Drone vs Worker bee

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Spotted a drone on the landing board of one of our Warre hives. Managed to snap a picture of the much larger drone next to a worker bee. Stately looking gent, eh?

Robin’s Nest!

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Ma Robin decided to grace us with, well, a “bird’s eye view” (sorry…couldn’t resist) of her nest. It’s in a pot of flowers on our front porch! The Robin gave Teresa quite a fright when she watered the flowers! I hope the neighborhood vermin will leave them alone.

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Thanks for looking…bart

Ramps!

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Our ramps are up! Noticed them today peeking through the leaves about 3-4 inches. Maybe we’ll have some ramp burgers soon! We don’t have many so we just use the tops so they’ll come back each year.

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Sourdough bread….

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About a week and a half ago I mixed up a sourdough starter. Actually, this was the third try this winter…the first two molded instead of souring. I had another starter going about a year ago but let it die. This one seems “stronger”. Anyway, I have been diligently feeding what Teresa refers to my “monster” and it is really starting to bubble and froth and smell like sourdough! So…being off work today I thought I might give a loaf of bread a go. I made it from about half white and half whole wheat flour. I only let the loaf rise about three hours but we think it turned out great! It had a nice crust and a hearty flavor, enhanced I’m sure by the caraway seeds I threw in the mix. Went great with Teresa’s left over beef roast and the salad I threw together. It was a bit heavy…next time I’ll let it raise a little more – maybe even punch it down and let it raise twice.

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20140225-190103.jpg Thanks for looking…bart

Superbowl fare at the homestead:

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20140202-170823.jpg Clockwise from 12 o’clock: potato salad, corn, baked beans, kale and barbecued ribs…and deviled eggs in the middle. Yummmm!

Made a knife sheath for a buddy…

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A good friend of mine has a knife that belonged to his Dad. The original sheath is about shot so he asked me if I could make him another. The front and back of the sheath were cut out using the original for a pattern. I then riveted them together using small copper tacks for rivets.

20140106-152050.jpg Holes for the waxed linen thread were punched with an awl. I just space them by eye so the distance between stitches are rather random.

20140106-151605.jpg The front and back were stitched together using a double needle saddle stitch (at least I think that’s what it’s called).

20140106-152541.jpg I’m no expert leather worker, but the results are solid and functional. I hope my buddy will be pleased with the results…

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Thanks for looking…bart

Too cold for the shop, so…

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Too cold to go to the shop the past few days (currently 10 above at the homestead, -6 forecasted overnight!) so I was forced to occupy myself INSIDE. First, I got out the dehydrator and dried some apples. I like to keep a few dried apples on hand to sweeten up my oatmeal, mixing in baked goods and for snacking. I peeled and sliced the Gala apples with my R. Murphy bowie knife. I know, it doesn’t “look” like most folks idea of a bowie but that’s what Murphy calls it. Excellent knife, as are all the Murphy’s I own. I may do a post on those sometime.

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The apples were dried overnight:

20140106-145130.jpg Finally, they were stored away in an apothecary jar:

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While we had the dehydrator out I sliced up some London Broil for jerky:

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After getting the seasoned beef in the dehydrator, I ground about 5 pounds of pork shoulder and made sausage. Then, after breakfast this morning, I milled some buckwheat and hard winter wheat for hot cereal and pancakes:

20140106-145740.jpg. Plans are to cook up a batch of fresh sausage and buckwheat cakes for supper tonight. It may be cold outside but we are eating good!

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