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~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

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Prairie Views Strategy for Bee Pollen and Nectar

 

 

 

 

 

My strategy at Prairie Views is to provide enough sources of Pollen and Nectar for the bees from March to October. With the native plantings and bee source landscaper I will be mongering what is available in used by the bees during these times. Last month the plumcot bloomed when we had a warm period. Later came the pear trees and dandelions which are still booming at this time. Now we have the the crab apples which will also provide beauty in the front as well as food for the winter for the birds and maybe a jar or two of crab apple jelly for us. The period I will be concerned about will be In July were there are fewer blooming plants due to the heat. It will be interesting if the seeds I planted will live to my expectations to provide booming plants during this time for my bees.

SPRING IS HERE AND THE BEES ARE HAPPY!

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Since it was a very nice weekend, weather wise, it was very important to put a bee hive inspection at the top of the TO DO list. The hives are looking great. They are strong without any signs of swarm development. So you might wonder what I look for in my inspection. 

  • We look for the queen. If we cannot find her we look for brood and the brood pattern.  After inspecting to first brood box we put that one aside and take a look at the second brood box. Most frames on the second brood boxes were empty or had a little honey on them.  This is what we expected.  I was surprised that the  stronger hive had some brood in the second box. We set this box aside and then check the bottom screened board. This board was really clean on one hive but had quite a few bees on the first hive we inspected,  We scraped any stuff and dumped any dead bees into the grass. This is not something we would worry about this early in the spring since we have just started having spring weather except for the rare January warm up. I think this might of happened becasue we had very warm weather in January that turned to snow the next day. 
  • After inspecting the hives it is time to put them back together. We moved the top box to the bottom and the bottom box to the top. The reason we do this is we want to give the queen more room. The queen usually likes to work up so it you switch it around she has move room to move up while making brood. 
  • On top of the hives we added one supper since we are already having pollen and nectar flowing from the flowering bush and pear tree in the Food Forest. The apple trees and more pear will bloom soon too. It it looks like they are not getting anything I will put syrup out for them. The only problem is if you have suppers on you take the chance of getting sugar water honey. Not good honey at all!  Most of the supers were in the freezer all wither with a mix of capped and uncapped honey so they will have honey available if it gets a little too cool to go our or it rains too much.  
  • You might wonder why I have honey frames. The reason is you do not want to take uncapped honey from a hive becasue it will contain too much moisture. Later we will add more suppers to collect honey. 

 

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I like to watch the bees and noticed they had to go all the way in the red flowers to get the pollen and when I saw them going into the hives they had their pouches full of red pollen. Many had white pouches too which is from the pear tree. Dandelions are blooming  too but I suspect that they prefer the other flowers. It made me remember to make some dandelion jelly this year. It was interesting to see the red and white pollen patterns in the combs. An interesting note during the inspection is I did not find one hive beetle walking around. There were some in the hive beetle traps.  Getting rid of them would be great but I am only hopeful at this point. 

Related Post

Early Spring Planting of Wheat, Buckwheat, Hairy vetch, Clover, Alfalfa and Rye

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It is the wrong time to plant winter wheat. It should had been done in the fall. However, I got behind doing those busy months and did not get it planted. So I planted on 3/2. I shall find out what will happen it the plants needs a dormant period to grow grain. The other I planted should allow for a decent harvest. The Finnish Sweetheart’s Rye is a new discovery. I have not been able to find much about the variety.   If all goes well with this planting I am hoping to have some varieties of honey to sell in the farmers’s market. The company I purchased the seed plants the rye in December in southern California not very far from where I lived as a teen and they go the seed from the Finnish Landrace Association. Later this week I am planning to plant some oats and barley. I am hoping this planting will be useful to the bees with the clover and alfalfa. So I know it is a landrace from Finland.

 

I used a rototiller set to loosen up the top inch of soil to allow me to seed rows. At first I tried the Earthway planter but soon go too frustrated with the spacing.  I went to using a trowel to make a farrow and then hand seeding. I went back with a rake upside down to move soil over the seen.  Earthway now has a black seed disk I might try. This are was planted in wheat and corn so I left all lf the refuse to let in decompose into the soil and make an little cover for the seeds and plants as they begin growing.

Planting for Bees, Monarchs and Upland birds

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On the other side of the sidewalk the seed mixture was planted.

 

Today, I planted another area with the Monarch Butterfly and Honey bee Mix I purchased from Sharp Seed Company. This area has Iris , day lilies , tulips and Periwinkle. I tired to remove most of the periwinkle but left the rest.  Now all it needs to do is rain. I just might start watering this area since it is near the house.

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In the fore ground is were some of the upland bird plants will be planted. The seed was planted on the other side of the fence.

 

Last month I had planted a mixture of prairie grass and this Monarch Butterfly & Honey bee seed mixture. We have not gotten rain yet so I am hoping for some soon to get the seed to germinate. In front and the side of the prairie grass and wildflower mixture I will be planting the Pheasant Bundle plants I ordered from the Kansas Forest Service. These will also be good for the quail in the area.  My plan is to increase habitat for pheasants and other grassland-dependent species combined with habitat that will also increase populations of native pollinators,

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Yesterday I transferred some wild plums to this area near the road. This will provide animal cover and a wind and dust break.  There is some wild plums I transferred last year and other plants good for birds.

 

I also ordered a queen castle hive from Golden Prairie Honey Farm. This will be my new to go to place for ordering supplies.  Golden Prairie Honey Farms is a beekeeping supply and honey production business that serves as a training program for veterans and transitioning service members. You can order and have items shipped or call ahead to get supplies.  Later I will update about my queen making. 

