We ended up needing to go to battle with our insurance company. They came back and initially said all the fence damage could be fixed for about $600. Our neighbors, who had less damage than we did, were getting quotes for $2,500 plus! It took about two weeks, but we finally got them to agree to damages of around $2,400. After splitting that in half (because it’s shared with our other neighbors) and subtracting our deductible, we are walking away with just shy of $600 all told. We spent $200 of our own money fixing it along with probably 100 working hours (combined with everyone helping) to dig out the posts and re-hang the slats. I still think we’re getting the bum end of the deal, but good enough. There comes a point where it’s not worth it to keep fighting, right?
We also got our notification of water restrictions. We are fortunate that our community is on irrigation water for lawns and gardens. I prefer that method because there’s no point in treating water I’m just dumping on the ground. Usually, we get notified towards July or August of what the water restrictions are for the year, but we’ve already been put on notice. Effective May 11th, we only get two days of water a week. It’s that bad.
Fortunately, we have a string of thunder storms rolling across the state for the next week, and I’m hoping we get some good, consistent rain out of them. We need it! Last week I saw an article talking about how we often get a late snow storm in May and for us to catch up on the water year, we’d need 140 inches of snow in this single storm. At this point, even rain won’t do it for us because it moves too quickly to be effectively caught by the reservoir systems.
Add in that our county is supposed to double in size to over 500,000 people by 2050, and you start wondering how. Kind of scary.
The bees on the other hand are doing well. I went in very quickly on Saturday just to peek inside, and they have FOUR supers full to about 80%, and all of them are brood. Solid. I haven’t seen any swarm cells, but I have to get this hive split ASAP. I admit, though, that I’m more than a little tempted to let this hive build all summer long so that I get a great harvest.
When I was inspecting, I found quite possibly the biggest spider I’ve ever seen (outside of a cage/zoo/pet store). I should have taken a picture, but it was easily 1.5 inches long (body only), big, black, and hairy. The legs stretched out for another inch or so around the body. It had several white dots on its abdomen. I should have taken a picture, but I didn’t even think about it until just now….
Oh great… I just found it on Wikipedia…. It’s a jumping spider…. I think they’ve misnamed it. That thing couldn’t possibly jump at that size. Tackle you maybe…. Wrestle you to the ground and take your lunch money surely…. Feel free to look it up (Phidippus audax) but I won’t dare post a picture on the blog. All the hairs on the back of my neck and across my head are standing on end just looking at the pictures…. [shudder]
It had three dead bees in the web. Since becoming a beekeeper, I struggle to kill spiders (don’t like them all that much, but still…), so I brushed it off with my hive tool and sent it scurrying into some leaves away from the hive. Had I known it could jump… sorry… tackle me, I would have requested back up. And when I said that I brushed it off and it scurried away, what I really meant is that when it hit the ground, it left a crater, and then it thundered into a nearby forest, uprooting trees and sending local wildlife fleeing in terror. It then roared its displeasure to the valley and ate a herd of cattle. Finally, it retreated to Middle Earth where it eventually met its end at the hands of Samwise Gamgee.
A parade will be held in his honor next Thursday.