Since we caught a swarm of bees last Friday, I spent all of Saturday building a couple of beehives.

These are top bar hives (a completely different beehive than the standard box hives we’re used to) and they’re four foot long each.

Mary Cate transferred the bees to the new hive, and we’ve got one left over in case we get a chance to catch another swarm this year.

Addition: Mary Cate talks about the bee transfer here.

Published in: on 6 May, 2009 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Critter Hoop Houses

We finished up our latest chicken hoop-house this week. Here’s our four movable animal pens, all in a row:

Hoop Houses

From left to right, they house guinea pigs, laying hens, broiler chickens, and the laying chicks. The last one will be used for turkeys in June.

Published in: on 6 May, 2009 at 7:43 pm  Comments (2)  

New Guineas

We’ve got a band of feral guinea pigs. We had them in an enclosed pen outside, but they all escaped and have been living it up on the land. Those that haven’t been eaten by other critters, that is.

The most dangerous time for the guinea pigs is when they’re young, because then our cats, which we have to keep the rodent population down, will predate them as well. But once they’re big enough, the cats leave them completely alone.

For a while now we’ve been planning on making a nursery for them to keep the ones that are either too young to be safe outside or which have given birth too recently to be safely bred.

Last week my daughter happened to catch one of the guinea pigs that was very pregnant. Instead of letting it go, I brought it inside and have kept it in my office until we can get the nursery finished.

Today the nursery was finished, and just in time, because this is what I saw when I came to my office this morning:

Baby Piggies
Piggies and Mommy

Published in: on 5 May, 2009 at 11:24 am  Comments (1)  

My banjo and me

Ever since I moved and lost the handful of guitar and banjo recordings that I had posted, my friend Tante has been bugging me to record more of my banjo music.

So when I started learning how to play the banjo clawhammer style (as opposed to bluegrass style, which is what I first learned) this spring, I finally gave in and started recording some tunes with my cheapo USB microphone.

Here’s one that I recorded this afternoon. It started out being “Praise to the Man” from the LDS hymnbook, but it ended up being closer to the original tune “Scotland the Brave”.

(static link.)

Published in: on 4 May, 2009 at 10:53 pm  Comments (2)  

Stockpiling rubber band firearms

I’ve been working as a counselor with some of the local Boy Scouts for the woodworking merit badge, and for their final project they got to make ping pong ball guns.

After helping them all make them, I decided that in these uncertain times, I needed more rubber band powered firearms in my stockpile, so I made several of them for myself.

Ping Pong Ball Guns

Ping Pong Ball Guns

I took three of them to the game night with a couple of friends, and for a while I wondered if we’d ever get around to putting down the ping pong guns and playing the board games we had planned to play.

Now I’m very much looking forward to playing with these with my brothers next week.

Published in: on 4 May, 2009 at 10:13 pm  Comments (5)