The fall of the monolithMay 4th, 2011 by richard
One of the strangest features of Casa Azul has been a large stone, standing in the courtyard. Well this week we took it down. It went as part of patio project stage 2. Now we’ve done the barn we are paving part of the courtyard and turning it into a small patio area. The stone was in the way but we wanted to keep it so we’ve turned it into a stone seat. Very nice it looks too.
After the recent, much needed, heavy rain a surprising thing happened. I found some puffball mushrooms at the bottom of the garden. Autumn was so dry we didn’t get any mushrooms but here they are now. I’d never eaten them before and I must admit they were rather a disappointment. Like creamy tofu.
Much tastier, I am sure, will be our honey and on the latest inspection, the bees are really going for it. Keen readers will know that we started off with one box (the brood box) and after the bees had settled down we added a second on top. Between the two was a queen excluder. This is a wire frame that stops the queen from going “upstairs”. Therefore she concentrates on laying eggs and making new bees in the bottom box while the workers fill up the top with honey. And after a few short weeks the bees have been busy making honey comb in the top box and filling it with honey. As can be seen in the photo below. This is just one frame of ten, so we are hoping they will all be full by July and ready for harvesting. Thinking of which, I’ll have to do some reading and work out how to do it.
Never mind honey bees, we also have a carpenter bee making its home in the pergola. I’ll try and get a photo of the bee soon (it’s a big black hairy thing like a bumble bee). The nest itself is just a small perfectly round hole which the bee has chewed out of the frame.
We’ve also got a wasp making a nest in the potting shed!
With the rain and now more sun, the veggie garden is taking off. Here are the spuds in all their glory. And thanks to the polytunnel we have been eating strawberries for weeks (admittedly only about 6 or 7 a week) and have enjoyed plenty of artichokes.
Of course warmer weather means the smell of summer is here – yes the barbie!
Most of the locals have small tractors but we’ve got one old boy who still uses the old ways.
Couldn’t resist putting in this photo of the hairy one enjoying a puddle. They won’t be here for much longer.
And of course the wild flowers are still a joy. The poppies are coming up now but we still have a few orchids about. We’re not sure whether this one is a bee orchid or woodcock.