Monday, August 03, 2009

The View From Here

I've been getting high again.


This time my high times were on the opposite side of the house from my last high post about power washing. There is a magnificent live oak in front of PFHQ that gives us electric bill lowering shade ... and we appreciate that, we really do.

However, some of the branches have grown so close to the chimney that they rub up against the spark arresting doofliggy on top. If you go out at night when a log fire is burning inside PFHQ, it's easy to see that not all sparks are arrested.

One or two glowing sparks slip out from time to time. Even though live oaks are not especially combustible, it's just poor form to have trees growing into your chimney.


Here we see an adult B.A.Ladder teaching it's offspring to climb. Little is known about the life cycle of B.A. Ladders ... these may be the only existing photos of the adult with it's young.


The ladder is strapped to the porch, so everybody calm down. It can't go anywhere, although I possibly could.
On this day, my task was to use the extendable pruning saw to trim away the encroaching live oak branches and make the chimney safe for escapee sparks again. I do this one-handed, with the other arm securely locked around the rungs of the ladder and my center of mass pressed into the rungs.
It's not that bad actually.
Whenever I get this ladder out, I like to take pics to share with you since the perspective from above is so different ... duh.
Way to state the obvious, huh?
I always take my cell phone up and send out a few pics to friends just to be chastised by text messages ... good fun.

Below is the view looking out over the front of the house towards the parking zone.

You can see the waterfolly where the bench sits, and beyond it, someone leaving down our sandy track out to the county road. This area and an equal area behind the house is all that we mow here at PFHQ. The rest of the land is wild.


The view above is looking down slope (barely a slope, but a slope nonetheless). If you followed that leafy, shade dappled path, you would emerge into the light ... see the sunny opening?
At that point you would be standing in front of the "pond", which I'm happy to say is finally saturated enough to hold some big puddles. If this hurricane season would just stop goofing off and rev up, we could have a full pond in no time.
Not wishing anybody death and destruction, but a nice stalled tropical system with continuous sheets of rain ... oh, say about 16 inches over a couple of days, like Tropical Storm Frances left us in '04 ... yes, that would be just the ticket.


18 comments:

Thunder Dave said...

I always enjoy the view from the B. A. Ladder, especially since I don't have to climb it!

threecollie said...

We have this roof we are having troubles with......

pablo said...

"doofliggy" is a fine word.

You really have a gorgeous home!

Captain Doofliggy said...

Outside PFHQ, that's known as a spark-arresting chimney CAP.

robin andrea said...

Wonderful capture of that ladder and its young.

roger said...

thanks for reminding me once again to shop for a one story house.

Caroline said...

Our house is two story, we have ladders from same lineage as yours, they are not my favorite home maintenance tools. Apparently, there is a magnificent view of Harney Peak and the Needles (Black Hills of SD) from our roof...I don't care if I ever see the view from there.

Aunty Belle said...

yup, fire is definitely poor form. Heh.

Know ya had yore jollies up thar', but like snakes, I ain't so shure it's worth it.

Lovely look atcthe HQ though!

lisa said...

I love your porch!!! Wish I had a porch like that!! Thank god my chimney is outside and its called a wood stove!!! So, no worries about trees!! Nice view from above though!!

edifice rex said...

It's funny, I always take my cell phone with me when I'm working up high on the house, but for me it's to possibly call for help if I fall and break my head. My luck I would land ON the phone though and get to lay there for 2 days.

Floridacracker said...

ThunderDave,
One day Grasshopper, when you are ready.

3C,
I don't think my ladder will reach to NY.
:)

Pablo,
Thanks! It is a handy word... so flexible in it's meaning.

Capt,
Someday, I too wish to be bilingual.

Robin,
It wasn't easy, the parents are protective of their young.

roger,
ok, but the view is not going to be panoramic.

Caroline,
Maybe whoever goes up could take a picture. :)

Aunty,
I just have such a hard time hiring anyone to do something I can do myself. Glad you liked the view!

Lisa,
Thanks! That porch is a real plus to this house. Great to be on and it shades the south and east side of the house.

Floridacracker said...

Annie,
THAT'S the main reason I carry mine up high also.
ring ...ring ... hello kids, put down the Wii and come scrape me off the ground"

Deb said...

These kind of photos always make me dizzy. But I would really like to finish staining the house before winter, so I might just have to get used to heights.

Floridacracker said...

Deb,
Isn't it always winter there?
;)

Freste said...

OK FC well you got this pruning thing all backwards. To get the most leverage (this is safer than it sounds), you need to climb out onto the new growth of the limbs and maintain balance by interlocking your feet around the end of the new growth while you saw towards the joint of the limb and the trunk. This makes a cut which is healthier for the tree and more ergonomic for you.

Rurality said...

You know, Annie and I talked about this type of high-flying behavior last time I saw her. :)

Floridacracker said...

Freste,
Hey! I thought I was the only one who did that kind of thing.

Rurality,
Two high steppers discussing high flying.
LOL!

Ericka said...

the view from the top made my palms sweat a little. *shudder*

ah, the dooflingee - i know it well. such a great word... right up there with thingiemabob and whoseywhatsis.