Mischiefs' Folly

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by mischief, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    On Sunday after work, a friend came over and cut down my plum tree that was growing behind the courtyard. I had found some roots growing towards to water tank when I was paving it, so it had to go!
    When they finished at my placed, we all went down to mums and they cut down a tree that was starting to grow in the wrong place there.
    Poor thing had to use my chainsaw (the one I confiscated from mum so she wouldnt hurt herself with it). Its been well used and didnt behave itself very well so all this took way longer than it should have....they didnt swear once.( I did that all for them.)
    Mum was most impressed and very glad to see light in her back room again.

    On monday, my neighbour 'reminded' me that her friend was not going to be taking away any of her concrete and that I could take what I needed and told me that she had started to move it to behind her garage so she could get started on redoing her garden.

    I thought I was going to be starting work on Tuesday, so I went hammer and tongs to get all the concrete prised out and chucked over to my place.
    Took a couple of hours and I now need to get a new handle for my sledge hammer cos it broke, luckily near the end of my long haul.

    Tuesday was induction day.... and we dont start til this monday.

    Wednesday I opened the hive again to top up the feeder, check out the last couple of frames with mum watching from the bottom of the steps, covered with windbreak so the bees wouldnt see her.
    I had thought that I was going to have to do a bit of surgery on the last two frames cos they did look like they had comb built at the edges.

    I had my needle and thread lined up and some empty frames to 'sew' them into but to my relief, they were just fat on one side.
    I probably should have checked the rest of the frames to get peace of mind as to what was going on but I didnt really want to. So it got closed up, the entrance made smaller- oh I put a piece of wood across the bottom of the follower board so the bees couldnt get into the empty section and wind up dying.
    I had to remove quite a few that had got stuck in there and died.

    I also put a bit of wood over the top of the robber screen to reduce the gap there too, so now they have one bit that is probably only one bee space wide and the oher that is about three beespaces wide, they didnt take very long at all to get used to this.
    No stings and although there were quite a few flying around me, the ones on the frames seemed unfazed by my carrying on's.

    We managed to move some more of the hill I got from the new neighbour so the to-be vegie garden is now level with the tops of the pavers I lined up along the path.
    Putting the footings in and concreting the pavers in Was supposed to be the main project this summer but opportunity knocked and I went with that instead.

    Thursday and Friday, it hammered down with wind and rain, so I decided to have a "weekend" and spent most of it sitting in bed nursing sore arms reading back posts on the 'beesource' website.

    I had a very interesting visit.

    The bedroom curtain caught my eye whe it started ti sort of wiggle and out of the corner of my eye I noticed that a little mouse had climbed the curtain an got onto my bedside table.
    After checking things out it came over to me, put its paws on my duvet and looked up at me for what seemed an age then wandered off and eventually ran down the curtain.

    Jack was up on the bed with me and we sort of looked at each other then back at the curtain which had started to twitch again, yep the mouse was back, this time with its mate who scampered over, sat on its backside and looked up at me, peered back at its mate then they both wandered off back down the curtain, out the door and then proceeded to place chase right outside the door.

    The look on Jacks face wa priceless... I could just see him asking me "um, are they pack now too?"
    I didnt know what to think except.... how can I set traps for mice that have just introduced themselves to me .

    I am really not too sure what to do about this. On one hand, I am feeling blessed (of all things), that another lifeform has obviously found us interesting(?) but then I do Not want the house filled up with mice.

    I did notice that these two were not the normal pale grey mice but more steely greylooking, longer haired ones.Actually felt they were very healthy and ............what the hell do I do now?

    I'm thinking of finding some sort of cage so i can catch them both, it has to be both of them and the take them for a nice drive into the country and let them go.
     
