Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Visit to My Land and Weird Weather Update!

I was out at the land and thought I'd write up a summary.  Maybe I'll remember things then.  Probably not.

First:  The lock on the camper is getting very dodgy.  I need to replace it.  It's just a doorknob assembly so I can do that pretty easily.  I'll keep an eye out at thrift, and a screw driver in my car in case I need to break in.

Second: It's been so CRAZY warm that the plants are coming to life way way way way too early.  I hope they make it.  The hazelnuts, gooseberries, and currents had buds.  The container blueberry is loaded with buds.  There is even a strawberry plant in the 4' square raised bed that is already leafing out a great deal.  I only pulled back a bit of the leaves and didn't check the other strawberries or the garlics.  Crazy to see stuff going this early.  The wild oregon grape is also already growing like gangbusters. I didn't see buds on the apple trees or new canes on the rasberries.  The upper has gone completely missing and one is looking not particularly robust and one looks like it could soldier on nicely if it chooses.  The deer have eaten bits off most of the bushes and possibly one entire blueberry.  But I think it was one of the 4$ ones I got at Grocery Outlet that looked pretty dead anyway.  We'll see.  You never know what's going on below ground or if I just couldn't find it.   We may have another missing shrub.  I swear I planted a total of 6 gooseberry and currant bushes.  I can locate 5.  Either I only planted 5...which could have happened as I found the pair of gooseberries and I found the 3 colors of currants that I know I planted, or one ran off with the missing blueberry bush.  At any's both nice to see new growth and disturbing to see it 2 or 3 months ahead of schedule.  A hard freeze could murder the new buds and other growth. 

We've had crazy warm weather.  It's 55 today in town.  My thermometer inside the camper read 45.  It could well have been warmer, certainly up at the pond where most of the berries are planted.  

Speaking of the pond!  FULL!!!  The overflow pipe is working nicely.  I checked it and spent a bit of time leaning on it and staring down into the water.  I didn't see anything swimming around, but water plants were greening up.  

When I arrived at the pond I did see somethings swimming around...followed shortly by somethings flying off.  I scared a pair of canada geese off the pond!  Very nice to see them, but again, a tad early.
While I was up there, I pulled the memory card out of the wildlife cam and just sorted through the photos.  I'd seen deer, elk, and turkey on it so far...along with a lot of moths.  This time more deer, more elk, AND a coyote.  I healthy looking one.  Very bushy tail.  Nice to see him/her out and about taking care of things.

The lone remaining pink flamingo (plastic, obviously) was still there, looked forlorn and lonely.  Hopefully someone will send him a little friend or two for a solstice prize sometime.  I'm glad he didn't leave with the others, but he has to be lonely.

The camper is doing well!  NO MICE!!! (yes, I did just take a break and actually knock on actual wood).  And no new apparent leaks (more knocking on wood).  If it's this warm next week I may throw the sleeping bag in the car and spend a night there.

The composting toilet has thawed out nicely so I added some enzyme and activator and stirred that up.  Seems to be appropriately moist in there and no visible TP left which the instructions say is a good sign. I keep it covered with a thriftstore sheet to avoid too much sun damage.  I don't know what sun does to fiberglass or whatever it's made of.  I'm also contemplating going to a sawdust toilet and selling the composting toilet...though I know that any visiting officials would be happier with the composting toilet than with a sawdust toilet and a separate compost system well removed from the creeks and drainages (which would actually be a superior system environmentally but whatever).

Speaking of creeks...they are also pretty full, flowing nicely.  The real creek runs the length of the hypotenuse of the land, more or less, and is not as full as I've seen it.  It's comfortably full rather 'holy crap' full.  I did need to get a couple of logs (ok...good size branches) away from the inlet to the culvert.  they were not blocking it but were diverting the main flow to the side a bit before it came back and went through the culvert.  This looked like it could be digging into the bank and the area where the culvert goes under the access road.  So, best to remove them.  I was very very very careful because falling into the inlet end of a culvert while alone would be worse than falling in with someone there to tell the guy with a backhoe where to dig to find the body.  It's possible I could have gone all the way through, but that would have been unpleasant at least.  I do have extra pants and a shirt and things in the car thanks to the sister-in-law (HI!) who gave me a nice bag for Christmas which reminded me that I should have a bag packed in the car in case I am somewhere and don't want to drive home.  Like sometimes at work I'm called to a remote location at the end of the day.  If it's dark and icy by the time I'm done working there, I don't want to have to choose between wearing mungy undies and driving on ice.

I think that is all the news on the land.

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