November 15 trap door closed November 15 trap door open 15 Nov: Today I built the trapdoor. It fits fine in the frame but the frame does not fit fine in the rough opening. I've got some wood filler and shim work to do, then painting/staining.

Both decks are in place with temporary piers. That's a project for next year.
11 Oct: Finally a beautiful, dry, breezy day. I stained the front and back decks, front step, storm door and trusses. Temps got down to 32° last night. October 11 Staining the decks October 11 Staining the decks
basement floor
27 Sept: Behr Epoxy Paint/Sealer. This turned out to be a bad idea because I was in a state of denial about efflorescence and didn't "etch" the floor first with muriatic acid. I can't even bear to think about being near muriatic acid. The paint was toxic enough but it had no discernable odor.
Stained the gable ends of toolshed
10 October

26 Sept

foundation repair foundation repair foundation repair
17 Sept: Repairing the sills and bottom of siding and sheathing

July: The queen never laid eggs again. The hive is dying.

31 May: Last Thursday night the bear came back and demolished the hive. I had not yet gotten the electric fence up. It has been raining for 3 days and the solar lights were discharged. There was nothing to give him pause. So Friday morning about 6:30 am I discovered the carnage. I had to go to a meeting at 10:00 am and didn't have a lot of time to fuss. It was still raining. I found one intact frame that had a large cluster of bees underneath, protected from the rain. There were a few other frames that were not too badly damaged and there were many more soaked and unmoving bees on frames and on the ground. I quickly got 7 more or less intact frames back into the hive body and closed it all up. They were very wet but there was nothing I could do about that. I got back around noon and called Tom to ask for his help. He got down here about 3, having stopped at Tractor Supply in Rutland to pick up the rest of the stuff I needed. While I waited for him, I pounded in the four cedar corner stakes, 8 feet apart, around the hive, like a boxing rink. I also installed the pt 4x4 post that would support the controller. I'll use a 5 gallon bucket over the top to keep the weather out. Tom's electrical engineering degree was a major help in building such a handsome and effective installation.

electric fenceThe next day, Saturday, I was tidying up out there and went to survey the area in front of the hive where all the wrecked frames had been and still many dying bees. There were bits of comb all over the place. I spotted one the size of a squashed golf ball with moving bees on it. I picked it up and to my horror, it was the queen and a few of her attendents. She had been out a second night. Neither she nor her attendents had ever been out of the hive so they did not know how to go back. I put her on the landing board and she walked in. Within 1/2 hour the attitude of the bees had changed from general loafing to organized cleanup. Dead and injured bees were dragged out and dumped.

It will be a few more days before I can check to see if she is laying again. If she was injured and cannot lay eggs they are doomed because they need eggs to make a new queen. All the existing brood died shortly after exposure to the elements which was about as bad as it gets, wet and cold. But she looked OK to me. Her wings did not appear damaged. Her attendents would have clung to her to protect her and they must have kept her warm through the two cold nights. It's shear luck that I found her. I thought she was surely in that big swarm that I put back and did not think to search for her.


fox maus annie
Fox, Maus, Annie 2 Jan
Chloe Feb 22
Chloe 22 Feb
Annie 24 Feb
24 Feb Annie is growing a ruff

1 Jan: Frigid! Temps dipping below 0°, light snow

2 Jan: An amazing thing just happened. I was looking out the back window toward the bird feeders when I saw two birds flying in my direction, a small one followed by a large one. My immediate thought was the big bird was a mourning dove. It landed in the big maple just outside the window and it was a sharp shinned hawk. It had apparently made an attempt on one of the birds at my feeder and missed. That might have been the small bird that the hawk was chasing. But what really caught my attention was that the moment it landed, it tucked its right leg up under its feathers and perched effortlessly on one leg. Then I realized it was the same hawk that was at my feeders one year ago, on the 27th, with a recently damaged foot or leg that she had not yet learned to compensate for. She was awkward and struggling for balance. I figured her for a goner but here she is, a year later, and adapted beautifully to her injury. Her landing and flight was graceful and belied nothing of her handicap. She's won a place in my heart, even though I might lose a junco or two.
crippled sharp shinned
27 Jan 2008

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