Thursday, February 12, 2009

Honey Bees

This is one of the most important residents on Koppick Knob. A few years ago, we noticed fewer bees and thus fewer flowering plants. My father decided to become a beekeeper to see if we could increase our bee population. We all enjoy learning about how to care for bees and we definite love to hear about Dad's efforts. Often it is how to coax a swarm into one of his bee houses without getting stung. Last winter, we tried to save some of the bees who were out in the cold. That's when I learned that the male bees will not live as long as the queen bee. Recently, we treated the bees for a little mite that will actually kill the bees. We've all experience being stung more frequently, but the pain is worth it because we enjoy the honey during the winter months.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Under the Old Mulberry Tree

My Father recently considered selling his farm on Koppick Knob. After many tears, pleas, and hissy-fits (as we say in the south), he decided to keep the farm for a little longer. Realizing that someday I would loose my visitation rights, I decided to take pictures to document as many wildflowers, trees, and wildlife that I could before the farm was sold. It is sadly a reminder of what I could have had, if I had been more frugal with my money. My father and children have enjoyed the picture taking as much as I do, so it has become a family project. My father requested that we take a picture of the Old Mulberry Tree during all four seasons. One of my sons asked him why he wanted a picture of that tree since it was dying. My father said the tree was a symbol of perseverance, endurance, and life. The tree has been on the farm as long as we remember. It has endure the storms, persevered the droughts, and continued to produce a bountiful fruit throughout the years. Five generations have spent afternoons eating the mulberries and dreaming under the tree. The memories and stories will remain long after the tree is gone. One of my favorite memories is the night my grandfather's dog climbed the tree. There is a ground hog's hole that goes under the tree. In fact, it looks like a den in the tree and disappears into the ground. My grandfather's dog woke everyone up one night with continuous howling and barking. Dad decides he better go on a search and rescue mission. Much to our surprise, the dog had climbed the tree and both groundhog and dog would not budge. My father climbed the tree to rescue the dog and saved the groundhog at the save time. If only we had a video camera or a cell phone back then.