Monday, May 15, 2017

Porch Time And Other Sundries (w/pics)

I’ve been hearing a whippoorwill about dark every evening as the pooch and I porch-sit. I duly reported it to one of the wildlife folks who’s doing a survey on whippoorwill numbers. I guess their numbers are down, which doesn’t surprise me. I suspect they do best with a mixture of woods and fields, and a lot of one-time fields around here are woods these days. I may (or may not) have mentioned that the resident mockingbird does a poor imitation of the whippoorwill, giving an occasional “poorwill” at irregular intervals.

I know the bob whites have disappeared from this part of the state since we no longer have any small farmers who do row-cropping. The bob white was a southern bird that moved north with the clearing of the land. As the small farmers have disappeared and the state has returned to forest, the bob white has gone the way of those small farmers.

The tom turkey beyond my neighbor’s house is still gobbling just before dark at night and just before good light of a morning. I don’t know if he’s hoping to stir up a lusty hen somewhere, claim his territory or just mouthing off for the heck of it.

I’ve been hearing some Indian hen’s (pileated woodpeckers) in my woods lately. This morning, as the Mighty Dachshund and I enjoyed the start of the new day, one silently streaked through the side yard not twenty feet from us. Considering how loud they can be, I’m surprised it wasn’t doing its Woody Woodpecker imitation.

My four-o’clocks are in full bloom, what few there are. I set out a couple roots from my paternal grandparents’ place before my infamous aunt dozed everything years ago. I noticed my first iris is blooming, too right amongst the four-o’clocks. The iris came from my old home place, an 1865 farm house still standing and being fixed up by its current owner. My little wild rose is blooming just outside the iris bed; at least I suppose it’s a wild one.

Click images to enlarge.

Cleaning around the front porch and in the basement the other day, I came across a couple things that I don’t need anymore, so might as well sell. One is a set of brick tongs; I’m beyond such work anymore. The other is a gizmo that lets you use a ball hitch on the three-point hitch of a farm tractor. I used it a lot when I was still logging and sawmilling, but I’m not doing that anymore. Besides, I had to sell my tractor to have money to live on while I was going to truck driving school. Considering that I only drove a little over a year before my heart problems came on, that schooling looks like wasted effort now.

I recently mounted the handle off an old Goldblat concrete finishing trowel to the corner porch post for my wife to grab as she steps up on the porch. Besides being a convenience for her, it’s a reminder to me of the little hardware store where I bought it many years ago and the kindly old gentleman who ran it. I wouldn’t have cannibalized the tool, except that the blade had some sort of finish on it that’s now peeling off, making the concrete rougher instead of smoother. The longer float is doing the same, I might as well save the handle on it, too. For some reason, they’d bored in from both sides, leaving less than 3/8 of an inch of wood for the screw to come against. I plugged and glued both sides, so now there’s about 1-3/4 inches of wood holding when she grabs the handle for stability.

I don’t pitch ANYTHING that I think I can use. I guess it comes from being raised by parents who grew up during the Depression. © 2017


Sunnybrook Farm said...

Those plants look like spider warts, we have some like those and there are a different variety at Lowes that have bright yellow green stalks and leaves with blue flowers. There is a smaller wild version but I can't think of the name they call them.

Lady Locust said...

I love that handle on the post! Also, I'm impressed with the fact that you know the sounds of various birds so well. I know a few and recognize the sounds of certain ones but not sure which bird is doing the singing.

Gorges Smythe said...

I've heard of Spider Warts, SF, we may even have them in my area, I'm not sure.

I only know a few, LL, but I'd like to know more. You can find the songs of birds online if you want to put the time into it.

c w swanson said...

I enjoy your "around the house" tales. Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

Gorges Smythe said...

I know what you mean, CW. As much politics as I post, I get sick of it my own self.