 

 

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A Fine Danish Meal for a Cold Winter Eve.- DANISH PORK TENDERLOINS & SUGAR-BROWNED POTATOES

We Had very nice weather the last few days. I had another wonderful trip to Maxwell Wildlife Preserve this past Saturday but it is still winter so the cold weather returns.

 

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I used a 3 pound pork roast instead of a 2 tenderloins. It will take a little longer to cook so cook until done. .  I cut in the center as directed in the roast.

 

 

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DANISH PORK TENDERLOINS

 

  • 12 dried prunes
  • 2 pork tenderloins (2/4 to 1 pound each.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tart apple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook prunes in boil water 5 minutes; drain. Remove pits.

Cut tenderloins lengthwise almost in half. Sprinkle cut sides with salt and pepper. Place half each of the prunes and apple down center of one side of each tenderloin; cover with the there side. Fasten with metal skewers; lace with string. Place on rack in shallow roasting pan. Roast in 325 degree oven until done, 45 to 60 minutes.

Remove pork to warm platter; keep warm. Add 3/4 cup water to roasting pan; stir to loosen brown particles. Pour into 1-quart saucepan. Shake 1/4 cup water and the flour in tightly covered container; stir gradually into drippings. Heat to boiling,  stirring constantly. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon n pepper. Boil and stir 1 minute. Cut pork into slices,; serve with gravy.

 

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SUGAR-BROWNED POTATOES

 

  • 2 pounds new potatoes
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon water

 

Heat 1 inch salted water (1 teaspoon slat to 1 cup water) to boiling. Add potatoes, Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook until tender; 20 to 25 minutes; drain.

Cook and stir margarine, sugar and salt in 10 inch skillet over medium heat until mixture starts to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and; cool slightly. stir in water until blended. Add potatoes, Cook over low heat, turn  potatoes to coat with sugar mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get In The Picture

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Print and 2017 Decor Trends

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The printed word is all over the house. It is still a very popular theme in the average home decor.  I have an interest in home trends. It will be sad to see that cooper is out as long as yellow/ gold paints. I still love the look of my family rooms walls. Grey has also seen its heydays. I was never too much into the grays. I am glad I decided against the subways look in my kitchen. I was a bit leery of the trend. It will make a kitchen look dated very quickly. 

 

Some trends for 2017

 

Teracotta

 

I like the color and it can look wonderful as as accent walls. Look beyond terracotta pots to get into the color.

Dark Greens

Add a touch of dark greens to you chairs.  If you are in to purchasing a new couch or recliner this might be a color you could consider.

 

CORK is Still In

I am so happy to know this since I still have not started working the beverage center cork back splash.  You will see more cork covered walls in designs.

 

Reading Areas

This is the best news for me. I was planning to make my away (front) room with a sitting area for reading. Make a comfy spot for reading books, magazines and browsing.

 

Tropical Prints

This might be a hard one for most to use but think about using a throw pillow with a little tropical suggestions.

 

Geometries

 

I am seeing this trend where I work with some decor items that came in. These will be simple lines, geometric designs, and triangles in fabrics and items.

 

Texture and more texture

From couches with pleats to other items with weaved large stitches of yarn.  You will continue to see the fur and mohair in designs.

 

Blue

Blue is really really in. It is a beautify color to work work. I have always liked blue in my kitchen.

 

Jewel Tones

Be careful with this one!.  This is emerald greens, sapphire blues and amethyst purples worked together. What a beautiful look but can spell disaster if not done correctly. 

 

Raw Wood

As I was looking for a sliding door ideas for my Away room I came across a door make with raw wood. It was awesome look but not the look for the room I am doing.  I am think of making an end table with Osage wood for the family room for change. Maybe find an art form to add.

 

Copper

Will be a trend. It will be easy to add planter. I specifically like the small little greenhouses.

 

 

Related Post

Were I Stand

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We got the first snowfall the other day. A whopping 2 inches on the ground.  The snow is not too bad but the temperature is frigid.  Any temperature under 32 is too cold for me.  i am a beach girl at heart although I love the prairie in many ways.  The cold and the almost constant blowing wind prevents me from falling madly in love with the area.

 

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I started removing items out of the Away (Living Room) today. I want to get the falling ceiling repaired and walls painted.  Trim and doors repainted or stripped and stained. Floor painted and room carpet.  Then it will be decorating the room. Another 2-3 year project I am sure.

Contemplate

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A lot of contemplating going around today.  Should I start a project when I will be closing tonight? I do have some trees in the fridge needing to be planted but I really want to take my time and do it right and not do a rush job. I have been doing Mount laundy. One of those mundane tasks that tasks seems to pile up weekly.

I followed Dusty around a bit to see what areas he was contemplating about going into. He seems to do that a lot. The birds are out today and I saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, many House Sparrows, a Blue Jay and a Dark-eyed Junco. Time to get my fabric organized better. It is such a mess.

ONE WORD

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Today the goal was to put the house back into order for the new year. Putting up the tree and all the trimmings were not too difficult. Mostly because I did not put much of what I have out this year.  This year started again the new year working on reading the bible with the one-year bible companion and reading some book every day. I sued to read about one a month. Anyway,  I started this year with “The Hundred-Foot Journey” and I am finding to be an enjoyable read. Bird observations daily is another goal.  I have found where I work pretty boring,  I did not see one bird yesterday. It was rather windy so maybe they stayed in the bushes and trees. I would not blame them. I still need to go out and do some observation today.

Taking photos is again back on my daily goals. This is the second picture this year. Today’s theme is one word.

After doing some study of Arts and Crafts Era ceilings I found that burlap was very popular so later this month it will be the project to do on the ceiling of this room go get the parlor how I want it. I am excited it is coming to be, finally.  Watch for later updates as I more on.

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