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These images are from January 15. I think they speak for themselves.

Oh this puppy is growing! She’s now over twenty pounds and was just ten when we started with her almost four weeks ago! And the cuteness is growing just as fast. At some point she will become a teenaged dog and we will yearn for these days.

A sunny morning was welcome after the last couple of gray days. It was a good opportunity to try out a new ‘superzoom’ camera too. It goes out to 600 mm and is small enough to easily carry around.

 

Last night I saw on FB that my friend Julie was seeing the Aurora Borealis from her place. She’s at least 50 or 60 miles east of here and 30 miles north but still in Okanogan County. We do get to see them here from time to time so I went out to see what I could see. There was a long glow on the northern horizon but nothing too exciting and I was underdressed for being outside on a cold night (still adjusting to fall temperatures). Inside, I found some warmer clothes and put my camera on its tripod and returned to the porch.  Luna kept following me around and looking at me like I was nuts but that’s how it is when you’re a dog.

After a while the sky got brighter and soon there were curtains and streaks and colors and it was all very exciting for an hour or so. My view to the NW is blocked and I wonder what my friends across the valley were seeing – something even more spectacular is my guess.

I love that I can see the Big Dipper in some of the images!

I’m a bit behind with photos these days. Seems like I’ve been working non-stop since we returned from Canada and then when I do have a few moments for fun, I come home with more photos! Maybe someone should stop me…..

Last weekend was the vintage car/rv/bicycle event in Winthrop. The RV’s were in the Pine Near RV Park and part of the main street was shut down for the cars. I never did get to see the bicycles. We had lunch in town with friends and saw some of the specially cared-for vehicles. Like a packrat or magpie I seem to be attracted to bright and shiny objects. Don’t ask me any info about the models or years – I really don’t anything about these things. They are just pretty shiny things.

 

Continuing on with the ‘abundance’ theme, Ken harvested his honey this past Labor Day weekend. After two seasons of beekeeping we were anxious to see what we would get. We knew it was not a lot but after last year when some other bees robbed all of our honey we felt like any that we could harvest would be a bonus.

Ken had ‘supers’ on top of the bee hives. These supers hold frames where the bees store honey after they have filled the main box and that is the honey that we get. The honey in the main box is for the bees – to get them through the long winter months. Ken took the super and all the frames that had honey in them over to Dave S’s house. Dave is a long-time Methow Valley beekeeper who has mentored many a new beekeeper and he said we could use his honey house and equipment to harvest our honey. The honey house is actually a greenhouse or hot house and it was HOT. This makes the honey flow easier and faster.

The first step is to cut wax caps off of the honey so it can get out. To do that you use a hot, electric knife. The caps fall into a screen and any honey there drips into a sink and then into a five gallon bucket. Buckets are important. The frames hang over that sink til they go into the extractor.

The extractor is an 80 year old machine that works very efficiently. Dave said he can still get parts for it and of course, there are no expensive electronic components to fail without notice. What a refreshing idea. I miss machinery like that. It spins the frames and using centrifugal force, pulls the honey out into the big barrel where it drips in to another bucket! It took all night for the honey to drain so Ken picked it up yesterday and we put it into jars. All told we got about 1 3/4 gallons. Not enough for a whole year for us but enough to get us started and have us looking forward to future years when, hopefully the hives will be stronger and make more honey.

 

 

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