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Wednesday May 20th 2015

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

Yesterday, I was out with the bees by 0900, but today, I was still in bed at nine.

I had gone to bed at 2330 and slept until 0333, dozed until 0355, been up forty-five minutes, taken two Benadryl and gone back to bed.  From then, I slept pretty well right through, and amazed myself.

I think I am still working through issues related to the loss of my wife (and cat), plus various inevitable minor interpersonal conflicts, a difficulty comprehending time, and existential angst.

I'm bright and chipper this morning and much more relaxed.  Whatever was hanging over me the past six weeks seems to have passed.  We'll see.

Today will be warm and breezy again.  The wind is whistling around my doors and windows and knocking the birdfeeder against the house.  At noon, I am still in my housecoat, at the computer, dealing with various small matters.

Coming nights are predicted to be warm for the coming forecast period, encouraging queens to lay flat-out.  In more populous hives, this will test the abilities of the queens and provide an opportunity to detect poor queens for replacement.

I'm expecting more queens today for the splits I made.  Using mated queens represents a 180 degree turn from my original plans, but the opportunity presented itself and mated queens, if they continue to be well accepted, ensure a faster buildup.  I'm taking thirty today since these are the last shipment.  That is more than I have homes for, but I have these little nucs I bought and will put five of the extras in them.

These are Saskatraz queens, raised by by Albert's contract queen producer in California from his stock which is developed for resistance to mites and disease under Western Canadian conditions -- and closely related to my existing stock.

At this point, I have no idea how many hives I have.  For all my diary writing, I am a terrible record keeper.  I'm guessing about one hundred and ten, including queenless splits. I'll have about one hundred and twenty at the end of this round. I called Ray and ordered another 50 lids and floors.  I'll need them.

Now that I have finished my procrastination, I'll head outdoors to work through the rest of the hives. The remaining hives are south of the Quonset and the wind is from the south at 18,  gusting to well over 20 MPH.

I'm thinking that I'll put some screened bottoms and drop boards under hives today.  I need to monitor mites and I hate doing shakes -- even sugar shakes.

I never did get around to doing any shakes.  I checked queens and made more splits. At 1830, Joe dropped by on the way home and dropped off thirty queens.  I've been working all afternoon, with only short breaks, so am wondering how many I should put in tonight.  I still have two hours.  Tomorrow, I have to be in Calgary at noon to have the trailer hitch installed and home for supper with the Usual Suspects at 1800.

I saw red ants again and gave them more bait.  Somehow pictures never seem to show how many there really are.   I took lots of pictures and could never catch more than a few of the many ants on the hive.

I'm tired, but I am going back out.  Thirty queens represents a lot of work by a lot of people and a lot of money, plus a lot of potential.  It would be a shame to waste any of that by delaying.  If I don't start tonight, some will will be sitting a while. I do not have not have much time tomorrow.

I went back out at 1900 and worked until 2030.  In that time I put in I ten queens.  Nine actually.  When pulling the cork on the last cage, I punched it in instead of pulling it out and had to quit. I had planned to put in ten queens and that was a good decision. When I got to ten, I could tell it was time to quit.  I knew I was getting tired because I was starting to make more mistakes than usual.

I brought the queen back into the house  and figure I will try the method that Joe mentioned today.  Instead of candy, beekeepers are covering the tunnel with masking tape and making a single tiny pinhole.

Apparently that methods works well and I can see why it is superior to having the bees eat candy since they eat the candy quickly if there is no flow and the split is large, but slowly if there is a flow or the nuc is small.

That is the opposite of what we want.  We don't want fast release during a dearth because bees are cranky during a dearth and will reject new queens, but will accept anything during a heavy flow.

Chewing tape is more like chewing a queen out of a cell and more independent of flow conditions.  That is the logic anyhow, but I am always leery of applying logic to assumptions. When we apply logic to assumptions or guesses, we still have assumptions or guesses.  Until such projections are proven, they are just that, unproven assumptions or guesses.  A lot of people don't seem to realise that.

