We had a fun little visit with Natalie and Conner this afternoon. The highlights included fun with play dough, picking the last of the blueberries, some time in the hammock, a tree climbing lesson, Linda's cotton candy machine, and a walk to the end of the street. At Conner's request I placed him up in a crook of one of our big cherry trees. He looked like he thought he was pretty special sitting there. He had his eye on a much higher branch and asked for my help to get there, but I declined. I told him grandpa was too old for tree climbing. Actually that wasn't entirely correct. What I'm too old for is falling out of trees. I'm not afraid of heights, but I like the security of a ladder for my tree climbing.
Conner and Natalie are both fairly enthusiastic little berry pickers. We transferred their berries into ziplock plastic bags which they carried around with them for the remainder of their visit. When Conner accidentally dropped a few blueberries Linda cautioned him about stepping on them. He then referred to the blueberries he had stepped on as "Dead ones".
I went over this evening to the Parrott's house to assist Cassie in candling her chicken eggs. She borrowed our incubator and has had about 20 eggs in it for the past week. I didn't see one egg which I could say for sure wasn't fertile. It's more difficult to tell with dark shelled eggs so we will probably know better in another week. At one week a darker area is visible where the embryo is developing. At two weeks the dark shape of the developing chick is supposed to fill about 2/3 of the space within the shell. We may have some logistical problems if all twenty eggs hatch out. I don't think that many chicks will fit in my cage for very long. I think we will have to find a big cardboard box instead. I suspect she won't end up with all twenty hatching.
I spent about 7 hours at the bee store at various time during the day. The store is normally closed on Mondays, but I had to ship out 2,000 molded beeswax bars to a company in Florida. This company makes waterproof survival suits that are worn by merchant seamen and commercial fishermen all over the world. Apparently they use beeswax to lubricate/waterproof the zippers. We made up special molds with the company logo last year so this is the second year we've done this for them. They are sending the beeswax bars to a client in the Netherlands, probably a shipping company. So I'm a wannabe locavore, organic gardener, who is still heavily involved in the global economy. Some of our bee equipment is made in places like Pakistan and China. I sell honey extractors and a mite medication that are made in Italy and an fungicidal antibiotic that is manufactured in Canada. I guess it was high time that I made something that was shipped back overseas.