Monday, June 13, 2011
Heat, lots of heat, and no rain. Scooter could be in his air-conditioned foyer, but insists on being out in this miserable weather and I wish he wouldn't. He's not young. But he refuses to leave his territory unsupervised, so he moves from shade spot to shade spot. The shade isn't that much better than the sun, especially when you're encased in (rapidly shedding) fur. Stubborn little cuss.
Here's what's going on around here : fire prevention. Maybe "fire defense" is a better term.
Our house sits between two wooded lots. The lot on our west side is right up against the road, and the bike path.
As a treehugger type, I never thought I could dislike a bicycle path, and to do so is selfish of me, but being next to it sux.
What used to be a quiet village road's end, past any village destination points, has become just the most sought-after parking spot ever. People haul their bicycles to our neighborhood by car, park the car, get on the bikes and cycle across the creek bridge to the state park.
That is not a diagram of a tooth. It's meant to represent our house, yard, and driveway. It's not a reliable map. Scale and relative placement are very very ...very... approximate.
There's often a whole row of cars on the shoulder next to the wooded lot -- where I've marked it as a ...um... parking area -- as though we were havin' a big ole party at our house.
They are in fact crashers into our personal space.
For one thing, problems with our service have made us pretty sure some are/were wi-fi thieves. Across the 2-lane paved street is an abandoned development project where cyclists and others also park, and it's closer to our house than my map makes it look. They could catch the signal with a booster, and maybe even without one. Sometimes there's a car or SUV sitting right ON the bike path, as though it were a pull-over spot, and that's so near our house they could get an even stronger signal. Yes, we have tightened security and are now thwarting them.
Many of the real cyclists treat this dirt road like it must be Nowheresville, and leave their cars halfway out into the road blocking a lane. They dump trash out of their car doors. They pee.
I do not love nature lovers. They don't seem to love nature much themselves.
The food wrappers and empty cans are bad enough, but a cigarette butt is something to fear. The drought is becoming a real problem, and those woods are full of dead branches and underbrush. All it would take is one jerk to flick his butt on the roadside. That could start a fire that would take the house we live in.
There's not a lot we can do except to trim trees and brush back and make it a little harder for a fire in those woods to jump our driveway, over to the house. So that's what we're doing, and it's hot, tiring work. Such projects are for cooler weather but now's when we need to do it.
It takes this lovely new lethal weapon, an extension limb saw with a nice pruning shear attached. Larry used the saw on a couple limbs, but the pruning shears are so sharp that they take fair-sized limbs down, so we mostly used those. A professional with a truck is going to haul all this material off for us.
Along with the heat and the exertion, we're also doing this job during (augh!) mosquito season, but let me recommend these nice plants:
As patio plants they do a pretty good job of discouraging the little bastards, and even make a nice natural repellent to rub on yourself -- though if we each took a leaf every day, the plants would be denuded fast, so I'm still using the nasty chemical repellent, and showering it off right away.