I lost two more hives today. I doubt I'll collect one drop of honey from the hives here on my own farm. Salvation comes in the form of the two farms across the road where I also have hives. These neighbors are bee lovers and I pay them a bit of honey for rent on the hives I keep with them. These hives are currently thriving.
This morning, I disassembled the dead hives and left the frames and hive bodies where they lie. Let the other bees take what they will and maybe I'll have the heart tomorrow to deal with the empty equipment. I decided to go mow some of this wild and unruly ground but got my lawn tractor stuck--again! I know what to do--chain it up to the truck or the Farmall and yank it out. Decided I was too pissed off to do that today without wrecking something else. So I left that where it lie and showered and went to town. "Going to town" is actually another admission of defeat because if you can't make money farming at least it will keep you so busy that you can't leave to spend money! So I went to town, spent money, and still have hives and lawn tractors to deal with.
I think there is merit in writing at a time like this because so often blogs from people trying to farm or homestead are so optimistic and make everything look so easy. It's not easy. It is damn hard, sometimes grueling work, but for some of us it's worth every minute of it.
At the end of the day, I sit here on the back porch, a stuck tractor waiting, failed bee equipment needing attention, garden needing weeding, more digging, and planting calling--but also...a soft breeze lifts all the new green in waves across the field; the goats dot the pasture, some grazing, some contentedly chewing their cuds; the dogs are sucked up at my feet sleeping the afternoon away as they think I am the best thing in the world regardless of my questionable farming skills; and the chickens peck unconcerned at whatever green or wriggling things Spring has to offer. I ponder how I answer to no one and yet to every creature on this little farm.
Birdsong fills the afternoon air. An owl sounds in the distant wood. Soon the frogs and toads will begin their nightly chorus. All is well on this heartbreaking piece of ground.