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  2. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i like your description of the mouses! i would love it if i never had to
    trap another mouse or hunt any animals, but until we get all access
    points addressed i still have to trap them.

    if you are blessed with a kind of mouse which does not chew and leave
    filth behind that would be so great.

    in our case, my car is sometimes a home of theirs and it stinks pretty
    bad if i don't get them out of there. unfortunately i can't find how they
    are getting in (and the mechanic can't either). so right now i need to
    finish redoing the entire interior of the car to get the nests out and to
    see if i can figure it out. nothing i'm going to finish this year... the car
    is 20yrs old now, so the interior is sun scorched and needs work
    anyways.

    the house is luckily well sealed now so mice cannot get in easily. two
    have hitch-hiked in boxes from other places, but i've gotten them out
    within a few days. when i moved in here the walls were full of mice and
    it was impossible to sleep let alone all the damage they were doing
    (chewed wiring, holes in insulation, etc.). sealing things up was the
    priority the first months i was here. i couldn't believe how poorly my
    ex-step-dad designed the siding and left gaps the mice could use
    all over the place. the last space i need to improve is the garden
    shed, but that will be this coming fall or next year project.

    i really do like the idea of trying to live "with" nature, but some parts
    of nature do not mix well with books or things they can chew through.

    sounds like you are beeing happy! :)
     
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  3. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Have to say that it was The most oddest 'meeting' I've ever had.
    I havent seen them since and am hoping that they were saying goodbye, but I do realise that that is not very likely.

    One thing I did do was go around and make sure there was no food type items that they could take advantage of.
    One that they most definitely were, was Jack dog biscuits, so these are now in the boot of my car until I can find a rodent proof container to put them in.

    I have put the word out that I need a non violent sort of cage to trap them with. I was tossing up the idea of putting something tasty on a stick that hung over a bucket.
    I have heard that they dont seem to be able to climb up the sides of plastic bucket. I have a bucket and I have some cheese, just need to work out how to place the stick so they fall in.

    Its Feijoa time, I am not bothering to pick up the odd irritating small ones.
    I can get away with this cos my trees are not stuck in the middle of a lawn like mum's ones are.
    This is their second(?) fruiting year so they are still babies, but delicious fat fruit not like the two old trees in the back corner.

    I have been wondering why these have never really done well and it was suggested that being older varieties and that the neighbours trees were in a line with mine; it could be that there used to be a pollinator that was removed. That sort of works, except that my neighbours old trees produce beautifully.
    Now mine also have a walnut tree on the other side of the fence that now towers over them. I need to look around for something else to put in here that is tolerant of walnuts.

    I have had to cut some of the persimmon fruit from the tree and ripen them inside. The birds have discovered them and have been systematically eating them from the top down. I dont mind them getting the top ones that I cant reach, but the bottom stuff is mine.

    I'm too tired to be happy at the moment. Content absolutely.
    I have been enjoying rugging up and sitting outside in the courtyard when I get home from work.
    Its odd, I just recently noticed that all my work is outside and has been for 10 years.
    I had thought that as I had gotten older, I had developed an aversion to 'inside' and only got driven in when it got dark and it was time to sleep. Now, I think its that I have just become aware of this.
    When the kids were at home, dinner was at the table, now its outside unless its raining. If I can do it outside, then thats where it gets done.
    Its usually starting to get dark when I get home from work but I like to have my dinner and cuppa outside before I get driven inside for the night.
    I would rather be doing this by solar light but candle light works at the moment. I think I will Really be in heaven when I get the out door fireplace built.
    My daughter and son in law are coming down this week, so I am going to tell them that their project is to work out how to build the fireplace/BBQ.

    I have been naughty and have been using the clothes drier. I have the vent tube poking out of the laundry window and by chance happened to sit on my little deck when it was on, nice warm if slightly damp air blowing onto my back so I could sit outside an watch the stars without freezing.

    Last week I got given some candle holders made of curved stainless steel. Two were the same and one was slightly different.
    I had been looking for some solar lights to go on the driveway side of the trellis but havent seen anything that looks right, so I put these along here instead.
    The two identical ones are now on each side of the gate and the different one is on the middle one between the hanging baskets. They dont actually have candle holders or even candles in them at the moment but still look good and bounce back the late afternoon sun.

    I have been re-reading Linda Woodrows book that first got me started in permaculture.
    I had this annoying thought that it I had only made a chook dome for 4 chooks instead of the really big one, I might still be using this system.
    Now, I am finding myself eyeing up things to see if I could and should give this another go on a much smaller scale.
     
  4. Rena Cook

    Rena Cook New Member

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    Lol. Exactly.
     
