Friday, April 29, 2011

Ready and Waiting . . .

Yesterday, I leveled out a spot for the beehive and set it up! Just seeing it sitting there makes me all the more eager and excited for tomorrow when the bees arrive . . . though I am getting a bit nervous, too! This past week I read just about all the way through a beekeeping book to refresh my mind, read online once again about how to install bees and about the first several hive inspections, and tomorrow I'll likely watch a video or two online as well about installation. It's going to be interesting to see how it all goes!

In addition to setting up the hive, there was a great deal more done yesterday . . . and my body is reminding me of it today - as in, I am sore! Though, that's not due just to yesterday's work as the days previous were rather full of outdoor work as well. :) Here's a little glimpse into some of that work from yesterday and also a few other photos that were taken recently . . .

~One of the compost bins has filled up quickly already as yesterday I moved the two compost piles that we already had into the bins. One was a large pile of what Leah had hauled out of the chicken coop this past fall, and it took a long time to move all of that. It is decomposing well and will be ready to go on the garden this fall . . . little by little the garden soil is improving!

~All of the logs that Daddy had sawn up are now stacked! (Right behind this stack is another one as well.) Most of the logs I hauled with the wheelbarrow, but the really big ones that were too heavy for me to lift into the wheelbarrow, I used our dolly for. That worked really well! The only disadvantage, though, is that only one log could be moved at a time. :) Now all that is left on the ground to chain saw up are just the trunks of several trees. We're almost finished!

~One of our varieties of strawberries that we had planted last year never grew (the roots were moldy when we received them in the mail), so the nursery sent twenty-five free replacement plants for us this spring. They arrived on Wednesday so yesterday after doing all of the above projects, I tilled up a spot for them by the other strawberries and got them all planted and then mulched with straw.

One of the things that Leah was working on this past week was setting up the outdoor enclosed pen for the chicks to move into once they were big enough. And yesterday was moving day for them! Once they 'settled in', they really started enjoying all of the extra space . . .

Some of the chicks . . . they're still a little nervous here after their move. (And the red in the photo is from the red light . . . not only does it provide the necessary heat, but it also helps to minimize any pecking.)

This little chick made me laugh! I guess standing on the ground to eat must not be original enough. :)

One of the Barred Rock chicks

In addition to all of the outdoor work, our home has been abuzz with activity too . . . no matter how much work there is to be done outdoors, there is still the house cleaning to do, bread to be baked, meals to be prepared and cooked, laundry to be washed, sewing to be done . . . and then of course, things like playing music always fits in there as well. :) Needless to say, our spring days have been pleasantly and satisfyingly full and overflowing!

And to bring this post to a close, here are a few photos that were taken on a couple of different evening walks that I enjoyed this week . . .

The Irises have begun blooming! This particular variety always blooms first, and I love the rich color that they have.

I'm not sure if these are mushrooms or what, but they are growing on an old stump down in the woods, and they are each about a foot across! I've never seen anything quite like them before.

Another view of them

A yellow Iris that will be blooming soon

The June-bearing strawberry bed is all in bloom . . . I am so looking forward to harvesting our first strawberries!


  1. My goodness, you have been busy. I'm sure you are excited about having those bees busily buzzing about....and collecting the honey!

  2. Oh, how exciting!!! Your beehive looks so nice sitting there. I will be praying for you and thinking about you tomorrow morning when the bees arrive. I hope you will have someone taking pictures of everything--the box, the installation, everything!

    I'm sure you must be quite sore after the installation of those wonderful composting bins. Just think of how rich the soil will be, and the benefit from your gardens! I marvel at the wonder of God's provision--there is never any waste in His plan. He allows the old, faded plants, weeds, food scraps and manure to be turned into something for new thriving plants to grow in. Say, does your neighbor with the invading cows let you use their manure? Or perhaps that's too much for what you are trying to do. I'm sure every earthworm for miles around is crawling slowly toward your bins right now to revel in all the organic matter there.

    That is quite a pile of logs!! I'm sure it took a long time to stack them all up but they look so nice and neat. I hope you can get a nice wood stove one of these days. You'll have plenty of nice seasoned wood when you do.

    I'm so glad you were able to get the strawberries planted. I hope they will bear much fruit for you this year. I hope this year you will not have any trouble with fungus.

    I really enjoyed the pictures of your little chicks.

    The irises are so beautiful--one of my favorite flower. And those mushrooms are really something else!! So huge!! This is another example of God's provision. Even the rotting stump can be a source of nutrition and life for those mushrooms. God is so very good!

  3. You have been busy, Sarah! The irises are beautiful and such interesting mushrooms. Your beehive looks very nice - good luck with the bees!
    Anne ♥

  4. That is a beautiful, beautiful stack of wood! And you ladies did an excellent job of stacking it nicely. What do you plan to do with it?

    ~ Betsy

  5. Dear Sarah,

    I'm sorry for the lack of comments I've left you recently. While I've greatly enjoyed reading your last several posts, the busyness of life has left me little time to comment on the blogs of my sweet friends.

