Sunday, May 31, 2009

Burrowing Owl Chicks!

My campus has Burrowing Owls. They have been featured in the media before, BBC did a great show about urban wildlife and focused on the campus. (see here, owls at 6:30) The owls were doing great, then disappeared all together, and in the last few years have slowly returned. I hadn't seen one for three years, and then was walking along a campus road after lunch one day, and was shocked to see one sitting just off the road in the dirt. The campus has been hopeful that they would mate this spring.

We are in luck!

Friday, May 29, 2009

3B art

As seen in Make magazine: 3B art!

I'm impressed that my girls did their own piece with no foundation prep! So avant garde!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Urania hive and burr comb

I will admit that I went into today feeling a bit nervous after the sting on last weekend. I took some Rescue Remedy to calm my nerves. Beekeepers have a lot of opinions, but they do agree - if you are in an off mood, the bees will respond in kind.

After seeing the progress the Terpsichore Hive has been making, it was decided the Urania hive should be looked in on, and fast. We settled for this morning. Once the fog burned off we suited up. At first, I wasn't going to bring my camera. We had a single honey super ready just in case. The telescoping cover was removed, and whoops!

We've been of the school of thought to let the bees be bees, and that we shouldn't expect them to grow enough to need honey supers this year. !!! On my bike ride to work I was thinking - coffee grounds in the compost. compost on the garden. garden grows the flowers. are the bees caffeinated?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Growing Challenge: Update!

Photos are all from the weekend, it's taken me this long to catch up. Saturday and Sunday were unusually hot, happily most of the plants have recovered but in the photos a lot were looking a bit thrashed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's beehive hot!

Our normally temperate weather turned much warmer over the weekend, 93F yesterday and about the same today. As much as I was waiting for the cool evening weather to hit, I considered that the inside of the hive is usually kept at 95F. Those girls must have been hot!

I was out all day Saturday, so today was more my day to see how the hive was doing. I noticed that some of the girls were flying in and out of the hive, but it wasn't the usual bee cloud we've been seeing.

Later in the afternoon I pulled the mite drawer out of the hive to check for mites. I admit that I was pretty curious to check on the hive, and thought this may give me a look into the hive without breaking open the supers. It may also provide the girls with extra ventilation. This is also a passive method of pest control as described in Natural Beekeeping.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bike to Work Day, 2009

Yep, it's finally arrived! Bike to Work Day! Or in my case, Take the Caltrain and Bike the Rest of the Way to Work Day!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

bees and garden update

video

Sunday Hike: Memorial Park

Years ago, in elementary school, we went to a camp for a week. One of the events that week was a hike to the summit of Ellen Mountain. I remember feeling a sense of awe and accomplishment: I climbed a mountain! I'd always thought it'd be nice to go back there, I do remember it had great views.

This Sunday: Memorial Park. We took the route suggested on Bay Area Hiker, and set out. This was the first park I've been to in my hike a week project that had a fee. At a mere $5 for the day, I thought it was well worth it. I know every week it's "This is my favorite park!" but really- favorite.

The park is named Memorial in memory of World War Veterans. Near the picnic & parking area, a large sign dominates a quiet memorial grove. Other memorials are there, plaques and benches. It's a quiet and reflective area.

Other points of interest were the nature center. It has many examples of things seen in the park, information on the animals, and some great photos of animals and plant life labeled with names. There are several picnic areas with bbqs, a swimming hole, and a beach. This park also has camping, and a quick drive through the campsites has earned it a spot on the "places to camp!" list. It'd be a joy to spend a weekend in this park.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bike to Work Day - one week away!

It's come to my attention that many of my fellow bike car riders are less than thrilled about bike to work day. "Bike to work day!" one of my friends said this last weekend. "that's the only day I drive to work!" I over-heard another pair recently mapping out their ride to maximize free swag. "The train will be full of idiots" the woman said knowingly. Her friend nodded. "No bike tags, no clue how to organize the bikes by destination, just idiots."

Ouch.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hard to know how to respond.

A woman committed suicide yesterday via Caltrain. I am sorry for whatever in her personal situation caused her to sit on the train tracks. I am sorry for the loss her family and friends are experiencing. At the same time, selfishly, I was glad that I was already at work.

Monday, May 4, 2009

the local red headed crooner

Our little red-head and his brunette girlfriend? House finch!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wunderlich Park

The Sunday hike, like my bees, was not to be deterred by the weather! I asked my friend if she'd be interested in joining me for a hike. She selected Wunderlich, and I was absolutely interested after reading the Bay Area hiker review. (And the creators of Bay Area Hiker? LOVE you!)