Hey y'all! Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have been busy, busy, busy! And, I admit, unfaithful to my daily journaling. Oooops!
Permaculture class last weekend was, as I put it on FB, "fascinating, fantastic, hilarious, healing, enlightening, exhausting, exhilarating, beautiful, and successful." I had a lot of fun with the permies!
Despite my infidelity last week, I do have a couple entries to share..
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Today was a full day! I worked on the fence from 9am-5pm, with an hour break for lunch. I was stripping bark again for most of the time. Even though it is labor-intensive and repetitive, I really enjoy stripping the posts. I listen to my iPod and get in the groove. As I was stripping, I realized a few things. First, I totally get why pill bugs (aka rollie-pollies) are also known as wood lice. I had to brush off SO many of them! Hundreds would not be an exaggeration! They had completely colonized the logs, which brought me to my other realization – the importance of thoroughly stripping each post. Locust is extremely dense, and will resist rotting for a very, very long time… IF insects don’t burrow in through the soft spots, build homes, and make lots of baby bugs, which allows moisture to seep in and speeds the decaying process. As I stripped off the bark, I started noticing where the pill bugs were already starting to make homes in the nooks and crannies in the log created by limbs and bark formations. I made sure to shave out those burrows until they were gone, or at least shallow and exposed enough to be undesirable to the pill bugs. Also, as soon as the posts are stripped and go in the ground (and thus are no longer stacked on top of each other), the pill bugs at least will no longer feel compelled to make their homes there. Wood lice prefer dark, damp places, like woodpiles and under rocks.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
So I started off my day with a crazy adrenaline rush. About 3am, I woke up to a little scratching noise just above my head. It suddenly turned into a loud scratching noise and a little thunk right next to me on my windowsill. I leapt out of bed and retreated to the other side of my (rather small) room. When I finally worked up the courage to get close enough to my bed to turn on the light, a mouse skittered across the windowsill, leapt down onto the floor, and disappeared. After recovering from the groggy heart attack, I was able to go back to sleep for the rest of the night, but I had some crazy dreams!
I got up for real at 7:15, and got a few chores done before we were ready to start on the pond project. If you recall, the pond was put in about six weeks ago, but sprung a leak and needed to be re-lined. Sarah and I taped the new, non-leaky pond liner together in the correct proportions. We did a “French seam,” which involved taping and folding and taping and taping, ensuring that this time, there would be NO leakage! We also patched a hole and reinforced potential weak spots, because I certainly do not want to have to RE-redo that pond!
When we were done prepping the liner, we went outside and joined the others in bailing the existing water out of the pond. Since the problem is that the pond was leaking, it obviously wasn’t full, but there was still a significant amount of water in it. And water life. I felt really bad about all the tadpoles and pollywogs that had to die, but we did save a bunch in a large plastic container that was a little bigger than a kiddie pool.
Once all the water was out, we were able to pull up the first layer – wet carpet. This pond, you see, was constructed using the “carpet sandwich” method, that is a layer of carpet, the plastic liner, and another layer of carpet on top. Removing the top layer of carpet was… challenging. But we did it! Then we swapped out liners, laid down a new top layer of carpet, and refilled the pond with the water full of rescued baby frogs and water from the rainwater catchment.
After that, I worked in the garden for a bit. It was definitely the heat of the day – the perfect time to harvest some greens, broccoli (which I ate for lunch), and a TON of tomatoes (which I made into bruschetta for dinner). I also pruned the tomatoes, which have a tendency toward tomato blight. I removed the diseased leaves in order to slow the spread of the blight.
Then, after sweating in the garden for a while, I went for THE most wonderful dip in the creek! The water was nice and cold, and I was able to exfoliate with some fine sandy silt. Is it too ironic that I always feel cleaner after scrubbing down with mud in the creek than after a shower with soap?! Also, I had my first encounter with the creek’s inhabitants – little fish about the size of my index finger! Once I stood still long enough, they swam up to me and nibbled on my toes. They don’t have teeth, per se, so it didn’t hurt; it was just a funny little tickling sensation. The tickling coupled with my fascination with the baby fishes made me laugh out loud. Ah, blissful!