eor: (lilac)
Yesterday was an overcast day, with rain predicted, so it was dedicated to burning brush. We started out at about 8:30 working out in the yard.

[personal profile] derien was cleaning out one of the compost bins, which was filled with dirt, and moving the contents to the berry patches. They could use some more soil and the compost bins don't work too well if they're filled with dirt. I started dragging brush from behind the barn up to the pile by the pool. That was an endless task, so after a while I switched to another endless task, cleaning out flower beds. I made very little relative progress because both are such big jobs.

At some point it started to sprinkle and just before 1pm I decided it wasn't going to stop sprinkling, so it I started the fire. Fire regs say we can only burn before 5pm if it's actively raining and I didn't want to start a fire, have it stop raining, and have to put the fire out. We fed the fire brush, and fed the fire brush, and fed the fire brush. The rain went from sprinkles to a steady rain and we kept the fire going. Fairly difficult when all your fuel is green or rotten on the inside and wet on the outside. But we kept at it until about 8pm. I'm guessing we burned close to 10 cubic yards of brush. We saved all the pieces big enough to use as firewood or kindling, but vine and rot isn't good for anything unfortunately. [personal profile] derien kept making jokes about us being charcoal burners because we were gather all these little twigs and bits.

This morning I'm doing laundry, dishes, and such because I didn't have any chance to do housework yesterday and it's soaking wet and cold outside. With any luck it'll dry out and warm up a bit this afternoon and I can start piling up the next brush piles.

I thought I'd taken some pictures, but unfortunately the memory card was in the computer not the camera, so no pictures of flowers, birds, and brush for you.
eor: (lilac)
Today while wandering around out back, well behind the barn and down hill I came upon a bit of wild unlife. It was a raccoon laying on a rock, looking for all the world like he was peacefully sleeping. His coat was beautiful, especially his tail. The rotten tree stump next to the rock looked like a good home for a raccoon, until the side fell off. I have no idea what killed him and I'm not going to go pick him up to find out. I will leave him on his rock until the cleanup crew comes along. [personal profile] derien is worried he'll stink, but he's so far down in the woods I doubt we'll notice.

Today I saw a bird with the sillouette of a cardinal, but not the size or the color. I think it's a Tufted Titmouse. The pictures and description seem to match. It certainly was hanging out with the chickadees, but more shy.

bird brain

Apr. 20th, 2014 05:00 pm
eor: (plant)
Today's bird of the day is the male Downy Woodpecker. He's a very ska bird, decked out in his two tone, with just a touch of red for style. He was enjoying the suet feeder along with the chickadees.

I managed to relocate somewhere between 6 and 12 frogs from the pool today. I lost count. Some seemed to take to relocation pretty quickly. Others just sat where I put them in the water feature under the trees. It's a pretty good spot for frogs with stagnant water and lots of leaves and water plants to hide in. I may have overpopulated the little hole, but I hope a few of them live. The pool isn't a good place for them to be because I got the pump going and started working on cleaning the leaves and algae out of it. I spent I'm not sure how many hours today scooping leaves out of the bottom or the pool or scrubbing the sides and bottom with the long handled brush.

I also got the last of the blackberries transplanted. By the time I was done with that task I was sick of it. I hope a few of them survive the process.

Also on the accomplishments for today, 3 more wheelbarrows full of sticks/brush transported to the burn piles, several medium sized limbs dragged to the burn pile, one of the compost bays shoveled out into one of the others (making room for new stuff).
eor: (lilac)
Today we took on moving the berry patch(es). We started at around 10am in Freeport, digging up blackberries. We dug up all of the blackberries we've deemed "the nasties" in respect to their thorns. They are root spreading and with the nasty thorns, we didn't want to leave them where they might be left to go crazy. We took a sample of the everbearing raspberries we planted a few years ago. We left enough of them to provide late berries for anyone who wants them. We also took a sample of our favorites, the wild early season blackberries from the property. Digging up berry canes is tiring work and by the time we left Freeport at about 1pm we were both pretty much done, but digging them up is only half the job.

