Sunday, January 26, 2014

Slow, Snowy Week at the Aerie

It's been a slow week for me. I was home at the Aerie watching the snow and the thermometer fall. Three days we had lows below zero and highs below 15. But we had some snowfall every day. Sure, some days it was barely a dusting, but three times it added up to enough to require some work with the shovel. (The third snowfall is a work in progress and I probably won't get to it until Monday morning.) If each snowfall had been four inches I would have used the thrower, six or more the tractor, but, damn it!, two inches at a time? *sigh*

I was careful to wear warm gloves each time I was outside whether to shovel or to haul more firewood into the garage. (Yeah, barn gone...I hear ya!) The ring finger and thumb are peeling like they had a bad sunburn only worse. The "new" skin beneath the peeling stuff is still callus-like and the tips are numb. As for the middle finger.... I snagged a part of the dead skin on a log as I brought firewood into the house. This caused a flap of thick, dead skin that I felt needed to be clipped off. I then treated the area with Bacitracin and wrapped a band aid over it, I'll see the doctor a week from Monday and let him deal with it so long as it doesn't show any signs of infection.


Terry was down in South Carolina from Monday til Friday visiting a very ill (brain cancer) cousin. She enjoyed herself as much as she could as she reconnected with folks we don't get to see nearly enough, met a new baby, taught the "next generation" how to make stuffed cabbage, and more.


We should be closing on the four acre lot next door to the Aerie later this week. It's a matter of setting a time and place acceptable to the seller and drawing a cashier's check to pay for it all.

The environmental folks in NJ are still diddling around with the oil spilled from the underground tank. Last week's snowstorm bumped their scheduled inspection and testing to this week. The real estate agent is talking about the possibility of going through an escrow sale so the purchasers could move in sooner rather than later. The estate would still pay for any remediation needed due to the oil spill, but at least someone would be in the house.

Terry and I will make another run into NJ this week to gather up the few items that are still in the house and garage that wee want. Purchaser has said they wouldn't mind having the furniture...if it's free. That, at least, would release us from the responsibility of disposing of the bulk of the furniture. We had intended to donate it to either Big Brothers and Sisters or the Salvation Army.


I'm getting tired of seeing the same old group of birds at the feeders. We've 13 or so species that are regulars and a few rare visitors or fly overs (ravens, crows, pileated woodpecker). It got so bad I went for a drive on Friday to see what might be out there.

The answer is "not much!" I drove up to Ives Run/Hammond Lake to find it completely frozen over. Only a couple of red-tailed hawks, crows and a solitary Eastern Bluebird which flew along side the truck for a short distance. Went over to The Muck off Route 287 and...nothing! The marsh, too, is frozen solid but there were no birds in the grasses or woods nearby either. Finally, I went over to Darling Run on Pine Creek. There was a female Hairy Woodpecker working on the locust trees in the parking lot. And that was it. The creek was still flowing with a channel perhaps 10-12 feet wide but the banks were iced up and ice floes were grinding along the edges. I couldn't help but think that it wouldn't take much to create an ice jam. I had hoped that the open water might mean an eagle or two would be around. (I had given up on any waterfowl as soon as I heard the "soosh" of ice-on-ice.) But there was nothing. I drove an 80 mile loop to spot four species of birds and couldn't even confirm something as easy as an English Sparrow. Next time I stop at Wal-Mart. *sigh*


Rev. Paul said...

Sorry to hear about your ongoing issues with the frostbite recovery (if indeed it is recoverable), but glad the weather has moderated enough that y'all can get outside again.

joated said...

Paul, I don't know that "moderated" is the proper term. It's still freezing! But, a man's got to do what a man's got to do. Still, I'd welcome some 30s and 40s so I can go and walk for the sake of walking.

threecollie said...

Birds are scarce and boring here too. Biggest thrill was a red-bellied woodpecker, and it's not as if they are rare. Oh, well, just a very few weeks before that all will change.

Ruth said...

We never did get our Pine Siskens here, though the American Tree Sparrows did finally show up. The big news here is the influx of Snowy Owls. Not that I've managed to get an eye (much less my camera) on one! But there have been reports of as many as 7 at a time at the Syracuse Airport, and at least a few popping up across my county.....