Saturday, December 27, 2008

the count of monte cristo

the count of monte cristo is my favorite book. i like don quixote almost as much. i aspire to live life like alonso quixano but realize i am much closer to edmond dantes rather closer to sinbad the sailor. the count's professed alter ego.

it has been a long time since i've read either book. i think about edmond dantès whenever i get angry at someone. yeah i know let it go... but here i am trying to post and still feel violated.

anyway..

the bees are all still alive.

we have had some very cold weather. our neighbor and trash collector guy had all of his bees die during the last cold spell. he came by and offered his sugar water that was now useless. i refused because i don't plan to feed them. each hive had plenty of honey this fall. my goal is to have the healthiest bees possible but under natural conditions. somehow i think that feeding them sugar is kinda like humans eating at mcdonalds everyday. a person can live on it but won't remain healthy.

after his bees died i began to question my logic. i was worried about the bees and today i feel better. when richard the trash guy came by i offered him a nuc of bees. i said these bees are local and are hardened to the conditions in the ozarks. so in the spring if all the hives survive i'll checkerboard them and slip some of the extra brood comb with a few bees in a box for him. it is not really any skin off my back. i'll need to do this to keep them from swarming anyway. i don't want to start-up any more hives for me to take care of either. if i manage these four hives they should produce more than enough honey for our needs. mead production may start in a few years but not right now.

the pigs are doing fabulously.

i have really enjoyed them even though their waterer froze and catastrophically failed.

here is the repaired version with a 50 watt birdbath heater installed in the bottom.

there is a specialized pig nipple threaded into this 4' pvc pipe. it almost holds three gallons of water. if we continue to raise pigs i'll upgrade to a larger diameter pipe and add another nipple.

i fed them an old pumpkin and they loved it. they eat hickory nuts and persimmons when we pick them off the field and toss them into their pen. it is amazing to watch them crunch a hickory nut with their molars.

kassi loves her little pony.

she's hugging it tight.

henry is getting so big.

huge in fact and still growing.

the chickens are finally starting to lay.

they have been giving up about six eggs per day for a week or so. yesterday i installed a light in their coop in an effort to extend their daytime hours. i might trick them into laying heavily throughout the winter. we have been without a reliable supply of eggs for far too long.

see it there in the back?

tabitha is finally really starting to heal up from the pneumonia.

going outside has not been an option without repercussions. luckily it is extremely warm today. rome likes it outside too.


toly loves to swing
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