Well, Jim has started his new job at the Commissary for real now, training is over. They assigned him to the Produce Department, which really is a very good fit for his skills and expertise. And it is also more interesting than running a register. It is truly amazing how much business goes through that store. He told me last night that they regularly sell $9000 worth of produce EVERY DAY. That is a heck of a lot of lettuce.
The irony of working for the gummint is that you start off and you work and you work and you work and then after two pay periods you actually get paid. So we haven’t actually seen any money from this. But the good thing is, we know we will.
I still remember when I worked for a certain person (who shall remain nameless), and when her employees got paid we basically raced each other to the bank because the last one there usually had a rubber check in her hand. She always blamed the bank, but in my experience the bank is usually not the one at fault in these sorts of cases, especially since it happened EVERY week. But I digress.
This job has caused a huge shift in our lifestyle, which is particularly ironic because not two weeks ago I made a statement elsewhere in the blogosphere about how hard it was for me to get up early so I could catch the dawn light for photography in the garden. All I can say is, the Universe is always listening, so be careful what you ask for. Jim has been put on the morning shift, and so four days a week he is expected to be AT WORK at six ante meridian, which no matter how you write it is pretty early for people who have had the habit of staying up ’til midnight every night for the past decade or so. Since he does have a bit of a commute to work, and he also likes to have coffee before he goes off, we are getting up at 4:30 a.m. I fully realize that he is capable of getting himself off to work all by himself, but we have always been a team and so I have been getting up right along with him.
I have been enjoying the early mornings in the garden. Since it has been heating up into the 90s by mid-day on a regular basis lately, the cool of the morning has been very pleasant for working in. There are other advantages as well.
I have been able to capture a few dawn-lit images out in the garden that please me. I have a squash blossom, the first one on my zucchini plants.
Sharing her pot is a scarlet runner bean vine.
Hollyhocks and day lilies open early in the morning.
This is my borage blooming.
Not that long ago, some other blogger was talking about how much her bees loved her borage, that they swarm all over it. Well, my bees have something more compelling to avail themselves of at present, and are studiously ignoring the borage in favor of the poppies. There is a tachnid fly in there in the first photo, too.
Now, those poppies are Papaver somniferum. I find it interesting that as long as I don’t go out there and slice the seed pods for resin production, it is legal for me to grow these poppies in this country. I guess the poppy seed producers had better lobbyists than the hemp fiber producers.
My honey bees are very enamored of the poppies, they wallow around in them all morning. They have a distinctly different aspect when they are dealing with poppy nectar than they do when they are dealing with other nectars, say like the asparagus (which they also love), or the lavender, or the clover. When they are at those flowers, they view me with grave suspicion and studiously move away from my photographic efforts, frustrating me no end. But when they are indulging at the poppies, they don’t seem to care and I can get the camera right up there next to them.
We had a wild swarm of honeybees move into “The Havens” about six weeks ago. We have a flicker nest box that the flickers eschewed, and when the starlings started using it, Jim blocked their access by nailing a couple of slats over the next box opening. He didn’t take it down, hoping that the hollow behind the slats would induce the wood pecker types to pound their way in. No such luck. Then a swarm of honeybees moved in and so we decided that was cool and they could have the box for their very own.
There is enough of a gap that the bees seem to think this box is just the ticket. Here’s a closer view of them going in and out busily this morning.
I hope this hive does better than the last group who moved into this box, which was about three years ago. They did not make it through the winter. It was the year of the ice storm, so they may have suffocated when the box was encased in ice. Anyway, I wish we had a proper hive for them to live in, but this wild swarm seems to think that the accommodations are just fine.
And I am happy to have honeybees pollinating everything. I am rather curious about the honey they are producing. First they collected from the lavender, then from the poppies. They are also loving the asclepius, and all I can think is that this must be a quite interestingly composed honey. Relaxing. . .