Thursday, November 20, 2014

Entertainment Zone - Wade Allen Tree Service Ahead

I've made an allusion before, I am distinctly sure, that the sight of men and machines, be they boats or bulldozers, being used skillfully, is a sight I enjoy. A lot. Woman and those same machines I simply respect the hell out of, even when it used to be myself, but men and those very same machines, well, I admit to a slightly pervy voyouristic attitude toward the viewing. One of the joys of becoming an old woman, I can cheerfully admit to this.

Okay, with that out of the way, we can move onto the main event.

Francie's yard is full of oak trees. Most of them, we've learned, are the bad kind, water oaks. True to the name, water oaks are full of water, grow very fast and then fall apart, limb by heavy limb or maybe the whole tree. It may take a few years but it is going to happen much more often than with, say, a live oak, with that whole from a little acorn the mighty oak tree grows true reputation that it has.

The heavy limb of one water oak in her neighbors yard had already wreaked havoc in its fall onto her power line and electric box the week before; it was time for a tree guy. The tree guy who found his way to her door via the already in place grapevine was Wade Allen of Wade Allen Tree Service. Good vibes all around, he and Steve, a neighbor down the street who works with him on occasion, would be here Wednesday. Because Tuesday it was raining and really cold. Bad combo for tree trimmers.

Wade arrives

Starting in the backyard to asses the trees that need work. The truck was supposed to come back here but due to a neighbor's septic tank and an orange tree I'd laboriously cleaned up last week, it would be done, as Wade said, the old fashioned way. We were quite glad about that.

A messenger line is tossed over a high branch. The rope skills and team work here was immediately evident. This was going to be fun to watch. 

Wade straps on his climbing gear.

He's ready

We quickly learned why Steve calls Wade Squirrel Boy. He walked up that tree like I would stroll across the yard.

In moments he was up and securing himself, while Steve sent up the chain saw

Let the sawing commence

I'd never seen this done before and the process was pretty incredible. One line (the 'bull' line) would be secured in front and behind the area to be cut

Once cut, down came the limb, the rope controlled from above by Wade and then managed at the bottom by Steve. Quickly but with the quickness of experience, not the other kind that has you scared.

Wade doing some lassoing

Most of the time, he had this little grin on his face while working. We had bigger grins watching.

These huge (to us, they said they were small compared to many they do) just seemed to drift to the ground.

Where Steve would get them out of the way for what was to follow

Poco a poco, down it came. The roof was now safe if the winds blow hard.

 Once that was done, it was onto the front yard. A shaded yard, with scraggily limbs. Time to bring in the truck and bucket.

Driving the bucket. Francie and I wanted a go at it, but it wasn't really the thing to ask at the time.

And very quickly, it was done. Good work, learned lots, fun to watch (did I mention that already?)
They sawed through the very large limbs and we would take care of the rest, for two reasons. One, Francie has a fireplace. Two, it would be quite expensive to have them do this work. I hauled away the top branched to the back yard. Francie got busy with her little chain saw.

And there it was, a pile of fire wood begins!

After showers we headed to the closest bar. It was cold but definitely time for a celebratory libation. Except, the only libations at this particular, albeit very friendly, bar were beer and wine. Sweet wines. We had a drink we didn't want but hey, when in a tiny all eyes on the newcomers Localville bar for the first time, walking out because they don't have your drink of choice is bad form. Instead, we headed back to our respective Turtle and Duck, made our own drinks and dinners and it was soon lights out and good night.

The bar with the excellent Bloody Mary's up the road? Soon come.

Have a tantalizingly titillating Thursday. Do something teasingly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Obsession Continues (Warning! Birds Here)

I can't help it, I am unable to look at these birds with any sense of 'I'm tired of you'-ness. I'm trying, really, but I think it is a hopeless endeavor.

The weather did about a 20 degree drop yesterday, just about the time I was thinking, hey, this isn't going to be so bad. Well, it's still not BAD because I have a great heater and clothes and food and a roof I love more every day over my head. But it is cold. It is not as cold as predicted, if the online temperature is correct it is 35, not 32 and not 27. For farmers, plant life and critters that is a good thing. For me, what's a few degrees when it's cold enough to numb your nose and toes and fingers?

I love my heater. And I understand why early folks worshipped the sun so much more. Just seeing that yellow in the sky makes me want to drop to my knees, but the ground is too cold.

Which makes taking a walk to the lake seem ridiculous but I wanted to see if there was ice on it and Francie came along to see if she could spot the so called resident gator. Since gators are sort of like spiders for Francie, I was all for seeing one, since you don't often get to see Francie run. No joy, we didn't see the gator. We did see birds.

This is a weed gate.
Apparently Lake Panasoffkee had a really big problem with weeds in the not so distant past. The weeds were so bad they were killing off the fish, which means no fisherfolk, meaning very little reason to stop in Lake Panasoffkee unless you lived here for some reason. The weed problem was dealt with, the fish came back and Bob's your uncle. But just to be sure, the boat launch and boat house area has this weed gate at the entrance. To keep out weeds. For true.

I'm making some bad karma for myself here. But it's not like I'm running up to them flapping my arms and screaming. These birds are really, really leery! I was probably 50 feet away, walking very slowly, when this one took off. I still feel bad.

