Thursday, August 26, 2010

Semi-lazy days of summer


Today has been beautiful, at least by my standards:  cooler (about 70), breezy, high fluffy clouds and lots of sun.  The kids and I had a laid-back morning and early afternoon, then my sister-in-law came to take our daughter to the NY State Fair.  Our daughter was beside herself after lunch, waiting for her aunt.  I'm sure they'll have a wonderful time.  The agenda includes seeing as many horses as possible, visiting the Webkinz Truck, and consuming some fair food.

Our son and I went for a nice walk on a trail beside the railroad track that goes through town.  It's a main line, quite busy, which suits our train-loving son just fine.  In fact, he doesn't complain about walking for exercise when we walk on the "rail trail."  He found an old railroad spike to add to his collection, and we saw three trains - two long freights, and an Amtrak passenger express.  We also stopped at our local Tractor Supply store, and he bought himself little die cast models of the "General Lee" and a sheriff's car.  A quick stop at Aldi's to stock up for the weekend, and now we're home.  I'm making Kraft Mac 'n Cheese for his dinner, he's on the computer watching Lego videos on YouTube, and as far as he's concerned, life is really GOOD today.

My other accomplishment for today was buying and setting the post for my new bird feeder setup.  I dug the hole and got it set, and screwed in the base and "candelabra" on top of the 4x4  to mount the feeders.  The central, big feeder is back up, but I'll have to wait for the next paycheck before I add the arms and the other feeders.  I've got a niger feeder for the finches, and a peanut feeder.  I'll post pictures when it's all done.  Still, the birds found the new feeder setup right after I finished it and went inside, and they seem to approve.  The new feeder sits higher, and I can see it more easily from the window.

Last night I did some TLC around the front of our house.  The ornamental weeping cherry was overgrown, so I gave it a haircut and pulled some weeds.  I'm not a big fan of weeping cherry trees, and I wouldn't have planted one in my own design, but this one was already established when we bought the house, and nice enough that I decided to keep it.  Thankfully, it blooms white instead of sickly candy pink, and its trunk is thick enough to show the lovely, shiny, almost coppery patina many cherries develop at maturity.  It's main drawbacks are that it needs to be trimmed a couple times each year, and it's a Japanese beetle magnet.  Next year I might have to break down and spray the tree with an organic insecticide to control them.  Also, next year I'm considering removing the two large junipers from in front of the porch - they've outgrown their space, and dominate the front of the house.  Again, I would not have planted them there, but when you buy a house you make do with the landscaping until you can make the changes you want or need.  There's always another project, another plant, another change - and that keeps gardening fun.