The proof is in the pudding, whatever that means.

Another good day.

The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.
Samuel Butler

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Thursday May 21st 2015

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

Today, I have an appointment in Calgary at noon to install the trailer hitch. Last time, the installer sheared off a bolt and it became obvious that I would miss my flight to Victoria if I waited to finish, so we rescheduled.

*   *   *   *   *

It's 2057 now, I'm home and it has been quite a day.  I got to Calgary on time, but managed to get a speeding ticket along the way.  I diverted into Airdrie for a burger and there is a ramp that should be posted at 70, but is posted at 50.  The police sit there waiting.  It is a classic cash cow radar trap, right out of the fifties movies about the southern US. I knew that, but had a lapse.

Anyhow, when I got to U-Haul, they had just sold the last of my model hitch.  Could I come back?

"Well", I said, "I just drove seventy-five miles to get here."  I did not mention the ticket.

She said they would get one somewhere if I don't mind waiting. Last night, I watched The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared so I was in a 'que sera, sera' mood and just went with the flow.  It was a good chance read email and walk around the block.

Maddy phoned and everyone at The Mill, except her, was ill with a stomach bug, so supper was off.  That meant I didn't have to rush.

Two and a half  hours later, the hitch was mounted and Zippy and I were homeward bound.  I stopped for groceries in Airdrie at Wal-Mart. 

When I stopped, I noticed the engine smelled hot and that the 'check engine' light was on, so I decided to check the oil.  I pulled the dipstick and the finger loop came, but the dipstick remained in the engine. I could see that it will take a puller of some sort to retrieve it and a new dipstick will be needed.  The oil light was not on, so I quit worrying for the time being. 

In Wal-Mart, I bought an OBD II reader to read and reset the code.  I already have one somewhere, but where? Is it just a coincidence that U-Haul had my van on a hoist only an hour before?

Zippy and I arrived home around 1800.  I drove through the North Yard before parking to check the yard, and before unloading groceries, and I saw bees hanging out of splits. (left)

Not good. Splits should not be too strong if we want queens to be accepted well. 

I see the robbing is minimal now, so we must have a bit of a flow.  The bees hanging out is another sign.  Although the dandelions look finished, the apple trees are in full bloom.  I also see I have a skunk. I already knew that.  I just wonder how many.

I went in, rested, had coffee and went back out to put in more queens.

First, before anything, I checked the queens installed yesterday in the strong splits while adding a box to them.  The candy was completely gone and the queens set free -- in less than 24 hours (right cage, image right) .  I had left all the candy and not punched a hole, but it was gone.  Not good.

The masking tape idea looks better and better in light of this, so I went to work. I had used the green premium tape, but decided to use ordinary tape since it is thinner.  I found a roll and, as always, had to take several turns off before I found any tape that would stick.  The glue seems to evaporate or harden on the outside layers over time when exposed to light and air.

I finished the North Yard and quit for the day.

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his
salary depends on his not understanding it.
Upton Sinclair

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Friday May 22nd 2015

 Today Sunny. High 26. UV index 6 or high. Tonight Clear. Low 7.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

Today, I plan to find homes for more queens and finish the splitting. I'll also try to extract the Chrysler van dipstick and find out why the MIL is on. Before I install more queens, I'll check to see how the masking tape is working.  Mike and Liz are coming for supper, too.

The forecast is for warm days and nights for the next week, with light winds and maximum wind gusts of twenty MPH.

How to light a smoker in less than a minute and have it smoke all day.

  • Make sure the smoker is completely empty. Be careful when removing burnt fuel.  It may still be smoldering, even a day later, and can burst into flame on exposure to air or catch fire minutes or hours later.

  • Take a 5" X 5" piece of newspaper, crumple it, light it with a BBQ lighter.

  • Once it is burning well, drop it into the smoker.

  • Puff gently until the paper is completely in flame and turning black.
    (If it does not burn completely, it will block the air holes in the floor and prevent proper burning.)

