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I’ve always enjoyed sunsets, even as a kid, so it felt like old times as The Mighty Dachshund and I put the sun to bed last night. Actually, I was watching the sun and our surroundings from the porch swing while she mostly watched the country road in the opposite direction. We continued to sit there as darkness fell. In the distant east (the way the pooch was looking) a tom let out one last gobble about 30 minutes after sunset. A few minutes later, (also to the east) a whippoorwill let out its first call of the evening just after a tom gobbled on the roost. As the darkness slowly grew, the dusk to dawn light out by the road came on, overpowering any remaining light coming down from the sky. It was the wife’s third request before the pooch finally consented to go inside.
I stayed up until midnight watching FOX last night before taking out the dog, so I didn’t have to take her out again until nearly dawn. Once again, we parked on the porch, this time to watch the day aborning. (I like sunrises, but I’d much prefer them later in the day.) A mourning dove began its sad-sounding song a few minutes into our vigil. The east slowly brightened and other birds soon awoke to add more cheerful airs to the scene. When the first sunbeam hit the wall just above our heads, I decided that I was going back to bed, so we went back inside.
The lawn has needed mowing for a couple weeks but, unknown to my wife, I was giving the wild greens a little more time to grow. I made my picking yesterday, though—mostly chicory, but with some dandelion and a tiny bit of narrow-leaf plantain. So, around 11 today, I started mowing. I knew my gas was limited, so I mowed next to the house first, then the main part of the lawn between the house and the white pines by the road, then another small level section on the opposite side of the driveway. That left the 200 foot long strip between the pines and the road, and a fair-size sloping area next to my “garden.” I’d planned on going to town then and getting more gas, so I could finish up, but the missus didn’t want to, so I guess I’ll finish Friday, since it’s supposed to rain Thursday.
Not long before I finished up, I drove through what I knew was a bee swarm that seemed in the process of settling into a small (35 feet) maple on the south edge of the main lawn. Swarms are usually pretty tame, as they don’t have a home to protect yet, but these seemed a bit defensive and followed me several yards and tried to land on me. Maybe they were just confused, but I made the next two passes at a much higher rate of speed. By that time, they had settled onto a limb about 20 feet from the ground. It was a good-size swarm—16-18 inches long and 6-8 inches in width. I called the county extension agent and told the secretary there was a swarm here if anyone wanted to work that hard for them, but I never heard from anyone. I hate to see them go unused, as they’ll probably die of mites if they go untreated. Incidentally, there’s an old adage: “A swarm in May is worth a load of hay; a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, but a swarm in July isn’t worth a fly.”