Category Archives: Around the House

Ringneck Pheasant

This handsome fellow announced his presence by tap-tap-tapping on the basement window, no doubt challenging his reflection. We’ve had a robin do that a couple of times as well. It’s a spring thing.

IMG_0877-Ringneck Pheasant

IMG_0873-Ringneck Pheasant

(Click photos to view larger on Flickr)

Rec Room Reno

Reno starts tomorrow. Cody enjoys the wide open spaces and the no doubt fragrant carpet. Meanwhile in the rest of the house, we’re living like hoarders. Reno starts tomorrow. Carpet will probably be the first thing to go.

Reno Starts Tomorrow

After week one of the rec room reno, everything that is being ripped out has been ripped out, holes that need patching have been patched, the dust has literally settled and painting has begun. Next week, painting will get finished and a new panel box will be built. All this in a timely and professional way by skilled craftsmen who are not me.

After Week One

After week two, rec room reno is nearly done, just waiting for the carpet to be installed. You can’t tell from the photos, but trust me, it’s a hell of an improvement, floor to ceiling.

After Week Two

We have carpet …aaand we’re done… well, apart from moving all the furniture back in… no easy task… Cody gave the new carpet a good sniff, and he looked at one point like he might want to pee on it, but we kept him distracted and the urge passed. We hope.

We Have Carpet

Peanut Feeder

Our new Squirrel Buster peanut feeder is a hit with the Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers, and Nuthatches. Haven’t got photos of the woodpecker yet, but he’ll be back. Chickadees are around a lot, but for the moment it’s the Nuthatch show.

Scroll down for short video.

IMG_0798 Nuthatch at Peanut Feeder (square crop)

IMG_0794 Nuthatch at Peanut Feeder (square crop)

IMG_0791 Nuthatches at Peanut Feeder

IMG_0780 Nuthatch at Peanut Feeder

IMG_0773 Nuthatch at Peanut Feeder


We’re laying new electrical cable re-instate power to the shed. As with digging the fence post holes, rocks were a big factor…

(Scroll down for video)


New Fence

We decided we needed to replace the last remaining section of the crappy falling-down ugly fence that encloses the Back Forty. If we moved the whole thing forward (toward the house) about 10 feet, we could make the new section a straight run joining the existing two ends of the good fence, and avoid the obstacles that the old fence had to deal with. Here are some crappy cellphone photos documenting that process. (We had a contractor for this.)

Below is the before picture looking west, where the flagstone path will intersect the line of the new fence and gate. in the background some of the old crappy fence can be seen. We did not tear that down yet, as we still needed to keep the dog contained.

Before - Path at new Gate Location

A string provides a reference to line up the holes. That short section of fence behind the blue chairs will remain, to define that corner, but it will no longer join the old crappy fence.

Stringline + First Hole

The first hole dug revealed a surprise: some kind of drainage pipe heading away from the house, probably coinnected to the weeping tile. We have never known of any drainage heading that way. It made us need to adjust the post hole location a little, and in fact another of the holes revealed another drainage pipe, running parallel to the first. No wonder the Back 40 can get kind of soggy in the low spots.

First Hole with pipe

One thing we did predict was this. Me: “How long will it take to dig the holes?” Contractor: “Depends if we hit rocks.” Me: “Oh you WILL hit rocks…”


All Holes Dug

All holes finally dug, tubes in place ready for concrete.


The posts need to be braced in two directions so they remain perfectly vertical as the concrete is poured.

Bracing the Posts

Posts are in Concrete

Once the concrete sets and the braces come off, next come the rails.


Rails, top caps, fence boards, post caps, install the gate, and we are DONE!

Done - Looking West

Done - Gate

Done - East Section (from South Side)

Done - West Section (from South Side)

Done - Gate Looking East

Frog Meets Snake, Dog Meets Fence

While we were working on a willow fence out back by the pond today, Lynda spotted a snake in the pond. Soon after I declared that our frogs were too big for that snake, the snake must have taken that as a challenge because he got a frog by his presumably delicious frog’s leg. (Tastes like chicken?) He held on long enough for me to run (okay, walk briskly) inside to get my camera.

Frog and Snake 2

Frog and Snake 1

Just as I was despairing about the cruelty of the universe and/or realizing it’s all part of Nature’s Grand Pageant / Life’s Rich Tapestry, a burst of violent, valiant thrashing about and the frog was free! He fled to the middle of the pond and hung there, looking a bit blue in the face, one leg dangling unnaturally. A nearby tadpole says “Dude, at least you have legs!”

Blue-in-the-Face Frog+Tadpole

Meanwhile, work continued on the first section of our willow fence, meant to dissuade Cody from tearing up the scenery where I worked so hard to get grass growing again. If he can confine his mad dashes to the wood-chip path, we’ll all be happy. We do love to watch him run.

Cody and Willow Fence

Willow Fence (detail)

Woodchip Mountain

♫ Oh to live on, Woodchip Mountain ♫

Woodchip Mountain

Barely made a dent in Woodchip Mountain, but I’ll be back… It disappears quicker than you’d think possible… people love free mulch…

Woodchip Path