  5. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    funny, considering i've been failing at trying to get a nap in all morning. :)

    as for mices. i found out that i have mice running in my car engine
    compartment up in the hood of all places. the gaps in the metal are
    big enough that mice can get in there.

    how i know they are in there was because i opened the hood of the
    car to see where a hornet was going to when it went under there.
    i open the hood and hear these noises in the hood like something
    running along. sure enough a mouse pokes his/her head out and
    looks at me. i laughed pretty hard at that one. i have had mice in
    my car for many years now and nothing keeps them out. i've tried
    everything people have recommended (moth balls, dryer fabric
    softener sheets, cab fresh, etc.) the only thing that takes care of
    them is trapping... *sigh* now i have to foam seal the hood frame
    so they don't have access to that space.

    luckily they are not chewing on any wires that i can see.

    well anyways, sounds like fun is still being had in NZ :)...

    planting season getting here, rains forecast for most of the week
    and cool, so i'm likely holding off until next week. a few more
    degrees of overnight lows are probably a good idea.
     
  6. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    must beeing busy! :) hope all is well...
     
  7. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Yeah, I am.
    Its my winter season so all I do is work. The plus side is that I get to play for most of the summer.
    I cant do much in winter....nothing grows, cant go fishing, well I could but it isnt much fun, so I decided to go work instead. It has been handy to have the extra dosh for all my little projects.
    This year my daughter has asked for help in getting a deposit fo their house, so I am flicking my wages over to a hard to access account for this.

    I have managed to get hold of the builder friend... of a friend and they are keen to help me with getting the back door and laundry window put in. I was expecting this winter to be quite wet seeingas that is how our summer pretty much was.
    I am thinking that they may be able to do something about this over winter, so I am getting in touch with them early to see what they think about doing the work sooner rather than later.
    It might not be such a good idea, but you never know. I do know that they did a really good job for another friend and are very meticulous, so I shouldnt have any problems using them.

    Last year I gave the nursery manager some Manuka seed from my pink and white flowering plants. I asked that if he got them to grow, that I would like half a dozen plants back. On monday, I get to have my seedlings.
    I think I will plant a couple at my place, a couple at my mums and offer the others one of my new neighbours. They have 1 1/2 acres and might be interested in planting for bees. Hope so, I have a few ideas I am tossing around if they are.

    I'm still eating persimmons...I just love these. I had to cut the fruit off the tree or risk losing them all to the birds. I did leave them some though. I was a bit worried that they would not do well sitting around but they seem to handle it quite well.
    I forgot to weigh them though, so I have no idea as to how much the tree has produced, it was definitely a lot more than last year though.

    The feijoas are still dropping as well and I am still only picking up the big ones.
    I had read that one is supposed to remove the fruit from under the tree or risk disease etc....
    I find this odd. Trees have dropped fruit since whenever and are still here. I have decided to leave the fruit that I dont want under the tree. They will either return nutrients to the tree and/or provide food for insects and birds.
    I have never seen a diseased Feijoa tree so these are a good one to start with. Having said that, I didnt harvest the apples this year cos they were so dismal and that tree seems ok...actually, I didnt harvest many peaches from the tree down by the road either for the same reason.
    I am wondering if removing the windfalls is more for aesthetic reasons rather than disease management. We shall see.

    With the bees, because it has been so warm during the day, they are still flying at least til about 5pm sometimes a little later.
    When I look thgh the window though, it does look like nobody is home. Having said that, I usually only get to look late afternoon.
    I wiah I could get hold of somebody I had a disagreement with- they said bees do not fly in winter, I said it was dependant on temperatures.....I am right,now that I have bees I can prove it. How annoying not to be able to tell them !!

    I have not been fogging them with food grade mineral oil.
    I have been checking the sticky board under the hive and hae been finding only one or two mites per week- I check every sunday when I get home from work early afternoodn when it si still reasonably warm an they are still flying.
    I do get nervous about not treating them, but dont see the point if they dont have many mites.
     
  8. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I have opted for the plug in thingabobs that are supposed to make a noise annoying to rodents rather than set traps for them.
    I dont know if its working or not, but I havent seen them since.
    If only they werent such a nuisance and didnt pee everywhere, eat things they shouldnt and leave poop everywhere.
    I find myself missing these two and wonder why they were so different from other wannabe tenants.

