• Tag Archives Duluth
  • Bee Diary: Bottling 2011

    Lughnasa                                                      Waxing Harvest Moon

    The honey harvest has moved to the bottling stage.  Kate has dozens of jars filled already, quarter pint, half pint, pint and quart (peanut butter jars). We’ll give them out as gifts, tips for good service, for barter.

    I’d say our harvest this year was twice what it was last year, an amount that seems to make sense, so I think two colonies is plenty.

    Mark Odegard’s label, utilizing art work from a friend of his in Duluth, is snazzy.  It features a northern Artemis, bow pulled with geese flying above her.  I’m going to Duluth this week or next to deliver payment for the art work.  Honey.

    Kate’s quick treatment of my multiple stings:  cold shower, benadryl and prednisone minimized the post-sting trauma.  I have no psychological aversion to the bees; they were just doing their bee thing, so bee-keeping will continue as part of our gardening, orchard, apiary set-up here.

    The honey harvest has this strange phenomena associated with it, one I imagine farmers feel when they harvest crops in the fall.  All the work, hiving the packages, feeding them, putting pollen in, adding hive boxes and doing reversals, putting on a queen excluder and slapping on the honey supers all lead to this one day, removing the honey supers, extracting the honey and bottling it.  All that work and a very quick finish.  Very satisfying, but a little strange in the brevity of the final, sought after act, the penultimate purpose of all of it.

    The ultimate purpose, of course, is honey consumption.

    Almost done with the bee work for the year.  I’m reading to lay down my smoker and hive tool and to pick up the Oxford Latin Dictionary.  Ovid will get more time now.



  • The Great Lake

    Beltane                                                  Waxing Last Frost Moon

    Have you ever had a love affair that ebbed and flowed like embers in a fire wavering between bursting into flame and dying out?  I have.  Today I visited that other lover in my life, Lake Superior.  A bookshelf full of books rest in a room not ten feet from here, each one of them related to Lake Superior in some way.  An entire file drawer of a vertical file drawer contains carefully organized files, each an eco-region in the area around Lake Superior and its watershed.  In another spot sit the maps, some USGS, some others representing the land around the Lake.  There are, too, files of notes from two circle route trips I took, each time stopping in various county historical societies:  Ontanogon, Marquette, Thunder Bay to pursue research about this phenomenon less than 2 and half  hours from my front door.

    My brother Mark and I drove up there.  He wandered Park Point and hiked all the way up Lake Street to the top, turning then for a magnificent view of the lake.  While he discovered Duluth, I attended a conference on Sulfide Mining on the Mesabi Range.  This was a large group, 70 plus folks, gathered to hear experts discuss various aspects of sulfide mining’s impact on the waters of three watersheds and the communities of people, trees and wildlife that would share the land with this toxic producing form of mining.

    It was one of those clear northern spring days.  The sun flashed off the lake, bouncing off the crests of waves made by lakers going in and out of the Duluth Harbor.  The temperature was cool by the lake, warmer up the slope of the hillside where St. Scholastica sits; it’s fortress like main building dominating the surrounding the area.

    The drive was long and the stay short, a combination I try to avoid, though this is my second time recently.  The drive out to Lincoln, Nebraska to get the dogs was also a long drive, short stay, quick turn around.

    Not sure where Lake Superior and I stand.  The old spark was there as we crested the hill and looked out over the St. Louis River toward Superior, Wisconsin and the lake spread out below us.  My research, though, sits unused, as it has for several years.  What’s the status of this relationship?  Not sure.

  • Sickle Moon

    Beltane                                                     Waxing Last Frost Moon

    That last frost sickle moon hung in the western sky as I drove home from sheepshead last night.  The sickle’s always seem to have somebody sitting on them when I look up.  An old woman with a conical hat and a skirt filled with stars.  A boy dangling his legs.  Or, as in one meditative state long ago, Moses on one side and Jesus on the other.  These moons are pregnant with possibility, with the dreams and the hopes littering our lives, just waiting for fullness.  It will swell, grow fat.  May your dreams.

    Those card gods that have been so good to me over the last few months abandoned me last night.  In the first four hands I didn’t have enough total trump to pick up the blind and play.  A night of 7’s, 8’s, 9’s and the occasional 10.  Two decent hands the whole the night.  As Ovid points out over and over, the gods are fickle.

    Today Latin.  I’m down to line 228 on the Diana and Actaeon story.  I still need to watch those words separated from each other but with the same endings.  I also need to watch the situation which Greg, my tutor, analogized to fixing a car and having a part or two left out.  I translate sentences and from time to time I have a word or two left over.  Hmmm.

    We’re just getting to the good part where Actaeon’s own dogs tear him to pieces.  That’ll teach him to to see naked goddesses.

    Leslie and I had our next to last meeting and she encourage me to attend an event at UTS for those of us who have been mentors.  A tough sell, but I decided, for Leslie, that I would go.

    Afterward had to drive back into Minneapolis because I forgot to pick up fliers for the mining conference I’m attending in Duluth tomorrow.