Month: April 2003


We have a wild rabbit in the back yard. Frank told me about it the other day, and we both saw it this afternoon. The back of our yard is all high grass/weeds right now, and there are lots of thistle growing, towering over Frank, even. Somewhere there that rabbit has a hole or some such place to live.

We saw wild rabbits in our yard six years ago. Before we had a privacy fence installed. They were babies and so, so cute!

Well, this one is small, not an adult yet, we are figuring. We’ve only seen one. Every so often, when I check my newly planted garden I find a spring of curly parsley lying near the plant, chewed off of the plant, that is. That’s no big deal, but it’ll become one. So, we hope to catch the critter one of these days.

I’m not studied up on rabbits, most particularly wild ones, and all, but we are going to look into keeping it in a salatin-like pen. Updates shall occur!

Iris, the photos

I have the photos of the Iris that bloomed, our first iris blooming. It’s since faded, of course, but this was just the other week. Beautiful!

Click “track back” below this post for the links.

Heat and Bird Feeder

I went out in High Noon mostly-sunny Northeast Georgia mid-spring timing, this day that means in the high 70’s. To do what? Move the big cedar gazebo feeder. It’s a large feeder on top of a cedar pole that is secured by a stake in the bottom of the cedar pole.

The original design has a side of the cedar pole off of it so that the metal stake can be driven into the ground, then the pole “wrapped” around the stake, then tiny brads driven through the “cover” to secure the pole and make it look “solid”. The pole is square, by the way. The middle of the pole is in two pieces, meaning the top of the pole screws down into the bottom of the pole. The top of the pole has a mounting platform for the feeder, and the feeder itself.

Well, I couldn’t undo the “wrapped” pole from the stake, so I had to figure out how to pound it all into the ground.

Why was I moving it? It was loose in the ground where it was, and I wanted to bring it closer to the house anyway.

So back to the installation story. I found the old northern white cedar mallet that came from our children’s play set installation. It worked well, but then I had to get a garden spade to cut through some of the grass/weed roots down a few inches. The metal stake is a “v-like” stake so I had to get the holes started with two lines like this: < : sort of. I put the stake back into the ground and pounded away with the northern white cedar mallet. It all seemed to be moving downward some with each !whack!, as was my tolerance for the heat. I was delighted to see that most all the stake was in the ground. The pole has a bevel cut at the bottom, and I can do more work to shore that up and keep the pole straighter, and make it less wobbly. For now it's fine. I was at my dropping point then, but I had to keep on truckin'. I screwed the top pole/feeder combo onto the bottom half of the pole then I dragged myself into the garage, which means climing onto the deck's several steps, going across it in the blazing heat (the sun beats hard on the back of the house, and on the deck, the temperature is at least 20 degrees higher than in the yard. Ick!) Into the house, through the kitchen to the garage. I had to haul out my new big bags of bird seed, and dump parts of them into a big bucket to mix it all up. I use a commercial birdseed mixture, and add straight black oil sunflower seed to that. I like heavy sunflower eating birds! So at this point I was ready to just plop onto the floor, but continued to go on, and lugged that bucket out to the deck, then grabbed a bistro chair there to take with me to the bird feeder. I was sweating and nearly shaking, and hauling a chair in one hand, and a 6 gallon bucket filled with seed in the other hand. I found a bowl in the yard and used that as my scooper. We always have bowls in the yard, for some reason! Handy this time! I scooped and scooped and filled up the feeder. I dragged the buck and tools back to the house, and myself included. I dropped it all inside the kitchen door. I couldn't do anything but go wash my hands and then get an ICY cold Coca-Cola. Ahhh! I'm cooling off now, and feeling better. Heat just kills me. So why'd I go out at High Noon to do such a task. Yup. Tsk Tsk. I'm glad to have that done though. Now the birds can come back and feed. The feeder had been empty for quite a few months. Not my choice, just what happened. In the future, when I camp out on the deck with camera in hand, I'll be able to get more close-ups into that feeder. 🙂

Photo Log

My Photo Log

I have a new place for photos. Check it out. I’ll be loading all my photos there from now on, and will have references to them here from time to time [and some actual pictures], with links on the right-hand side of the page as well.

I’m categorizing all things by year and month, and then other general categories, like: vacation, bird watching, children, hens, gardening, etc.

One picture can and will have more than one category assigned to it. I have the date archiving turned on, and so when I load things, my main page shows them according to the current date loaded. The Category Archives are the best way to view the photos overall, but utilizing the date archives, you’ll see what’s “newly loaded” once you are accustomed to visiting the site and just want to see “recently added pictures”.

I’ll be tweaking it all more in the coming days, and of course may do more of an overhaul at any given time. I’ll not remove anything, just make it more functional.

Here’s a teaser.

Click for a new window to open up to the Children’s category in the Photo Log.

