It's been a busy week. One of the effects of the lifting of restrictions around four weeks ago is that plans were made to meet up. Lots of plans. This week I've been able to meet up with people I haven't seen for a long while.
Fergal was on a long-distance cycling tour of the area. It may have been three years since we last met. We went to a local restaurant and walked along a section of the Kennet and Avon canal. We were followed for quite a lot of it by a friendly cat who liked to wander. That was backed up by the GPS transmitter the cat carried. As night fell, the local bats came out and gave us an aerial display.
And later in the week, it was Adam FC's barbecue. At the time I was there there were about a dozen people, the first gathering I'd been to of its size for, what, eighteen months. I brought along some honey and chocolate low-alcohol stout, called Who Let the Bees Stout?, but I think I much prefer Big Drop Galactic Milk Stout. Everyone was really talkative as if to make up for lost time, I played a quarter of a game of chess with Adam's son, and I had some very good smoked aubergine from the barbecue. The time flew and it felt like everything was back to normal.
We have the trailcam video for 2021-08-09! This was from two weeks of leaving them in the woods. Some of the cameras were full up with data. And, after Dan had done his editing work, we could see there was some cool stuff on there. There were some really very nice clear shots of the stag and the other deer from the 'Den Cam'. In fact, we're seeing more of the deer than in previous weeks, particularly the stag. They're chasing each other around a lot! The fawns are now bigger and have different coats, and one of them is now out in the woods on their own more. At one point one fawn checks out the camera close to the lens. You can see our beehives in this video. The deer seemed to check them out sometimes, munching on some leaves, trying to work out what to make of the new neighbours.
Parts of my house and some of my clothing smell faintly of smoke. My kitchen regularly smells faintly of caramel from where I've dripped a bit of heavy syrup onto the hob. I'm carrying back bags and bags of sugar from the local supermaret. Yup, summer beekeeping.
We had a great visit from the inspector this week, which you can read about in my bee blog from 2021-08-13. TL;DR: we have a disease-free colony and that's a huge relief.
JS8 continues to attract more people chatting away, and the ARO net on Sunday night seems to be growing as well. I also came across the Phaser digital mode transceiver by Dave Benson K1SWL. It's specifically designed for digitial modes like FT8. With JS8 being based on FT8, this seems a good JS8 portable transceiver kit too. I already have a stack of radio projects that need my attention with a soldering iron, though.
Have a good week!