"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

December update

I am sitting listening to Gary Moore playing Parisienne Walkways as I write this. It is moving, magical music, bittersweet and sad. So too it fits this past year in many ways.
2016 has been a long tough year. We have faced our full share of trials and then some but times like this have to happen.
We have lost several dear members of our family, Jasmine our oldest cat who disappeared one night. Probably into a big snake unfortunately. Such a risk goes with living in this area.
Also Sen one of our two youngest cats was run over on the road out front.
Most recently we lost our beloved jersey cow Annabelle. After giving birth this year she had a particularly bad case of milk fever and despite everything we could do to help she died soon after. Anna is keenly missed. Anyone who has ever had a house cow knows how they become one of the family, especially if she is a jersey.
 I often find it easier to let people go than animals I love. I have a lot more faith in animals.
On that, I myself continue the battle against depression. This has not made the year any easier for my family I know. Life is improving nevertheless and we are making plans for the future.
I have begun investing in the bees- expanding the hives and have begun researching the local area as much as possible. My previous experience of beekeeping was on the Darling downs under very different conditions to the north. Here there are many different types of flora to learn about, different flowering seasons and the ability to work the hives throughout the year with out a winter downtime.
The youngest Cloud farmer is also very interested in learning all about bees! So much so that I was forced to purchase a bee suit for him due to him forever getting too close to the hives unprotected when I had them open.
I too am experiencing the joy of discovering bees through my sons eyes. It is a wonderful thing to watch him gently examining a frame of brood or search for the queen.
I dearly hope he will find the same passion for these remarkable creatures as I have. It would be wonderful to be able to go working the bees with my son in the future. Even better if one day I could hand the business over to him!

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing how our looking after animals somehow develops into making them part of the family. My commiserations are with you Ulf and your family. It is unfortunate that we all seem to be losing a pet or two most years. Ours was a guinea pig we look after for our grandkids which died only 3 days ago. After I pulled carrots this morning for the cookup, I suddenly found myself heading towards where he was with the carrot tops, only to have to turn around and put them into the pumpkin patch as mulch. I could have walked the other way and gave them to our heifer I guess.
    My other grandson is interested in bees and has been around mine for all his 12 years. I took him to a bee field day 2 Saturdays ago. He was in the front row watching all the time. I did get him a small nuc going last year after I caught a small half litre size swarm but it didn't persist after a long hot dry late summer and autumn and probably not much winter food available. I hope to get another going in the next week or so.
    An older retiring beeman at the field day forecast that someone young getting into bees today will apart from facing disease challenges have a successful career. I would like to think my grandson will be part of that.