Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Diversions vs Work ... Diversions Win!

This summer, I've been working on the outside of PFHQ.
If you have been reading PF for a while, you know that I have taken on an interior remodeling project each summer.
Somewhere along the way, I should have paid a little more attention to the exterior, instead of dandying up the inside.

That neglect has created a few headaches ... mostly in water damaged porch parts that would still be fine if I had not put off some wood TLC.

So, I am making a mess of things outside instead of inside this summer, and as I work, I silently whine about not being in the woods, on the water, etc.

Happily, PFHQ is a pretty wild place in it's own right, so every so often, the critters come to me as I work.

The Imperial Moth above showed up as Junior was powerwashing the front porch while I repaired the back porch. This is a huge moth with a crazy-freak of a caterpillar. I don't have a pic of the larva, ... googlie it.

In between moths and carpentry, my college buddy Dave showed up to pull me away from sawdust and step construction. He and his better half purchased a beautiful piece of forested land in a county to the north and Dave was in town to meet with his contractors.
The morning after he arrived, we cruised to his land so he and the contractors could get on the same page.
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Dave is in the blue shirt on the right with the boonie hat. He and his wife are going to build a BK Cypress log home on these 6 forested acres. Here he is discussing his dream with the general contractor and the tree surgeon. They are standing in a sea of beautyberry that has filled in an old drive.

Dave wants to clear just enough land for the home and a little storm clearance, leaving the rest of the land natural. His contractors seem to be on the same wavelength so I think he is in good hands. We spent a nice morning bushwacking and marking a drive and building clearing site.

The land is loaded with towering, straight live oaks ... something you just don't see anymore, although that would have been the norm pre-us. Live oaks only grow tall and straight in dense forest. Today, most live oaks you see in the south are broad, spreading trees of moderate height since they have grown up in open well lit conditions.
Both are beautiful, but it's great to see forest grown live oaks like this. Great to know they will continue to thrive with Dave's minimal clearing philosophy.

After a few days, Dave hopped on a plane to fly home and I got back to work.

These lacewing eggs on some porch trim tried to distract me from my toil.
It was only a momentary diversion.

Then this tiny anole pup caught my eye and made me lay the drill and porch step treads down for a few minutes.

On the far side of the porch, a pair of pottery wasp nests required some photographic TLC.

... and there was that baby gopher, but I did already give it a post as you may recall.
Eventually, I was able to get back to work and accomplish something.

Here I am getting high.
(Yes, I am getting some spray into the attic vent ... I know, I know)
I let Junior powerwash most of the house, but he's not crazy about high ladders and this is the riskier side of the house since the electric line comes in to the house to my right.
So this side was mine to do.

Actually in this heat, powerwashing is not a bad task, not bad at all.
When all the powerwashing is done and the cedar has had a good drying period, we will be staining and retrimming PFHQ with a high quality stain.
The kids were a little young to help the last time this place was stained, but now they are fully capable of applying stain, so I think this job will actually be a speedy one.

Of course, by that time ... Katie and Emma will be back in college and Junior will be involved in football practice and all the blur of activity that is your senior year in high school.

So, it may not be THAT fast a job after all.


threecollie said...

Sounds like you are having a good summer...which is great. That moth is the most amazing thing I have ever seen! And the house looks like it is going to really look great when you are done.

robin andrea said...

That moth!!! Reminds me of the ceanothus silk moth I found once, magnificently big and stunningly colorful. What a beauty, fc.

Dave's land looks beautiful. Love the way those oaks grow there.

Dani said...

I have moth envy! :0

Your house is so pretty! I can't wait to see it with some fresh stain on her.

roger said...

there's that big ladder again. i do hope we settle in a one story house. with as much wildlife as you have.

lisa said...

I can't believe the size of that moth, holy cats!!

amarkonmywall said...

That's a lot of mother nature all in one post. I love the moth- only other time I saw one that big was in Belize. I am so jealous that Dave is getting a BKCypress log home- they're beautiful. And it looks like a nice lot, too.

Wash on...

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Yep-I'm willing to bet those kids haul @$$ with all kinds of excuses.
Our's always did/and still do.
We always did,IF we could.
The Circle of Life goes on.....

Miz S said...

Do you know that I almost always end up on Google after I read one of your posts? This time it was for potter wasps and lacewings. I'm getting smarter and smarter!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing pictures of "Wise Acres" with me! I just can't wait to get it done and move!

Thunder Dave said...

Glad I could be a distraction from manual labor for you! ;-)

PUN COP said...

Is it true you named a calf "Asaki".? As in "Here is my cow, Asaki.".