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Bees and my Strawberries

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It really started with my broccoli plants that took off and went to blossom. Theyhave beautiful yellow blossoms that are attracting honeybees and a small variety of bumblebee. I found this a real positive change from previous springs. In fact, the number of honeybees spotted in my garden area has been dismal and seemed to be getting worse. I actually employed some Mason Bees the past two years. There seems to be a steady crew working from mid-morning until late afternoon. My guess is that these are a wild variety that hang out in the woods nearby.

I put my macro lens of my Nikon D-200 and attempted to capture the guys at work. The yellow broccoli blossoms must be a bee magnet. I will try to remember that fact next year to draw bees in. I seem to be getting a little better handling this lens.

Bee and broccoli blossom

Bee and broccoli blossom

Carrying quite a load while working this blossom

Carrying quite a load while working this blossom

Off to another one. Trying to improve my moving critter skills. My goal is get a crisp shot of the bee flying!

Off to another one. Trying to improve my moving critter skills. My goal is get a crisp shot of the bee flying!

Strawberries grown outside seem to pollinate themselves pretty well but the fruit size may improve with help from the bees. If you are anal enough, you can take on the task yourself armed with a magnifying glass and an artist’s brush. I have used an electric toothbrush with my tomatoes with outstanding results. If I get frisky enough to crawl around the berry patch soon I will let you know!

Although small, strawberry blossoms have a delicate beauty about them. I caught some of the broccoli work crew sliding on over to the strawberry bed and working their magic. I may hire on tomorrow with my magnifying glass and brush….Love those strawberries! I will make jam in a couple of days and will hopefully put up a couple of dozen jars!

Do your magic little guy!

Do your magic little guy!

JBD_3398

Very nice strawberry  blossom

Very nice strawberry blossom

Now for the payoff –

Just starting to show!

Just starting to show!

Yes - developing nicely

Yes – developing nicely

The final payoff

The final payoff

Yum!!!!!

TTFN

Bishop

 

 

 

LSU Rural Life Museum

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A few weeks ago I sneaked in a quick trip to Baton Rouge. I have wanted to stop by this museum and exhibit for several years. When we visit our son at LSU in the Baton Rouge area we usually stay at he Fairfield Inn off of Essen Lane just across the street from the entrance to the Rural Life Museum and grounds.

I only allocated 2.5 hours and would like to have had that much more! I had put my camera bag together prior to making the trip but left it on the kitchen table …… not much use to me that way. The photos were taken with my iPhone….I need to upgrade; I am using the iPhone 3 – several generations “old”.

The museum area has a good number of period buildings and quite a bit of plantation life history in artifacts as well. I had pictured cotton as being the dominant crop but it was grown along with lots of sugarcane.  The outbuildings included a facility for boiling the sugarcane juice, several homesteader cabins, plantation kitchen, blacksmith shop, slave quarters, corn cribs and more.

The museum is filled with the details and images of the slave labor used in both the cotton growing and the sugarcane growing. The work must have been hard and the hours long. There is a section of the museum that delivers a “no punches pulled” look at the slave trade.

The Rural Life Museum has several examples of homesteader dwellings and they are simple yet well-built structures. I like the Dog Run style – two separate rooms with a breezeway between them covered by a common roof. Photo below.

I stopped and took a good look at the strawberries being tested by the LSU folks on the property grounds….FYI, several big botanical gardens are also located on the sprawling property.  I need to find a source for the beautiful berries I saw growing….I kick myself for not snatching one as no one was around…..couldn’t do it so I left wondering about the taste! It is University of Florida development for winter strawberries that has all of the commercial properties and still retains a very good sweetness.

http://www.visitbatonrouge.com/lsururallifemuseum/

http://appl027.lsu.edu/rlm/rurallifeweb.nsf/index

Very large and early strawberries.

Very large and early strawberries.

Winter Star strawberries

Winter Star strawberries

A cotton patch.

A cotton patch.

Now those are real mud tires.

Now those are real mud tires.

An old feed trough hollowed out from a log.

An old feed trough hollowed out from a log.

More of the notching og the logs.

More of the notching og the logs.

The notching to join these logs was intriguing.

The notching to join these logs was intriguing.

Very interesting chimney construction.

Very interesting chimney construction.

Dog Run style building

Dog Run style building, living on one side and cookhouse kitchen in the other.

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Log building and farm implements. Must have been back breaking work.

Building and farming implements.

Homesteader’s house

Where they boiled the cane juice

Where they boiled the cane juice

One of the many old buildings.

One of the many old buildings.

Cook House and kitchen garden.

Cook House and kitchen garden.

A cloche that obviuosly was very old. The glass had begun to pick-up that purple tint as it ages.

A cloche that obviously was very old. The glass had begun to pick-up that purple tint as it ages.

I really loved hte brick work here. This was on the overseers house.

I really loved hte brick work here. This was on the overseers house.

Blacsmith shop

Blacsmith shop

IMG_0770

Grog gigs....too cool!

Frog gigs….too cool!

No need for Crossfit operating this washer!

No need for Crossfit operating this washer!

Now that is an egg carton!

Now that is an egg carton!

Civil War period plantation wagon

Civil War period plantation wagon

Old horse drawn cutter

Old horse drawn cutter

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