Cleaner Air

Unfortunately I have had a couple weeks of difficult breathing.

This NASA map shows the the smoke from the fires out west has reached the East Coast.

My doctor confirmed today that he hears “the crackle”.  Not good. So I’m on antibiotics.  The air quality is not helping either.

It’s a little noisy but seems to be filtering the air.

In an effort to improve the air quality in our bedroom I’ve plugged in an air purifier that I inherited from my mother.

Oreck Air Purifier

It has definitely helped.

Are you a habitual cleaner?

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Raspberry Realization

While I was focused on the raspberry bush I noticed some trees had grown up in the same area.

The tree behind the raspberry bush is a tulip poplar which can grow to 30 feet.

They were not pleasant little trees but instead fast growing tulip poplars and maples.

The tulip poplar was the first to come down.

I alerted Charlie to the problem and he said he had already planned to work on it.

Charlie huffed a lot of heavy logs around.

It’s been in the upper 90s all week but Charlie pulled out the oak slabs he’d been saving and got into the vegetated area.

Charlie has to get rid of the foliage and stems.

He started pulling out very substantial trees.

Will someone be interested is firewood in summer?

Now we are left with a lot of large logs which I’m going to try to get rid of on Craigslist even though the temperature hit 100 degrees yesterday.

Why does one clean-up project beget another?

Maybe someone can envision a set of outdoor stools for their firepit.  And wood to burn.

Do you have a firepit?

Really Fresh Red Raspberries

I want to start by saying that we don’t grow raspberries.

The area behind the wood has grown tulip poplar trees and a red raspberry bush.

However a beautiful bush of berries has made itself at home behind the wood pile.

A little gem of a wild bush.

We noticed it while standing with the dogs in their elimination area. It’s near but not in the area.

Charlie spent some time picking these wild berries which are full of flavor.

We got the berries before the birds.

I hope more will ripen before the summer is over.

Do you have a favorite berry?

Another Door Painted

While I was redecorating the pink tile bathroom Sug suggested she would paint the bathroom door.

The pink bathroom door is a traditional 3-paneled wood door.

I have painted all the downstairs doors and the master bedroom doors grey: “Secret”.

The paint seems dark when it covers the formerly white door.

Sug painted the door last night while I was lounging in the air conditioning.

The painted bathroom door accents the fact that the wall needs to be repainted after a drywall repair.

She gave it two coats of paint.

The bathroom is so tiny I can’t get a shot of the entire door.

Now only 2, possibly 3, doors remain.

Are all your doors the same color?

Road Block

Our dead end road was closed for a day and a half this week.

A boom was used to take the tall trees down.

At the same time the electricity was turned off by our electric service.

The truck was precariously chocked up in front to level it.

The action on the street was to remove two large trees that could potentially fall on the power lines.

The truck looks perilously balanced.

The trucks with the extension cabs were leveled by raising them on blocks so the cabs could be extended.

Charlie’s foot gives proportion to the remaining tree stump.

In the end only large stumps remain.

What do you do when your electricity is turned off?

Another Snake Story

On the last day of May a black snake ate the baby birds in a nest on our porch.

The snake was sprawled all over the box.

Unfortunately we had to kill that snake.

We usually store our gas grill near the back steps.

Then while Charlie was cleaning out the grill he came upon another snake that had made his home inside the grill.

Immediately Charlie texted me to find out what kind of snake this is.

This snake had a grey and white ladder pattern on its back.

The pattern and coloring are distinctive.

After some quick research I discovered it is a juvenile black rat snake.

The black rat snake has a very different look from its juvenile self.

This black rat snake is exactly the kind of snake which attacked the little birdies on our porch.  All of a sudden they’re coming close to the house. Ew.

How happy are you to come upon a serpent?

A Sad and Horrible End

One day this spring Charlie noticed that a bird was building a nest in a box on the porch that has paint brushes soaking in solvent.

The box has been on the porch for a long time — on the far left on top of the blue cabinet.

I think the bird is a wood thrush because we’ve had them before and they like to return to the same place to nest each year. I asked Charlie to get rid of the nest because I didn’t want the bird flying at me when I come and go.

Paint cans and bird’s nest

Within 2 days the bird had rebuilt the nest bigger and better so we just let her have her way.  Two days ago we noticed the mama bird was flying back and forth with worms in her beak.  When she was gone we looked in the nest and saw one egg and 3 tiny baby birdies.

The snake was sprawled all over the box.

Tonight when I arrived home a little after nine I saw a black snake on the box.  I felt sick knowing the little birds had been eaten.

It was important to me to get the snake away from our main entrance.

Charlie and Sug worked together to kill the snake and get it off the porch. Unfortunately this was a lose-lose situation all around.

Have you lost something recently that made you sad?