Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Year of the Snakes

Chippewa Snake Boots
If you are a beekeeper or you just work out in the fields of Texas, you should probably invest in some serious snake boots. I feel much better now that my beekeeper has a good pair of Chippewa boots.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pink Fire Trucks Tour

Pink Heals Tour Truck & Ribbon
At lunch I joined a few friends at the hospital to support a fundraiser and awareness campaign hosted by our local fire fighters association as part of October's breast cancer awareness month. So glad I went.
Pink clouds

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Working Together

Preparing to remove wild hive
Last week Mark helped out his former employer - City of Seguin - with a wild hive in Central Park. It was fun to tag along and watch him work to get the bees off the pecan tree. They were rather gentle but you never know with a wild hive so better to remove them now before they become aggressive, as wild bees here in Texas tend to get. And how fun to ride a cherry picker. :)
Hive up close 1

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hair Haus & Locks of Love

Snip, snip
That's me outside Hair Haus yesterday evening - shout out to my favorite beauty shop! They were one of several local downtown merchants hosting a late evening opening as part of Seguin Night Life and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you could get your hair cut for FREE if you wanted to donate it for a good cause. In my case, I'm sending the little bit of hair I cut off to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that accepts these hair donations in order to create wigs for cancer patients undergoing treatment which may cause them to lose some or all their hair. Here's what I started with -
Checking out the hair - it's mostly getting chopped Friday.
Thank you, Audra, for making this such a nice moment for me and my sister. You rock.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pressed Shirts

Shirts for the beekeeper
If there's one thing I love about men's fashion, it's the marvelous shirts and ties - so many colors! Even the understated colors are wonderful. When Mark went back to San Antonio for a few months, I was too busy with two jobs to iron (not a task I hate, actually) so I dry cleaned his shirts weekly. We love City Cleaners - small, locally owned company. Great old building. Friendly owners and operators who remember you when you come in. Actually, if they see you coming, they go ahead and start pulling your clothes. How lovely.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cloudy Fall

Awesome cool skies Sunday morning
 A wet fall and winter is always better for our bees than a dry one so we are thinking next year should be great for wildflowers given all the moisture in the air lately! I snapped the above one last Sunday morning. I snapped the below shot at lunch today as I left the office at the mill. I love a cloudy sky sometimes.
Sky at the Mill in Seguin

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cool Mornings and Open Windows

Enjoying the open windows on a cool morning
That's right - we finally are feeling a tad bit more fall in the air! And that means it was cooler outside that it was inside this morning and I opened the windows in the dining area so we could enjoy the sounds of the birds chirping in our backyard. Even Smokey is starting to enjoy the new sights and sounds of his new yard.
Contemplating his next adventure to worry mommy

Monday, September 17, 2012

Raindrops on the Plumeria

Raindrops on a Plumeria leaf
It's amazing how crunchy things can get in the South Texas heat and drought. It's equally amazing what a little rainy spell can do to moisturize things around here. We're finally moving into fall a little bit and rather than the upper 90 degree temperatures we've been getting, we've been enjoying cloudy days and 80 degree weather for a few days now. Despite it being the one weekend we set aside for moving, we can't begrudge the skies for dumping rain. We welcome it. Makes for good blooming and winter honey for our bees. This is the Plumeria leaves on a plant that has struggled quite a bit through the years. My brother-in-law gave it to us maybe ten years ago and when we put it in the ground it finally really took off. It reached heights taller than my 5'1" reach but then suffered a huge setback one year. No, not from drought, but rather, from a very hard freeze we had. Poor thing. That actually happened twice but here it is - still alive. Sadly, the pink and yellow bloom Plumerias from my mom did not make it that freeze we had. This one blooms white and is quite lovely.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Sunset and Stormy Skies

Sunset over the Lazy U Ranch We've actually been getting a bit of a rainstorm here and there and we even have a chance for a shower overnight. How lovely. Gives the bees a chance to build up some honey reserves for the winter. :) This was shot last night over the Lazy U Ranch along the Deadman Creek area. Lovely out there.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rain in the Gauge

