Unfiltered All-Natural Local California Honey
Barley Flats 2010
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first photo (left photo)
Barley Flats no longer exists. It is a dead zone for as far as the eye can see. Charred timber stand as sentinels to a savage heat that took all breath away. Nothing exists save for a sprig of green, here and there. It is silent except for the sound of an eerie wind that ruffles no leaves, bends no grasses, lifts no flowering buds. There will be no HONEY from this area for some time.
But lo and behold!!! Mother Nature has come back in brilliant force - flowers have sprung up all through the Crest. The landscape is incredibly breathtaking in its starkness. The mountains come alive in size and structure as never before seen without their foliage of tall timber. The ground once scorched is now bursting with new growth and all of this within a few weeks time- such a surprise!
As we wind as the sole riders on the roads through the back entrance of Barley Flats up through Big Tujunga we pass yuccas in glorious pristine cream colour stretching high and singular all over the landscape. One would have thought the heat of the fire would have sucked all the juices from the plants but no - the scorched bulb of the now outlined pineapple base gives rise to a tall sentinel. The many coloured wild flowers grow in abundance making the landscape look like velvet, soft and softly moving, swaying in the breeze. The purples, pinks, yellows, bright whites - the charred branches and limbs contrasted. The tiny ground cover that clings to the sand earth seals it from the winds. A bird of two float on high in search of other life. The ravens and crows have gathered to bury seeds for later use. The breeze almost whistles through the air as there is no leaf just graceful flower stems to bend and bow.
We drive up to Barley Flats and unload the bees from the Desert Bloom area - aprox 87 - There was no honey in the desert this year - maybe in this new growth. We place them with intent to return in a day or two to set up new fences as the fires have burned/melted the pipes to the metal. We will also cut the perimeter grass growth inside the fence and also outside along the fence giving a buffer; then set up the electricity and alarms to ward off any marauding animals.
We have made a mixture of powdered sugar and electrolites/vitamins to sprinkle over the frames - all natural - intended to boost their metabolisms. They are flying and very interested in their new surroundings as there is much to forage on.
With the surprise re-growth of the landscape and activity of the bees, honey supers are required as it looks like there will be a productive honey flow this year despite the fires or '09. And this is indeed exciting. A new taste for a new land.