Sugar Water and Digital Cameras Do Not Mix

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's quite possible that many of you well retort, "well, no DUH" to the warning that you should never spray equal mixtures of sugar and water on a digital camera.

After doing this during a check of the beehive this weekend (you spray sugar water to keep the bees from flying up and biting you in the keester), I had a digital camera covered with sugary, sticky, GOO!

"No problem," I thought. "I'll just wash it off with some warm water, and everything will be cool!" It was only after washing, did the following question cross my mind: "Hey, are these things waterproof?"

Nope! Now the camera is taking great shots that look like a thick fog bank, and little else. This is why you're getting FABULOUS photos taken with my handy-dandy Samsung phone!

I'm getting just a tad tired of the cool weather that's been overstaying it's welcome in the Sacramento Valley. Yes, I know this cooler weather is causing tomato plants to fruit like nobody's business. I understand that a lot of us have plants loaded with tomatoes. That's good.

But, at some point, you've just gotta have the heat to make a summer garden produce. Tomatoes might be fruiting, but without heat, they're not going to ripen in large numbers. The strawberries will be good, yes, but not quite as good, and the melon plants are anything but happy.

But, one crop starting to produce in fairly large numbers now are the bush beans that Venus planted from seed about a month ago in one of the raised beds. We tried growing these last year, and I'm sad to report that we were the only gardeners on the West Coast who FAILED to grow bush beans.

How can you screw up bush beans? I'm not sure, but Bill and Venus Bird are living proof that "you can."

But that was last year. This year is somewhat different. The beans you see to your left came out of the garden just last night, and made for a tasty side dish to the main, extremely high-class, meal of "Beer Can Chicken."

These things grow fast. I mean, real fast. How fast you say? It's almost like one minute there's nothing there, and the next time you look at the same spot, you've got loads of bush beans.

My early favorite is the "Dragon's Tongue" bush bean. I mean, how can you not like something out of your favorite nightmare? The redish-streaked beans are also easy to spot, which is both good and bad. Why bad? As it turns out, honeybees are attrached to bush bean flowers. And, if you grab a handful of beans, chances are, you've also grabbed a bee or a small army of them.


The bush-bean "haul," our first by the way, also included the standard Italian bean, and two more varieties called "Cherokee" and "Hurricane." This is just a start, of course. The bush beans are now just starting to produce. And soon, the pole beans planted nearby will star producing record numbers as well.

At least, that's the hope. The goal is to can these suckers for later use this winter. I've had more than one person tell me about fist-fights that have erupted over a jar of pickled bush or pole beans.

Time will tell.

The garden is still throwing out lots of interesting produce, including a few tomatoes, but these have been overshadowed recently by the radish discoveries the wife has been making on a daily basis. Last week she pulled up a pink radish the size of a baseball.

This weekend she pulled out two white radishes that, while not quite baseball sized, still managed to raise a few eyebrows. I'm not exactly sure what the wife is doing to that radish and chard seed, but I know this much: I can't argue with the results.

Pray for my crummy digital camera. I might be forced to run out and buy another crummy one. Why not invest in something good? Something that will take decent pictures? Yeah, I could do that. But I know better. Bill Bird is the proverbial bull in a china shop.

In other words, I'll just break it.


dave said...

Hey Bill
I've been enjoying your blog.
I'm a little jealous of your long season down there though.

Bill Bird said...


Not sure where you are, but yeah, we've got great weather in the Sacramento area. You can keep tomato plants producing well into November if the weather holds out. They start looking like absolute monsters in October.


dave said...


Daffodil Planter said...

A new camera? Ouch, VERY expensive honey this year. But you can look back and laugh when you are old hands with the hives.

Watching your veggies with interest!