We put the early season blackberries on a bank between where the pool currently sits and the lower terrace that has the horseshoe pits. My idea is that they can spread as much as they want on the bank and it'll be easy to mow above and below them. No one will want to walk through the patch because it's a bloody steep bank. The everbearing canes we place on a bank behind the house down a bit from the level of the lawn around the house. The idea being if you're sitting on chairs on the lawn you'll be able to see over the canes and enjoy the downhill view a bit. That bank is nothing but vines and rose right now, so it will be nice to have something on that side of the house that isn't something we have to rip out.

We didn't manage to get the nasties placed. They are going to go further downhill in a spot that will allow me to mow around all four sides of the patch. We started to clear some of the debris in the area, but didn't have the energy to start another batch at that point. So I wrapped them in a tarp and sprayed them with water. Hopefully the roots will survive. If they don't, we can buy more if we choose. Those originally came from Fedco. By the time we got back into the house it was 6pm. Utterly exhausted.

We also discovered we have a frog in our pool. He was sitting in one of the inlet filter baskets, croaking sonorously. I decided to rescue him and pulled the cover off to have a look. He's a big frog and he has no interest in being rescued. As soon as I started to reach for him he was off, out of the inlet, and into the bottom of the deep end of the pool. He will have to come out eventually, but for tonight, he's happy where he is and seems quite healthy.
eor: (Death with scythe)
The battle was joined this morning. At times I felt like I had put on a red coat on January 22nd, 1879. Even my heavy iron couldn't bring them all down.

Yes, trying to save some of the trees from Asiatic Bittersweet. Thankfully no rose was involved, so I didn't have to watch out for thorns. But I've had to take two rest breaks and I didn't manage to get all the vine out of the three small trees. After the first break I brought out the heavy artillery. Imagine the thing on the right in this picture, only 12 feet long and made of iron. It's hard to hold, but on the down stroke it provides its own locomotion. It wasn't designed for pulling vines out of trees, it was designed for cleaning clinkers out of steam engines. Since there aren't any steam engines around, it's been re-purposed.
eor: (lilac)
Long time no post. It has truly been "the winter of our discontent". Let us hope it will be "made glorious summer."

The sun has finally gotten strong enough to think about going outside after work. So we've been spending some time wading through snow, getting our pantlegs soaked, and pretending to make progress in the yard.

I'm pretty sure we have 3 of the top invasive species in our yard, two of which are doing their best to kill the trees.

The Rambler Rose is the rose bush we have battled for years in Freeport. There are huge vines of it here. The biggest I've seen so far was the size of my forearm at the base. Nasty stuff which can puncture regular leather work gloves and the skin underneath them with impunity.

The second vine is our old friend Asiatic Bittersweet. It is not nearly as nasty to the remove as the rose, but is perhaps more deadly to the trees.

The third, as yet unconfirmed, invasive is Shrubby Honeysuckle. It tends to block out native groundcovers. The reason that we think we have it is that the neighbors down the hill have a lot of a bush they described as "some kind of honeysuckle". Once things start leafing out we'll try to figure out if it is our one native honeysuckle or one of the three non-native invasive species that are on Maine's most wanted list.

The good news is that so far I have seen no evidence whatsoever of Japanese Knotweed. It will be easier to kill off all the rose and the bittersweet than it would be to deal with one stand of knotweed.

I have the bird feeder up and a hunk of suet as well, but I don't know if the chickadees have found it yet. They have been singing, which is a lovely thing to hear this time of year.

progress

Feb. 1st, 2010 08:53 pm
eor: (Default)
I've spent a goodly portion of the last three days in the dungeon basement. There is much damp, much rotten wood, and much mold. Wood laying on dirt floor is a bad idea. If I had been concentrating on one thing I might have finished it, but I've also been cleaning up stray wiring (mostly cable TV wires), pulling down broken/rusted/unused pipe hangers, reattaching wall insulation, plugging random holes, and putting in sill to floor insulation where that's missing. I built a rack from the joists to hold long construction materials that were laying on pallets on the floor. The cardboard boxes that they were once in are no longer boxes and in fact no longer cardboard, more the consistency of cooked noodles.

