Monday, July 16, 2012

New Hammock and Kid Archery

Cassie, Luna, Hannah, and Lance try out the new hammock

The view from the new hammock

   My old hammock finally bit the dust this afternoon.  It has been gradually self-destructing over the past few months.  Fortunately I already had a replacement hammock waiting in the wings thanks to a gift last summer from my daughter Rachel.  It was just the right length for the distance between my two big cherry trees and the existing hardware.  I have found it a bit harder to do a graceful exit from the new hammock. My feet just don't quite reach the ground when I try to exit. I'm hoping it will stretch a little with use.  In the meantime I'm okay with less than graceful exits. I find it to be a lot more comfortable than the old one. I think I can take some serious naps in this one.

      I spent some time this afternoon doing archery with the kids. Linda had bought a few replacement straw bales so our little archery range is up and running again. Hannah and Lance both seem to really enjoy shooting the bows.  It was a little difficult at first to get them to hold their arms right such that the bow string wouldn't wack their arms.  They were both doing a pretty good job after several hours at the range. They were actually hitting the center part of the bales most of the time and we weren't spending all of our time  retrieving arrows from wild shots. I'm surprised their little fingers weren't too sore to shoot by then. We ended up with more arrows than we had when we started as I found about six arrows the kids had lost last summer.
Lance Wessel,  archer

Hannah Kang takes aim

Hannah and Lance on the firing line

    I took my orchard ladder over to the Tunnells' home in Monroe so they could pick their pie cherry tree.  While I was there I picked a gallon or so of pie cherries from the roof of their garage.  I told Beth that with my brothers all being ironworkers you weren't allowed to be afraid of heights in my family. She expressed gratitude that James had not chosen to apply that standard to their family. Then I cut off several of the high limbs so they could pick the cherries while standing safely on the ground. The tree is way too tall and much of the more productive limbs are too high to be picked.

    We had a rather sad event when I returned home. One of my bees suffered a fatal accident when Hannah carelessly stepped on it in our backyard. It was a traumatic event for Hannah as well as she happened to be barefoot at the time.  There was considerable weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth while I removed the stinger from Hannah's big toe. I told Hannah about my experience with the copper penny when I was stung close to my eye.  We then taped a copper penny over the sting site. There was no discernible swelling when we removed the penny several hours later. Darn if I have any idea at all as to why that should help but it sure seems to help.

     While we are on the topic of bees, I was able to look at most of my beehives this afternoon.  Most were in pretty good shape, but a few needed another honey super. Its looking like we are having a wonderful blackberry nectar flow. The bees are really packing the honey into the honey supers so I am expecting a very good harvest. I will be surprised if I get less than 500 pounds of honey. I still need to get another super on my Warre hive, but I actually have to make up the frames first. Maybe I can get that done tomorrow.


  1. Hannah! What's she doing killing your bees? ;) I'm glad the penny trick worked but can't believe she didn't tell me...

    Thanks for providing such a haven for my kiddies to visit. You're one amazing grandpa! (You should have heard Elise crying for her turn!)

  2. I love having them here as much as they love being here. I don't even mind the risk of the occasional loss of a honeybee.