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Friday, May 29, 2020

The Sedum on the End of a Stick

Cleaned out the gutters today. The front one was completely full. I guess that nice black loose mixture of dirt and roofing crumbles made a great sapling nursery. There were 4 baby trees growing in it.

baby tree in a gutter

Now the gutters are cleared. And I accidentally learned that this is a really easy job give two conditions. It rained yesterday evening, so there was a layer of water at the bottom of the trough. That acted as a lubricant so the contents slid very easily. The end cap popped off when I put pressure against it. What a serendipitous moment! I just put the wheelbarrow under the end and chunk by chunk slid the whole mess out of the end of the gutter! Replaced the end. Done. Trimmed the tree a little more.

cleared gutter

But then I had four baby trees, right? So I planted them. I think 3 of them have half a chance of making it. The fourth is a quaking aspen, and they don't usually transplant well. But I had to try.

baby white birch tree planted

The temperature was right on the money for me! I was so energized. Mid-sixties. Light breeze. I just couldn't not try once more to reclaim my front flower bed. I got two patches done. Here's the one with my lovely yellow lily that appeared. But it won't bloom this year. Something already ate the top out of it.

weeded flower bed

Here's the other part I got cleaned up. Something already ate the biggest hosta. This is why I keep giving up flowers.

weeded flower bed

And the sedum on a stick? Home Depot has a potted sedum that I want quite badly. But I shouldn't spend money on plants. So, I'm telling myself that if I get this front bed completely cleaned up, I can buy that plant. We'll see if that is enough motivation. It might be.

I have a small, fairly local vendor event tomorrow. Let's hope that lots of people are so tired of not having anywhere to go that they will show up. And spend money.

See One Garden Fairy, One Garden Liar

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sad, but Fascinating

The other day, Om was out cutting some grape vines and brush that keeps trying to grow up the side of the house. When he came in, I looked across the room and saw a funny dark thing on his pants. "What's that?"

emerging sphinx moth

I'm pretty sure it is a hawk/sphinx/hummingbird moth that has just emerged from it's cocoon. But the sad part is that if lepdopteria are disturbed before their wings have filled with blood and dried, their wings won't "unwrinkle" properly and they can never fly.

emerging sphinx moth

Well, darn. It was already disturbed, and it sure couldn't stay on Omer's leg indefinitely. I tried to get it to crawl on something without touching its wings, but it wouldn't move onto a hard surface. It did crawl on my finger. That allowed me to get a picture of the underside.

emerging sphinx moth

However, I'm still not sure exactly which moth it is. It doesn't have the white lines of the common one. The pictures I took of the dead clear-wing don't have those bands on the underside. There aren't all that many choices in North America. Without the wings open, it's really hard to tell what it will look like.

I put it on the old wheel. Hours later, it was still there. It was alive, but its wings were not opening. It disappeared overnight- probably becoming something else's meal.

emerging hawk moth

In other news: I worked on the menus for my upcoming hike a bit. Should have done more, but I was a sloth. However, we finally got rain this evening, and the air is less heavy. Supposed to be cooler tomorrow which should help my work ethic.

See White-Lined Hummingbird Moth
See Clear-wing Hummingbird Moth

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Refrigerator Soup Day

I spent the morning in the kitchen. Dehydrated a couple of things for hike food, frosted the other half of the birthday cake before the rest of the evaporated milk went bad, and made refrigerator soup. This one isn't quite as good as sometimes, but it's fine. Good solid soup. The only thing that wasn't a refrigerator clearing item was a can of kidney beans. But it was pretty old. Good to use it.


In other news: Om and I got all the rest of the old shingles cleaned up. All that's left to do is the second round of caulking in a few days and clearing the gutters. I also dug up a few more small autumn olive that had sprouted in the yard. And I may have figured out what the problem is with the mower. We shall see about that.

This sounds like I really did a lot. However, it was really hot again, and I mostly worked in little spurts with cold drinks in between. I have something quite interesting to show you tomorrow.

See Refrigerator Soup, Deluxe

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

99 and 44/100 Percent

Remember the Ivory Soap claim- "99 and 44/100 percent pure?" That may be good enough for soap, but it's not quite enough for a roof job. The ridgeline is finished, but I'll need to do a little more caulking in a couple of days.

new roof ridgeline

Here's the face I just finished. That is 100% done.

new roof

There is still a little bit of cleanup to do, but Om has been helping with that. A wheelbarrow that is not falling apart makes it a lot easier too.

roofing mess

And the gutters have to be cleaned out. But not today. Today was hot. The first really hot day this year. Heat and I are not friends. I managed to finish the ridgeline, and then I ran a couple of errands that couldn't be done on the holiday yesterday, but that's about it, except for sitting and sweating. My body needs to adjust a bit.

The sky was great! For a while it looked like a storm was brewing to the east, but then the gray all cleared out and turned into these impressive cumulonimbus clouds.


I've really enjoyed being on top of the world as the surroundings green up and everything looks so fresh.

So, I need to take this job to 100%, or it won't pass the test. But I think there's actually 100% chance it will happen. Of course, then I still have to do that final face. Maybe this fall. That sure won't wait another 6 years. Those shingles are getting bad.

Fun fact: That one remaining face on this house is the only roof on our property that I did not do. Including the barn. Although, three of us worked together on that. A long time ago. Now, the whole barn is in danger of falling, but we can't afford to do a darn thing about it.

See Did She Do It?

Monday, May 25, 2020

Another Puzzle, Another Bad Accordion Joke

I finished another jigsaw puzzle yesterday. This one is called "The Music Room," and it has about 100 different instruments on it. There were several I had not heard of. It was surprisingly difficult, but not frustratingly so.

jigsaw puzzle with musical instruments

jigsaw puzzle with musical instrumentsI learned the long squarish one is called a Tromba marina. Yes, that means marine trumpet, but it was a one-stringed instrument played with a bow. The base is a tall hollow bell and it gives off a sound much like a trumpet that was used to speak from ship to ship. The string was only lightly touched to produce harmonics. It was used from the 15th to 18th Centuries. I'm going to just tell you about this one because is it SO interesting.

Here is a video of a modern recreation of one.

And here is a real piece of music played on one. The instrument shown in this video has two strings which was apparently a sometime variation. I like it!

And the bad accordion joke? The accordion is upside down! What the heck? I know most people don't like them, but the artist couldn't even picture it right side up?

jigsaw puzzle with musical instruments

In other news: I did errands (some will have to wait because it was Memorial Day), shopped for groceries, and worked on beta reading a book for an author friend. Tomorrow, I do the final little bit on the roof. (Had to buy one more bundle of shingles, and I treated us to a new wheelbarrow that isn't coming apart.)

See The Sound of Music
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