First, for the person attempting to call me on the phone, I am not able to hear you over the international connection. I will gladly respond to an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the subject line to help me identify you.
A friend writes asking about creamy white honey. I explain that the color of honey comes from the flowers that bees visit to collect nectar. Honey that is quite clear in color is described as “water white.” This is the lightest natural color of honey, which ranges from nearly clear through amber to dark brown colors that are almost black. If honey is white and opaque, it probably contains crystallized sugars and likely particles of beeswax, both quite acceptable in raw honey. Most of the delicious valonia honey that I ate in Africa was white in color, creamy in texture, and opaque. The color, clarity, and texture of honey don’t affect its quality. They just make for more variety in the honey we taste and enjoy.
Winter is a good time for enjoying the birds along North America’s central flyway. Migratory birds abound in the Arkansas Delta at this time of the year. Mile-long strings of snow geese pass overhead throughout the day. Harvested soybean and rice fields, impounded to hold water, attract pintail, northern shoveler, teal, and mallard ducks as well as white-fronted geese. Shown in today’s photo, the snow geese in the distance cover the ground. Along with their color phase, the blue goose, they appear as dirty snow. The gregarious snow geese congregate in flocks numbering in the thousands. Wintering waterfowl, fattening on spilled grain and aquatic invertebrates, help farmers by efficiently sifting weed seeds from the muddy soil. Bald eagles visit Peace Farm lakes, occasionally snagging a fish or duck. From dawn to dusk, red tailed hawks and northern harriers effectively thin the population of field mice and rats. Owls work the night shift, unseen.