Friday, October 14, 2016

Unpacking at the Bamboo Lagoon

After organizing
So, we had two big shipments of our stuff...the stuff that was in long term storage was packed in 2007 and mostly contained stuff that we would not need living overseas...the second shipment was the items that we did take with us but still sat in storage for a period of time.

Most of our yard stuff did not make the trip because we didn't know what kind of housing we would end up with and we were limited on weight so anything too heavy and not absolutely necessary did not make the cut.

These four big boxes along with all the stuff that is sitting around them was stuff that didn't make the cut and still didn't have a home in our yard quite yet so I was content to leave it packed up.

Before starting...trashcans, tarps, coolers, and boxes

This week, we had a big storm coming our way, and I needed to get the gutter in the back of the house cleaned out. This gutter is actually under the covered area of the back porch so it can't be accessed from the roof and has to be cleaned out using a ladder on the back porch. I couldn't get to that section due to these boxes and extra stuff, so I was motivated to tackle the boxes.

Midway through gutter and cleanup

While doing this, I found a little hidey-hole that a neighborhood rodent has been using...lots of droppings and half eaten acorns, but that little spot no longer exists. Found a half eaten ant trap too...didn't realize those were a delicacy.

Nasty little hidey-hole

It took me a while to get it all unpacked and ended up finding a few surprises (the movers always put a few things in the boxes that don't really make sense), but for the most part, it was all yard stuff.

Some of the yard art will go up on the walls of the house rather quickly (once the storm has passed), but the number of pots we have is pretty immense and most of that was stacked back up near the house in prep for the storm and will be sorted out later.

So while it doesn't look like a lot of accomplished as far as moving things out, in reality it was....everything is cleaned up, organized, and accounted for.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Deterring Woodpeckers

Deterrent on south side
Each fall, we have a few juvenile woodpeckers that seem to get confused between our house and the trees that they should really be pecking each year, I head to the dollar store to find some cheap, colorful, shiny things to hang off the house for a few months...

This year, while I was on the roof cleaning gutters, I also hung the deterrents on the eave near the front of the house (where we have had pecking in the past). The wind usually pulls them down by the end of the fall, but by then the woodpeckers have moved on.

We have a spot that they created a hole at one year that is still only filled but not repainted yet (it is in a high spot on a slant so the extension ladder on unstable ground is scary) but I hope to get up there and paint it in the next few weeks when we get some dry days again.

Unlike some people, I am not willing to hurt the woodpeckers to get them to stop this behavior (not to mention that it is illegal to do so), so this little bit of effort is worth not having to fill holes in our house.
Deterrent on north side
Seems like it wasn't an issue the first two years we were here, but I hate to wait until I hear them pecking before starting to do anything about it since they can do some serious damage in a very short time. These are preemptive strikes for me....LOL

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

More Pine Straw at the Bamboo Lagoon

After the clean off
We are expecting a big storm here and by experience, I know that cleaning up pine straw is much easier done when dry than wet so I really wanted to at least get it off the roof and solar panels even if it didn't make it into the bin.

In order to get to it, I have to get on the roof in two different spots in order to not damage the solar panels. The first spot, allows access to the gutters as well so I figured while I was up there, I would clean gutters, and move some pine straw.

In order to make the new downspout screen, I had to take one of the other ones out for sizing, and then tin snips and some hardware wire made an easy job of it.

New screen for downspout

The roof was nice and dry and the view always takes my breath away. Gutters were not too bad, although I had to rebuild a screen for one of the down spouts. The back porch side of the gutter can be reached from a painting ladder, but was blocked by another project (subject for another post) so there was a bit of a diversion during part of this day of tasks. The pine straw was pretty massive but easy to move.

Pinestraw before cleanup

While I was up there, I also cut off a few limbs from the pine tree that were hanging too low over the panels and house. The pine tree is so big compared to when the panels were installed so they really don't get sun like they should anymore.

Pile off the roof

Once done, we had a pretty big pile of pine straw with some limbs in it. I was able to get all the limbs into the bin as well as get some of the drainage areas cleaned out of leaves so that we wouldn't have too much run off in our sloped yard. The rest of the pine straw will go in next week's bin.