Hurricane Harvey


Hurricane Harvey sneaked up on me. My wife and I left the Houston area 7 days prior to Hurricane Harvey hitting the Texas coast. We were celebrating our daughter’s wedding up in gorgeous Aspen Colorado. We decided to stay a little longer and returned on August 25th……coinciding with the arrival of Harvey. United pilot flew in through the storm bands circulating with Harvey and touched down whisper smooth!

On August 19th, the day after we left for Colorado, the National Hurricane Center indicated that Harvey’s circulation was disintegrating. No worries, huh? Once the storm crossed the Yucatan Peninsula and passed into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico the energy and circulation increased. Well, my bees, in a couple of locations, were at risk from potential winds.

My biggest worry was my top bar hive in Splendora. Less of a worry were my 3 hives located up off Russel Palmer at the western edge of Kingwood. My protege, Max, took it upon himself to ratchet strap the boxes and top bar to prevent wind damage on Thursday, the day before the winds and rain began to kick up here. I had to thank him from a distance.


The top bar in the background and a triple deep Langstroth in the foreground. At the right, is an 8 frame garden hive that I had placed a strap on several weeks prior to leaving.

Now…..to Splendora. My two Langstroth hive tops were weighted down – one with a large disc brake rotor and the other with a old rusty hydraulic jack. The top bar hive was MY BIG worry. I had a couple of mechanic’s wire tie downs for the top but…….after repeated use they had broken off too short…I hadn’t yet got a “round to it” given to me to fix them …….so, Friday, the day of the Hurricane as we were driving down out of the Rocky Mountain National Park, my Goo friend John and I discussed having him repair the wire tie downs…..He was my “round to it”.

John is an over achiever and wound up putting straps on all three hives….Thanks John!


In addition to a strap on the top bar in the background he added some bricks….well done lad!

Now, to wait out this storm and hope the bees tolerate the rain! I hope my curiosity can be held in check …….. I want to visit my bees! Almost 5 inches of rain in the last 24 hours and much, much more is expected.





Rainy Day Musings


Yes Lord I know we needed the rain…..couldn’t you have at least spread the bounty over many weeks rather than this past 8-10 days….? I did wade out into the garden to gather up some cherry tomatoes for my daughter. My tomatoes are swelling up and splitting! I snack on a few of those immediately as the they go bad fast and the fruit flies just materialize out of thin air to their damage.

I want to get out and ride the bicycle a little this week and have only been able to sneak in one decent ride and a couple of runs to the store on the bike with the shopping bags…. I can get about 4 grocery sacks in the panniers without overdoing it. On one of the grocery runs it began to rain and I had to pull up under an overhang in front of the local grill, “Three B’s”. While waiting out the rain I had a St Arnold’s Double IPA – very nice. FYI – St Arnold’s is a local Houston craft Brewery that is garnering a great reputation. The wait was about a pint in length and then dash off to the house before the next shower.

While it is raining I have been reading through the current issue of the “Urban Farm”. Two articles were of perfect timing. One was concerning the resurgence in home canning. It fit very nicely with my efforts over the  past several weeks. Jams, pickles, salsa, spaghetti sauce and some uncanned but frozen tomato and cucumber gazpachos. The family really enjoyed the salsa last night…..a lot like Pace Picante sauce made right here in Houston. Article was written by Lindsay Evans living in rural North Central Washington.

The second article of interest was about trench composting. Seems like a great way to get nutrients into he soil in an easy and straight forward way. Let mother nature and her earthworm and microbe warriors do the heavy lifting…. I will consider the method as the beds begin to ready themselves for fall and winter plantings. An option for smaller amounts is to use an auger and drill a hole to be filled with kitchen wastes… I have a post hole digger that would accomplish the same thing.  Article was written by Jessica Walliser – Pittsburg, PA composter by trench and bin.


2.5 + inches of rain this morning – over 6.5 cm for those that know how to measure uniformly and more on the way!

This Morning’s Rain Total



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