We got a great amount of rain from the storm.
And we finally got some rain this past Saturday night - a wonderfully robust storm came through and dumped some much needed water on the entire area! Yay! Sorry for the lack of posts, it's been crazy busy with Mark working full time and us still trying to run GBR in the evenings and weekends. I also had to be gone two weeks for CMC so there goes August pretty much. :) Oh, and we'll be moving soon. Man, I'm a little tired.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Pollen & Allergies

Honey & Pollen
Pollens in and around Seguin. My days lately are centered around IT work at the mill or bee and honey work at home. So here's what I see about Seguin! :) The pollen you see here is what is in our local honey and it's what helps me to enjoy the outdoors again now that my sinuses are under more control. Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Fallen Hive & an Appearance in the Paper

Looks like the ground gave way
Poor hive - downed by some dry, dry ground. Looked like the ground simply gave out under the stand. It is incredibly dry lately and horribly hot. HOT. Like when you walk out and the sun hits your bare skin...feels litterally like an oven. HOT. The bees were okay though not happy, happy when Mark set them back upright. I meant to share this much sooner but with all that's been going on...I simply let time slip by me. Our little business continues to do well and we always appreciate some press. I would like to add that I did not say to microwave honey as this write-up makes it sound. I've had a few people confirm that they read it as if I was saying to do that if honey crystalizes. We never do that. Just put it out in the Texas heat and it'll decrystalize in a day. Or some hot, hot water with the lid on a pot will do the trick just fine. Microwaving will chemically change the honey and why would you want to mess up a great thing to start with, right? GBR in the foodie section of the Seguin Gazette

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another Day of Interesting Clouds

Ominous clouds above
Though it did not rain on us today, we sure did have a wonderful week of rains and interesting cloud days. Today was wonderful and I had to take a few minutes to snap some of these shots. This is photographed with an iPhone and the Photosynth application. Then I app'ed it with Camera+ mostly for cropping purposes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rain on Lemongrass

Raindrops on Lemongrass
Finally got some rain yesterday. It wasn't a downpour but that's okay! Not sure the ground would know what to do with all that water anyway. :) This should make all the plants very happy as we had a nice lightning show to boot.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Clouds But Little Action

Cloudy, dark morning in Seguin
Lately we've been getting some weather action in the way of clouds and stormy looking clouds but then it all breaks up and we end up with very little or no rain. We sure could use a nice soaking soon all around. Some surrounding areas have gotten a bit of rain but you can see signs of the dryness all around. The below shot is from one of our bee yards about seventeen minutes from the house. Cracked ground is a common sight now.
Dry grounds at Rattlesnake

Friday, June 22, 2012

Skies Over Seguin Mid-June

Clouds and sunset over Seguin
Last night's sky shot - what a nice bit of rain we had but we could use more. The clouds always make for interesting sky shots. Have a great Friday, everyone.

For other wonderful sky shots, check out Skywatch Friday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Able Cable Man

Able Cable Guy
We live in the middle of town, which is so nice because we can get anywhere in town within five to seven minutes usually. We've enjoyed that and it makes it easy for people to find us - service folks, beekeeping student, honey customers, friends. Speaking of friends, we are fast becoming best buds with the technicians of Time Warner. I am not going to bother going back through my calendar or my files to see how many times they've been called or have made visits to my house to fix things that we have bundled together like many other fine citizens in this country. The last time they were out here (March of this year), I got THREE technicians. Yes, three. The main guy in training, the trainer and then a third man who happened to be in the area and thought he'd see how things were going and if assistance was needed. I recall the main man told me he felt I wouldn't need to have another call with TWC in response to my question about how to do a reboot of the system next time. haha...poor man. Guess he was idealistic as a new employee. Lo and behold, here we were in June and another call. Actually, this man came to run new wiring in the attic AFTER the last man fixed our internet issue (new router needed which the Three Amigos should have seen and done) and troubleshot our TV A/V issue. Note he's got that wire thing on our hardwood floor and it was moving around and making me nervous about scratches so I put a towel under it. Sigh. I was also told they don't typically schedule their technicians to work in attics except in the mornings as they don't want them to overheat. So I waited for Tech 1 but he was injured and couldn't make it and so we rescheduled and this is Tech 2, who was very nice and seemed to know what he was doing but had to do it in the 3-5pm window. I asked him about that and he replied he'd heard the company talk about Texas heat safety but they just kept scheduling him to go into attics all hours of the day. Poor techs. I was disappointed to hear that as it goes to show corporations say one thing and do another everywhere. But that's an entirely different post. Long story short to say getting service on things you pay for can be really challenging. It's like insurance. You pay for the coverage/service and then when you really need it, you have to jump through a lot of hoops and be really persistent to get what you need. What should be done already and done right. The first time. Not the seventh time. Why is it so hard to find people who care about what they do...whether it's bagging groceries (I need to post on that!!) or getting me in to see my doctor without a two hour wait?

