The Bee Chronicles

You might recall that we captured a small swarm of bees a few weeks ago. At that time we had not idea where they might have come from, but since then we checked the hives again and noticed that one seems to be missing its queen.

*long pause*

*heavy sigh*

We are sure the queen is absent from the hive because there is no sign of eggs or brood. Yet, there were some queen cups constructed. Queen cups are built for the purpose of raising a new queen. Now, bees would not be raising a new queen unless there was some concern in the hive that the current queen was absent or inadequate in some way.

queen cup ~thanks to wikipedia

Plan B – get a new queen.

Once again, Dave contacted Betterbee right away and ordered up a new queen which is shipped FedEx overnight and arrived Thursday afternoon. Without delay, we took her with her entourage to the hive and gently laid the cage in place. We have introduced a new queen before, so you can read about the process in this post.

This queen cage was a bit different from the last one, but you can see her here marked in blue:

The Blue Queen

The Blue Queen

The black tube on the end is filled with a sugary treat that the bees will eat through to release the queen.

Dave inspected frames closely to make sure there wasn’t a laying queen in the hive:

Close Inspection

Close Inspection

Then the queen cage was placed on the frames to see how the bees would respond to the new queen:

All Hail the New Queen

All Hail the New Queen

They seemed interested, but not aggressive so the cage is in place, everything shut back up tightly, and we will keep our fingers crossed!


Gratitude #10

This week I had two great pleasures in one:

1. I got to spend time with my dear friends Barbie and Shari, whom I have not seen in far too long.

2. We enjoyed a delightful outing to the Derby Line Village Inn – my new favorite restaurant.

I met these two great people about 20 years ago through work and have enjoyed their friendship so much.

Over the 20 years we’ve know one another much has changed:


Yet, more has stayed the same. I continue to admire these two women for their strength, independence, and respect for those around them. We share a love for travel, learning, reading, good food and wine, the ocean, the world around us, and much more.

I cherish our monthly (almost) outings together, which are continual reminders of how blessed I am to know these two lovely people.

Friends are a miracle!

Friends are a miracle!

A Day at the Beach



One of my favorite places to be is near the ocean. Any ocean, preferably any ocean with a beach. I love the sea. I love the sand, especially very long stretches of it.

I have fond memories of times spent at the shore with my Rhode Island cousins many, many years ago. When my own children were young we spent many summer vacations either in Cape May, New Jersey or York Beach, Maine enjoying the beach for hours on end. When at the shore I love to get up very early and walk the beaches, sometimes looking for seashells and sometimes just enjoying the peacefulness of the ocean before the bathing crowds arrive.

Listening to the crowds at the beach usually brings joy to my heart – little children enthralled with the waves that return again and again or filling bright colored buckets with washed up jellyfish – older children with their boogie boards and bikinis – parents standing guard by the surf – and the lifeguard’s whistle, a warning meant for one is a reminder to all of the power of the sea.

Several years ago my daughter-in-law and I began a tradition of taking a day trip to the beaches of York, Maine each summer. We leave early, pack some snacks and sunscreen, enjoy a day of sun and surf, visit the Nubble Light, and enjoy some seafood before heading home. Sometimes others join us, but this year it was just Kattie and I enjoying a day of mother/daughter bonding. It’s an exciting time for my son and daughter-in-law and I loved having this opportunity to be a part of Kattie’s excitement.

Photo laugh - photo by Kattie Smeds

Photo laugh – photo by Kattie Smeds

All day long we watched a group of twenty or more ducks enjoying bouncing along on the surf – just going along enjoying the ride. Good advice for a life – enjoy the ride, wherever it takes you.

Ducks Bathing

Ducks Bathing

The waves were small and the water was incredibly warm. I cannot recall the Maine waters ever being as warm as they were on this day. No freezing ankles, no goosebumps, just a pleasant cooling water. Though the mention of great whites did keep us close to shore.



Mid afternoon it was high tide and time to clean up and move on. At Nubble Lighthouse park we saw that our timing was perfect as a small storm began to blow our way.

Storm Brewing

Storm Brewing

Yet, the lighthouse was just as picturesque as ever.

Nubble Light

Nubble Light

Thank you Kattie for a perfect day! I will cherish the memories :)

maine 2015

Gratitude #9

This week I am oh, so thankful for old friends who stop by unexpectedly!

My dear friend Rick paid a surprise visit on Friday and I was actually home when he did! How fortunate that was for me.

I haven’t seen Rick in quite some time, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to sit on the deck and catch up.
After our visit I thought about how much he and I have in common, and how interesting it is to think about the ways connections are made between people.

Rick and I knew each other in high school 40 something years ago, but didn’t stay in touch until we reconnected several years ago. Now we communicate regularly via email and facebook and once in awhile even manage to find the time for a few hours together.

Thank you, my friend, for taking the time to stop in for a chat! It was good to see you – you look well, and sound well!

Until our next meeting I’ll see you on facebook and email!

Random Quirkiness

Sometimes funny things happen in life. They are small things, but can make you think in different ways.

For example, the other day I was writing something – I don’t even recall what – but I meant to write the word DUPLICATE. As I was re-reading what I’d written I discovered I’d written DOUBLECATE instead of DUPLICATE. I thought that was kind of funny since to double something is a kind of duplication and all.


It has been wicked foggy around here this summer. I guess with all the rain and variations in temperatures between the ground and the air, it’s no surprise. It got me wondering if we were setting a record for foggiest year on record. I couldn’t find any statistics on foggy years, but I did find a listing of average days of fog for some US cities, so I looked at that. Now, the city that we seem to always hear about as being really foggy is. . . San Francisco, right? Well, according to the list I found, it’s actually New Orleans, Louisiana (average = 200 days/year) based on data recorded between 1961 and 1990. Interesting.

I got a bit intrigued by fog, so did some research. The basics:

Fog shows up when water vapor, or water in its gaseous form, condenses. In order for fog to form, dust or some kind of air pollution needs to be in the air. Water vapor condenses around these microscopic solid particles. There are several different types of fog, including radiation fog, advection fog, valley fog, and freezing fog. The information below is from

Radiation Fog: forms in the evening when heat absorbed by the Earth’s surface during the day is radiated into the air. As heat is transferred from the ground to the air, water droplets form. Sometimes people use the term “ground fog” to refer to radiation fog. Ground fog does not reach as high as any of the clouds overhead. It usually forms at night. Fog that is said to “burn off” in the morning sun is radiation fog.

Advection Fog: forms when warm, moist air passes over a cool surface. This process is called advection, a scientific name describing the movement of fluid. In the atmosphere, the fluid is wind. When the moist, warm air makes contact with the cooler surface air, water vapor condenses to create fog. Advection fog shows up mostly in places where warm, tropical air meets cooler ocean water. The Pacific coast of the United States, from Washington to California, is often covered in advection fog.

Valley Fog: forms in mountain valleys, usually during winter. Valley fog develops when mountains prevent the dense air from escaping. The fog is trapped in the bowl of the valley.

Freezing Fog: happens when the liquid fog droplets freeze to solid surfaces. Mountaintops that are covered by clouds are often covered in freezing fog. As the freezing fog lifts, the ground, the trees, and even objects like spider webs, are blanketed by a layer of frost.

It seems that the Northeast Kingdom is mainly experiencing radiation fog.

July 19, 2015

July 19, 2015

July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015


A phrase came to mind recently – Doubting Thomas. Of course. I looked it up.
Here is what wikipedia had to say:

A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience—a reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross.

I had no idea the phrase was an religious allusion! Isn’t learning exciting?


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