Working it out, Dec 17, 2015

Another day at the ranch. The morning, overall, was not bad: treadmill, shower, breakfast, and off to have some blood drawn in advance of one of my doctor’s xmas gift to me – an MRI on xmas eve of my brain, to show us all there’s nothing there (ha!). I also managed to get almost all of the remaining tabascos, cayennes, and jalapenos picked in anticipation of a possible freeze Friday night.

The afternoon, however, brought with it a terribly painful gut issue. Based on the position, just under the right ribcage, my fabulous accumulated medical knowledge that I had no idea I would acquire in my pre-cancer life, told me it likely was not appendicitis, but either some kind of ulceration/irritation in the duodenum (where the stomach empties into the small intestine) or possibly a bout of pancreatitis (acute versus chronic), given that I felt like puking, but luckily only did some dry heaving.

So, I crushed up and downed a Tums, followed by my now-usual gut meds, hoping it would go away. In the meantime, since any movement just aggravated the pain, no afternoon session of walking on this particular day. This is the way it goes sometimes when your body betrays you: deal with it as well as you can, then go to bed and get some rest for whatever the next part of the battle in life is going to be.

Busy as a bee

Since we still have no real fall/winter weather – except tonight, when we should experience a brief freeze, and tomorrow, which is forecast to be in the low 30s, to be followed by another string of mid-80s highs/mid-60s lows – the girls are still out, scouting for anything flowering from which they can gather nectar and/or pollen.

Working away

There are still plants flowering and blooming here, and until the weather does turn to fall/winter for a brief time before spring comes calling, the girls will continue to work as if there has been no season change at all. That includes the queens not slowing down their laying patterns, as there is nothing environmentally to tell them to do so, as here: the queen is nearly directly in the middle of this photo – she has the longer abdomen. The white things in the cells below her in the image are larvae.

All hail the queen

That, in turn, means that here in our little piece of the world, we have to be more aware than usual about the possibility of a swarm emerging from any of the hives. This late in the season seems very odd for such an occurrence, but the weather itself has been odd, so it calls for flexibility and mindfulness to avoid being caught off-guard, with nothing ready to house a swarm should a hive spawn one.

Hive 14