A peacock appeared. Most likely strayed from a neighbor who has several 2 or 3 miles away. Not sure. It panicked & ran down the trail before it disappeared into the woods. In a really bad direction. Hope it got home before dark. Not a good place for a peacock to be. Amazing that it even got there in one piece considering it was deep in the woods. Things go bump in the night around here. Maybe it wanted to be a turkey? Turkeys & gopher tortoises belong there, peacocks don't.
I agree that toothpaste works quite well if used immediately after a sting. Never heard of a week long delayed reaction so have no input about that. Unless you're having trouble breathing or your eyelids swell up or something severe. An extreme reaction like that would probably require a doctor & an epi-pen. A common over the counter pharmaceutical that works good is diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Toothpaste is faster but not quite as effective.
Are you sure it's last week's bee sting that is causing this problem?
Ponds have many useful functions. There are a dozen or more in this forest. Some are natural, some are man made. Ranging from about 1 to 35 acres. Some are stocked some are not. One was built for cattle in the past. I think they provide a lot of benefits to animals & also have natural beauty. I enjoy sitting on my front porch at dawn & watching all sorts of wildlife coming to get a drink. I frequently see deer, coyote, fox, tortoises, & many types of waterfowl. There are some white herons that are almost like pets. Ponds help with flood control. They also can help with fire control in the event of a wildfire. The fire in this pic was part of a controlled burn though. Another very useful function is easy water availability in the even of long power outages. Where else can one use a baby fish cannon?
This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum. Completing this BB is part of getting the straw badge in Animal Care.
For this BB, you will control leaf eating beetles with permaculture!
For this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- Control leaf eating beetles with permaculture
- colorado potato beetle
- japanese beetle
- other leaf eating beetles
- soap sprays or any kind of spray
- Do four of these things
- improve diversity of plants
- some species improve the strength and health of target plant
- diversity of plants in a polyculture to allow most plants to escape beetle attack
- some species discourage beetles
- Some cultivars are resistant to beetles
- some species draw beetles away from other species (sacrifice)
- these species typically attract beetle predators
- build beetle predator habitat
- add mulch to support health of target plants
- bring fowl in to eat the beetles
- Trap crop (grapes?) to attract beetles then shake trellis to feed chickens below
- Demonstrate how landscape texture and underground diversity allow some plants to thrive while others suffer from beetles
- Texture could be 7’ hugelkulturs
- Show plants within 20’ of each other, one thriving, one suffering.
To document your completion, provide proof of the following as pics or video (less than two minutes):
- state which four beetle control measures you will implement
- before, during, and after construction/implementation of each of the four beetle control measures you select to implement
- Prove your efforts mitigated beetles. Here are two possible ways to prove it:
- Have a “control” patch and document results during the time of year when beetles are a problem
- Document one year without and one year with controls, same time of year
Jimi playing guitar with his tongue. Luis playing multiple guitars at once. Jerry Jeff just playing around. We caught 8 wilds pigs yesterday so there's a cajun carnita & tamale party coming up soon. Es muy bueno y'all.
Someone asked me to elaborate on metallized mylar aka space blankets. Not sure why except maybe I'm the only one here who spent 3 winters in an onion. Comfortably.
They don't provide any significant insulation. They work by reflecting heat. Put the shiny side towards the body to stay warm. They might reflect sunlight to help keep someone cool in summer but I've never tried that. Many of them are semi-transparent so they might make reasonable summer window screens. Someone mentioned sewing them into winter curtains & was wondering how the holes would affect the function. Those would be such small holes I don't think that would be much of a factor. I think it would work quite well sewn into the interior. Not quite as good as on the outside but it would look better & more normal. If normal is a thing for you:) Mylar doesn't breathe so consider that if you're covering a tent or using a mylar emergency sleeping bag. I kept some air vents open in the onion even though that gave up some of the retained heat. During the day I kept the main door open so any accumulated moisture could dry out. Moisture will make you colder. I used the mylar on the outside of the tent even though it would have been slightly more effective inside. Outside was just easier to install & stayed in place all winter.
I keep a space blanket in several backpacks. One I take into the woods with me every day & one stays in my car. Just in case. They make good impromptu rain gear. They can be used for several other situations too. Slings, chest seals, hypothermia, possibly shock, waterproofing a bandage, carrying or capturing water, signaling, etc. It's lightweight, versatile, & relatively inexpensive compared to some other options. In an outdoor situation they make good backdrop for a lean to built near a campfire. The heat it reflects from the fire can make all the difference in comfort.
I live in a longleaf pine forest. It is a threatened species that depends on fire for survival so we do controlled burns. To help the trees & to minimize the fuel load should a wildfire occur. The grasses that grow back after a burn are very green. I think in some ways biochar provides some of the same benefits.