  • Drop in a small piece of dry fuel (burlap).

  • Puff gently until the burlap is smoking freely.

  • Start using the smoker and add fuel as required.  Do not pack it down yet.

  • As needed, add more fuel to fill the smoker and tamp as necessary to control the burn.

  • Pack down the fuel with a hive tool to slow the burn, loosen it to increase the burn.

  •  If the fire gets going too strongly, dampen a piece of fuel and place it on top and pack down the fuel.

  • Always carry a two-gallon bucket of clean water.  It is useful for many things.

   

   

The pinhole idea does not work, at least for me.  I could see no signs that the bees had discovered the hole in the queen cages installed last night. I called Joe and he said that after two days some queens they installed with pinholes were untouched, but on other cages, after four days all the tape was gone.

I made the hole bigger, with the same drywall screw I used to deal with the cork and candy.

A cage in for 12 hours  The bees have not noticed the pinhole  I enlarged the hole so they can see the queen

I checked splits and made two more by 1400. Then I had a nap.

Mike was coming at 1830 for supper and to take some splits I promised him a long time ago, so I went out and did a few odds and ends and put in all except the last five queens.

I noticed that some splits were still hanging out, so I pulled the other (rear) plug in the brood boxes to double the ventilation. (I have a hole front and back so the boxes can be turned either way and plug the back one usually).

I am not worried about combs melting or brood being cooked; there are simply too many bees in some splits. Tomorrow, if there are still clusters outside, I'll collect the bees hanging out -- they are mostly young bees -- and add them to weaker hives.

I also found time to connect the OBD II device and read some codes from the van's onboard computers, but the results are cryptic and I see that this is not a simple matter, but will take a few hours of study at minimum.

I could just go to a garage and trust them to find the problem -- if there really is one, but I remember back to my experience when the Toyota ABS sensor fell off.  The mechanic spend three quarters of an hour in the cab looking at his computer when all it took to see the problem was to glance under the van.  He estimated about $400 to fix it, and it took me ten minutes and 5 cents worth of glue to do it myself at home.

I smelled hot oil, but the van had been sitting on a hoist facing down at thirty degrees an hour previously and if there was oil pooled somewhere on the engine, as is often the case if someone spilled a little while filling the engine after an oil change -- it may have sat there for months or years, then run onto the manifolds when the van sat face-down for two hours.

Liz couldn't make it, but Mike arrived at 1830 and we grilled steaks, then went out and found five smaller hives to make him some singles.  We were going  to exchange frames, but one glance told me that would not be a good idea.  I keep looking for AFB and never see any in my outfit, but it is still around.

We made up five decent splits for him and he left with them around sundown.

I'm about finished this round of splits, so now I need to look things over, count what I have, and leave the bees alone for a while to build up.  I'm thinking I'll go see Mom.  I should repair my buildings and do yard work, but life is short.

I should have reserved a flight a few weeks ago to get the best deal, but all I save is a few hundred dollars, return, and I need the flexibility to handle the jobs at hand, then just go when I see a week in the clear.  Planning a week or two ahead when a job is this complex and dependant on weather just puts me under pressure and makes me crazy.

While Mike and I were making splits, I heard a shotgun blast, then another again a while later, and smelled skunk.  I imagine that is the end of my skunk problem.  So far this skunk was not bothering hives, but come fall, that would be a problem.  Problems could come sooner, too, with bees hanging out on doorsteps, making a tempting meal for a skunk for a taste for something tangy.

Any guy that's not working with the same amount of intensity
and passion that I do, I don't want to know.
Zakk Wylde

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Saturday May 23rd 2015

 Today Sunny. High 26. UV index 6 or high. Tonight Clear. Low 8.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

Same forecast as yesterday.  This is perfect bee weather: warm, but not hot, with warm, nights. There are no big winds in the nearby forecast right now, but we will need rain again soon, after the drying winds we had recently.

