Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Busy Day

Jim and the boys attacked the downed willow today. I posted an ad on Craigslist last night advertising the free wood to anyone who will come and get it. I got an immediate response from a guy wanting to know if it was alright to come out Friday and take it all. He said he would cut the stump to the ground and rake up the mess when he was done! Of course I said yes! We are very happy that he is going to remove the tree for FREE! One man's trash certainly is another man's treasure.

One guy showed up unannounced this morning asking if he could have some of the wood for making some end tables. He had his three kids with him and they wanted to pet the chickens. I caught my Buff Orp rooster, Rudy, and let them all pet him. He was a good boy and they loved him. What is it about chickens that is so irresistible? Anyway, the guy filled up his car with wood and headed home. He was here for a few hours picking out the pieces he wanted. There is extensive rot in the trunk that fell over, as you can see in the photo. Jim cut good pieces for the end table guy, at various thicknessess.

While the guys worked on the willow, I busied myself with getting things done around the house. I love taking care of my household. There is something so satisfying about it. I actually got up at 10 a.m. this morning *gasp, WHEEZE!*, baked a chocolate cake (holy schmoly), hung a load of laundry to dry, cleaned the chicken coop (lotsa crap), mowed the lawn around the house *pant, pant*, vacuumed the house, and then fixed dinner. Just the fact that I managed to drag my carcass out of bed before noon is a miracle in itself. But when you're a night owl, mornings are rough.

After dinner, the guys relaxed and cooled off in the pond. Jim is aggravated by all the coon tail growing in the pond and he's making it his personal mission to pull as much of it as he can. We refuse to use chemicals because we eat the fish we catch and I personally despise chemicals. This weed can be effectively controlled by raking or pulling. It comes out easily but it smells funky. Jim pushed the canoe all around as he pulled coon tail, and he hung it on the edge of the canoe to keep it from getting back into the pond. Ian went along for the ride. When there was no more room for weeds, he pushed it to the edge of the pond and tossed it all up on the bank where the sunshine will kill it. Doesn't it look like the canoe is wearing a ghillie suit?

While Jim was pulling pond weeds he caught a small crayfish about two inches long. I had Sweet Pea and Rudy with me while I did some light weeding and Jim brought the crustacean over to the chickens and dropped it on the ground in front of them. Rudy instantly grabbed it and smacked it on the ground a few times to kill it. Then *GULP!* down it went...whole! I didn't even have time to offer him some cocktail sauce to go with it.

I watched a male house wren stuff this nest box with twigs, then call to attract any nearby females. One arrived, entered the nest box, decided whether to set up housekeeping, then came out. I couldn't tell if the male's nest met her approval or not. I saw him again a few hours later but didn't see a female with him. I wonder if I can expect house wren babies in a few weeks? House wrens fill up every nest box available with twigs, then the female chooses the one she likes best. Some people hate house wrens for this fact, but I don't mind them at all. The male has a very loud yet beautiful song. It's amazing that so much volume can come out of such a tiny bird!

The photo shows the nest box after we built it last fall. It was the very first project we worked on as a family, just after moving back home. It was a very satisfying feeling to hang this little box above the propane tank. And wouldn't it be nice to see another little family inside it?


  1. I like what you're doing to the place! Both the blog and the 12 acres. That is a large willow to lose. I lost a tree also, but in a way it is a good thing as now a beautiful catalpa tree will now receive more sun.

    What kind of cake did you make? Tuth just made a triple chocolate with cream cheese/butter frosting. I love cake.

  2. That really is a big tree! It's great that you found some people who could use it, and remove it for you.

    Wow, your birds ate a 2" long crayfish?! Sheesh. I thought all the nifty little lizards were safe around here. :)

    That's a neat little birdhouse. And all the better since you made it yourselves, as a family.


  3. Don, it was time for a new banner, don't you think? I've thought about what I want to replace the willow with, and I'm thinking a Black Tupelo would be nice. They're tricky to get started though.

    Ruth's chocolate cake sounds a lot better than mine!

    Ron, I love it when a plan comes together. FreeCycle and Craigslist are both great ways of getting rid of stuff. I'm using them more and more lately.

    Your nifty little lizards better be quick or they'll end up as chook treats! I was amazed at how quickly Rudy dispatched that crayfish--I'm glad I'm at the top of the food chain too.

    We make birdhouses as gifts for family and it's fun to gather the materials for them. It's a good way to spend a rainy day.

  4. I can't beleive all those pond weeds! I have never heard of coon tail. Does it have another name?

    I hope your house wrens set up housekeeping. I look forward to photos!


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