September around the homestead

It has been fun to return from our recent travels to a nip in the air, the leaves just beginning to turn colors, and all the things I love about our home during autumn. Here’s a small image gallery of the natural beauty that surrounds us and makes us content to be home after a trip.

And no walk around the ponds would be complete without carrying the Chuckit, a ball (that floats) and the dog that chases until she drops.


16 Days and Counting

Several milestones at once!

We installed the windows in the shop portion of the Garage MaHal.


This happened last Sunday, when the day was clear but chilly — before the current foggy rainy moved in.

Yesterday, we not only installed the “people door” to at last be able to secure the tools etc. behind a lock (and keep the dogs from getting underfoot) but also, the AEP guy came and hooked up the main power to the structure.


Jack had been working hard, even through the rain, to prepare everything for the county inspector to come by and give the wiring and components a “thumbs up,” and the power company guy showed up late yesterday to give us power.


No  more generator! No more leaving the big doors open just so we could see what we were doing (lights)!

With that final exterior door and all the windows installed, now we can finish the siding to be flush to the windows/door structures and get with the work of putting up the battens and trim. Looking forward to working on that this weekend, when the weather clears.

16 days and counting until we depart to pickup the Blue Roomba! He’ll come home to a house fit for a Snail King.


Recently, and for the first time since we built the ponds, something like ten years ago, I saw mallard ducks on the largest pond.

We’ve had wood ducks in our large but almost fully shaded pond, with trees along three of the sides. Wood ducks can handle closed-in water like ours.

Not mallards, generally. Nor geese — both of which require long take-off “runways” and gradual-rise escapes.

I was strolling toward the “low road” through the forest that starts just beyond the biggest pond, as I often do when taking a break from work or to give the doggies a bit of a run-about, when Chase startled them (and me) by coming close while they were in a small, shallow and very protected inlet. But they didn’t just fly away. They swam toward me, and when they saw me, they took off for about ten yards, but landed again.

I went along to the dock and lay down in the sun to watch.

They were as far away from me as they could get and stay on the water. After a short interval of preening, and seeking the edge bottoms for the non-existent water grasses to eat, the male tucked his head and had a snooze. The female walked up the steep bank, a little way into the clethra shrubs, and she too, tucked her head for a bit of rest.

The dogs were paying them no mind, yet they were busy investigating the woods etc. So this pair must have come a long way, and set down in the first place that looked promising during their migration. They appeared to be so tired that nothing — not even me on the dock or the dogs rooting around in the woods — would keep them from staying put and getting the rest they knew they needed.

I was just sorry our sanctuary did not offer any foodstuffs for their energy replenishment.

I was unable to get a good photo of the two (who were gone the next day when I returned to the pond), so I found a picture on the internet and drew them into something that looks close to our habitat.

So nice to have such visitors to our homestead; and that we could provide a small time of respite for them.


27 Days and Counting

Now that the worst of the weather has passed, we can really see some progress on the Safari Condominium. Even during the cold over the weekend, Jack was down at the building doing this and that. 27 days and counting until we leave to pick up and bring home the primary resident: Safari Condo’s Alto R1713, better known as the Blue Roomba.

But today was a banner day, as we had the guys come in to construct the soffit under the roof; and the garage door team came and installed the 3 garage doors. It was windy, but a good day for it. Now, if the weather holds, we can get back to the work of putting up the battens over the boards.

The rep from whom we ordered the “people doors” and the windows called, and they’re staged for delivery. Things are progressing nicely. Hoping we can get the windows this week, and install directly. If the weather holds, we’re well on track to have our house sitters take over while we’re on tour. Can’t wait.

Lenten Rose
Lenten Rose: Can spring be far behind?