Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2014 > Daily Dispatch #221

August 16, 2014: As If

Today, all day, I acted like as if I had all the time in the world. It felt like a very strange thing to do – I usually hurry up to finish one thing, move on to the next, then do the same thing again. It’s a time-related cha cha cha.

This morning, as Pete was preparing to go to Fairbanks, I suggested that before he left, that he first check in on the bees because this was something that he’d mentioned that he wanted to do. He hesitated, saying that he needed to get going, and that this would take at least an hour to do. However, after giving the matter a bit more thought, he decided to look in on them.

I then watched, as Pete gathered together his implements – this included the ubiquitous smoker – a container that looks like a beer stein – and filled it with birch bark and a small piece of paper towel. He also put on his outfit, a white jumpsuit and a beekeeper’s hat. I did not put on the same because I did not plan on sticking around – had other things to do.

Pete, before lifting the cover off the bee box, lit the smoker. It has a baffle on the side – his squeezing this provides oxygen to the smoker contents. In seconds he was surrounded by a smoke haze. The bees, who he speculated were angry – then settled down, allowing him to examine the frames in one, then the other hive. Some contained brood – that is emergent bees. And some contained some brood and honey. Pete removed the one’s that contained honey and put them in a separate box.

This is the second time this summer that Pete’s removed frames containing honey. When asked, he said that he thinks we’ll get about 30 pounds of honey this year. This isn’t a huge haul – our best year, which was in our second year of bee keeping, we got 200 pounds. And one year, we got maybe two pounds. I speculated that one reason why the amount is less than in previous years is because this year our neighbor Jim cut back on his gardening efforts. It’s been a relatively good flower year, but it could have been better. We need to break even in order to afford to continue to keep bees – we just came under the wire this year.

We don’t know how it’s going to go the rest of the summer. The August monsoon season is now here – overcast skies and rainy days. Bees won’t do much now besides grouse. A sunny September could change things though.

Watching Pete tend to the bees set the stage for the rest of the day. I later took Raudi and the dogs out, and I again acted as if I had all the time in the world. We rode to Grizzly Camp, went up the hill, and on the return trip we did all the trails in the lower loop. It was most definitely a leisurely outing. This was a good ride, as was my later ride on Tinni. I rode him all the way to the Moose Meadows, and we meandered around, looking for blue berries. I’m sure they’re out there, but I could not find any. I just didn’t know where to look. On the return trip, Tinni and I walked slowly up Murphy Road. Again it was as if I had all the time in the world. And I did, for I was next able to take Hrimmi for a long walk, around the loop and in the woods.

When finally, I got to doing evening chores, I took my sweet time about it. This was because in the end, I had no momentum. One gets this if they’ve been frenetic all day. Rather, I was moving at a pace that I’d become accustomed to.

Will tomorrow be the same way? Most likely not. Every day is different, particularly energy wise. I would not have it any other way. It’s good to speed up, slow down, and speed up again. This makes some days seem longer and some days seem shorter.

Next: 222. 8/17/14: When Pete’s Away