Saturday, 4 June 2016

Morning Walkabout

This morning I took a wander back our field lane to the far reaches of the property. Not only for the much needed exercise and to fill my lungs with the sweet air of June, but to see what wildlife is up and about at 6:00 am.

Bird activity was fairly quiet, which I suspect is due to their having already nested and not wishing to draw attention to their sites. Raiding crows, grackles and jays are always on the lookout for tasty eggs or nestlings and as the day progresses, outrage of defense and of offence increases.

Beside my house and at the top of a tall pine tree, is a nest of crows. The young, already the size of their parents, sit near the nest and squawk out demands for food. As their parents fly in and out on groceries runs, they are harrassed by smaller birds who fear their own young will be on the menu.

By the afternoon, robins sound random but urgent alarms of "Cat! cat! cat!" Sometimes peaceful and sometimes mayhem, these days of summer roll on.

The morning sun paints a dappled effect on our tree-lined lane.

Instead of their traditional elm, this year's oriole nest is built in an ash tree.

An eastern phoebe watches for flying insects. Including my honey bees.

Under the front porch awning, a robin broods her eggs.

These four young robins are about to leave their nest, built in a tractor shed.

In mid-May I picked up my two new colonies of honey bees.  They have now settled in and are increasing their populations nicely. This week I tested one of the hives for mite levels with the sugar shake method. No mites were found. In a few weeks I'll test the other colony. After last year's disastrous loss of all my bees, I'm now a bit paranoid.

Instead of feeding the new colonies sugar syrup, I gave them inverted jars of crystallized honey. It seems to be appreciated.

My two new honey bee colonies seem to be thriving.

As the day warms up, their foraging activities increase.

Worker bees rush home with water, nectar and various colours of pollen.

They have consumed almost half a jar of last year's honey.

Like tiny window washers, these girls clean up their side of the glass.


  1. Beautiful trees at the side of your pathway, bees busy, summer has arrived at your home.

  2. Enjoyed the morning walkabout....forgot how beautiful the north can be...spend a lot of years in VT, NH, MA.
    Bet the Robins nested nearby so you could protect the little ones.
    My honey crystalizes ...I guess it is because I don't heat it...glad you have bees again.

  3. What a beautifully written post, Florence. I could feel that early morning feeling with the newness of summer all around; it is so like what I feel in my little forest. All the nesting is so wonderful to watch. Fingers crossed that all goes well for your bees.


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