Autumn Tree Pictures

Pictures of these got deleted by accident when transferring things to different system of blogging. They will be reinstated in the near future — Note added when discovered “March 26 2005” —


October Glory Maple – 2002: Photo 1
700Wx467H at 72 px


October Glory Maple – 2002: Photo 2
467Wx700H at 72 px


Japanese Bloodgood Maple Autumn 2002 [with October Glory Maple behind on left]
700Wx467H at 72 px

These are all from our front yard. The Japanese Bloodgood is right in front of our living room window, and the October Glory is further out in the yard to the right, in the bern we built. The bush on the right of the burn is the Pussy Willow. The other plants are Hosta, Dusty Miller, Iris, Pansy, and Snapdragon, from left to right.

Iris in bloom!

The one lone iris bloom opened this morning! It’s gorgeous, and I couldn’t resist snapping a few shots with my camera. I finished the one remaining picture on that roll with the biggest blossom on one of our Cherokee Cheif Dogwood trees, a semi close-up. When these are developed, I’ll scan them in for this site right away!

My Desktop Today

Click for larger photo

Here’s what my desktop looks like today. A mess, but a nice background! Click on the picture to see a pop-up full-size version of this Sepia-colored recent photo of Russell, Victoria, and Asa!


We got some garden plants last night … and some flowering plants for the bern and where ever else they should go instead.

For the garden, it’s just tomatoes, different varieties; and peppers, and some herbs, for now. We have work to do in the garden, adding composted manure and reworking the space. We began re-doing it last year and never used it. We are digging in or up, not sure where it’ll end up, but we want to get it sort of like a raised garden bed. Our land slopes fairly fast and down in that direction, so it’s a bit confusing to describe.

I just had to get another Hosta. It’s different than what I have already. I’ll have to move mine around to get this on in the middle, where it’ll look best.

I can’t recall all that we got, but we have some Dahlia’s, a new Iris, some daisy things … begins with a G., and other flowering or greenery. All told, none of it’s on our landscape plan we had drawn up a few years ago. Of course. The bern isn’t on the plan either, we put that in last year when we put in the tree that’s the biggest thing in it. It just made sense.

We have many bushes to buy to put in around the front and back parts of the property, and by the house. It’s alot to do … so actually, making this bern and other areas how we want outside of the big plan, is not changing it, just adding to it. When we can put money into bushes, we will. As it is, what we bought last night would have bought precious few bushes!

We need to break up the sidewalk too, and put in a new one with pavers, or bricks, it’ll go in a different direction than that current cement one. At that point we’ll have more “have to” landscaping that we’ll get to, that’s on the plan.


My buddy Strider:


[click thumbnail for full-size pop-up image]

Safer Bluebird Nest

We got an extender tube for our Bluebird’s house entry today. It might or might not work, depending on how the pair accepts it, or not.

They’ve built a nest, but laid no eggs as of this morning. A man at the nature store we bought this at said it should be installed after the nest is built. The packaging of the thing says to install it when incubation begins. Hmmm. To me, incubation means eggs. So … I’ll have to do an internet search.

This device is to keep the nest safe from predators. European Starlings are our main predator around here. Last year nesting one failed due to missing babies and Starlings galore around the few days before. Nesting number two succeeded with two hatching/fledging and one dud egg. I scared off Starlings every time I saw them after the first babies dissapeared.

I sure would like to see two successful nestings this year!

Anyone with any advice, please feel free to comment!

We’ve had some Sun today

We had sun this morning. The sun was coming up in the East, and the moisture in the air was so heavy, it was odd to look at, but a bright joy since the sun was right behind all that swirling mass of mist.

By the time the sun was higher, clouds were circling back to cover it time and again. Heavier clouds are out there now, but it’s not that unending mass of overcast gloom any longer. 🙂


Our master bathroom had a problem a few nights ago. I plugged the hairdryer in, something I usually don’t do for myself. This was for my self, and that means I was really wanting to use it! Anyway, to get back to the thing that happened, I plugged the hairdryer in and zap! A big spark came out of the plug area, then nothing. I had obviously turned the thing on, and immediately turned it off and unplugged it. It was like a one-second-deal “in-on-off-out” in one second flat.

So, I really wanted to use this thing. I brought it into the hall bathroom and plugged it in. Meanwhile Frank is saying he smells smoke … I turned the hairdryer on in that other bathroom, on low, and it went riiiiiiiiii! in a rising pitch tone then — nothing.


Meanwhile back in the masterbathroom, there’s a definite smokey smell. Frank finally went down to shut off the power to that circuit, and get a fire extinguisher, just in case.

Well, that put our bedroom into the dark. Our bath and bedroom are connected on the same cicuit on the board. We couldn’t find our flashlight. We have candles, but not for really “seeing” by. So there we were in our master bedroom, with pillar candles to see where we were going, read in bed, etc.

The next day we took the receptacle apart. The GFCI didn’t trigger. The hot in lead wire burnt the back of the module, melted a big hole into it. We were very fortunate that that is all that happened.

The next day we bought a new receptacle. It was dark when we got home with it, so Frank got something I’ve wanted for years anyway, a cheap glass kerosene lamp. Boy what an improvement for reading in bed light!

