Thursday, June 26, 2014

#TBT Waffle Round and Zombies

Ominous clouds = you will get drenched later

Hoo, boy. Well, we had the waffle round last weekend. It was mostly a good time, the weather was dicey, the field well organized and we managed to stay out of trouble (mostly).  Having shot 70 m just once before we went, I had less trouble with 70 and 60 then 50m. Have decided I quite like 60, actually. Right now, 50 m can kiss my you-know-what. 30 m - we're good.  Do me a solid and have a chat with 50? Much appreciated.

Midway through the first day, we got a super soaker. As in soaked to the skin, running down your scalp wet, watching your arrow disappear after 10 yards into gloom. As in not being able to hear your clicker as the rain is so loud. As in being SO relaxed, I totally didn't care. I love shooting in the wet. Then the sun came out and we all dried out more or less. Except for the squelchy shoes.

Had all NYC ladies on my bale, one who had never seen a cow up close before. Or deer roadkill. Culture shock. Nice people and good to shoot with, though. Also nice to be at a shoot where the recurves outnumbered the compounds.  

I had to sort through some bad habits (again) and then also came to the conclusion that I need to do some bow tuning and sort out some replacement bits and bobs as my groups are not where they should be. Lesson learned. Look out States, here we come. Will be more fun as we will know other peeps there. :)

Moi in my hot weather gear. Smiling, so must be lunchtime
or at least post-caffeine :)
The drenching continues.
You will notice I am under the judge's tent where
it's mostly dryish. Matt is mid-way down the line

PS. Just a word to the wise, if you are staying in Sharpsville, PA, avoid the Quality Inn. Run away like zombies are chasing you.

PPS. I may have, just possibly, snuck out out and put some arrows in the bag this afternoon. Shot better than I have in a long time, so not guilty.  :D No States for me this summer. Babying the shoulder, but we're getting there.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bees, please.

For Rent - 10 owners, comes furnished

In taking my coffee and laptop out on the deck this morning, I almost sat down in the chair with the cold, sleeping bumble bee in it.  Being raised around honey bees, I just turned the chair into the sun, and pretty soon she warmed up, stretched, had a quick spit bath and zoomed off to find her coffee without causing any drama or silly waving of arms.

I like bees. As my dad is a retired biologist/entemologist we had lots of interesting stuff around growing up. Honey bee hives were one of them, and I have pretty vivid memory of helping my dad capture an escaped colony that swarmed into a tree. They didn't have Haz/Mat suits then, but the pith helmets were pretty cool. I was about 10 and my job was to puff the smoker on them and make them dozy while Dad pulled the lids off and checked the hives for diseases and mites.

Over this past freakishly long winter, Netflix was under heavy rotation. We watched "More Than Honey," which I highly recommend. When you get to the section where you see people in China hand-pollinating their fruit trees because the pollution has killed all of the insects, you start to see the problem on a grander scale.  We live in the fruit belt along Lake Ontario and around the corner from a commercial honey producer that's lost most of his stock.  I looked up the local honey group in Canandaigua, ordered catalogs of bee keeping equipment and a video on Organic Beekeeping (not worth the investment) and investigated plot planting on a grander scale.

Fast forward to this spring where I finally ordered my bees. Mason bees. No sticky mess, uber-pollinators. Perfect! Mason bees are friendly little guys that look sort of like a cross between a bee and a fly. I ordered 10 and as well as a little bee house. They came in a very tiny box of very tiny brown cocoons which I stuck in the fridge until it warmed up outside into the 50s. Felt like a kid with a science experiment, which was admittedly pretty cool. Most of the little guys found their way out into the world, but there were two that needed c-sections. Yes, I actually had to look up a video on how to open a cocoon with a pair of sharp scissors.  I highly recommend reading glasses during that part, along with some yoga breathing when they start to vibrate in your fingers when the top is cut off. They are alive but too weak to break open the package. Happy, brand-new bees stretched out, got a drink of sugar water and zoomed off within 10 minutes.

Lots of dandelions here, no bees. 
My mothering instinct is nil, so all of my new friends took off for warmer, more flowery places. Probably California or possibly Hawaii. I think I got too excited and put them out too early when there wasn't enough blooming yet to support them.  The project is a bust. Never saw any of them again, the house is empty and I just took it down. Sadness.

We have wet property with lots of willows and birch trees. Normally the willows are literally humming with bees when they bloom out. This year, nothing. Eerily quiet. I've seen quite literally three honey bees so far. That's it.  The orchards next to us are constantly spraying and spraying. Not sure if this is the sole cause, but if it's black and white and looks like a zebra...

Email the nice folks at Crown Bees if you are interested in setting up a few gentle hives in your back yard.

I'll try this again next year, and be more patient about waiting a bit longer. Do any of you have bees and what have you noticed?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Back to Basics

It's funny how when you run into issues, it's usually because you need to stop and reevaluate what you are forgetting to do that used to be rote.

  Sometimes I need to be reminded to relax, not just on the line, but across the board in life.  I’m on the deck with my laptop and icy iced tea focused on doing as little as humanly possibly on this fine, fine day. Laundry is circulating so I don’t feel too guilty. At least it can be hung up in the breeze.   Mani/pedi and lunch with my gf earlier where my feet and calves were pounded into submission and doughy softness by a small Asian man with a disco t-shirt. And drove the hubs' new car around looking and feeling like the old hotty I am. At least guys notice the car ;-) I had to sign a waiver that I would not eat, drink, pick up men, puke, or park closer to anything than 20 yards. Jesus. 

Signed up for a Level 3 coaches certification in the fall. Kinda wishing it was sooner, and will see an old roommate that I haven’t seen in 10+ years, as I’ll be in her hometown. Her kids shoot at the club where we’ll be and I think their coach is the one who is teaching the class. (Archery is a very small world) John Stover has a great reputation as a coach and also as a judge and parent to a high-performance athlete, so am looking forward to what he has to say.  Have no idear what I’ll be doing with said information, so maybe will put it to good use in the winter season. Usually when I get a wild hair and sign up for things magic happens, so I'm just rolling with it for now. So unlike me, I know. =D

Been teaching more than shooting, which is fine with me. I have been enjoying that more and more. Had a chance to teach a few recurve girls at Taz Archery, near Chicago a few weeks ago and had a great time with them. So fun to be able to walk in and have kids excited to shoot with you. The owner, Tim Zimmerman, is a great guy and super knowledgable about all things with strings. If you are in the mid-West, I encourage you to check them out, you'll be glad you did. If you see a cute blonde teaching that looks like a tall, skinny me, that's my sis. Say "hi" from me. I don't see her enough.

Speaking of sisters, mine has been working her hiney off with Tim to get Archery Events up and running. This well thought out site does some amazing things if you run a club, have events, classes, tournaments and the lot. Best of all - it's FREE. Yes, I said free. Host your club page there, sign up your JOAD kids and have them pay online. Seriously, it works and it's easy to do. Please mention Bow Meets Girl if you contact them, so they know I sent you.

Have a great week, ya'll!