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April 13, 2020: Pretending its Spring

Like hey, what else are we to do? The light returneth and the temperatures climb – good indicators. Snow still deep in places – the landscape does not prompt one to think of spring. I’m seeing a lot of chickadees – if the robins come back soon, they are going to be in for a rude awakening. Same for the sandhill cranes and geese. They don’t have thumbs to twiddle, so they will be here soon.

So we are now doing spring things. First on the agenda today – dig a trench to the right of the two-sided shelter so that the water in the shed flows out into the more open area. Easier said than done. Pete went at it with a digging bar, bang, bang, bang, and I moved the snow and ice with a shovel, crunch, crunch, crunch. We both got into it because we had to. The fun part was interacting with the horses, particularly Hrimmi and Raudi, who hung out and watched us. Tyra and Tinni were then out in the yard.

Finally, Pete slammed the crowbar into the ice blocking the entrance to the trench. The water then spilled down the corridor, out into the yard. I cheered inwardly because I’d been shoveling the water out of the shed three times a day.

Pete hiving bees

Today the bees also arrived. They were stuck in Portland, at the airport for a few days. Someone, I think, took good care of them. I put on my hat and gloves and climbed up on a snow berm and watched Pete release two batches of bees into their respective hives. These bees, Italians, were all business. A few years back, Pete released them and the ones that took to the cold air dropped to the ground.

I have named the two hives. My hive is named Hive Alive. And Pete’s hive is named Bee-lieve. I feel more of a sense of affinity with these two batches of bees because it took them so long to get here and this had to be hard on them. This year, I am going to pay close attention to them and their care. Pete managed to get a 50-pound bag of sugar from the grocery store today – a relief since this is one of the items that local stores have not had in stock for some time. Bees gotta eat something or else they will starve.

I worked on Forks and then got my sorry ass outside and went for a bicycle ride, to the end of Buffalo Mine Road. I think altogether it’s about a 12-mile ride, there and back. Yesterday, Pete did this ride. I waited until 4 p.m. before I set out. This was a big mistake because the dirt road surface was packed ice slush. I kept hitting these slush pockets on the way up and stalling out. I did go to the end of the road because I knew that when I got home that Pete would ask me how far I went. I did not want to say three quarters of the way.

The ride home was fairly fast – I was able to push my way through the slush pockets. I am kicking myself now because I wish that I’d been riding all winter. Well, if it had been warmer, I might have. Milder temperatures in such instances are a real motivator.

Next: 104. 4/14/20: Conversation with Raudi who today turned 17 years old

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