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Mysterious times

As spring arrived – after the late March refreeze that killed my pear blossoms, fig leaves, orange stems and fooled the usually infallible pecan trees – these strange stalks pushed up. I must have planted SOMETHING in this bed. I have irises, crinum lilies, gloriosa lilies, stokesias and agapanthas in this bed. And now I have these odd, unidentified bulbs. They appear to be a walking variety. I like them very much. They are strange, unique and uncommon.

My bee hive has gone from a feeble, anemic cluster of bees occupying a brood box but lacking brood cells, larvae, pollen stores and honey. As last summer closed, I was uncertain if the hive would survive. But, I relocated them to a smaller box – and I fed them. A lot. And they rebounded. The colony is quite robust and active. I added a second super for honey storage and a green drone frame to try and mitigate varroa mite reproduction. And today, it is possible that the hive split and part of the colony swarmed away.

They didn’t go far. As I walked out to check on the newer, feral, cut-out colony I installed Saturday, I kept hearing bees zinging past me is all directions. I looked down and found a puddle of bees on the ground.

I was determined to catch this swarm and relocate them into a new box. I had just bought a Nuk. It’s not yet painted . I swabbed the inside with lemongrass extract and swept the bees into the hive. They marched right in.

I found the queen in a ball of attendants still in the grass and dropped her in the top of the box. Now I have three hives. And the honey is starting to flow. Time to upgrade to deep brood boxes. Dadant is going to get all my extra money this month.

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Fairy Tales

Rain lilies with bee buttAfter a few days of heavy rain, especially if their is dense lightening strikes, we are blessed with the emergence of Rain Lilies, sometimes called Fairy Lilies. These small pale pink flowers spring up overnight along roadsides. They are the Zephyanthes and they belong to the amaryllis family. The flowers are hardy down to Zone 11 and supposedly come in white, pinks, yellows. I remember them all along the front of Cutler Ridge pool and they were always only pink. They are a flower of my childhood. The stem is thick like those of bulbs. The flowers do not last long, their spray of fairy tale pink along the swale beside the road is brief. They are considered native and they self-propagate. These are mine.

Pink rain lilies Rain lily Rain lily - close up

Rain Lilies

 

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Irises

The irises have started blooming. They are lovely, brilliant and delicate. They close up at night and once they are done blooming their petals curl up like the Wicked Witch of the East’s feet in the Wizard of Oz after the house falls on her.

Seminole

Seminole

Iris Iris Iris Iris Iris Iris