Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘June

Birthday Squared

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In a classic demonstration of Cyndie’s gift of thinking about others, the planned driveway celebration of her birthday this year was secretly morphed into a surprise celebration of her brother, Steve’s 60th birthday which occurred in April when the family was unable to gather. Cyndie collected thoughts about Steve from all the family and a list was made of the top sixty things we love about the new sexagenarian.

Each thought was numbered and randomly distributed to those present so we could read them aloud to the almost safely distanced tribe.

It was a lovely display of family love on a fabulously lovely June evening that became a birthday squared celebration.

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Written by johnwhays

June 5, 2020 at 7:51 am

Posted in Chronicle

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Bird Pests

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June seems to be the time of year when the birds really make pests of themselves down at the barn. They are becoming pests because they are making nests. There is a starling that has taken a real liking to one of the downspouts from the gutter, plugging a short horizontal section between two elbows.

DSCN4801eI tried to flush it out last night while trying to take apart the sections so I could remove the nest. I didn’t really want to be up on the ladder when the section popped open with a protective momma bird suddenly exposed. The fact that it wouldn’t try to get away from all the banging and shaking I was doing made me think all the more there might be eggs present.

I finally bit the bullet and yanked it apart. The bird still didn’t fly away. From the looks of things, it was caught on something between the bottom cutout in the horizontal gutter and the first elbow. The poor thing couldn’t free itself even if it wanted to.

I suddenly felt guilty for all that banging I had done to scare it away.

In hopes of avoiding any aggression from the exposed side, I climbed into the paddock and from that position, removed the last screw keeping the elbow connected to the gutter. The starling was gone in a split second, flying off in a direction I couldn’t see.

A custom gutter-downspout-shaped nest

A custom gutter-downspout-shaped nest

Poor Delilah was beside herself with urgent desire for a chance to “assist” me with extricating the bird. I had her leashed to a fence post nearby while I worked. I feel like she gives me such a look of disappointment when I just let creatures go free like I did with this bird.

I can perceive her saying, “What are you doing! You let it get away!” with extreme incredulity.

She seemed to know it was trapped and so fervently wanted to just run up the ladder and offer it a helping paw. More likely, a not so helpful jaw, in all honesty.

Now it’s time to up my level of intensity in the project of bird-proofing the downspout. The plastic netting I tried last year turned out to be woefully inadequate. Next up, a plastic wedge-shaped screen that boasts “Revolutionary Patented Design Eliminates Downspout Clogs!

Cyndie picked it up for me from a home improvement store on her way home from an event because I had texted her about the previously-unplanned-but-now-urgent need.

Meanwhile, something that looks like a pigeon keeps making a nest over the large sliding doors. That one’s a lot easier to dispatch. Seems like every time we open the doors, a couple of eggs drop to the ground.

I figure the birds think we are the ones that become pests at this time of year.

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Written by johnwhays

June 1, 2016 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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Short Week

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DSCN4793eMay comes to a close today on the first day of a shortened work week. We rolled into the driveway yesterday from the lake in decent time, successfully avoiding getting swept up by a speed trap in the middle of a passing zone.

Peeve: When drivers speed up as they reach a passing zone, and then slow down again at the end of it. Their slow speed is frustrating for me, but their fast speed in the passing zone forces me to really exceed the limit if I hope to get around them. The added factor of being policed for speed in the short sections with an extra passing lane further inhibits my ability to squeak past the slower-downers.

Before we left the lake, I dug up about 15 trillium plants to bring home with us. Upon arriving to Wintervale, our agenda was to get the transplants in the ground as quickly as possible. Our plan went off without a hitch. Now all we need to do is wait about a year to find out if they are survivors or not.DSCN4792e

One flowering plant that looks to be doing very well at home right now is the clematis vine that is on one of our trellis arches by the back deck. It is very photogenic when it is in bloom.

Our animals seemed very glad to see us again and gave us a good amount of affectionate attention. The lawn already needs mowing again and the pine trees are starting to show some significant new growth sprouts.

It feels very much like everything is ready for the arrival of the month of June. It’s the birthday month around here, as everyone but Julian turns another year older in the 6th month.

Makes it feel like more than a short week. It feels like it’s been a short year!

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Written by johnwhays

May 31, 2016 at 6:00 am

Hello June

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DSCN3521eWhat took you so long to get here, June? We’ve been waiting for you to arrive. Of course, the clematis vine climbing our trellis didn’t wait for you at all. The flowers on it seem more than happy with their situation (despite the recent threats of overnight frost that keep happening), and began blossoming some time ago.

June is a big birthday month around our house, and it is also when I gather with somewhere around 120 like-minded bicyclists for a week of riding and tent camping. Oh, and eating. We do a lot of eating.

I was able to get out on Saturday for a warmup bike ride of 43-miles with Julie and Anand, both of whom I will see again in 12 days when our week of riding begins. Other than one annoying click from somewhere in the drive train of my bike that appeared during the second half of our excursion, my bicycle seems ready for the journey.

My body, on the other hand, is a little more of a question. I’m hoping that just getting that one preliminary day of significant mileage will help me to feel somewhat prepared for the adventure ahead. It’s certainly better than nothing.

The only thing left to do is prepare my appetite for the trip. Do you think I need to do any work on that? No, that won’t be necessary. How early can you start the carbo-loading routine before a big event?

Come on, June, bring it on! Despite my surprise that you arrive today, I’m ready to dive in to whatever it is that you have in store.

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Written by johnwhays

June 1, 2015 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with , , , ,