OK, the next day, I tried to install the receptacle, but try as I might, I couldn’t get the wires to bend and stay around the screws. It was nasty. So Frank got home later and got it done. But then we turned on the electricity. It worked, not the GFCI though. So, one thing about that is, maybe it was swapped, load and lead swapped and GFCI won’t work.

So, we swapped them. That was a chore, due to how stiff all those wires were and they’d been in one position for over 5 years, and now Frank was trying to make them go elsewhere, new positions on the receptacle.

A note here to mention we first installed the wires exactly the same way they had been installed on the old receptacle.

So once the second wiring was in place. I turned the electricity on again. It worked. The lights, that is. GFCI still wouldn’t work. We have a hand held tester for that. The tester works on a receptacle in the kitchen. So, there’s something wrong in the circuit. Figures. It’ll work just find as a normal receptacle, it just won’t offer any GFCI.

Well, it didn’t beforehand either. So there was a problem, and we just didn’t know it.

The horrible thing is, did something break? or was it this way all along? We don’t know. We are of the dumb kind of people, who don’t test our GFCI receptacles. Well, we were. We sure will test them at least a few times a year, if not more.

This is just one more thing to get fixed now. We have other wiring we are concerned about as well, a light outside of the garage doesn’t work, and we’ve replaced it too. Oh, and our lamp post, the one every house in our place has in the front yard. It doesn’t work. I’d say over half of the lamp posts here don’t work. We’ve replaced the light-sensing module … it’s what seems to go bad. I don’t like having it on anyway, so it’s fine with me. It’s just something we need to get fixed to a working state, which it’s never truly been in. It goes on and off for a few weeks, then stays on day and night for several weeks and then dies off. Not something to keep replacing, if that makes any sense to anyone. It sure does to me!

Electricity. Ugh. It’s great, but what a pain too.

Fixing things up

I’m fixing up the walls in one of the bedrooms. It’ll be Victoria’s room, eventually.

It used to be Russell’s room and was a deep bright blue, very nice. But too many dings, holes, crayons and pens were added to it. Victoria had been in that room, in that state, for a few months, but recently moved into the room next to it temporarily, and the boys moved downstairs.

Victoria’s room will have wainscoating of beadboard, painted glossy white, with a chair rail above, and then the walls above that will be white or cream and pink wide stripes, with decopage of paperdoll stuff here and there. She’s requested “hearts” as well, similar to what’s on her web pages.

On the floor will be some kind of wood flooring. Right now it’s carpet original to this house in 1997. We are ripping it out piece by piece, out of the whole house. The steps and hallways are down to the bare plywood subfloor, and the living room will follow suit soon. Sounds funny, but I sure like the plywood sub-floor better than the carpet!

Mr. Bluebird in April 2003


Mr. Bluebird sitting


Just seconds later … Mr. Bluebird diving

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

I saw the Red-Bellied Woodpecker of our neighborhood the other day. He was sitting on the fence when I looked to the left while I was on the deck. I hadn’t seen him since last year sometime.

This morning Frank told me he’d seen him also, another time. Then later there he was, the Woodpecker, in the big cedar feeder in the back yard! Victoria saw him too. “He has a red head” she told me.

He turned around at one point, and I could actually see the red on his belly, a first for me.

Anyhow, that’s a rare treat, seeing a woodpecker in our yard.

Bluebird fights

The Bluebirds are still working on their nest a bit. They are defending it also. Today the European Starlings were bothering them some.

There has been a Northern Mockingbird hanging around close to the house of late. It lands on the railing of the deck and walks back and forth sometimes. Today it did that, then flew to the Jungle, the children’s play structure, and sat looking out the top deck of that structure, in the direction of the Bluebird Box. A few minutes later, it flew to the box, and tried to land on top. Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird were there at the time, and immediately Mr. Bluebird attacked and down he went with the Mockingbird, to the ground.

Our grass hasn’t been cut yet this season, so it’s long, and I couldn’t see the two birds for over a minute. Mrs. Bluebird stayed on the roof of the box, then suddenly up from the grass the two differing birds arose. And they then all flew off into the yard, and the Mockingbird left them alone, flying to a neighboring yard.

It was a very interesting sequence to watch!

Nest in the Bluebird Box

I checked the Bluebird box today. There is a nest inside! I checked a few days ago, nothing but a few pieces of dried grass. The other day I did see Mrs. Bluebird come out of the box, in particular. I’ve seen them sitting near the box often enough, but not alot of actual “in the box” activity. So somewhere, out of my sight, they did their business. Yay!

I hear Eastern Bluebirds all around whenever I’m outside. It’s a lovely sound, a year round sound, but ever the more beautiful in Spring time, with the twitterpatedness of everything. I do believe the Bluebird population is growing here too. There have always been some around, but more and more and more each year. I’m glad to have helped get two new birds out there last year. The first nesting attempt was sabitoshed by some bird, probably European Starlings [dratted things!]. The second nesting attempt alotted three eggs, but only two hatched. I held one of the babies in my hand just a few days before they apparently fledged. I didn’t see them go, but they did seem to go safely. I hope they survived.

Well, I’m rooting for the Bluebirds this year in my backyard, to have two or three successful nesting and fledling launches.

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