Ahinga in the water. They can stay under a really long time. "The Anhinga does have a preferred diet of fish, but will also eat water snakes, tadpoles, frog eggs and young alligators." From, where you can go for all sort of other weird bird facts (and win a round of Trivia Pursuit. No need to thank me)

This looks like winter to me.
Oh!!! The best birds I've seen so far were the ones we saw on the way to some other town. We're on this four lane road, with a huge median and a narrow bike lane on each side. Chatting away we were, when I glanced out my side window and there were two sandhill cranes, strolling side by side in the bike lane, coming toward us and then right next to the window as we passed.

Since I exaggerate all the time - it's a being short thing - and Francie doesn't, I asked her if they were really six feet tall and she came pretty close to agreeing. Their heads were definitely above the roof of the truck. We didn't stop to try and get a photo of one of the most strange bird visuals I've personally seen and had I been driving, I probably would have pulled over or turned around to try and get a shot of them. They might have flown off or maybe even gotten hurt somehow, so maybe it was best to keep going. I only hope they made it where ever they were headed safely. They were statuesquely magnificent.

Okay, where was I?

The common moorhen. What's common about a red face and bill? I think it is extraordinary. 
Oddly, moorhens aren't in the duck family. They are more closely related to cranes and rails. I don't really know much about rails but I do know cranes and have never confused one with a duck before. More uncommonness! Who named this bird?

Apparently what is common about them is they are everywhere.

The common moorhen has one of the largest ranges of any bird species, occurring on every continent except for Australasia and Antarctica, although it is just an occasional visitor to Svalbard in the Arctic. It is found as far afield as remote islands in the Pacific, such as the Hawaiian and Galapagos Islands. BirdLife

But even that isn't common! One of the largest ranges of ANY bird species. This is the uncommon moorhen.

Here is something unfortunately common. I'm not picking on Connecticut, it just happened to be the example in an article I was reading on these birds. It is so oxymoronic as well as ironic, I had to include it here. "The popularity of Connecticut's aquatic resources for recreation has also contributed to the decline of the wetland areas used by the moorhen." Yes, wrap your brain around that. Simple, but insane.

What I think is the tri-colored heron flew in with a screech and immediately hid.

Hiding wasn't enough. He flew away. I need to stop wrecking these birds habits!
So I took a photo of a plant. It didn't seem frightened and it stayed put. We did not stay put, it was cold and time to go, even with a weak sun giving some good light.

Have a what in the world wildly works Wednesday. Do something wravishing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tiny Home Tuesday ~ and Some Not So Tiny Cows

There are a lot of what could be considered very small homes around here. Not tiny, but definitely on the small side, as in many older neighborhoods in America. A lot of them have been added on to, some well, some not so well. There are also a lot of seemingly abandoned homes here, in neighborhoods that are otherwise well lived in, doing fine in a simple way.

Less is more here. You can see the obvious addition, but that's fine. A lot of trees have been cleared out as most of the neighborhood yards are filled with water oaks (bad, they are hollow and fall down easily) and live oaks (good, solid trees, resistant to disease). Probably some clearing is smart as falling trees can do a lot of damage when they succumb to gravity.

As we walked around the neighborhoods, I spied this party on a trailer. Maybe one of the more interesting grill set ups I've ever seen - need handles? weld on a couple of wrenches -  the only thing better would be seeing it in action. Note the small fridge on the back? It is connected. I think it's a smoke box of some kind. Maybe. What I know for sure is that I've never seen a cooler like that in my life but I really like it. 

Yesterday we went to  a big flea market, the Webster Westside Market. I'd been here many years ago and I have to agree with one passer-by's comment, it's not nearly as good as it was back then. Maybe more people are selling things on ebay. Maybe sellers are more savvy and sell some other way. I only know there weren't a lot of Damn! I really really want that! 'Oh! Wish I had more money' moments. Which is a good thing for the wallet but not so good for strolling and looking. I did see a beautiful wooden tool box though...

There was some visual entertainment though, and a very good carnival style sausage, peppers and onions sandwich to be had. The first peddler I saw was this guy. Or I guess that would be pedaler. Or both.

This tiny trailer made for a popular sweet stop.

I'm not sure what it is about big plastic cattle around here, but this wasn't the first one I'd seen. It wasn't until I actually loaded the photos onto my computer that I realized this woman might have confused herself as to what I was aiming at. I almost thought maybe I really did know her. 

There were some nice plants for sale. These pitcher plants (that's what the sign said) were creepily intriguing.

In the town of Bushnell - all roads lead to Bushnell, no matter where you think you are going first - is the first of the giant cattle. Perhaps they are a couple, he, a lifetime destined to oversee a car lot, she a hamburger stand, never to meet and make baby plastic giant calves. You'll have to extrapolate the significance for yourselves. As for me, I find contemplating the idea one of those roads best not to go down. I'm just still trying to get a shot of him from the other side without causing a car wreck. 

It is quiet here. No, not all tiny and small homes have quiet surroundings in common, though being out of cities and into more rural settings does appear to have its obvious draw. No sterile quiet here, there are sirens and trains and planes, dogs barking and NASCAR fans giving the occasional whoop. I guess quiet is relative.

There are some canals that feed into the lake, making 'waterfront' property. This is one of them. It's sort of waterside property - very tranquillo.

Have a time out of time Tuesday. Do something tactfully transporting.