    My bees are still alive and with this really warm winter, are often flying when I get home.
    When I look through the window into their hive, Ioften dont see any of them. According to the debrie on the bottom tray, they are clustering on the other side away from the window, closest to the entrance.
    I find this rather odd, I would have thought they would cluster Away from the entrance, but that is not what they are doing.

    Just about everything I read on bees basically says they would not survive without our help, that we should detemine what, when and how they should do things.
    I also read that a small colony like this one will not survive because it isnt big enough to stay warm.(thanks to the goddess for this warm winter is all I can say).
     
  9. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Not too sure how i managed to post that without hitting the 'post reply' button, havent quite finished.

    I paid Jack dog registration fees yesterday and asked if there was any discount for having a fully fenced section. There is as a thank you to owners whose dogs are less trouble for them- I wont tell them that Amy used to get out no matter what I did, she's gone now and Jack isnt interested in visiting the neighbours.
    Only problem is...they do an inspection and I am a little worried,probably quite needlessly, that they will notice the,ahem, not quite legal glasshouse.
    The special owners licence will only save $30 so I'm not too sure its worth the bother. On the other hand, $30 over the next 15 to 20 years adds up to a reasonable amount of dosh.
    On the other hand, I scored a glasshouse that would have cost me thousands.....hmmm
    I probably dont need to worry at least til January, when the books open again to apply for it.

    Winter is when I am supposed to be pondering my next move, working out my priorities for summer and ordering trees and seeds I am going to need.I am having trouble sitting still long enough to think let alone make a decision. Next year, I might take a break from the winter season and sit by the fire instead.

    I Have decided that I wasnt sure I could fit any more trees in, so I havent ordered any more. I still have alot of seed both bought as well as saved so I am not going to buy any of those this year either.
    The catelogue hasnt arrived yet from Kings seeds so I dont know what new and exciting things they have to offer that I might not be able to resist. I am afraid I may have developed an addiction to buying seed that I dont really need.
    We'll see.

    With the courtyard, so far I am still really happy with how it is. I was alittle worried that there would be big puddles or water pooling where I really didnt need it to be, but so far, there are just two little spots that do have Little puddles. We have had some impressive rain amongst the almost heatwaves (for this time of year).

    Just before I started work at the nursery for the winter season, I popped in to see my new neighbour who had built the really big shed. I got to check that out as well as his new driveway that he's been working on and spied a nice big pile of foot path paving stacked off to the side. Some nice local cut the footpath for him but didnt want the blocks. He doesnt want them but guess who danced for joy when they learnt they only needed to go collect and remove!!
    I think I will definitely be able to pave all the paths now.
    All part of my divide and conquer strategy in my war against convovulus.
    Now I just need to make time to collect these before some other poor needing soul beats me to them.
     
  10. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i have a different version of seed collecting problem (see post when
    i finish it in my roost). so i understand.

    and have been hauling bricks for some weeks now. luckily we have
    been able to borrow my brother's truck to haul them. well worth the
    effort as at least they don't rot and so the edges hold up longer... :)
     
  11. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    p.s. you can edit old posts now (past the 20 minutes the previous site limit).

    hope you are settling back into the winter work routine ok there? :)
     
  12. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    um,,,, I have been finding myself asking why the hell am I out here in the cold when I could be tucked up in front of the fire planning my next move or going over to the neighbour to pick up that lovely load of footpath paving just so I could make sure I Do have enough to finish the paths.
    Last week I thought for a split second that someone was throwing duvet inner fluff around and actually looked round to see who it was til I realised that the bit that landed next to me was melting!!!
    It was snow, not much of it but definitely fluffy snow.
    We dont normally get that stuff here, pity there wasnt enough to play in though, that would have been fun.

    We have also been having alot more rain than we have for some time and I am still happy with the courtyard. There are a few spots that get puddles but most have gone not long after the rain stops and none are deep enough to be troublesome and am Really happy with the woodshed.

