Tansley Farm: Part 2 – Life in the Sky

I’ve been drafting my “Happy Animals” post, which I’m sure will sate my internet quota for cute animal photos, but instead I feel moved to post this, with rather less thought (and bulk).

My first real morning here alone, and I woke to a farm drenched in clouds.


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Tansley Farm: Part 1 – The Book of Reckoning

I’ve spent the past two weeks adapting to the rhythm of life here at Tansley Farm, embedding the daily tasks I’ll be responsible for when the family leaves this weekend. (The word quotidian comes to mind, because it’s a Very Good Word, but I’m afraid it’s too often used to mean common, or ordinary.)

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Sleeping in Sydney

I landed about an hour late yesterday, getting through customs and baggage claim at around noon local time, and headed straight to The Big Hostel. The fellow at the front desk was kind enough to check me in a bit early so I could head to my dorm room, and after calling my mum (brief plug for the loveliness that is Google Voice and the Hangouts Dialer) I hopped in the shower, hoping to feel human again shortly. I chatted with one of my roommates, a Brit who’s been in Oz for over a year now, and when she heard I was a beekeeper she tried to relate to me some place I should visit… which, as it turns out, were the Flow Hive people, who I’ve already arranged to stay with later in this journey.

Sydney Big Hostel ViewView from my room

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An Interlude

Merely popping in here to say that the Australian adventure is underway, or at least in its larval stage. I’m currently sitting in the LAX airport, just under four hours from taking off for Sydney, via New Zealand. I’ve just uploaded the final batch of photos from the last two days of the honey harvest, so those will be published shortly.

I spent yesterday frantically selling everything I owned (at least, that which I possibly could) and was packing my bags until nearly 3am. Yes, I was had to head to the airport at 4am. I’m a sucker for fun-with-deadlines, and I’m taking preemptive action against jet lag by thoroughly exhausting myself prior to my flight. I arrive at 1030am local Sydney time, so I want to hit the ground running as much as possible.

Since this blog will be migrating themes a bit, allowing for more of the travel around the bee-talk, I’d just like to note that I’ve had a long, lovely conversation with a media studies professor from New Zealand. My mind’s now sparking with even more excitement about this current endeavour, not just from a beekeeping or adventuring perspective, but also from a sociological one. One of my favorite things about traveling– and about people in general, honestly– it witnessing how everyday people interact with their environment. This includes the ground on which we walk, and the resources that come from it; the water in our environment (or lack thereof); and natural disasters and how we prepare and react. I love seeing how people live around a world that they, ultimately, can’t control.

This does, in fact, tie into my love of and fascination with bees. The human-bee relationship isn’t one of domestication, but more of a symbiosis between an insect we can only hope to cater to correctly, so that we can be graced by the fruits of its labor. What other species do we interact with such that we strive to keep them happy, so that they won’t leave us? The power, with bees as with natural disasters, is with nature, and we can only hope to appease– or in the case of natural disasters, skirt the edge of danger just enough to survive.

Already this post is too long– more honey harvest shortly!


Bustle and Bother, part 2

Early evening, and the hives have settled again, about dozen coming and going from each. I’m never going to stop worrying about them, I think, fretting that I haven’t paid enough attention or done the right thing at the right time. Bees are, of course, incredibly self-sustaining- and if I don’t take care of them, well, they’d just as soon take off and do their own thing, which is a comfort.

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