Yesterday morning, I saw that all 7 Toulouse geese were out on the lawn. On closer inspection, with only one little fuzzy, yellow, gosling. Went and checked the window well where they'd hatched, and 3 more were snuggled in with the Buff Brahma chicken who was still sitting on 2 unhatched eggs ! Picked them up and carried them over to the geese. Greeted with much hissing, open wings and threatening gestures, so placed them as close as I could and backed away. Soon they were incorporated. So cool to watch the stately movements of the geese, all 7 watching out for the littlies. Went back to check on mama chicken and found a dead gray and yellow gosling. The White Chinese seem to have much stronger constitutions than the Toulouse. Now everytime I look at them, I compulsively count the 4 goslings. Jackie came over yesterday to drop off the Amish Paste tomato plants she'd found for me in Shipshewana and pick up eggs, and also found them adorable but couldn't get close enough for a photo. The one White Chinese goose is sitting on her clutch of eggs under the creeper in the front yard, although she keeps kicking eggs out, which Rosco takes, and I scold him and take them away and break them. Funny how they know which eggs aren't fertilized, or have something wrong with them. Think she started with 16 eggs, but don't know how many she still has under her. Know I've broken 2 but don't know how many Rosco's eaten.
I potted the 10 new blueberry starts, and placed them out in the berry garden. Went to check them this morning when I realized that the bees were swarming. Damn, I hadn't prepared any other hives to take new swarms. They were all abuzz and so I quickly started getting a new hive ready. Lost them as I could no longer hear their buzzing, so tramped through the woods in that general area, looking. Nada. On exiting, saw the whole swarm about 20ft up in a tree. Too high for my longest ladder. After I'd got the hive set-up below them, looked up and they were gone :(. Prepared another 2 hives-to-be, including the one Top-bar hive. It's one leg had broken off so I went a-hunting in the shed and found a brace for it. Think I'll take the drill out tomorrow and fasten that baby up, as, thinking about it, the way I balanced it probably won't stand up to the weight of the hopeful honey-to-be. I worry about that little hive as it had dead bees in it, many stuck head-first into the comb, which means they died of starvation. That hive may not be large enough to sustain a whole hive through the Michigan Winter. The larger Top-bar hive completely collapsed. Maybe I should re-make it or maybe I should just stick with the traditional ones. Can always add another box layer.
Have the two guest rooms made up with clean bedding and towels, vacuumed, basins clean and shiny, waiting for my dad and Claire next week. Looking forward to their visit and meeting Claire. So exciting.
Well, it's rained on and off for the past week, but was hot and sunny today. Will go and see the damage in the hayfield tomorrow. Need to get the cut stuff out of the field, so that the next cutting can grow. Still very demoralized about it. Also plan on working up my garden on Sunday, and Salle is coming to shear my sheep on Monday.
It's 5am and I haven't been able to fall asleep yet. Maybe I should just get up and do some work. My nose is blocked, have just Vapour-rubbed my chest and feet. Forgot to take my tonic this morning. Must be allergy related to playing outside with the beehives most of the day.