Back several months ago, perhaps as early as January or February, my wife suggested I consider taking a beekeeping class. Both of us have been mildly interested in bees for a while, and I love honey on or in just about everything (as do my children), so it seemed like a good idea. For about a month and a half, every Tuesday evening I drove up to Silverdale to attend a beginning beekeeping class. I bought equipment sufficient for two hives, figuring that since I didn’t know what I was doing per se, having two hives would give me two data points so I’d be slightly less driving blind. Then on one particularly sunny Saturday in April, my pre-ordered two packages of bees arrived.
According to the experts, there were about 10,000 bees in each package. Each package is a small, thin wooden box with screens on the long sides for ventilation. Inside are the bees, plus a canister of food (sugar water), and a tiny box housing a single queen.
Continue reading I’m a Beekeeper Now
The road to a dormant blog is paved with good intentions. I had all sorts of opportunity over this last year to write, but something or another more important always usurped priority. Even more so, I had no shortage of topics with which to opine. There were many aviation trips, numerous adventures with my family, and a plethora of ideas to investigate. One such family adventure involved one of the shortest aviation trips we’ve ever taken and raises to mind some ideas about natural overreaction as a standard response.
This story begins, as many of my stories seem to the last couple of years, with a flight in our airplane. It was a beautiful summer afternoon, or more specifically: Saturday, June 14. (I love flight logbooks.) We didn’t have a lot of time that day, so we decided to hop in the airplane and make a very short trip from Bremerton National to Longlake, a trip so short you hardly get into a cruise configuration before you need to setup for descent. It was just an excuse to enjoy the water on a summer afternoon.
Our airplane is a boat-plane amphibian without floats, so it sits fairly low in the water. This is me in displacement taxi on Longlake:
We came in for a landing toward the south end of the lake, and we were down and into idle-power displacement taxi in a few seconds, having only consumed the bottom quarter of the lake surface.
Continue reading Crash on Longlake
Sunday after church, my family drove directly to the airport just around the corner and loaded into our airplane. We had planned a flight up north to the Skagit Regional Airport because I thought we might be able to sneak in a preview of the Heritage Flight Museum before their official opening in a couple weeks.
We took off into completely blue skies, warm temperatures, and mostly stable air. There were a few annoying bumps along the way up, but not too bad. What made the trip up north particularly stressful was a couple different pilots who thought it would be a great idea to fly up really close to us to get a good look at our strange airplane. Continue reading Avoiding the Traffic