As spring begins to ramp up I have eagerly bit off more than I can chew, as usual. On Friday I drove out to visit the forge of my new friend, and world-class blacksmith Nol Putnam. He graciously allowed me to watch as he split a piece of iron bar stock for a project he's working on.
Back at the house I'm working slowly, but steadily on a small forge setup of my own. I've decided to locate the forge in a small shed away from what will be the garage/shop/barn for reasons of fire safety. It also means it will be ready more quickly and that I can get going on a few things. I'd like to see if the boys would be interested in hammering a little iron themselves. I know it sounds a little quaint but I think it's important for young men to have 'manly' things to do. We live in a society where opportunities for adolescents to prove themselves evoke images of stupid stunts ending in injury, property damage, or tragedy. Put in a little time in the forge and you might build some muscles, get some energy out, and make something useful.
I checked on the bees on Friday and was pleased to see that to this point we've lost only about 3 over the winter. It's to be expected that you will lose colonies over the winter for a number of reasons. Sometimes you lose them and never know the reason. Check back soon and I'll be posting some pictures of the projects in progress.