Monthly Archives: October 2010

A Frosty October Morning

The month of October has been beautiful here in Minnesota.  I heard that we had something like 28 days of sunshine.  All things must come to an end however, and this week things finally turned.  We had three days of rain and extreme winds.  The record low pressure system blanketing the state was equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane.  The winds blew fiercely, gusting up to 60 mph at times.

Our trampoline was swept away with the wind.  It did not stop rolling until it smashed into the side of our pole shed.

It seems unlikely that it is salvageable.  Our youngest wanted my assurance that we could get a new one in the spring if it was not.  I made no promises.

The skies finally cleared and yesterday morning I woke up to find that we had gotten our first really hard frost of the season.  I headed outdoors with my camera to take a look.

The lingering hydrangea blossoms got hit hard…


…and so did the foliage.


The frost adhered especially well to the soft leaves of the Lamb’s Ear plants.


The frost blanketed the grass…


…and the buildings.


The few leaves remaining on the Autumn Blaze maple in the front yard drifted to the ground.


The delightful roses still blooming in the garden seemed shocked.


I could see the rose’s slow death starting, with this blossom drooping its weary head.


And this perfect rose bud, with all its potential, will never have a chance to open…


“October is nature’s funeral month.  Nature glories in death more than in life.  The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming – October than May.  Every green thing loves to die in bright colors.”

– Henry Ward Beecher





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Filed under Flower, Gardens

A Disappointing Honey Harvest

We are in our second year of beekeeping and what a year it has been.  Similar to gardening, the season started off with us full of hope about the potential bounty of honey we would enjoy come fall.  As any gardener knows however, things rarely go as planned when you are dealing with the forces of nature.

Earlier this spring, the boys successfully installed two packages of bees into the hives and we waited to see how the new bees would do.  It was not long before we figured out that one of the hives was failing.  The queen had not survived for some reason and no new brood was present. I installed a new queen to try to help them get established, but she also turned out to be an ineffective queen, mostly laying drones (the worthless males) instead of worker bees (the industrious females).

Our last desperate attempt to save the hive was to get rid of that queen and place a frame with eggs from the functioning hive in the failing one in the hopes that the bees would make a new queen.   Unfortunately, the bees were unsuccessful and the hive was a total loss.

With one hive left, we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.  As the summer progressed, it was clear that the remaining hive was not doing as well as the bees did last year.  Periods of cool weather and bouts of rain slowed their progress significantly.

We finally got around to harvesting our honey for the year just recently.

Jesse removed the frames from the honey supers one by one.

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Filed under Bees