    Wow, I'm always amazed at how much you and your family get done around your home. The compost bins and wood pile all look great, as does the beehive. How exciting that will be to get your first bees, and I hope that it all goes well.

    Oh, those little chicks are so cute! Our family hopes that maybe someday we'll be able to get chicks, in order to eventually have fresh eggs. We'll see, though, if it happens. At this point it's unsure if there'll even be a garden this year....

    Beautiful photography, as always, Sarah! God's creation is so wonderful and you do a great job capturing it.

    I hope that you have a lovely evening and a very blessed day tomorrow with your church family!


  6. I have been just a bit, Elizabeth! :) Yes, I am so excited about having the bees and collecting the honey . . . it was pretty exciting yesterday as we were able to go pick them up and there will be a post about all of that before too long!

  7. Thank you so much for your long and much enjoyed comment, Miss Linda! :) Yes, it is so exciting and to think that now the hive is full of bees! Aww, thank you for your prayers. :) Everything went very well, and Leah took a bunch of photos so I’ll be putting up a post before too terribly long about installing the bees!

    As you shared, it is amazing the wonder of God’s provision how even dead and decaying plants, waste, etc. is turned into something useful. And I am excited to see how this larger scale composting goes and how it will improve our garden soil. As you shared, I sure hope the earthworms gravitate to the compost bins! :) No, we don’t use the manure from our neighbor’s cow pasture . . . though we were able to get a pickup load of manure to add to the garden and we’re hoping to get more soon as well.

    It did take awhile to stack all of those logs, but it was fun, too. And it is so nice having them in a neat stack and having more ground cleared now! Yes, there will be plenty of firewood for if we are able to get a woodstove, and then there is also plenty for Ryan and Ashley to use as well.

    I am glad that you enjoyed the photos of the chicks, the irises, and the mushrooms! Irises are one of my favorite flowers as well . . . they are so beautiful.

    Thank you again, Miss Linda, for your comment! May you have a blessed evening!

  8. Yes, I have been just a bit busy lately, Anne! :) I am glad that you enjoyed the photos of the irises and mushrooms . . . and thank you for your kind words regarding the beehive!

  9. It sounds like you like the looks of a wood pile as well, Betsy. :) The wood will either go to Ryan and Ashley for use in their wood stove this coming winter, or if we happen to get a woodstove before then, we’ll use it, too.

    Thank you for your kind comment!

  10. Thank you for your sweet comment, Amy! It was so nice to hear from you again here. And I completely understand about not having the time to comment on your friends’ blogs as often . . . I have experienced the same thing from time to time!

    We have been able to get quite a bit done lately which has been nice. Yes, it was exciting getting the bees on Saturday and everything went very well with that. And I should have a post up soon all about the fun installation process!

    Thank you for your kind words regarding the photos!

    That would be so nice if your family were able to get chickens sometime. I know you would love that! Plus the fresh eggs are delicious. Well, if you are not able to have a garden this year, there is always next year. :)

    I hope that you had a very blessed Sunday as well and may your week be a wonderful one for you!

  11. Those chicks are so cute! My dad is still working on his chicken coop before they get their chicks. I'm getting so anxious to get them!

    I love those mushroom things you found. Very interesting. Those would be a great subject for nature study. :)

    How nice it would be to have strawberries! My parents' strawberries look so nice. They've already been fighting off crows (not for the strawberries, but for other things), which have been eating a bunch of produce. I told her she should make a "blackbird pie," like Ma did in the Little House books. :)

  12. hah! That one little chick is too cute! ;o) Loved all the pictures and the intricate stories they each tell. :o) Looks like you have been working hard! My back hurts a lot but most of the time it's from working in the salon ;o) I just planted a few strawberries today! I'm so excited! So do I need to put straw/hay on top of them for them to grow better?

  13. The chicks are cute, Joy! Though, they’re not quite as cute now as they’re losing their little chick fluff and are getting feathers. How exciting that progress is being made on your parent’s chicken coop! I am sure you all can hardly wait until they are able to get chicks. Hopefully that will be soon!

    The mushrooms would be a great subject for nature study . . . I hadn’t thought of something like that.

    Yes, it will be nice to have strawberries! And it looks like we are going to have a lot of them. So I have been looking through cookbooks and finding out ways to use them . . . not only fresh, but for canning and preserving as well. Little by little the berries are growing, and we’re all looking forward to when harvest time comes! We’ve teased about the “blackbird pie” from the Little House books before as well. :) I hope the crows are not bothering your parents produce any longer!

  14. I am glad that you enjoyed all of the photos, Nabila! Yes, we’ve all been working rather hard lately and have been able to get a lot accomplished. We’re also finally getting caught up a bit so things should slow down as many projects are being completed. I am sure it is tiring working in the salon all day. That would be a lot of standing and bending over!

    How exciting about your strawberry plants! I can relate to your excitement. :) Yes, it would be best to mulch around your plants with straw as that will help keep down the weeds, cool the soil and keep it moist, as well as keep the berries off of the soil thus reducing any possible fungal problems. I hope that your plants do very well for you and produce abundantly! Enjoy!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)