Overall, I've got everything mostly done. This is a good time to do the work because it's not too hot working, but warm enough in the basement that fingers stay dexterous. It's also nice that most of the creepy crawlies are dead or sleeping, they like cold weather less than I do.
eor: (Default)
Yesterday morning we slept in (for certain values of sleeping in), then went
out and started working on the bamboo right way. It was drizzly and everything
was wet, so in no time at all we looked like the looser in a mud slinging
contest. But we got a considerable amount of bamboo cleared before 11am when
derien's aunt and dad showed up for a visit. We went out to lunch with them
and visited during the afternoon.

In the evening we went to the new Harry Potter movie with [livejournal.com profile] littleredhead and
[livejournal.com profile] grndctrl and [livejournal.com profile] grndctrl's brother. [livejournal.com profile] derien and [livejournal.com profile] littleredhead agreed
to go in schoolgirl mode. [livejournal.com profile] derien was decked out in her stripey
socks (which make her infinitely happy), a grey skirt, and white
shirt. littleredhead managed to find just the right color socks (maroon with
gold stripes!), matching shoes, a dark skirt and a grey sweater. Way cute, not that [livejournal.com profile] littleredhead isn't cute anyway, but sometimes it's hard to not notice.

The movie was lots of fun, moreso with the company. I felt they could have
done things differently, but that didn't lessen the enjoyment. I still
adore how Luna is portrayed in the movies and wish there were more of her. I
thought that the love story side was more heavyhanded than it had to be. I think
the actresses involved could have carried it with much less time and just a few
significant looks. I was sad to see the abbreviated treatment the last 200 pages of the book got. On the plus side, I think the reasons why some of the characters do what they do is much more clear in the movie than in the
book. The aftermovie discussion and icecream was a great way to end it. A Harry Potter movie just wouldn't be
the same without the aftermovie discussion.

Today we got up and went out to the bamboo again. We worked for a couple of
hours until it got too warm to go on. We have made significant progress on the
whole thing. There are still a few clumps left to cut, but the vast majority
has been cut and well over half has been piled in a massive pile at the back
corner of the property.

We stopped for lunch, then a friend I used to work with in Portland came for a
visit and a tour. After he left, derien went to grab groceries and I went out
and did some more work on the bamboo (cue theme from "The Bridge Over the River
Kwai"). It wasn't long until I was exhausted and sitting on the front porch
with a cool, rehydrating drink.

All in all, a good, busy, and productive weekend. My muscles will be very glad
to go back to my sedate little workaday world.
eor: (Default)
We have got almost everything done that we can do for getting the loan and getting the condo. Monday I have to bug the insurance people, but other than that its come down to waiting for paperwork to arrive and checks to arrive. I have begun the pitching and packing process. Yesterday I filled the recycling bin with papers. Today I'm going to try to get into the closet and begin a pitch fest there. I've got five more boxes to fill (we're going slow on getting boxes because otherwise the apartment will collapse under the weight of boxes of books).

Thursday was layoff day at work. The whole first part of the week was weird with everyone on pins and needles. The end of the week was weird with survivor guilt and giddiness. Not that there is any lack of work as far as the stuff I do. I've got a ton of work and I feel like a mouse running just inches in front of a steamroller.

I need to get all my around the house stuff done early today so that I can do things for work this afternoon. I'll be glad when some of the projects are done and I can enjoy a weekend.

Next weekend I think I need to go for a walk somewhere away from the city. I keep telling myself that. Perhaps if I make an appointment with [livejournal.com profile] littleredhead then I'll actually get out and do it. There has to be someplace upcoast that isn't entirely mud.

I have been stressed lately and have not been dealing with it well. I need to blow of steam.

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eor: (Default)
eor

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