greene's blog

It's a Native Bee Nursery!
Posted on Oct 15, 2018 6:00 AM

A few weeks ago someone was kind enough to give me a table. They helped to load it into my small car but when arrived home and tried to move the table from my car to the house, it was too heavy for me to move on my own. After a good deal of grunting and cursing, I finally managed to get the table onto the front porch where at least it won't get rained on. The table and the legs are still on the porch. If someone comes to visit I will beg them to help me move the table inside the house and maybe they will help to attach the legs.

But wait...no...I cannot bring the table into the house just yet.

Why not?

There are holes in the underside of the table - but wait, I forgot to say that the table top is laying on its side so the screw holes are horizontal. This attracted a very small, mostly black bee and she's been laying eggs in the screw holes of the table.

The tiny bee has gradually been filling each hole with eggs and sealing the hole with mud.

Where is she getting the mud? 

I have a lovely hole in my driveway which I filled with clay and small stones. One day I will repair the hole properly. Every time it rains, the hole is a mud wallow mixed with good old Georgia clay and that's exactly what the bee needs to seal the holes. The small stones assure that she will not drown while collecting mud.

Seems like procrastination works in the bee's favor.

She was kind enough to land for a moment so I could get a glimpse. She is mostly shiny and black, her abdomen is somewhat striped with white. After her short rest, she went back to work so that's all I have to go on for an identification.

I found a link to help identify bees. Looking at the images in the link, I think she may be a sweat bee. If she stays still again and I have a camera I'll try to get a photo.

[url=htts://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/how-identify-different-types-bees]htts://www.mnn.com/your-home/o...[/url]

Here are the screw holes in the table. Here you can see two of the holes; she's still working on one hole and the other has been sealed.
Thumb of 2018-10-15/greene/c45d06

This is one of the holes sealed with clay and mud. 
Thumb of 2018-10-15/greene/740efd

After doing some research I learned that the bee lays female eggs first and lays the male eggs last. The males hatch out first and hang around waiting for the females to emerge. I have more research to do. I need to know how many weeks or months the table has to stay on the porch so the bees can hatch out.

Since there is a constant source of mud/clay/water and plenty of flowers blooming late in the season, all that needs to be done is to make some bee hotels so the bees can have a more appropriate place to lay eggs next time.

Visit my blog:
therealmgreene.com




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From a Hutch to a Coop-ette!
Posted on Sep 18, 2018 6:32 AM

Absolutely love to repurpose, recycle, upcycle. Also, like to adopt animals that are looking for a new home. Well, okay, the animals have no say in the matter. People, for whatever reason, decide they can no longer keep an animal and, well, there you are. Or I should say, there I am!!

Someone was looking to rehome their rabbit. The rabbit is named Twitch and came with his own hutch. How cool is that? And the best part is that the whole deal was only $40. But no. It gets better.

The person rehoming this adorable bundle of fur is a magician! Twitch had grown too large to fit into the hat for the magic show so, well, there you go. Yippee, I have a magical rabbit!!!

When I picked up the rabbit and the hutch I fully expected to plop the hutch down in the back garden, put the rabbit into the hutch. toss in some food and water and enjoy my magical rabbit. Easy peasy; done and done, right?

But no. When I saw the hutch my brain went into high gear. Creativity kicked in.

What if…do you think it would be possible? Hmmm. Let me think a minute. If I raise up the hutch and put a lower floor, reinforced with fence wire and 1/2 inch hardware cloth…I'll be right back.

Yep, it works. The rabbit is now happily living in a dog pen inside the house - and yes, the rabbit is housebroken! - and my 6 chickens have a 2-story mini coop with a large-ish outdoor play area that had a former life as a dog exercise pen. I am calling it a 'coop-ette', hope I invented a new word.

Look here to see the before picture of the original coop:
https://www.wayfair.com/pet/pd...

Sorry, this item is no longer in stock so don't be trying to buy one and make your own two-story coop-ette.
You may still be able to purchase on here:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/14257...

But if you plan to use this hutch for rabbits, please know that it is made mainly of wood. Rabbits tend to chew wood. Eventually, the rabbits could chew their way out, hit the ground hopping and end up on a different blog post. It's better to use it as a coop-ette for chickens.

Here is the two story coop-ette.
Thumb of 2018-09-18/greene/8308fe

If you live near Savannah, Georgia and need a very entertaining magician, here is a link to some reviews for Tembers Tales, the magician who provided the hutch and the magical rabbit. Children absolutely love Miss September. She lives in Richmond Hill, Georgia and is available for many types of events.

https://www.temberstales.com/

https://www.temberstales.com/r...

This is Twitch when he was small enough to fit in the magic hat. (Image from TembersTales website)
Thumb of 2018-09-18/greene/97de52

Visit my blog at http://www.therealmgreene.com

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Free is good!!
Posted on Sep 13, 2018 3:13 PM

To fully understand this blog post, you need to know that I was born and raised in Connecticut and only recently (25 years ago) relocated to the Savannah, Georgia area.