I woke up at 0440.  I could hear a train coming and it seemed louder than trains have been lately.  I was not sleeping, but not really awake, and dreaming a bit.  I computed I'd had only about five hours of sleep, maybe six.  I got up anyhow, with the intent of returning to bed in a while.

I realise I feel pretty good: no aches or pains, no real congestion, good mood.  This beautiful spring weather and exercise is ideal.  Making splits is a real workout, at least the way I do it, with lots of movement, stretching and bending.

Today, I'll put in the last queens, tidy and catch up on things, and think what else needs doing immediately.  I should leave the bees alone for a while, with the exception of a few hives in the Quonset yard.

I managed to pull out the dipstick and called a dealer to see about a replacement.  $25!  For a strip of metal.  Wreckers, here I come.

I then installed the remaining queens into the hives I split last night and decided to check the rest of the splits and make a count.  I began with the South of the Hedge group. I was curious to see how the queens were being released and if they had enough space.  Some have four or five solid frames of sealed brood and they could double by the time I get back to them if I will be leaving them alone for ten days, as I tentatively plan.

As it turned out, some did need more room, so I made up second brood boxes off the truck.  I also looked to see how the masking tape is working out.

    

Above, we see one just about chewed out and one from which the queen was released.  It appears that a pinhole is too small, and a screw hole is too large.  I wonder how much the colony's experience chewing out the paper from patties affects their performance in chewing this paper tape.

Elijah was here all afternoon, working on the gardens.  I mowed the south lawn and got things ready for the BBQ.  Fen and the gang came over at six for hamburgers and hamburger soup and we had a fun time.  We ended the evening with everyone taking turns flying my AR.Drone. More.

I had mentioned that I figured that my skunk problems are over, but during supper, when we were all sitting at the picnic tables, eating, a skunk ran straight towards us.  We wondered what to make of that, but when she was twenty feet away,, it became clear that she was headed, not for us, but for the corner of the schoolhouse.  She disappeared at the corner, and when I looked, I could see that she went under the step.  I betting she has babies there.

Zippy looked really interested and although I don't worry much about a skunk spraying me, the dog is too inquisitive and will get sprayed if they meet.  This happened twice before years ago and I don't think she has learned a thing. 

Skunks get to know people and are quite tame.  They just walk away if people get too close, or will even approach if they think food is being offered, but a dog will run right up to a skunk and that is bound to provoke a pungent response.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci

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Sunday May 24th 2015


 

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 near noon. High 26. UV index 6 or high. Tonight Clearing late this evening. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low 9.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

The wind is coming back, but the days and nights continue warm.

I was tired today, so I stayed in and did books and filing.  The files pile up and need to be boxed and put away from time to time.

In the evening, I went out and made some more splits, this time without queens.

I see the caraganas are now blooming and I also see that some hives are getting too heavy.  Some were so full of honey that I had to spread brood and that is hard when I have so may brood combs and too few light ones handy.  With any luck, this flow will taper down to just enough to stimulate without plugging the brood chambers further.

After I came in, at about 2100, I decided to go back out to walk around and count hives.  I started at the North Yard, and came upon a skunk cleaning up dead bees in front of hives, then went to the Quonset Yard where I found another skunk doing the same.  They looked at me when I spoke and ran away.  I kinda like them, but I know they multiply like rabbits and will become a nuisance later.  For now, though, I'll do nothing.

At this point, I count 48 splits and 62 hives, including the ones Mike took last night.  The total is 110 and that is about what I estimated I would have.  I can always count ion attrition due to failed queens or failed introductions, so that number will drop by ten in a week or two. Some will need to be shaken out, but there will be more hives needing to be split next week. I'm guessing that I may have a swarm in the next week or two as well.

Beekeeping an averages game.  Some colonies naturally succeed, and some fail, and that is a reason why having just one hive is so difficult.

With typical average hive attrition being around 30% over a year for a good operator, that means that with one hive, you have a one in three chance of total loss every year.  As the numbers go up, the odds stay about the same, but the odds of having a 100% loss go down and the odds of having survivors go up.

