As planned, the lawn was mowed, bags of clippings lifted and spread; unplanned was the lawn tractor pushed off a large brick under the mower deck. Residually a strapping lad, little effort was required, yet still hoped DW wasn’t watching from the kitchen window.
It is hard to put into words, this extension of my lease. Not new, just a deal struck with the landlord: no one would rent the place as-is, so how ‘bout if I remain on the premises while repairs are made? The toilet works again, gutters repaired… you get the idea. It’s a damn sight better than it was. The trick is going to be keeping the momentum to finish the work. DW warns not to push myself.
A neighbor friend dropped by to check on the progress. We caught up on several local items of interest: a burglary ring had been dismantled due to a diligent Neighborhood Watcher; the murder/suicide was initiated by the revelation of a tryst and desire to separate (when it’s broke, shoot it?); and the changes in menus at several local eateries. She also inquired about boarding their llamas in our fallow paddocks for a period while they upgrade their pasture. I could not have been more pleased with this request as I have soaker hose hidden out there and grazed grass would make its removal infinitely easier.
The conversation took place adjacent to one of our filbert trees (hazelnuts for non-Oregonians), from which arose a small cacophony. Two chickadees were chitting away at us. I had noticed them in the same tree on a number of occasions the last couple weeks and now drew a conclusion: there must be a nest.
Last year a large dead branch came down from this same tree, splitting at its weakest point, which was a hollow doubling as a nest. I cut back the rest of the limb to a juncture where one aspect of the bifurcation was still green. Some rot remained, and has not doubt extended, as this is where the birds are constructing a new hollow. It is nice to see their persistence, rather like an investment in the neighborhood.
If nothing else, we provide good habitat.
The salamander larvae are proving to be a difficult subject matter. The pond’s surface is too reflective and focal points are elusive. I have thought to get a small net at the pet store, but I worry that much interference might cause more harm than a photo is worth. This is the first time I have seen salamander larvae in the pond, and I want to encourage them as we have the frogs over the years. They were, after all, here first, and I am fairly convinced that the reduced number of cucumber beetles last year was related to the propagation of the croakers.
And did I mention the barn owls are back?
I’ve had about as much coffee as I want this morning, the caffeine being the last of my vices that verges on excess. Sleep may have replaced any others, a binary system much more manageable than alchemy. There is a pair of pants upstairs that I will put on one leg at a time; I have errands to run; I must assess my next outdoor projects; and I will make a phone call regarding employment.