Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cukes and peas, dancing bees

As our overabundant snap peas begin to wind down a bit, the vines are starting to show some signs of mildew, and are beginning to dry and brown at the bottom. This is a good sign that the peas will be done very soon. We have eaten all we can stand, have carried them to picnics to share, and have packets in the freezer. I am ready to accept their decline and embrace the next flush of vegetables. As the pea vines begin to dry and brown, they are exposing the small leaf cucumber vines that headed up the same trellis. Here you see a young cuke, intertwined with pea vines. I didn't really notice the cukes were heading in there until it was to late. I guess I will just cut the pea vines above the cukes and below them, and leave the center of the old pea vines wrapped up with the cucumber vines. Yes, some of that mildew is likely to spread from the peas. This is where a bit more thoughtful planning might have come in handy.

I also wanted to show you the new enclosure built around the young blueberry bushes. It is made of electrical conduit, pushed into the ground around the bed, and joined at the top with elbows in one direction and wire ties in the other. We found that this conduit works really well in our garden. It does not rust here in the salt air and it does not bend or warp. I would prefer lovely bamboo, but I don't have any. The structure is covered with bird netting. Now the berries are safe from the birds, even if it does take some work for me to get to them.

Finally, the bees. Grace's hive had a big orientation flight for bees newly graduated to worker status. Here you see them all flying in front of the hive. Loretta's girls are enjoying the early summer, hanging out on their front porch and doing a little washboarding: two steps forward, two steps back. No, we don't know why.