And on that note, I leave you with the parking genius of the day. We see lots of them on our street and it's one thing we won't miss when we move out from the middle of town a bit - bad parking. Actually, I don't know if you call it bad parking or simply total lack of consideration and total self absortption. I think a lot of bad things stem mainly from people not caring about anyone else. Check out the second vehicle - it's a FedEx van. Yes, he stopped right there. Parked. Rummaged around the van for some time (perhaps ten minutes)and then finally took a package to the house NEXT to us. Wow. I wouldn't dream of just parking it in the CENTER of the small, busy street. Today's Bad Parking Winner #2

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thinking of Outside

Rattlesnake hives 6
Today after I finished with a big quarterly call at work, I browsed through some pictures of the outdoors because I am missing being outside a little. Although the little time I did spend running errands was rather HOT. Another scorcher out there, folks. I had to put the hose out in the backyard yesterday as several areas of the lawn are have become quite dry. This is a shot I snapped last week while with the beekeepers out at Rattlesnake bee yard. It seems a like so long ago; isn't that funny how it happens that way? I enjoy the country very much and i think it is definitely cooler among the greenery, away from asphalt and concrete. Hope you get some greenery in today. :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Bees & Flowers

Wax skyline
My life is all bees, honey, and tips at work right now so you're going to have to bear with bee-oriented shots, which I assure you is far more interesting than IT-oriented tips I'm working on in my day job. :) We're extracting honey - most honey we've ever had for two reasons. 1) At one hundred or so hives, we have more bees than we've ever had before. I think that's double what we had last year even after selling a number of nucleus hives (starter hives) in the spring. 2) We had a great raining winter and spring and it's keeping the flowers going and now the Mesquite is as well. Here it is early June and I'm still amazed at the flowers that are in bloom, fueling our bees. Awesome! Mark was particularly happy that the last bit of rain rejuvenated the Indian Blankets, as the bees love that and this kept them going with honey production. The first shot was at Rattlesnake bee yard near Marion (Tx). I was watching Mark, David and Ira pull the honey supers off the hives in order to begin extraction. I loved what was left on these frames when they pulled one of the supers off - looked like a skyline to me. And I wanted to eat it! lol. I shot the picture below at Deadman Creek bee yard at the Lazy U Ranch (a certified organic ranch).
 Bee on Indian Blanket blooms 2

Sunday, June 03, 2012

A Flea, a Fire Ant, Thistle and Bees

A flea and a fireant
One weekend, I accompanied Mark to our local Home Depot on Austin Street near Interstate 10. As we drove up, I exclaimed in frightful delight - what a great photo opportunity! I laughed and nearly jumped out of the truck to get a shot with the ginormous flea and fire ant. But then I spotted the Ortho salesman who had just spotted us. Probably my overly exuberant skip. Sigh...I really just wanted a picture standing near or under the blow-up critters but I didn't want to chat about insecticides so we snapped a quick shot and kept moving towards the opposite door. Now, besides this being a photo op I couldn't let pass, I think it's sort of an odd way to lull people over. How interesting to think a flea and a fire ant are appealing in that way. hmm.Now, to a more pleasant visual of the Seguin area, I'd like to share a lovely shot of the thistle that has bloomed nicely this year. I photographed it as I visited bee yards during our honey harvest. Lovely, lovely year for wildflowers. Here it is the beginning of June and we have tons of flowers everywhenuure!Thistle in front of hives

