Sunday 19 July 2015

Book review: Sabriel / Lirael / Abhorsen

More fine fantasy trash, from Garth Nix. Miranda brought them back, on a school friends recommendation, and now I've read all three, quite quickly. Though there is also a fourth.

Another world, with magic, in communication with one without magic, only this time instead of the usual world-flipping whatever, they're just separated by a wall, and so the expected fun ensues.

Its "young adult" and you can see that in the characters, young people growing up and unsure of their place in the world, gradually growing in confidence. And this is part of the charm; if I wanted to read adult books, I would.

Weasel abroad

Daniel is off into the world, to Ladakh. Who knows how he will fare. Here he is, hair cut, a confident young man against a quince tree.


Monday 6 July 2015

More bad beekeeping - swarm collection

Just a record of events.

Andy Nicol called me last Sunday to say that there was a swarm at his allotments, on a friends. So I went to see, and indeed there was.

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See? Not the words largest, but conveniently close to the ground. And in a raspberry patch, more crowded than this makes it appear. So I got out my nice wooden box and pulled then in.

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That was the bees on several canes, plus a couple of handfuls scooped off the ground. We left the rest to walk in while Andy showed me around, all on a lovely sunny afternoon. I put them in the back of the car -only a few escaped - and offered them to Nikola. We went to look at her hives - she was somewhat unsure about one - but it definitely had bees on it so I kept them for myself.

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Here they are on top of the "original" (slope-top) hive, and I'm using the old "sheet of newspaper" trick. This hive has, I think, swarmed a bit too much this year, because despite coming through the winter much better than the "other" (flat-top) hive, its now looking rather sparse. So this may be a useful top-up.

On Monday night I realised I'd forgotten there was a queen excluder in. And so my two queens had no means to meet, maybe. Anyway, I took it out.

Here's the general hive environs, looking down the garden towards the stream.
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