Sunday, April 19, 2009

Winter is past

Yesterday I got a fire permit so that we can burn the old bee hives. Hopefully burning will destroy any microbes that have over-wintered and our new bees will remain healthy.

We filled two pickup loads of trash from the bee area – old hives, bee travel boxes, and insulation. I collected 24 cans that were shipped with packages of bees, still with remnants of sugar water in them. How could we have not cleaned up after ourselves these last 29 years of raising bees? The woods which shelter the hives from the north winds also harbor two trash piles that were here when we brought the property in 1980. I had long ago given up on the idea of cleaning up those piles, but I never imagined that we would create our own.

Tonight, our woods are a little bit cleaner and we’ll have a big bonfire, sip some red wine, and enjoy being outdoors with no mosquitoes. The wood ticks, however, are out already. I just found one crawling up my arm.

Dave drove the loaded pickup to the bonfire site at the end of our drive way and I walked back through the woods. The periwinkle and Virginia bluebell plants that my mother transplanted from her garden when we first moved here are spreading well through the woods. The periwinkle might even overtake the ground ivy – a real coup. And in the duff of tan leaves on the path, I saw a sliver of bright red. I scuffed away the crumbling leaves and found the first crimson cup fungus of the year -a fragile saucer of brilliant red, pure white on the back – a sure indicator that the winter is past and spring is here.

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