Thursday, September 13, 2012


Pinchot Lake, September 12, 2012, 6:30 p.m.
Tonight a rare occurrence at Carolyn’s cabin: a evening free of other obligations and clear weather. So tonight I plan to do a little outside work, and though I don’t have to mow in my forest, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do.
First off tonight, I will clear out the pipe that drains the basement during heavy rainstorms. This is a chore I have to do many times in the fall. This cleaning will take care of the accumulation of summer’s leaves and twigs that clog the “stream” that’s created by the draining basement. Then once the leaves begin to fall, I’ll need to do the job every week or two until all the leaves are finally down and not being blown around.

My chicken pens also need attention. Last night the first egg from my new chickens was produced, a lovely little brown thing about two inches long—about half the size of the eggs produced by the 3-year old chickens. So I need to make sure the nest boxes for the new girls are deep with new straw and that they are happy with the arrangements. The rest of them will begin to lay any day now, too. The first pullet eggs from a chicken are always small, but they reach normal size within a week or so.

I also need to put anti-skid tape on all my outside steps and around the front deck. This is a yearly job, as that tape works well but never lasts more than a year. Those wooden steps are slippery when wet or iced up or snowed under. And the tape doesn’t stick well below a certain temperature, so I have to remember to do this chore before it gets too cold.

If I have time I will take a look at chopping down some of the undergrowth behind the cabin. I worked on that in the early summer, before July’s heat made that job too much to any sane person. Fighting off the multiflora rose is a never-ending job. Sometimes I think I’m making progress, sometimes not.

And I need to redo my bird feeders in preparation for the heavy feeding season in fall and winter. My feeder arrangement is different every year, partly because I’m always trying new things, partly because my feeders never last more than one season. Raccoons, opossums and the weather all take a toll.

Naturally, I won’t get everything done tonight, but it will feel good just to have the time and nice weather to work on it all.

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