Beewatching’s Blog

Helpful Dog
August 16, 2016, 9:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Bet you didn’t know you could train them to do these jobs:

Working in a retail store, very eager to provide the best customer service.





Helping to recycle. I mentioned I was having trouble fitting large cartons in the bin.


Now if he could just learn to sniff out those high value Pokemon for us!


I found the answer to my question on Wikipedia
October 6, 2014, 3:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

What was the question? “What is turkey litter?”

Why did I want to know? The nice neighbor across from our future “farmette” (what a silly-sounding word, and this may be the last time I use it) contacted us to let us know that another local farmer, has (at our request) begun to turn the field of weeds into a field of green. The first step, apparently, was to put down turkey litter. The next step will be to plow under all those weeds I was griping about in my previous post, and mix that litter into the soil. If I were a timothy hay seed, I might say “yum.”

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

Visiting our little farm field
October 4, 2014, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,


Sorry, no pics this trip, so I’ll share a fall flower arrangement instead. I keep imagining I will park my easel in the middle of the field and capture its bucolic splendor. Unfortunately, it is not splendid yet. Thinking we were about to arrange to have a well dug, we were advised by a savvier neighbor that we would be better off having someone clear the field of poison ivy and callery pear saplings (whose thorns could pierce car tires), and replace the weeds with a proper perennial hay field. So we will do that. Our poor hazelnut tree babies will stay in NJ parked on the deck until spring. We headed home with our heads filled with notions of soaker hoses, geothermal and gray water systems, fence options and the dauntingly many considerations that will go into developing our home and orchard. Thank goodness for helpful neighbors. It’s just scary what we don’t know, but we’re committed to forging ahead.

Here is one thing I do know, that I am happy to pass along: if you are in the vicinity of Hanover, PA, and in the mood for a good hamburger, eat at the C&D Bar and Grill on Route 30. Their “Black & Blue burger” is my absolute favorite, high quality beef topped with blue cheese and mushrooms. Ok, now I’ve made myself hungry. Bye for now.

More advice: Count on your county’s Cooperative Extension for your gardening questions. They know their stuff, and what they don’t know, they can look up for you.

Hazelnut farm underway (sort of)
May 6, 2014, 9:52 am
Filed under: Growing things | Tags:

Our trees are effectively in their foster home (our New Jersey backyard), while a tenant uses our Pennsylvania field this summer. In the fall, the first batch of baby hazelnut trees (who look hardly more than sticks in pots right now) will move to their permanent locations. Before that happens, a well and deer fence must be waiting. We will learn how to use gas-powered augers. Fall should be quite interesting this year. We shall either begin to grow nuts or go nuts in the next few years.

One thing we didn’t know about these little trees before we ordered them is the horizontal extent of some roots. Try fitting something into a round pot that looks as if it would better fit into a planter the shape of a school locker lying prone. Yet the visible part of the tree is a slender twig only four feet high. These are clearly among the many things in life which one can not judge from the surface.

Our babies

Our babies

A shade gardening slide show (with animation removed)
February 1, 2014, 11:35 am
Filed under: Garden, Growing things | Tags:

shade garden first pageThis is just an experiment. I wanted to try posting a PowerPoint that I made to go with a presentation I gave earlier this week at a local garden organization. The animations I removed are not vital to the presentation, so I opted to eliminate them to keep the file smaller. One caption box is slightly out of alignment, but the rest looks as I expected. The full file is over 40MB, with higher res photos. The Mac to Windows format posed slight problems, especially when I tried a file that doesn’t embed fonts.

The plant lists are not exhaustive, and the final links page the same. Just a good starting point, I think. Take a look, please and tell me what you think.


We’re not farmers, but that’s not stopping us
September 5, 2013, 7:28 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here is a sneak peek at the little “farm” we just acquired. Nothing but hay and weeds, so far (lots of poison ivy). Next to go in: nut trees.

So far, no well (that is not a Christmas song). I wonder if we can generate enough power with an inexpensive solar setup to operate a rain barrel drip irrigation system for a small number of trees. If we find the right iPad app, I’m hoping the automated valves people use on home sprinkler systems can be used to open and close rain barrel valves. Anyone have success with this?


Woodpecker or construction worker?
April 17, 2013, 11:58 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

At our birdfeeder station, we sometime see (separately, I guess due to pecking order — bad pun intended) 3 woodpecker species: small, medium and large, which we’ve scientifically nicknamed “Small”, “Medium” and “Large.”

I didn’t see any of them today so far because at least one of them is hiding in shame for scaring me. From inside the house I heard what sounded like a jackhammer, within a few yards of our house. After looking up and down the block to see who was having renovations or stonework done (nobody), I too a wild guess that it was woodpeckerus largeus trying to eat our house.

Although a walk around the property didn’t turn up any visible damage to siding or shingles, I haven’t forgotten the decibel level of its drilling efforts, and have to assume it has at least made a dent somewhere. If that feathered forager hammers its way inside my house, I am going to force it to eat the stray stinkbugs that have blundered inside. That should teach if.