The warmer weather has brought the rain we were all looking for back in November. The last two weeks have been VERY wet. The pups look like they were swimming when they come in from the yard.
The seasonal creeks are all running again. The cistern is full, and soon I can think about overseeing the lawn.
For now, the only gardening going on is indoors.
I really need to get out of the house. I have become a big slug, and my pants are getting tight. Never a good sign. I did manage to do three hours of forest floor cleaning yesterday between rain showers. This sounds weird but it is mainly aimed at reducing the fuel load of forest a bit. Picking up storm damage in the form of branches and fallen trees. Anything large enough for firewood I’ll buck up and give away. The smaller stuff I will chip and use as bedding mulch this summer.
I figure to do the whole property will take me around 100 hours. In calendar time I think that will be a month if I keep at it. More likely it will be six months. Meh, whatever. It’s not going anywhere and neither am I.
Tis the season
Christmas has come and gone and along with it the 12” of snow we got as part of the North American December storm event(s).
Snow never last long, a couple weeks usually depending on how much we got. In this case it was erased by 6” of rain that came after.
We also had our second deer die on the property. I never do anything about this when it happens. The forest critters make pretty quick work of reducing them to bones.
The carcass drew quite a few scavengers including a bald eagle who hung around for quite a few days. Long enough that we were starting to wonder if it had plans on our dogs.
Christmas itself was pretty good. We got a real tree for the first time in many years and it was a beaut! We managed to get though two storm day suppers without losing power – bonus!! The kids were pretty leery about the outdoor cooking though.
Now it’s world junior hockey time. See you in a few days.
Thar She Blows!
What an interesting couple of weeks we’ve had.
First was the wind storm. No immediate damage but we did have to take down a couple trees right after it as their root balls began to pull out. It’s always better to drop them where you want to rather than let nature decide, especially when they are close to the house.
Next was the blizzard. Fairly unusual for this area. Now granted it’s not prairie level blizzard but for our climate it was officially classed as “nasty”.
The big impact this one had was it whipped the fibre cable serving the entire island into the high voltage lines. Net result was 7 days no phone, cable, or internet and local cell towers isolated.
Kudos to the phone company. They brought in a cell site on wheels, upped the power of other sites, and redirected some antenna beams to improve coverage. Next they installed a new microwave link to restore service while they arranged to replace the fibre.
In the meantime we have had 4 separate power outages. Two storm caused and two restoration related. Turned out not only did the fibre cable fry, snap, and fall into the ocean but two of the three power lines were damaged to the point they could not be re-energized until they were replaced. They have to de-energize the remaining one while helicoptering new spans to our island. Tomorrow will be the 5th outage and then hopefully all is good.
So today we sit in the dark, wood stove heating the house, and wait for the power to come back at 6pm. My day has mostly looked like this:
I was cleaning up my photos and deleted a few other projects. A rain water collection install, soffit repairs (more rat remediation), and bucking firewood, and baseboards.
It sounds like more than it was. I’ve been pretty sluggish recently and have really cut back work. I doubt I’m putting in 10 hours a week right now. Mostly I’m puttering in the yard prepping for winter. Hoses and irrigation winterized, garden harvested and composted. Garlic planted. Flower pots emptied. Still waiting for the begonias to freeze so we can pull the tubers.
It’s going to rain all week. I sense more lazy days.
August rolls onto the downhill side it’s time to harvest the second round from the garden. Another good batch of green beans (they are still blooming!) and the last of the garlic. As this second crop of garlic goes into the shed to dry the first bunch I picked a couple weeks ago come inside for cleaning up.
These are the smaller varieties we planted. Last fall I put down eight different types as an experiment. No taste tests yet but some types are too small a head for me to bother with them again.
Earlier this week I had company at work.
This fella hung around every day for most of the day. In fact he is the reason I was working at this location. He seems to have decided that this is his turf and is getting a bit too aggressive. He sleeps under the deck and has started to challenge the homeowner when she comes out, snorting and pawing. So, we are closing up all the undersides of the decks and outbuilding. Now he will have to find his shade in the forest.
After a long, cool, wet spring and early summer we at last had some hot days. Not that I am complaining. It has been a great relief to have a cooler year with more moisture than the past several years. The forest needed some time to recover. Another heat dome and I hate to guess how many trees would be falling.
We also finally made it back to the prairies to visit the family. It has been almost three years since we had an in person visit. We decided to drive and took a month all totalled.
One of the reasons we chose to drive was to pick up the latest member of the family…meet Grey.
He is the half brother of Maggie. Same dad, different mom. So far the two get along like gangbusters. Maggie is a great big sister and loves to play with him and looks after him. In fact will run over to him if a large raven flies over. They are also a great help in the yard work 🙄
I’ve made a decision to change my work regime. I am cutting back to 3 days a week to give me more time in the yard and hopefully at the shop. I have been frustrated by the fact that I have a great arrangement to use this building but to date have taken very little advantage of it. Best to start before the owner decides to sell the place.
Speaking of the owner, finished another project for her too. The downstairs bathroom, which was never completed since they built the house 30 years ago. In fact if was being used as a storage closet. I still have some bits to finish like cleaning up the old door frame and hanging the pocket door to the shower, but it’s 95% there.
Rain and snow and hail today so no way was I going to hang siding. Off to the shop…
Last week the wind finally trashed the pvc pipe car port I build a few years ago. I want to build the new one a different way because the pvc kept collapsing under a snow load.
I am going to build the it using the greenhouse Gothic arch idea. This is a new thing for me so I guess we’ll see how it goes
Built the glue up jig and cut some lamination strips for a trial go. I definitely went to school on this one. Many lessons learned and some changes are in order before I try the next rib. In need to make 12 of these so lots of opportunities to do better.
In a few months we will be crying for a few drops. Come summer we could have months go by without a any rain. People’s wells go dry and rainwater cisterns empty. Keeping gardens alive becomes harder. So I guess I should not complain about today.
It has been a cool wet spring. Daytime highs are 5-6°C cooler than normal yet nights have been warmer. Our yard is quite forested so we are always cooler and later starting than places with more sun. The sun is actually quite warm when it is out. I’ve been in some other yards that have been cleared and the growth is 2-3 weeks ahead of us. That’s normal even in a less cool spring.
So I know I should not complain when I got up to another rainy day. Soon enough I will be wishing for one. But with the trees and bushes just barely starting to open buds I really desire a few warm days.
It is hard to get motivated to get outside when its raining. Whether I am going to work on my own projects or work for someone else, 90% of the things I need to do are outside. And I hate working in the rain. My hands get cold my feet get caked in mud. Everything is slow going.
So I won’t. I have one project I can do indoors that will take me a couple weeks of effort, probably spread out over a couple months in real time. Looks like today will be the start date.