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mysterious, Lovely Vine Plant

Mystery vine with fruit
Aren't these fruits spectacular? Mark spotted these on one of his bee yard visits this past weekend. He'd never seen anything like it and neither have I. When he showed it to me, I was stunned by the bold, vibrant color - it was almost unreal. Does anyone know what this vine plant might be?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Purple Sage

Purple sage bush 5
Have you noticed the explosion of purple blooms on the sage bushes lately? It's everywhere and this one is in our front yard which is great because our bees love going to it as you can tell in the picture above. Sometimes when I get in the car to head to work and the bush is alive with blooms, I sit still and watch the bees buzz all around the bush, which is right next to the end of the driveway. Once or twice I've even seen the entire bush just humming with a ton of bees. Kind of neat as long as I'm sitting behind the glass. :-)Here's what the bush looks like when you step back a bit.Purple sage bush 4

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Car Fantasy

Sweet ride
Saw this cutie pie on Court Street as I drove home the other day...so pretty!! Had to backtrack to snap a picture because I've always thought it'd be so fun to zip around in one of these but with the top down. Along the coast. East or west, it matters not. Red is pretty but other colors came to mind also.
At first I thought I would prefer a dark green one as it's one of my favorite colors. Something like this one I found online. But then I thought about how much I like pink and so I found THIS AWESOME CUTIE. :-) Now I just have to come into some money for the fun cars because while I'm at it, I might as well ask for the awesome van I found.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What a Wet Spring

5+ inches in 2 weeks. Nice!
Well we sure can't complain about a drought this year. In the past eight days, we've gotten over five inches of rain. YAY!! And the bees are making a ton of honey - great news for local folks like me who suffer from allergies. Great job bees.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gift & Gourmet - Seguin's Own Glamorous Shopping

Inside Gift & Gourmet - GBR honey display
Oh my - WHERE DO I START?! I L-O-V-E our new G&G shop down on the square - it gives me the same feeling and impression as when I walk into a Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and William Sonoma. And now I can shop here in my own town and not drive 40 miles away. This is so great for our community and I am so proud to have G&G representing us all. I don't even know that I can write enough about how wonderful it was to see the new location finally. I will miss it being across from us on Austin Street but once I saw how well the shop fit downtown, I knew they found a good new home. The work that has gone into the shop is visible before you even walk in. The windows along the front of two sides of the shop let in a great light and the spaciousness is fabulous. I think I could seriously live there. Seriously. That's how beautiful the shop is and how much I love what Mary and all her team have down with the building and space. GREAT JOB!

Mark and I went on lunch to find his mom a gift for this weekend and we did. Too bad I can't show you what it is yet. :) Guess what else we found - Gretchen Bee Ranch honey AND Mark's book on the Seguin slave trade. At the same display! It was so awesome and gave us a great feeling. We are working on the display in the hutch we'll deliver to G&G soon but it was so sweet of Mary and her staff to put the honey and candles out on the tables. We loved all the accompanying bee-oriented baking accessories. SO CUTE. You can tell I love it, can't you. I won't lie. I really do. Go check them out and support a local business. They have never let us down with their high-quality products and customer service. And do you need it giftwrapped? They do that, too! Gift & Gourmet collage

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Rain Puddles in May

Finally, we got rain! After a very long nap (5 hour stupor, wherein Mark checked on me a dozen times to make sure I was still breathing), I still managed to sleep Saturday night. At the pace we keep with a fulltime job and a home business, I get tired. Period. And top that off with a stressful week in Florida, well, my body just shut down after bee class Saturday morning. I was in deep slumber. All that to say that I was still able to go to sleep Saturday night but was awakened by the soft rolls of thunder and then rain. Glorious rain. We were just saying that morning that if it didn't rain soon, it looked like we would need to turn on the sprinkler a bit for the browning patches of grass. Well, now we won't need to do that. Last night it rained again and today there is a 60% chance of rain. This will give us a very nice soaking for sure and that's just what we need to boost our landscape a bit. I don't get to take puddle pictures often so I snapped one while we took a walk Sunday evening. This is on Elm Street. We almost bought a house on Elm St. years ago but I'm glad we ended up on West Krezdorn. I love our little home.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Queen Bees and the USPS

