Monday, August 15, 2016

House Update 8.15.16

The floor is progressing nicely, and we are really beginning to see how nice it is going to look.

Ian likes to stop in and help from time to time.

It's really a one person job at this point, so I've been working outside.

Because, you know, the weather has been so pleasant and all.

Bit by bit, I've been disassembling the old coops.

It's been hard work! My leather gloves are worn through!

Once all of the wire and flimsy lumber is torn out, we'll decide if anything is worth keeping.

Most of the vertical posts are still really sturdy, and a lot of the lumber in the upper portions of the houses is still good.

However, what I originally thought was rot, is actually termite damage.

I didn't find any actual termites when I was busting out the damaged wood, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are gone.

I hate to tear everything down and start from scratch if we don't have to, but I also hate to add fresh lumber to an old structure, just to have it get eaten up by termites.

We'll see.

Even though it was stupid hot and muggy, I was enjoying spending time outdoors at our soon-to-be home.

A doe and her twin fawns grazing in our yard. I hope they enjoy their peace while it lasts, because the dogs will never let them near the place!

With it's close proximity to a creek, our yard is a rich cornucopia of life, especially insects.

Carolina Satyr
A female Spider Wasp dragging her prey to an underground brood chamber. Their usual prey is spiders (hence the name), which they paralyze and lay a single egg on. When the larva hatches it consumes its prey alive, saving the vital organs for last so it stays fresh.

And to think, this is the same shy pollinator that visits my Mountain Mint.
The tiny but ever colorful Candy-Striped leafhopper.

Giant Robber Fly

There is also an unusual abundance of grasshoppers - something my poultry are going to go nuts for.

And our friend the robber fly, which Mark also got some pictures of 

For the first time this week, Ian expressed an interest in playing in the yard (he usually just wants to take off and walk on the road), so I explored right along with him.

This spot here is his favorite. He calls it the "tunnel." The hedge of trees on the left grew out of the scraggly little garden fence we cut out last year. We think it's pretty cool too.

He finally discovered the culverts
An awesome little spider web I found beside the creek
 I figured since I was out there, I might as well make myself useful and tackle some of the invasive exotic plants.

Perilla frutescens is easy to pull up, and it's good to catch it before it blooms.

Other names for this Asian mint are Beefsteak Plant, Wild Basil and Shiso. It's actually a prized edible by many, but I can't get past the smell. It's even supposed to be good for you.

Oh well.

There are plenty of great native plants on the property too.

Virginia Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana)

White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)
Frostweed, Tall Ironweed and White Snakeroot that now have room to breathe without all of the Perilla crowding them.

False Nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica) - a non-stinging variety. Modeled by a handsome male Zabulon Skipper.
False Nettle again, modeled this time by a female Zabulon
Tall Bellflower (Campanulastrum americanum)

This tall, unassuming weed is known as Carpenter's Square (Scrophularia marilandica). You might not notice the flowers, because they are exceptionally small in proportion to the plant. It is frequently found in open woods and wood edges. It's a member of the snapdragon family.

Even though the heat has been almost unbearable it's been great spending so much time over there.

It's like getting little glimpses of our future life at this place.

.... which is (hopefully) right around the corner.....

1 comment:

  1. It is looking better and better. The closeup photos of insects and plants were outstanding, I think your photography is also getting better and better. You are a woman of many talents!