going about her mom business. Humbling.
I know nothing about cows, but I expect she went into the woods because it is more sheltered than the open pasture. Still, I hope they are both able to regain the massed safety of the herd. Coyotes prey, unfortunately. I think she ate the placenta (I was a little far to see well) so I hope that removes some of the smell that would attract those predators. They have attacked fawns, lambs and sheep, and I understand calving cows…
I hope to see a tiny calf tomorrow…
Today, we are not planting potatoes in the cold frame.
View toward the upper garden
and view toward the lower garden (from the safety of the porch)
and the seed starting area in the house…
On the other hand, it would be a good day to go scatter seeds of Shirley poppy, nigella, chamomile, and all those hardy annuals that bloom in early summer, really prefer some cold while they are seeds, and want surface sowing. Just a thought… in case you did not scatter them last fall.
I am actually glad of the snow covering since the forecasts are calling for single digit temperature tonite (in F! in C, that’s -13° to – 15°). At least the snow blanket will provide some insulation from the biting cold. And we surely need the water (although 4 inches of snow is not a lot of precipitation).
But we take what we get, and we say thank you.