App: tadaa
Yesterday we received a special package in the mail - more queen bees to requeen some hives with soon. Note to self: when shipping live animals, it would be good to mark the packaging so that the mail carrier can call the recipient to pick up the package rather than have the poor animals ride in the mail truck. But...the package WAS humming quite loudly so if I was the mailperson, I think I probably would have handled this envelope with extra care. :)

I shot a Queens buzzing video in case you want to hear what buzzing queens sound like when they are in an envelope.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bee on Indian Blanket

Bee feeding on Indian Blanket
Hello my friends - I'm on vacation while family is in town so I'm behind on all sorts of things including posting. Here's a shot I snapped last week when I visited the Lazy U Ranch where we have one of our bee yards. I love it out there - it's an organic ranch. Pretty cool concept in my opinion. I didn't even know there was such a program for ranches before we met the owner here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Did You Have a Nice Easter?

Easter Egg Hunt 2012
I hope so! Bonus for you! I am getting in a SECOND post in one day. Normally I don't have time to ride around and spot events and such for the blog. Working two jobs is getting in the way of photoblogging. :) So I'm tickled I actually got three different opportunities for cool shots. I want to share this one since it's specific to Easter. We were driving to church and saw this great scene at Emanuel's Lutheran Church around the corner from our house. Loved it. Reminds me of the egg hunts we used to have when the kids were younger and when my nieces and nephew came to visit one year from the East Coast. Fun. Easter Bunny still visits me and Mark as well. Really. Yuummy. Easter Basket 3
Updated 7/31/13: Thanks to Woody for catching the church name, which I originally mistakenly put at Faith Lutheran, which for some reason, I often do.

Easter Bee

Cute Easter bee basket
Happy Easter everyone! Hope you all have a wonderful day with your loved ones.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

First Trade Days of 2012 - Musical Interludes

Little dancers
These lovely young dancers were one of the highlights from this weekend's events down on the town square. As we worked our honey booth, we enjoyed the different groups that performed yesterday. This group is from the Teatro De Artes De Juan Seguin and it was their first performance in front of a crowd. We all think they did great. There were other performers from the non-profit organization that also did a marvelous job, including some awesome accordion players. There' something about conjunto I just really enjoy! Here's another group I really liked - the Navarro High School Jazz Band. LOVED them last year and was thrilled when they came on stage. We had great seats right behind the gazebo. Made for great background music though I did get a crackly throat throughout the day trying to talk over all different sorts of music. Worth it, however. Navarro High School Jazz Band

Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Fields of Flowers

Lazy U Ranch - Deadman Creek
Can't ask for a lovelier Seguin as of late. Y'all have a great weekend! And if you're going to Trade Days tomorrow, please come see me at our booth and say hi. We have a double booth behind the court house.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wisteria and Bees

Wisteria with bee boxes
Good morning, everyone! Just a quick hello from Seguin. Haven't had much time to post as we had a big event this past Saturday for our new beekeepers. Here's a shot of the latest thing to bloom in our yard - upright Wisteria. I love it and so do the bumble bees. Yesterday I saw three of them buzzing around the tall plant. Their flight behavior is so different from our honey bees so I enjoy watching them dart around in start/stop fashion (versus the more smooth flight of the honey bee). Here's a shot of our class from Saturday. We had a SUPER FAB time and now there are at least 24 new beekeepers in South Texas, keeping gentle bees. That's not counting the folks who got a jumpstart on things and picked up nucs weeks earlier. Let's hope we all have a great honey harvest this year!
Hands on portion of class