It is scary to realise you donít know what is going on.
It is even more terrifying to realise those in authority think they do.

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Monday May 25th 2015

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

We have the same forecast as yesterday.  Other than the wind, these conditions are ideal for build-up.  Nighttime temperatures are one of the main limiting factors. and when nights get this warm, even small colonies can cover a lot of brood. Ambient daytime and nighttime temperatures are one of the biggest difference between southern and northern beekeeping, and a difference that is seldom acknowledged or properly understood.

Honeybees maintain brood nest temperatures within a small temperature range, if they can, but many similar insects go from egg to adult in uncontrolled temperatures. I wonder how often the outer edges of the  of brood fall below idea brood temperatures in small colonies and splits without beekeepers being aware.  I often wonder if this is the cause of the problems some beekeepers seems to always experience due to their over-splitting or thoughtless handling and rearranging of brood.

I woke up around 0500, rolled over and slept a bit, got up, wrote the above paragraphs, had breakfast, and went back and slept a bit more. 

Then I got up again around 0730, reserved a flight to Sudbury, packed, checked in online, dropped Zip at The Mill, and drove to Airdrie.  Mike drove me to YYC and Bill picked me up at YSB at a little after 2000 hours, and drove me to 1207 where we chatted with Mom until 2100.

Tonight I sleep in my childhood home.

If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.
Albert Einstein

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Tuesday May 26th 2015

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

It's raining in Sudbury this morning.  I'm visiting Mom and resting up.

From the forum:

> Is there always a risk of contracting AFB when buying used comb, or is it only related to buying drawn brood comb?

There is always a risk of AFB whether you buy comb or not, and even if you start on foundation.

My commercial beekeeping friends don't seem to be at all worried about buying white comb from known sources, and will buy brood comb as well. They don't treat prophylactically with antibiotics and see maybe several cases a year per 1,000 colonies at max, and they operate in areas where there are small beekeepers with known AFB. They do annually irradiate all dead-outs routinely, however.

People who begin on foundation also get AFB, regardless of what many teach and like to believe. AFB is everywhere and if your bees are susceptible, it is just a matter of time. Since the odds are small, it may take a while if you only have a few hives. The more hives you have the sooner, you are bound to see it -- if you are looking.

AFB does not happen overnight, and it seems that many of the commercial strains of bees are quite AFB resistant these days. There are, however susceptible strains and you don't know that you have one until you see AFB breakdown.

AFB is not that hard to manage if you find it in time. There are various approaches, and your choice is going to depend on a lot of things.

In my experience, inspecting and playing with AFB over many years, OTC is pretty useless, but Tylan properly applied will promptly and finally end the problem -- until next time, and that next time could be years and years away -- and, that next infection may well come from the surrounding environment.

In short, it all depends on your current situation, your ability to manage bees, and your understanding of risk. I would not buy any comb from a seller who has more than a touch of AFB, and an obvious inability to detect and eliminate it. That should be obvious from looking at the brood combs that were under the supers.

If you don't have any AFB now, it could be because your equipment is relatively free of spores, or it could just be that you have AFB resistant bees. There is really no way of knowing without testing every hive for HYG, and for that matter, HYG is only one component of AFB resistance.  There are other mechanisms. 

One thing for sure, though, if you have susceptible bees, you will soon find out, and the scale from those colonies will contaminate and challenge the more resistant hives.

After lunch, we went grocery shopping, then I had a nap. We had supper at 1730 and now, at 1840, I am headed over to Bill's.

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.
Saul Bellow

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Wednesday May 27th 2015

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

I was up at 0700 and took out the garbage.  So far the day is overcast and cool, but the day will be warm and pleasant for the most part.

I see we can never really trust the weather-guessers.  At home, the forecast now suggests we will see nights as low as plus three Celsius.

Here, I am wondering if I should rig my boat and launch while I am here.  The problem is that if I unwrap it, it will get dirty while I am away at home again.  The trees in the yard shed everything from needles to leaves flowers, and pollen, all of which mark the white surface and make work for me.

