Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bird Feeding Station Updated

We have a bird feeding station right outside our kitchen window that provides a lot of entertainment while we watch the birds.  There are all kinds, colors and sizes of birds that show up.  A couple of the feeders were starting to get to be in pretty bad shape. So, I replaced two of them with new feeders and refurbished the other two.  Also painted the Squirrel guard and the pole that holds all the feeders.  The following three pictures show the before conditions and the after results.

This is the closest picture I could find of before I made the changes.  The house with the blue roof in the back was one that was replaced.  Also raised the mounting pipe that feeder was sitting on so that the replacement would show up better.  The three feeders in the front row are still there with some changes.

 This is the feeder station after all the changes.  The small blue feeder in the back is by far the oldest.  It was built by my father back in the late 70's.  It was made of good solid wood and has stood up to the weather very well.  I did have to put a new roof on it and of course repaint it again for probably the 5th or 6th time.  The feeder on the left is the Smith feeder and is a brand new one.  It has been on the pole for about two weeks now.  It was built for our friends the Smiths and was suppose to go to Arizona this winter.  Plans changed, so it got a spot here to feed the birds.  The feeder in the center is the "green" feeder and is a couple years old.  It also got a new roof and a paint job.  The feeder on the right is the newest one and was made from a cedar deck board.  We will get to see how it stands up and changes color over time.  We are considering a new cedar deck for next summer to replace our old one.  The suet feeder in the front is the same and draws a lot of Woodpeckers as well as other types of birds.

This is just a closer shot of the feeders.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mississippi Headwaters

Today we took a day trip to Itasca State Park and the Headwaters of the Mississippi River.  It was a beautiful day for the trip and we saw a lot of new country.  The following pictures will show some of the trip and the headwaters area.

Here is the info on how the headwaters were found.

We are getting close now.  Pat is holding her sucker.  You will see mine in the next picture.

We are at the headwaters area.  That's a sucker in my mouth.  It was very good.

These are the rocks you can walk on to cross the river.  This is the headwaters of the river.

 The rocks looked to slippery, so I decided to wade across.  The water was not cold at all and only knee deep.  The gravel and sand on the bottom was a little hard on the bare feet.

Stopped for a rest in the middle.

Made it to the other side.

On the way back now.

And that was the visit to the Mississippi headwaters.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lime Tree

This past spring we bought a new plant to replace an old one that wasn't so good anymore.  We wanted some sort of "tree" type plant and it didn't need to have flowers.  We settled on a dwarf Lime tree.  Not to long after we got it home it had 3 blooms on it and all three turned into very small Limes.  Two of them soon dropped off and the one continues to grow.  It should be ready for picking soon.  The pictures below show the plant and the Lime.

This is our new Lime tree.  It is growing and getting larger.  You can see the Lime at the bottom center.

This is our first "crop" from the new Lime tree.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Slight Mishap

While moving a birdhouse that was being hit by our lawn sprinklers, I had a little mishap with the ladder.  The ladder was sitting on the loose rock, which we have around the bottom of our trees, and the legs decided to fold in and send me to the ground.  I hit mostly on my back and right side.  Had a couple small scratches and a sore back on the lower right side.  Used some Bio Freeze, Aleve and the heating pad last evening and I am back to 95% or better already today.  Should be all okay by tomorrow after another good nights sleep and rest.  The pictures below show the ladder all bent up and then after I cut off the bent pieces and rebuilt it.  It is now a 4 foot ladder, use to be a 6 foot ladder.

You can see that the legs folded into the middle.

 It was a mess and lucky I didn't really get hurt.

 Front view after the repair.

Side view after the repair.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

From Nice Tree To Freshly Seeded Spot

There was a very nice little tree just behind the house outside the living room.  It died back and then reemerged from the suckers that grew out of the old stump.  That was good for a couple years and then last winter's very cold winter took its toll.  I trimmed off the dead limbs and most of the trunk and a few days back Pat and I shoveled out all of the rock from around the stump.  Then I used the new Yukon XL to pull the stump out.  It surprisingly came out very easy.  This afternoon I put in 10 bags, 40 lbs. to the bag, of black dirt to fill up the hole and even it all out.  Then I seeded it and applied one more very thin layer of dirt.  It is getting wet down by the sprinkler system right now and will hopefully sprout new grass real soon.  The following pictures will cover all the steps.

This is a picture of the tree when it was the nicest.  This picture was taken during the spring of our first full year in the house.  The dirt in the background is where there was a basketball court that we had removed and then seeded it to grass.  The rock around the tree was 4 to 6 inches deep.

This is what it looked like after we removed the rock and I pulled out the stump.  That nice green grass in the upper background is where the basketball court was in the earlier picture.

This is a picture of what the spot looks like now.  It will soon be nice and green also we hope.


Another Project Well Done

We have two light poles out near the street end of our driveway.  They were looking a little dull, so today Pat power washed the poles and hand washed the globes.  Then she painted the poles.  They look real good although the following pictures don't show the great improvement that you can see up close.  It is still a job well done.

This is the before picture of the north pole.

This is the before picture of the south pole

This is the after picture of the north pole

This is the after picture of the south pole.

This is the after picture of both poles at the same time.

The globes are really nice and white again.  Should be a lot more light given off now.