Back Up

The Chickadee house is back up for the Winter.

Up Again

Say what? For the Winter?

Yah. We have seen the chickadees checking out the house all Winter long. They will stop by and look in the door, then move on. We want them to remember that the house is still there.

We put up one just one house this time to discourage those wrascally wrens from trying to take over the neighborhood again. We shall see how that goes.

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Book Review

I usually don’t do book reviews on this blog. But this book was such a shocker that I thought I would pass it on. If you had told me a month ago that I would read a laugh-out-loud book about how lexicographers write dictionaries, I might have used the word “bonkers”. But here it is. I really did laugh out loud at this book.


Kory Stamper takes on the “peevers” who won’t let go of the nit-picking (incorrect) rules that they learned as children. She explains why the words “ain’t” and “irregardless” are, indeed, words and are therefore in the dictionary. Her excellent use of the language makes the book entertaining.

Anyway, give it a look.

Um. Is that correct English?

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Dees and Wrens

Last Spring we had two pairs of birds staying in our birdhouses, one pair of Chickadees and one pair of Wrens. As it turns out, those two types of birds have different nesting habits. So I thought I would post some photos of the nests that I found during this cleanout.

Anyway, now that the frost is on the punkin’ (well sort of…. we are getting there.. sad, hunh?… where did Summer go?) it is time to clean out the houses to get them ready for the next season. Here are the houses, side by side.

The houses

The house that the Wrens shacked up in is on the left, and the house that the Chickadees used is on the right. I started by removing one side of the Chickadee house. Here is what I found.


It is the usual moss-padded nest that Chickadees like to make. They do like their comforts.

The sticks are from the Wrens, who tried to take over the property after the Chickadees had flown the coop. We discouraged that so that they would not think that they own the whole neighborhood. They didn’t get very far filling this house with sticks.

The black spot in the middle is a spider who chose a lousy place to spin a web and didn’t make it. Here is a closeup.


Eww. At least it has expired so I didn’t have to fight with it to get it out of there.

So I cleaned out all the junk.


Then  I screwed it back together again.


Next, I tackled the Wren house. Here is what I found inside.


Wrens like to make tall piles of sticks for their nest. Looks like a lot of work for such tiny birds. It doesn’t look very comfortable either. I think I am liking the Chickadee plan better.

I didn’t spy any spiders this time. I cleaned it out.


Then I put it back together.


And here they are, ready for another season next Spring.


We leave the Chickadee house up all Winter because the Chickadees come back often and check it out. I guess that is like renewing the lease or something.

When did I become a housekeeper for birds?

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No Tooths

We just plucked this from the garden.

No Bites

Gorgeous tomato. No tooth marks. I think we finally exported the miscreant who was eating our garden.

And that’s the tooth.

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Caught the Momma

Our Havahart® trap has been busy lately. We caught Bugs again….


But then, after reading a bit about bunnies, we found out that they do not even like tomatoes. It appears that the tomato-eating culprit is this guy….


The ‘possum is less picky about what it will eat, and they do like tomatoes. This is a young one.

But then last night we found the Mother Lode…… literally.


We caught the Momma! This creature was not pleased at all at being stuck in that cage, and she even peed in the car to show us how disappointed she was. Fortunately, we had put down a plastic bag under the cage since ‘possums have a reputation for doing that sort of thing.

She was released into the wild to find her joeys and have a better life. The wetlands will certainly provide better options for them than our back yard does.

According to the interwebs, a group of ‘possums is called a “passel”. Well, we have certainly had a passel o’ ‘possums lately.

“Passel”. What a cool word. Too bad it doesn’t have a ‘postrophe in it.

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First Tomato is Ripe!

We have our first ripe tomato of the season!


but thanks to the bunny….. it looks like that.

We are starting to sympathize with this guy,

Wascally Wabbit

I think that we might cut the bunny spit off of the tomato and eat it anyway.


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Got Another One

We caught another one in the trap, but this bunny turned out to be a ‘possum.

'Possum fer sure

Off we go to the woods again.


These suckers are fast. This guy is just a blur.


‘Possum is such a cool word. Like in the song…..

'Possum in a 'Simmon Tree
Raccoon on the groun'
Raccoon says, "You son-of-a-gun.
Shake some 'simmons down".

What makes it cool is the ‘postrophy. That tune has ‘postrophe’s all through it.

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This blog has been quiet recently because I have been busy building a bench to put in the mud room to have something to sit on while we change our shoes.

Since we first moved into the house, we have had a makeshift “bench”, of sorts.

That is not a bench

Those are our patio chairs.

Now that I have retired, I have finally found time to build a proper bench. Here it is.

That's a bench

Of course, since I am a bit crazy, I dovetailed the whole thing together.


I think I am warming up to this retirement thing.

Hmmmm.. I am feeling a need to spend more time in our patio chairs now…. out on the patio.

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Back From Maine

We just got back from another vacation in Maine. It was a good trip, with the usual strange glitches…. for example the surprise side trip to Rio.

Here is the story behind the Rio trip.

One night, I woke up in the dark and wondered what time it was. So I picked up my watch and tried to turn on the back light to see the time. I pushed every button I could think of to turn on that light. No matter what I did, I could not get the light to come on, so I put it back on the night stand and went back to sleep.

When I woke up early the next morning, the watch thought we were in Rio.


The time was wrong too.

I had to use my new Smart Phone to download the instructions for the watch in order to put us back in Maine.

And then, there was the mouse in the car. Who ever gets a mouse in their car?

On Saturday morning we noticed on the way out to walk the breakwater that “somebody” had shredded the tissues we left in the car and made a nest out of them. We assumed that it was a mouse. The innkeepers loaned us their shop vac to clean up the mess, and we scoured the inside of the car for an hour looking for that mouse. We did not find it. We had the cleanest car in 7 states, and no signs of a mouse. So we figured that it had run away.

Just to be safe, the innkeepers loaned us a mouse trap to put in the car. Take a gander at this thing.

It has teeth.

Yikes! That has teeth! Is it just me, or does that trap bear a spooky resemblance to the cartoon trap I drew in my previous post?

Anyway, that trap means business. And, in fact, the next morning we found the miscreant mouse expired in the jaws of the trap. I will spare you the trauma of seeing the photo of the hapless creature with its paws in the air, but the trap solved the mouse problem.

As I said, other than some strange side trips, the Maine trip was good. Here’s a photo of the view from the Inn.

The View

Not bad.

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Remember the cute little bunny in my previous post? You know, the one who was rumored to have been eating the flowers?

This guy.


Well, somebody said the word “Trap“, and this image immediately popped into my head.


But then, in the end, this is what showed up.


That is a Havahart® trap. All this trap does is close the door on the critter. It doesn’t eat him.

After a few days of the tricky bunny making off with the goodies and leaving the trap open, we finally snagged him.


So, off we went… up the road ,around the corner, across Main Street, half way to New Hampshire (well OK halfway to the next town)….. to the conservation area.

Takin' a walk

And we let the little guy go. He took off like a bunny.

Run, Rabbit

See him?


Looks like there is a lot of grass to eat out there.

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