This is a story of a toasty warm onion. A few years ago I found myself moving into the man cave. Actually, it was originally a woman cave. They built it to house a boat in half & as a party room in the other half. It was nice enough (carpet & paneling) but rather crude & full of air leaks. No air conditioner or heater. Very little insulation in the walls. None in the ceiling because some squirrels got up there during the years it was idle & made a huge mess. When I moved in the ceiling had already been ripped out but never repaired. Metal roof. In the summer. The first thing I had to do was insulate the ceiling & add ceiling panels so I didn't fry in the heat. Since that was a very messy job I decided to set up a tent inside. Also sealed air/bug/bird/squirrel/snake leaks in the process.
Summer temps weren't bad with open windows & a fan. Then winter came. About 5000 feet altitude in the northern-ish Smoky mountains. With a concrete floor. No padding under the thin carpet. I don't do winter well. No way was my tiny space heater going to keep it warm enough. This is where it gets oniony. When I moved out of the previous house it wasn't possible to remove my mattress from upstairs since the banister had been repaired. It was a king sized pillow top that we originally barely got upstairs without the banister. So I cut the pillow top part off & saved the foam bits from inside. That fit inside the tent perfectly & was very comfortable. When winter arrived I added some more foam & a reflective windshield screen underneath the tent. Then added aluminized mylar sheeting to the outside of the tent underneath the rain cover. Added mylar sheeting to the nearby walls too. Placed boxes full of stuff (thermal mass) between the tent & the walls. Used a zero degree sleeping bag with several blankets available. This is also when I discovered flannel sheets. Why didn't someone tell me about flannels sheets when I was in college in MN living in an unheated basement? That would have been a game changer. Add one cat & sleeping in the onion was always warm. Even those times when the room itself was way too cold.
A couple other things helped keep the living space warm. The entire side of the building had windows so I made some 2x2 frames & added some clear plastic pieces to essentially turn them into double paned windows. Filled a 55 gallon drum with water & used a small aquarium heater to heat that water. Every time I finished a gallon of milk it was filled with water & placed wherever it would fit. Water is excellent thermal mass. Cast iron cookware was placed on top of the space heater to help radiate the heat.
I miss the onion. Thinking of setting it up again this winter. Won't need all the oniony parts since I have a fireplace now. Also better insulation, better heater, & milder winter. It was just so cozy!
I'm not aware of any plans to change any gardening BB's. Would be surprised if that happens. They were some of the first finished & a lot of thought went into them.
Have you seen this particular BB? That level gives someone plenty of opportunity to grow & harvest all sorts of things. The sand level is more about developing a place to grow & how to build soil. The sand level hugel does require a large percentage of nitrogen fixers to be planted so peas would work for that.
I haven't owned a TV in almost 20 years. Don't miss it one bit. I do watch the news via the internet just to keep an eye on the world. I try to keep that to a minimum too. Once you find other things to do it might be surprising the amount of things you can accomplish with that time.
Bees in wood never do good? I've never heard that before. I've kept bees for years, usually in the woods or on the edge of them. They seem to do as well as those I've had in open fields. It probably depends on what kind of trees are in the woods. Bees do pollinate & use sap & resins from many types of trees.
About a year ago a tree fell onto a bridge during a storm. Deep in the woods. No open fields nearby. The tree was hollow & it shattered. It was filled with bees. Honeycomb was all over the bridge.
I don't recommend the flow hive for any situation except maybe for someone who is physically unable to work with bees otherwise. In your case it seems like it would be an expensive experiment that might fail unless you remove the bees from the wall first.
It sounds like it might be possible to remove a section of paneling for harvesting. I don't know though. That just seems like extra work & doing things the hard way. Without knowing all the details ... I'd probably either leave them alone & forget about harvesting the honey or remove them, give them new hives, & be done with it. Capturing swarms as Michael suggested is another good option but would take longer & be a yearly event. Welcome to beekeeping:)
Would it be possible to saw a hole in the interior of the wall, affix a bee box directly to the wall, and then pull out honey when it is ready?
It might work. That would depend on if the bees decided to store honey there or not. The queen might also lay eggs there so you'll end up with a box of bees instead of honey. They might also choose to seal the hole. Or abscond (leave) because their home was disturbed.
With a colony that large it could have multiple queens. That's rare but it happens.
How is the wall constructed? Would it be possible to build a hinged door there that could be opened for honey harvesting? A FLIR camera might give some idea of how the comb is oriented inside the wall. The best option might be to do a cutout & move the bees to a new home in bee boxes.
At the bottom of the window where you type a post there is a tab labeled "attachments". That is one way to add pictures. If it's a picture from online somewhere you can use the IMG button in the row to the right of your name.
Muppets Pearl? haha that's not how we do things around here y'all.
It's hotter than hell here in cajun country lately. Had a large copperhead on my porch a couple days ago. Saw the largest cottonmouth I've ever seen last weekend. Eight or ten feet at least. Went back & tried to get a better look but the deer flies were eating me alive. Might be a gator moving into the creek near my cabin. Might be wild hogs. Was a gator last year. Either way ... as one of these songs says ... it's a baaaaaad swamp & not a place to fool around. Figured some swampy snake music is appropriate to end this week.