Welcome to the journey,the tale and the saga of our

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wee folk of Hrafinstaad

I wanted to share some of the littlest creatures that live with us,the ants and the bees.Two very important colonies that help complete our ecosystem here.

First of all let me show this interesting photo of the Ants.Well actually, that twig is sticking out of one of the ant holes in our back patio.Chance and I have been watching the Ants over the last many weeks and we have noticed an interesting thing the Ants do.
The Ants weather vane.

The day before it starts to rain here the Ants fill their holes with twigs that are up to 10 inches long.The twigs are placed evenly across the patio stones,about 8 inches apart in fairly straight lines.When our pear tree was loosing it's blossoms,the Ants used the base of the blossoms as tiny green umbrellas.Once in a while they also use little leaves like the pear blossoms.Once the sun is due to be out for several days the twigs and other bits are gone like magic.

We have never seen the Ants busy at their work. We are very fascinated  about this whole thing. How on Earth do they get those long twigs in those tiny holes?Sometimes the twigs are pulled down a few inches.I think pulling a twig in the hole would be easier than pulling one out,right? How do they know the rain will be here the next day? And why are they doing this? To keep rain out? To funnel it in but keeping it from being a gush of water,more drip/trickle like? 

I searched all over Google for information but mostly I found how to kill the Ants.I finally found " Ant Blog " based from The Field Museum in Chicago.The blog postings are based on peoples Ant questions.I emailed them my question and the same photo,I am still waiting to hear from them the answer for what the Ants in my yard are up to.

Bee House.
 The photo above is an old bird house that fell from the back fence.We had set it under our pear tree last fall to keep it out of the way.Then this spring when we started our yard work we noticed that someone had moved in.There is a family of bumble type Bees living in the house now.We have left the house to encourage the Bees to stay.While peering into the hole one day a Bee came zipping over  my shoulder and into its home,not worried one bit about what I was up to.Chance has a snake like flashlight for motor repair that we used to also look into the hole.There is an old birds nest that the bees seem to be using as the base for their own home.

We are more than happy to have the Bees living here.We see them out and about in the yard going about their days as busy as Bees can be.

Since they are a bumble Bee there's no hope of finding much honey in the hive but the Bees are useful any way.I read here that Bumble Bees do make honey but only a few ounces.The article also says the Bumble Bees will die in the fall but the Queen will live on.So we will leave them alone and let them live with us and hope the Queen stays and we have our Bee friends next year.

I have no photos of either creature.The Ants are tiny sidewalk type Ants,that are too small for my camera.The Bees are too busy to hold still for a photo.I tried to Google a photo of the Bees but could not find one that looked like ours.And after a couple of pages of images,things were no longer looking like my search so I gave up.Google can be a strange thing that way.

Hrafinstaad is looking green and lush this time of year.The gardens and fruit trees are full and growing.Sometime in the coming week will be finally butchering the Turkey's,something I am more than ready to do.I don't think I would want to raise Turkey's in the city again.Only because of their size verses anything majorly hard about them.They have been quirky homestead mates for sure.



  1. The thing with the ants is so incredibly fascinating! I hope you post any answer you get to your email questions. How awesome to know when to expect rain/sun.

    And bees of course are lovely.

    1. I will post if I get an answer from the Ant Blog,I wish they would hurry up,inquiring minds want to know!I feel like a crazy ant lady,I go out to the patio and just watch to see if I can see them in action.