Monthly Archives: May 2010

It works!


I thought I had my deer browsing problem solved by using a row cover on my strawberry bed. Out of sight, out of mind; it seemed to be working. I had lush green plants hidden under a white cover, and loads of berries. Unfortunately, our relatively dry Spring turned quite wet and humid. Without proper air circulation to dry out the plants, I suddenly found myself with a bad case of fungus; fruit rotting on the plants. Gritting my teeth, I set about removing all the affected fruit, three gallons worth, then removed the row cover.

Sure enough, it was no more than two days later when I found the deer had torn the netting loose in one corner and started eating the plants. In less than a week, they had nearly stripped the bed, taking a little every night.

However, reinforcements were on the way. Another advantage to getting the bathroom plumbing repaired is that now the outside faucet doesn’t leak anymore, so as soon as the deer started penetrating my defenses, I ordered a Scarecrow┬«.

This device is a motion activated impact sprinkler. When set off, it’ll emit a four second burst of water, moving rapidly back and forth. It scared the heck out of me and I knew what to expect. I installed it last night, we turned on the water, and went to bed.

This morning, I went out to pick strawberries. I turned off the water, but still got scared when the sprinkler activated with the water left in the hose. The netting on the strawberry bed was intact, so I couldn’t really tell if it had worked, but knew it hadn’t NOT worked. I took a look at the next garden bed and found that something heavy had slammed into the conduit hoop and gave it a lovely S-curve, tearing the row cover in the process. Here was evidence of success. With the evidence at hand I can surmise that the deer casually jumped the fence as usual, near the peach tree, and, no doubt while grazing, made it’s way to the West side of the beds heading for strawberries. Just as it approached, the sprinkler activated (it makes an explosive hissing noise when it starts up) startling the deer, whereupon it jerked away, slamming into the next garden, then running away, back the way it came. I write this with a certain amount of satisfaction, but this is only one successful skirmish in a long battle to gain some kind of equilibrium with my furry neighbors. They serve a role in the environment, and I’m not trying to “get rid of them”, I’m just trying to carve out a little niche of my own. In fact, I did see deer this morning. Two of them were having a drink in the pond, then grazing in the savanna out front. I left them alone.

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First of the year

My first ever blueberry has finally ripened! I have several varieties. This one just happens to be an early variety. It’s a bit of shock coming from the North, to find blueberries ripen in May and June ( I’m used to picking berries at the cottage in August), but here’s the proof, and it was delicious. Next year, I’ll have berries coming out of my ears with strawberries and blueberries coming in at the same time in June. Luckily, the gooseberries, currents, and blackberries ripen in July.

High notes

After the tornado passed nearby, Peter had a lot of repairs to do on his various antennae. While on the roof, he came across this little fellow (you can see the blurry ground way below), first sitting on the roof, then perched on the tripod holding our weather station. This Gray Treefrog has found a home on our roof. More specifically, he enjoys calling from inside the bathroom vent cover, where his call resonates with an exceptional loudness that he apparently finds very satisfying.

Bathroom renovation: making progress

Once our power was restored last week, I got back to work on the bathroom. The light fixtures went in. Switch plates reinstalled. Wood bought for the counter top and mirror frames. The last few items purchased: sinks, sink drains, water pipe connectors, stain, hardware. All the pieces needed, waiting their turn for placement in their final location.

After a quick online tutorial, to refresh my memory on how to install cabinets properly, I set about installing the hanging cabinet. It took me a couple of hours; I wanted to make sure it was just right. I think it looks spectacular, even if I do say so myself. Can’t wait to see how it looks with the toilet reinstalled.

The base cabinets went in next. They require a lot more finicky work because, of course, floors aren’t level, walls aren’t straight and corners aren’t square. And since cabinets are going on top of the counter, I want to get the base as square and level as possible. By the way you can see the final look of the light fixture in that photo. You probably noticed that the paint doesn’t go all the way down to the counter level. That wasn’t an oversight. In the middle, there will be two stacked cabinets (seen in the bottom photo) and on either side will be a glass tile mosaic back splash.

The two counter top cabinets are just about ready to install once the counter top is in place, although I still need to purchase some veneer to cover the seam between the cabinets. I’ll sure be glad when my bedroom is no longer a construction zone.