Karin does not feed her bees sugar so it has taken a few years before they have reached the point at which she could harvest honey that she knew they would not need this winter. She bought a honey extractor, which looks a lot like a mini-whiskey still, and extracted four gallons of honey last week. Our neighbors Stan and Ryan are keeping 25 chickens (and two bantam roosters) and last night Karin and Ryan traded honey for eggs. Just as it has been done for centuries.

Today, monarch butterflies are migrating south and working their way through our fields. I saw a migration when I was six. Trees were covered in butterflies like slowly moving scales on a reptile. It was such an overwhelming experience that I remember it in detail today. Sadly, the numbers who migrate today are few. This afternoon, we could see maybe 15 from any one vantage point. But still something I will remember.