Thursday, May 12, 2011


It was about 3:00 on Sunday (Mother’s Day) when we arrived at the farm. It was cool (43) and rain threatened. In fact, it rained all through the night and Monday was another "dull" day. An article in today's Lewiston Tribune says the regional farmers are a month behind due to wet fields.

The farmhouse has a problem of some magnitude. The woodpeckers have attacked the old wood – mostly window facings – making large holes. Of course, that leaves the house vulnerable to other types of pests, such as nesting starlings. So, our general contractor came to assess the situation Monday morning and plans are in place to cover the wood with metal. Unfortunately, we must wait several months until he can get to it. Meanwhile, we’ll have to cover existing holes with tin to protect the house from invaders. (Even the beam under the roof has holes in it -- hard to see unless you enlarge the picture.)

And Mike discovered the windmill he built from a kit in 2006 is damaged. It probably happened in a windstorm. Since I am chief assistant here, I was grateful that the contractor and two friends who accompanied him were willing and able to assist Mike in dismantling the windmill and removing the pump. Mike has already called the dealer for repair instructions. Undoubtedly he can fix it easily, as usual. (That's a joke, you know.)

Otherwise it was good to see the signs of spring. Hallie planted these daffodils pictured above in clay soil near the pond ten years ago. I couldn't have done it without her. But I did plant the "Crown Imperial" and daffodils at the porch steps and last year I planted enough daffodils behind the house to finally make a good showing.

We didn’t see a lot of rodent sign but we caught two in traps. Seems like if we can trap a few, we don’t see them for a while.

And then it was back to town along the swollen Clearwater River. This photo was taken at “Big Eddy” below Lenore. We were just giving up on the geocache in the rocks when I happened to see it. KW


drMolly, the BeanQueen said...

The flowers look nice. It is good to see those signs as the weather just does not seem to want to co-operate.

Leah said...

Daffodil planting reminds me of my own efforts in the 1960's. Our new house was new. No flowers of any kind in the yard. Just grass. In Missouri spring is signaled by the crocus and daffodils. Never having much luck with house plants, I thought that planting bulbs outside would be easy. Nature would provide. I ordered my daffodil bulbs in the fall and planted them on both sides of our driveway.

It wasn't until I read the instructions a few days later that I learned I had planted them UPSIDE DOWN. I thought that the pointed end was the root of the bulb. Then I had to go back and dig up about 4 dozen bulbs and turn them around. After that episode, I sort of lost interest in gardening.

Sorry to hear about the woodpecker invasion. Is there some type of "scarecrow" to put around the house to keep them away?

Kathy said...

At least by planting bulbs, one does get year-to-year affirmation of one's efforts.

If there's a deterrent (aside from covering the old wood with metal, of course), I haven't heard of it. The pigeons also roost on the braces. The mess they leave is the reason I don't take more pictures of the house.

Hallie said...

There's a billboard over a shop here that regularly makes weird screeching noises. We've determined that it's a recording and figure that the purpose is to deter the birds. The screeching must be a recording of a predatory bird.

I'm not so sure about disrupting the silence on the farm with such a device, but it's an interesting solution.

Chris said...

Hmm, I like Hallie's comment. Maybe it could only play when you're not there? Or do they peck when you're there, too? At least the metal will be a solution.

Houses *are* a lot of work. I am beginning to realize that's why so many people seem to like condos with all the extra work taken care of (for a price!).

Leah said...

In the June/July Readers Digest, there is an article titled, "A New Breed of Scarecrows." In the part about Woodpeckers it tells about a decoy called "Birds-Away Attack
Spider." Website is For $15 you get the spider that drops down an 18 inch string while making a loud noise. I assume it's the spider making a loud noise not the string.