greene's blog

Happy holidays to everyone!
Posted on Dec 24, 2018 6:36 AM

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Does your dog like Tennessee Whiskey?
Posted on Dec 10, 2018 10:06 PM

A friend of a friend posted this. It was too good not to share.

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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 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.


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.
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This is one of the holes sealed with clay and mud. 
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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.

Update Oct 24 2018
The bee (or bees) are still busy filling the holes with eggs. A few more holes have been completed and sealed. My Anole lizards have noticed the activity and are hoping for a tasty bee snack. Nature at work.

Update Oct 28 2018
I have not seen the original bee in a while and thought she may have died or become a lizard's lunch. There is a new bee...except this one is a wasp. At first, I was afraid it might be a predatory wasp robbing the nest of the native bee. I think it is one of the beneficial pollinators, Pachodynerus erynnis, also known as the Mason Wasp. She builds the same type of nest. She moves more slowly so I was able to get some photos.

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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:

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:

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.
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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.

This is Twitch when he was small enough to fit in the magic hat. (Image from TembersTales website)
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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.

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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.

Update Oct 20 2018
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After purchasing a gallon of 'goof paint' most of the barrels are now protected with a coating of waterproofing sealer.

What's that? You say the barrels look like Hershey's Chocolate? You don't like the color? To be honest, I don't like the color either.
Neither did the customer who paid $36.98 for this gallon at Home Depot. The customer got a refund and the gallon was marked down to $9.00. Free is good, but a discount of around 75% is not bad!

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