Monday, September 16, 2013
The Birds and the Bees
We finally got some rain again. It started yesterday evening and rained off and on all night and this morning. It had stopped by noon and my gauge shows we got a bit more than an inch overall but the next few days looks good for some more. The rain brought out many green shoots this morning and the small little Asters are budding and blooming like crazy.
It is actually beginning to look like we might get a good Fall honey flow after all. The mini-drought like conditions has had me worried about it for the last few weeks and we still are not out of the woods yet but things are looking up.
As soon as the rains peter out I need to put the over Winter surplus supers back on a few hives that have not built up enough to suit me yet. Right now I only have four hives remaining that haven't graduated into their second brood chamber. My thoughts are that they will not have time to fill a full sized brood box up over the course of the next month to six weeks of forage available so I am going to give each of them a surplus honey super full of drawn comb and residual honey left over from my last extraction. I also have two hives who are still sporting more than one additional surplus box that will need extracting within the next few weeks.
The last extraction of the season, which is a hit or miss affair, contains the precious Ragweed pollen in it that so many people need for their allergies so I hope I get a gallon or two this year.
While I was out today refilling the hive feeders and generally counting entrance activity and checking for incoming pollen I kept a running total of Mourning Dove flybys.
I counted at least 2 or 3 different hatchings of Mourning Doves this Summer with at least six or eight chicks just within my garden area. Not a lot in the scheme of things but a pretty good indication of how the population fared out and about.
Mourning Dove season kicks off about this time of year around here and in keeping with the discussion I started yesterday they are a type of small game that could be an important addition in a survival or grid down situation. Around here these birds are literally everywhere and although there are some hunters that go after them, by and large they are not hunted at all anymore. I used to hunt them years ago and my grandmother made a wonderful meal out of them but since the grandparents have passed on no one really enjoys them enough to go after them.
I counted well over 100 flybys as the day went on. Of course many of these birds may have been counted more than once as they flew back and forth but unlike other types of game birds you can hunt these from many different locations throughout the day which will limit the birds purposefully avoiding certain spots. Also I know from experience these birds are not pushovers when they are hunted. A hunter going after dove better be fast and accurate. I have seen these birds do some amazing aerobatics and avoid some well placed pellet spreads over the years. Another aspect of dove hunting is that you can actually scout for these birds from a good distance. They fly all day and will have exposed patterns to and from favorite feeding grounds and watering spots.
Mourning Doves are small enough that typically you will want more than one per person for a meal. My grandmother used to bake them whole covered in a type of casserole affair using rice. As I said they are not an easy bird to hit on the fly although they can be hunted almost anywhere. They may indeed be a type of small game that gets early hunting pressure in a collapse situation but the typical number of rounds expended per kill and the large numbers of the birds to begin with will I believe carry this bird through until loss of available ammo will mean they are not hunted as much. Unless you reload a good amount of number 7 or 8 birdshot in whatever gauge shotgun you have you will quickly run out long before a local population suffers lasting damage I doubt many people are stockpiling that particular size of shotgun round either.
Just another type of wildlife that can be managed and provided for on a homestead that may pay off later.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!