Thumb of 2018-09-13/greene/dac5b5

So...I responded to an item on Facebook Marketplace. Hey, if you don't already know about this, do yourself a favor and check it out in your local area. Someone in Savannah was offering cardboard barrels for $2 each. I had already known about these barrels from when I was the manager of a dry cleaning store. As long as these barrels are kept indoors, out of the weather, they can last a really long time. I had one for over 20 years. It originally contained starch but I used it to hold plastic beads for craft work.

We communicated back and forth and it was arranged that I would pick up the barrels; I brought cash money - exact change. Yep, I brought cash money, but the seller did not actually want any money. Seems like he just wanted to re-home the barrels. I'm cool with that. Together, he and I loaded 4 of the barrels into my tiny car. It was decided that I would return shortly to pick up a few more barrels.  After fortifying myself with a cheeseburger and fries from the local Checkers (I gave the leftovers to the chickens), I returned and started loading more barrels into my tiny car. The man's sister arrived to offer assistance. Together, she and I loaded 4 barrels into my small car. It was a task and a half. But all the barrels are now safe and sound at my house and will soon be filled with all sorts of stuff...Perlite, Vermiculite, peat moss, rabbit pellets, chicken food, Timothy hay (that's the good stuff)...whew, the list goes on. I plan to seal and paint some of these cardboard barrels so they will last a good long time.

Okay, history lesson here. The family giving away the cardboard barrels arrived in America around and about the Mayflower era. A long time ago. The great-grandmother had an idea and...well, her idea has been supporting the family for four generations. Yikes!! If you want to buy some spring clips manufactured and sold by the Gibson company - totally made in America, look them up online. The company has roots in Bristol, Connecticut and the spring clips are shipped to Savannah for packaging and distribution. Just like me. I started out in Connecticut and ended up in Savannah. How cool is that?!

Here is a link to get you started. There are other sizes available.
http://www.gibsongoodtools.com...

Vist me at http://www.therealmgreene.com

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Another day; another adventure.
Posted on Sep 11, 2018 4:58 PM

September 11, 2018

So here I am, leisurely cleaning elderberries so I can make some elderberry/fig something-or-other - I need to look for a recipe online. I already have the figs cooking on low heat. Then I hear a dog bark. Not one of my dogs but I recognize the bark. It the bark of El Gato who lives across the street. You may remember him as the dog that had a bone stuck in his throat. I also hear another dog, or maybe two more dogs. This is worrisome so I set the bowl down and walk across the street to investigate. It's not nosiness; it's being neighborly.

I see the young lady of the house putting the little dog into his enclosure but I can still hear barking. Letting myself into the gate, I wave. Then I see two…no, there are three dogs in the next yard over and they are furiously barking at something near a tree. Don't worry; there is a fence separating the two yards.

The young lady and I decide the dogs may be barking at a lizard or possibly a snake so we keep our distance. The dogs continue to focus on one spot and will not quit barking. We wait.

One of the dogs, the white one with a pink collar, turns and barks at her owner's house hoping to get some attention. The black dog lies down and stares at the spot near the tree. The fluffy dog continues to bark for no reason because that's just what fluffy dog do.

Ah, the owner of the three dogs is approaching. Over the cacophony, we introduce ourselves and chat for a while. After explaining that it might be a snake she takes a look from the safety of her side of the fence. Her face lights up. It's a chicken! The poor chicken is hiding the best it can and has no intention of coming out as long as the dogs are barking. Whew, since it's not a snake, I step around the tree, hunker down and grab hold of the chicken. The dogs are quite satisfied that they have done a good job.

Accompanied by the young woman of the house, I carry the chicken safely tucked under my arm and return it to the coop. No chickens, dogs, lizards, snakes, or people were harmed during this incident. Another day; another adventure. What will tomorrow bring? Oops, I almost forgot that I'm cooking figs and need to add the elderberries. Plus I need to search the internet for a recipe. See ya later.

Vist me at http://www.therealmgreene.com

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International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2018
Posted on Sep 2, 2018 1:31 PM

It's never too early to plan. Whatever you have to say on September 19, 2018, please remember to talk like a pirate to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

This will be good practice if you happen to be in the area of Savannah, Georgia in early October. Over on Tybee Island, we are celebrating the Pirate Fest. This year it happens from October 4-7, 2018. So practice talking like a pirate, dress up in your best pirate clothes, there will be activities for young and not so young and the cannon will be fired for the opening ceremony. Bang!

Children's activities include the carnival, bounce houses, magic show, petting zoo, and a craft area. A costume contest for the kids...er, I mean children and another costume contest for pets.

There will be a 3-hour long parade (don't forget to bring a camera!) Dress up; have fun. There's a costume contest for adults, too and the bawdier, the better, I say! Just in case the live music isn't loud enough, there will be fireworks just so no one falls asleep. Aaarrgh!!

Note: You can find the entire blog over at http://therealmgreene.com (a work in progress). From time to time I'll include a few posts over here on NGA just to keep in touch with folks.

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