 Will I work on the boat?  I have not decided. I'm tired this morning and may nap the day away.

I had a nap in the morning, had lunch and another nap, then went shopping for a pressure washer to clean the boat. 

When I came in  January, I had found the pressure washer in the garage and not put away as I expected, so I assume it had frozen.  I did not like it much anyhow.

I got home in time for supper and unpacked the washer, plus put up a post in the garage, then decided to quit for the day.  The evening was growing colder, with gusty winds.

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right,
 and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides.
Time makes more converts than reason.
Thomas Paine

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Thursday May 28th 2015

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

I woke up at 0930.  That was a surprise.  I have been sleeping a lot, but sleeping ten hours in one night is not something I do often.

I see that they now expect tonight to be warmer at home (five instead of three degrees C.) than they previously expected.  That is a good thing for my bees.

I've been here in Sudbury three nights now. How long will I stay?  Have not decided. 

I think I may go home Monday, but I find that the longer I am away from home, the fewer reasons I can think of to go home.  The converse is true, too.  The longer I am home, the fewer reasons I can think of to go away.

Deciding to treat airplanes like buses and not reserving a long time ahead is liberating.  It comes at a cost, but so does trying to slot life into a series of fixed dates and times.

I am very glad I came.

From the forum:

I mentioned a quick scan for AFB when handling brood.

Here is the point: ABF has been active and obvious in hives for a long time to get to where it looks anything like the pictures and combs shown to newbees at meetings.

However, those extreme examples create an expectation that they are going to see such devastation that they miss the innocent-looking, but obvious beginnings that are apparent for weeks and months before we see the massive breakdown examples.

AFB starts with a few empty cells and progresses to shotgun brood in heavily challenged AFB resistant hives, since the bees are hauling out the cadavers as fast as they die. That shotgun pattern causes some beekeepers to change queens when a spoonful of magic dust would solve the issue. Ooops!

In susceptible hives, we first see an occasional cell full of gooey chocolate milk. Over time, we see more and more cells until after a few cycles, we may see examples where almost every cell is black, but by then the better part of season and many brood cycles have probably passed.

In the early stages, AFB often spontaneously disappears, never to recur, and a dose or two of antibiotic will assist in that direction, but once we see more than the occasional cell, the situation avalanches into disaster, except where the bees are very resistant.

Like any trait, resistance varies from very susceptible to very resistant, even in the best of bee stocks, although the best stocks will have very few seriously susceptible individuals, and even those will be much less susceptible than the average queen in inferior stock.1

Even with a fully scaled comb, researchers have shown that Tylan properly applied will have lasting results, assuming the colony can exist on combs that will need serious cleaning before they can be used for brood.

I have confirmed this myself in an actual test. Amazing is the only word for it IMO. It takes a strong colony at the right time of year, and the process is not without cost in terms of slower development.

This is one of those "Don't try this at home, kids". things. Just don't.

Anyhow, if beginners could learn to recognize AFB while it is minor, we would not see the repeated tragedies where a beginner comes with an entire box of scaled comb and is taken by surprise when we give it a casual glance from arms length in poor light and say, Oh, oh!"

After lunch, I went out and unwrapped Carpe Diem, took the blocks from under the trailer axles and pulled the boat out onto the drive to wash her down.  Surprisingly, after almost two years under wraps, she is pretty clean.   I almost did not need to buy the new pressure washer.

Then, I took an item back to the store for Mom and went to Bill's to borrow his ODB II dongle to check my van for error codes.

This dongle works through a Bluetooth connection to software in a smartphone.  I ordered one online to arrive at home, but want to check this van before I go home.

I am not sure if it will work completely with this 1998 van, but it does give some data and checked for error codes.  There were none.

