Penny Dumelie

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since Oct 14, 2014
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Penny is a Canadian hippie gypsy, mama of two. She has lived her life with an amazing man for over 25 years. She believes in a Creator, real food, sustainability, regenerative practices, intelligent plants, magick, the importance of family and community, unschooling, and self sufficiency. Penny loves music, the outdoors, and the pursuit of knowledge.  She is always happy to meet a new friend. Hello!
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AB, Canada (Zone 4a - Canadian Badlands)
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Recent posts by Penny Dumelie

I think you might be right Michael.

I did check a couple of the plots covered in clover. I didn't see a lot of dead bees but I did see a few. Not enough to suggest it's killing them (in my unofficial opinion).

The greenhouses might be suspect but I know that at least three of them actually care for hives in the greenhouses (they have big warnings on their doors) so I wouldn't think they would be using harmful pesticides.
I have no idea about the rest, or about the fields of vegetables and crops that surround this area.

The clover is turning to seed and there are less bees, and I haven't seen a dead one in that raised bed for days now.
Quite a few of the marigolds are blooming now so I'll be cutting the clover down tomorrow.

Thanks for all the input.
6 years ago
I think your plant ID is correct. I've just always known it as yellow clover.

There are a number of empty plots in town that are covered in this plant. I imagine mine was shared from a bird.

Most of my blooming plants are either finished (Peonies and Chives) or not yet blooming (marigolds and seeded wildflowers). I'm leaving a small patch of bindweed (I know, I know) that has flowered, and the clover, until the rest show up.
Then they will both be pulled up. I'm guessing in about a week from now.

The bed with the clover is being moved this year so I have nothing planted in it. Just this crazy huge clover plant.

6 years ago
Beer does not like me and Wine gives me wicked hangovers.
If I indulge, it's usually vodka.

Vodka and Seven up with a bit of lime
or better
Vodka with pink lemonade

Or since it's summer and the heat is rising, a nice vodka slush can be fun.

9 cups of boiling water
2 tea bags
1 - 12 oz frozen lemonade
1 - 12 oz frozen orange juice
1 cup of sugar
16 oz vodka

Dissolve the sugar in the water
Add tea bags and soak
Remove tea bags
Add everything else

For serving, scoop some in a glass and top with fruit juice or a clear pop (sprite, seven up, something lemon or lime-ish)
6 years ago
I have a garden bed with a giant yellow clover plant (volunteer) I've left alone for the bees.

On a couple different occasions, I have found dead bees under the clover.
A couple were half buried in the soil like they might have been burrowing.
I've never seen this before and I've never had dead bees like this.

I do not use any kind of chem spray in my yard and haven't for the entire 6+ years of living here.
I live in a town close to many many commercial greenhouses.
My immediate neighbors use herbicides on their lawns but they don't have many blooming plants.

Its been really windy but the temps have been above freezing.
There have been quite a few thunderstorms that included hail but I would think they know how to get out of a storm.

I have a water dish with stones and twigs in it for them under the plant in the shade.
I put the hose on it daily to refresh the water and clean it up.

So a few questions...
Why are the bees dying...

Could it be the clover?

Or could it be weather?
It seems unlikely but I don't know, what I don't know.

Are the bees burrowing or is it the ant creatures moving them?

These pictures show a dead one and some live ones most common on the clover (and the only type I've seen dead although there are other bee types here and there).

Thanks for any suggestions or advice you might have. I really don't like seeing dead bees in my yard.
6 years ago
I have started to use old, natural fibre bed sheets at the bottom of raised beds and other beds where I want to lay a weed prevention layer on the bottom. It lasts longer than layered newspaper or cardboard, but still breaks down over time.
6 years ago
I've seen these memes on facebook. They are cute and are a real indication of how people feel about wasps. And too, wasps can sure be mean when they find reason to be.

On the other side of it, I've read bees and wasps are capable of facial recognition, and I personally believe they are very aware of body language. I admit, I have no real proof but it's what I believe.
I was stung by a wasp once many years ago when I was scared of them. My entire body language would have been one of fear. Near a predatory creature, I was practically begging to be stung.

Now that I like them and no longer fear them, I notice they never bother me. I welcome them in my yard and I think they recognize that by my body language.
The wasps have bothered other people with me (usually the scared ones who end up taking off their hat to try and kill the wasp - never a good idea) but they always leave me alone.

Hornets are totally different story. I rarely see one but they scare me. They always seem to be in a bad mood.
6 years ago
Welcome to Permies, Brian!

That looks like a great piece of land. Beautiful diversity in the trees. Thanks for sharing you plans with us. It looks like a wonderful place to grow up, and to retire.
I look forward to your future posts. It will be great to follow along on your adventure.

I agree, Permies has tons of great info.
Paul has developed a great community here.
Happy you could join us!
6 years ago
From the Dervais Family Facebook Page....

"It’s with deepest sadness that we announce that Jules C. Dervaes, Jr., age 69, passed away as a result of a pulmonary embolism.

Dad has stood up his whole life for everything he believed in: never surrendering, never compromising, never wavering in his beliefs, his principles. Dad thought everything--no matter how big or how small--was worth fighting for.

Dad would try to right every wrong, correct every injustice and fix every mistake. Maybe that was his biggest flaw, but, just maybe, that was his greatest asset.

Dad never retired, never gave up, never stopped working, never stopped dreaming, never lost sight of the ultimate goal. There were times when we wished Dad would just let it go because it was just not worth it. However, that trait is what made Dad worth everything.

The last person Dad ever took care of was himself. His sincere concern for others’ well-being was evident to all who knew him. Dad’s smile and laughter touched many.

There are not many times in modern life when one can say God stepped in and intervened. This time, God had the final say, giving him the rest and release that Dad would never give to himself.

Although this chapter of Dad’s life has ended, God willing, we intend to carry on the work that he started.

In the name of our father,
Jules C. Dervaes, Jr. (1947-2016)

Anais, Justin and Jordanne Dervaes


We want to personally express our sincere gratitude, our thanks and our love to our friends, our family, our neighbors, and to everyone who came by, chipped in, stepped up, and was there with and for us.

There was no way we could possibly have made it through this time by ourselves. It is absolutely humbling how many people Dad touched.

Every person, every story, every prayer, everything meant so much to us. THANK YOU!

Our family asks for privacy at this time and will be issuing no further comments."


The Dervais Family has the Urban Homesteading site

Urban Homestead
6 years ago
Thanks for sharing the pictures. I really like the slithery creatures.

We have rattlesnakes here. It's a small micro-climate that sets us up as badlands in Canada.
Also mean spiders and the odd scorpion because who doesn't want to have all the fun stuff....
Anyhow because of this micro-climate and the fact that rattlesnakes really shouldn't live in Canada, the rattlesnakes are protected here.
Big fines if you kill one.
Some of my friends in Texas find it funny.
I sent my daughter down a trail one day to get a picture of her under a tree. She almost walked on a rather large snake.
Rattle, hiss, slither, scream... I didn't get any mom of the year awards that day.

6 years ago