Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aerie Report, April 21, 2011

A very productive day on all fronts here at the Aerie.

We had a lovely spring-like day with a lot of sunshine, cool temperatures, a stiff breeze out of the northwest and, thankfully, no rain.

First Terry and I had our eyes checked and we both needed to have our prescriptions adjusted just a wee bit. My distance vision was fine--hasn't changed in over three years--but my reading needed to to be tweeked just a tad. Probably because I've been spending too much time on the intertubes. I wanted new glasses anyway since the ones I've been using have gathered a few small scratches over the last two years and the frames are starting to suffer metal fatigue in spots. Terry has had the vision in one eye change a little so she needed a new prescription as well.


Then we got the kittehs crated up to go to the vets for their feline rabies and Fvrcp boosters as well as physicals. The two kids (Shadow and Chester) soiled their carriers in the 6 mile ride--as usual. Julie was just pissed and acted like a lioness when it came time for her shot. As expected, we were told that Chester is too fat (19+ pounds of purring love) and Shadow was headed that way (13+ pounds of indifference). Both were extremely docile on the examination table. Julie weighed in at just 10 pounds but it was all pure meanness after she got poked and prodded a little bit. Leather gauntlets and a firm hand of the assistant were needed so she could get jabbed. Thank goodness that won't have to be done again for a couple of years!


Don, the contractor who built the Aerie, stopped by with a prospective customer to show him the type and quality of work he/we did. The guy wants to build a somewhat smaller log home just over the hill from here and seemed suitably impressed with both Don and the Aerie. As they were leaving I told Don that if he needed another set of hands on that project, I was available. It's not a Beaver Mountain Log Home, but I'd still like to do some construction--as long as the ladder work isn't too far off the ground!


Finally, Terry and I went to Agway for some top soil to add to the gardens and then to Lowes to price some perennials and shrubs (Agway didn't have anything but pansies in their stock yet). We got some good ideas for a few shrubs (Rhododendrons, Burning Bush, Spiraea, Lilacs and, maybe, Holly) and flowers (Bleeding Hearts, Dianthus, Columbine, Salvia, Wallflower, and Periwinkle). The difficulty is in picking plants that will tolerate our 2100 feet on the northwest side of the hill. It can get pretty dang cold in the winter time and we don't get much morning sun in the summer.

Back home, laced up my new boots, grabbed a shovel and turned the soil in the onion bed and in the bed I'll use for string beans, cukes and zukes. The soil was still pretty damp--too damp to put the onion sets in just yet, but it turned easily enough and I was able to get nearly all the weeds and their roots out. I was also pleased to see the number of earthworms in the soil. Every shovel of dirt held two or three good sized garden worms and there were a number of real nightcrawlers, too.


I've got to start taking the bird feeders in at night again. Last night we had visitors that damaged our thistle feeder and emptied all the others. Although the metal shepherd's crooks were bent, I'm thinking the culprit was more of raccoon sized since most of the feeders were more delicately disassembled than a bear would have done.

A new bird showed up late yesterday. A Rufous-sided Towhee has returned to sing its, "Drink your tea" song. It was on the ground with the feeders this morning. The White-throated Sparrows have been singing their, "Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody" song from the top of the shrubs along the clearing. It's a song we hear a good bit around the Bolt Hole and when we go fishing up in northern Quebec but it sounds a little strange to the ear this far south. The Goldfinch males are in full, bright yellow-and-black mating plumage. Soon, I'll have to start hanging my hummingbird feeder out. Maps indicate the hummers return to this area around this time of year but no one at the Tiadaghton Audubon Society meeting last night has seen any yet. I'm already looking in the trees for the Indigo Bunting that has been a regular the last five years. Any. Day. Now.

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