It has been more profitable for us to bind together in the wrong direction than to be alone in the right one.
Those who have followed the assertive idiot rather than the introspective wise person have passed us
some of their genes. This is apparent from a social pathology: psychopaths rally followers.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Friday May 29th 2015

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

After sleeping ten hours Wednesday night, I think I slept three or four last night, and I am not tired. Go figure.

Mom wants to go to the greenhouse today to get planters.  I want to go sailing.  Maybe I can do both.

At home, the temperature did get down to three degrees Celsius, with a 6 MPH wind.  Bummer!

In the morning, I began washing the boat and loading things back on board.  

Before noon, Mom and I went to the garden centre to get her some planters for her patio, then we went for lunch.

After, I had a nap and then finished the boat and measured the sails since I am considering ordering new sails.  That took up the afternoon and into the evening.  It started to rain and I decided to go to Canadian Tire for a new gas tank for the outboard.  The existing tank leaks when it gets warm, and the fumes and oil that escaped during storage are partly the reason the boat is hard to wash.  Although the boat was cleaner than expected, some spots were especially dirty, near where the gas tank was sitting.

The new tank is far heavier, with an automatic vent, and looks designed to allow air in, but to resist releasing vapour, so maybe it will not vent like the old one.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
Norman Vincent Peale

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Saturday May 30th 2015

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

I slept eight hours and awoke to a rainy morning.  I have dreams of going sailing today, but the weather is not the best.

Today: Showers ending this afternoon then cloudy. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming northwest 30 gusting to 50 this morning. Temperature falling to 11 this afternoon. UV index 3 or moderate.

This lake tends to be gusty, even on a good day.  Gusty winds are not fun for sailing.

I see it is rainy at home, too.  I also see that it is time to trim the trees or move the camera.

I caught up at the desk this morning and got back to work on putting things back into my boat.  It is a bit of a job and I need to find a way to not need to do this every year.

I went to bed at 2300 and woke a while later.  My phone was flashing, so I checked and Medhat had replied to a question about exotic mites raised in the forum. I stayed up a while, then went back to bed and slept.

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
Isaac Asimov

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Sunday May 31st 2015

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

I surfaced from a dream and wondered what time it was.  4:23, I thought, no, maybe 4:24 by now.  I rolled over and lifted my head to see the clock.  4:24 it read.  What is with that anyhow?  The mind is an amazing thing.

I lay there a few minutes, and in that time my mind got active.  I realized that I was not going back to sleep, so I  got up, had breakfast and coffee and went back to bed.  Four and a half hours is not enough sleep

That is the theory anyhow.  Who really knows?  Everybody and every day is different.  Trying to follow rules never worked for me.  The only rule I follow faithfully is , "Break every rule".  Besides, I have been napping during the day.

That did not work out.  I'm awake and the day looks clear and ideal for a sail.

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Clearing this afternoon. Wind northeast 20 km/h. High 12. UV index 8 or very high.

I've been here a week as of tomorrow and need to decide if I need to get home and when.  Tasks keep piling up.  I need to write a general letter to my bee customers who are beginning to wonder now when the hives will be ready.  I figure the end of the month, but having used mated queens may have speeded things up.

For now, the best thing I can do is leave the bees unmolested for a while longer, but I have a massive amount of cleanup and repair work to do at home.  All the more reason to stay here.

I still have not splashed the boat and I have a few more things to do to get ready before I am ready to go.  I've lost a pin from one of the shackles, and need to load and attach lines and various other items.

*    *    *    *

By 1400, I was ready to go and hauled the boat across town to the ramp where I spent another two hours finishing the setup.  The mast has to be raised and sails attached, etc. on-site since it is thirty feet tall.

The launch went off perfectly, the engine started, and soon I was sailing.  The boat seemed to be a bit tender as I tacked upwind back to Mom's.  It was not until I docked that the next-door neighbour that I realised that I had forgotten to fill the ballast tank.

I tied up, had supper, then Mom drove me back over to get the van and trailer.  BY 2000, I was beat and called it a day.

If you feel like there's something out there that you're supposed to be doing,
 if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.
Wanda Skyes

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