    Now that the back wall has been redone, the driven rain its not soaking my firewood. I did think that maybe I didnt actually need to put the dividing wall in to make it a two bay shed. It did occur to me that I could have just had the two doors and filled it from one wall til full. When it was time to start using the wood, all I would have needed to do was open the door where the earliest lot was stored and work my way through to the other door.Something somebody else might find useful. My two bay system is working, my firewood is nice and dry and burning well.

    With all this extra rain we have been having, I have finally been able to see if my idea on regrading the driveway was working. Up until now, there just hadnt been any serious rain to be sure.
    There is One very shallow path down to the road, but no wash outs like it used to. There used to be three permanent trenches.
    I even stood in the rain to watch how much water flowed down this and find from how far up it was coming from.
    While it was near the top of the slope, it took a path more across the driveway rather than straight down, which would have helped keep it slow. The amount was almost unnoticeable even in heavy rain.
    The neighbour that shares the road access with me has a quite deep one carve out this winter, even though his part is alot flatter than mine., so I think I can say for sure that I got it right.

    All the feijoa fruit I left either on the tree or on the ground have all been eaten. I did see one little waxeye finch(?)-bird, snacking on one in the tree which was nice to see. There are a couple of skin bits on the ground but I doubt they will be there for long.
    I'm sure I have been repaid with free fert, perhaps that should be- the feijoa trees have been seeing as they did all the work.

    This afternoon I was at mums and the subject of getting chooks again came up. I'm still alitle bit wary of doing so in case they get hurt by Jack.
    I like having them around and for years they were just free ranged in the back yard. Poop at the back door was annoying though.
    We started tossing ideas around as to how this could all be resolved. Mum is abit worried about her two because hers dont have alot of greens at the moment. There run is quite big but they have access to all of it so of course everything gets eaten pretty much as soon as it sprouts.
    I pointed out that she didnt have to keep they in the run all the time, she could do a mini chook tractor and use that as a day run for them if she didnt want to keep them in it 24/7. She's thinking about it and I may have to add another project to my undeminishing list.
    When I walk around, I can see all these lovely places that chooks would just love to fossick in, then I remind myself why I made their pen, if only I they would stay in there.
     
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  13. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    My place may be going back to resembling Steptoes Junk yard very soon.
    I just found out that the friend I gave the rest of the glasshouse framing to has put their place up for sale. I did say to them that if they decided that they would not build the glasshouse then I would take it back as somebody else was interested in it too....only thing is that they arent ready to build anything yet either.
    I'll find out tomorow afternoon what the story is.......its now tomorrow and yes their place is on the market and yes, I can take it back when they know its sold, bit of a messy situation which is sad.

    Two more weeks and then I get to have a few days off before I start the second half of my winter season, this stint shouldnt be as long as last year thank goodness, the one last year wound up being 51/2 months all up and seriously interrupted my personal schedule.

    A friend has offered me the use of their propogation box, basically a box with a fluro light over it to raise my vegie seeds in it. I have been meaning to make one of these for ages-I saw this in the book 'Seed to seed' and at the time thought it would be a good idea but never got around to doing it. Maybe that should be on The List too.
    Actually we started with the dwarf pomegranate seeds which have started to sprout but nothing doing with the banana seed, which is disappointing, I really want these and I have orders from family and friends for these too.

    I bumped into my old nursery manager who I had given a rooster to and found out that they still have him. This is the one who quitely popped him in with the hens, making his wife think that he had arrived all by himself cos they had hens in need.
    I have decided to get a couple of hens and wondered if he would be able to help me out.
    Whle they are raising their own hens, they dont have any to spare at the moment but I am now on the waiting list for some pullets.
    I am looking foward to having chooks again.

    This year, I need to replace the hedge with a fence as the hedge is starting to die out due to lack of light now that my new neighbour has built that big shed.
    I didnt think it would cause any problems, but it most obviously has.

    So the game plan for this summer is get the paths all in place, pull out tthe hedge and build a fence to replace it with and get the glasshouse up and running; the woodchip should have broken down well enough by now.
    I did want to get the pizza oven and the BBQ that looks like a fireplace built in the courtyard too and build another beehive in the hopes that I will be able to get two up and running.
     
  14. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    there is always plenty to do that is for sure! :)
    i hope you have a shorter season too.
     

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