Saturday morning I went out to feed the birds, and noticed that the water level in the pond had dropped by 5-6 inches overnight. This most likely indicates a leak in the rill or in the hose from the pump to the top of the rill. So I unplugged the rill, and filled the pond back up. I then spent about six hours moving rock. 1500 pounds of it, an armload at a time. (I would have preferred to be weeding the gardens, but after nearly 2 inches of rain, they were too wet and mushy to work in.) The water level in the pond has not dropped significantly since I unplugged the rill, so that narrows down the location of the leak. We then wandered off to a home improvement store to see what they had in the way of retaining block and caps. Rebuilding the rill has been on the 'want to do sometime' list for a while, and it just moved much farther up the list.

J found a frog lurk while tearing the flagstones out of the front of the rill - there were three frogs under the top level rock. One of them scampered off while J was getting me, and the other two got relocated into the pond. I found a toad hole (with a toad in it!) when I was moving rocks. I picked up a rock, and the sand underneath blinked at me. Erm. So I left that area alone for a few hours and moved other rocks. Eventually, the toad warmed up enough that he wandered off a little ways (although still in the way), and then J relocated him to under one of the shrubberies by the pond.

Sunday, I left the house at 0930 and didn't return for more than a change of clothes until nearly 1900. I had a concert in Novi, and had to leave for that by 1300 or so, and between church and leaving for the concert I had to take DB some food. DB was in the middle of an 18+ hour day, and due to staffing, he couldn't leave. (it's an easy enough gig - unlock the doors and turn on everything at 6am, turn off everything and lock back up at midnight or so, the rest of the time just be in the booth in case something goes wrong - but he had to be there all day.)

The concert (at St James Catholic Church) went pretty well, I thought. People seemed to like it - I got lots of positive comments as I was working teardown - and it's always nice to play for an appreciative audience. The space is very very "live" so it was hard for us to not be too loud, and the setup was odd, so it was more difficult than usual to hear across the band. We did one piece that was mostly woodwind choir, and I just locked in on Damien and didn't worry about what I could/could not hear -- by the time any sound got back to me it was late anyway.... Teardown and loadout took longer than usual - there was more percussion than we usually haul to summer gigs, and they actually rented a trailer for the stand racks. By the time we got back to Harrison for loadout, we were down to a handful of people. I got to show J how to get Al into his cabinet (Al is the big bass drum that the FCB bought a few years ago, and he lives in a locked cabinet where he can't be damaged by careless high school drummers).
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So, we've known for a while that we have at least one raccoon who climbs the post to the "house" birdfeeder and flips the top open so he can get the birdseed inside it. I don't know if it was a different one last night, or if it was pissed off, but last night it ripped the plexiglass side out of the feeder. There are grooves cut in the wood of the feeder for the plexi to slide into, and the wood on the outside was split right off.

We've had that feeder up for 15 years at least, repainted the roof of it at least once, replaced a roof panel once, and it was finally done in by a brat of a raccoon. I was able to wedge the side in, but I'll have to replace the feeder, probably today.

In other news, Wednesday afternoon I went out to weed, and was almost thwarted by dry ground. The east bed dries out quickly, and the weeds I was trying to pull have lots of very fine roots that don't like coming out of dry ground. I had to work each plant out, rather than just pulling like I can when the ground is soft. And then it rained Wednesday evening and Thursday, so it should be easy to work. It's also not even 50F, and that's too cold for me to weed.

Wednesday evening I went off to Saline HS to this year's collaboration concert, even though I had no kid on stage. Damien was directing, and I thought that Saline's bands were very good at Festival this year. (It's really odd, going to a concert that I don't stack-and-rack afterwards.) It was a pretty good concert -- SHS had invited Livonia Churchill HS out for this year's concert. I don't like LCHS' director (bad experiences at Festival), but I can't deny that she's a good director and good with her kids. Damien did HR Reynolds' O Magnum Mysterium with Saline's band, and it was gorgeous. (Ok, I'm biased because I really like that piece anyway, and any chance I have to revel in those glorious chords I'll take.) He then did Saint-Saen's Pas Redouble with the combined bands. The FCB had just done this piece with a guest conductor, and he had added in an accelerando at the end. Damien apparently liked it, because he had the mass band do it that way. :)
There has been a pair of bluebirds wintering over in the yard. He is very blue. And he's really territorial -- yesterday he was hopping at the "other bluebird" in the house and on SR's car. Today, it's overcast, so the "other bluebird" isn't around.

Yesterday I saw three grey squirrels. They're smaller than the big brown ones. Today, I saw a couple of small reddish squirrels. I don't know whether they're young brown squirrels, a different coloring of the grey ones, or a separate species. One of them is currently mocking Ji, sitting on the deck rail with his back to the house. after making eye contact.

There was a black bird at the seed bell this morning -- too small to be a crow, but I didn't see the red flashes of a redwinged blackbird, although that may have been the light.

I have smelled annoyed skunk three times in the last couple of days, but it doesn't seem as though any of them are deceased.

There is still too much snow (and wet) to walk the gardens and see what's survived/died/sprouted. At the rate of melt, though, I suspect I'll be able to do a preliminary assessment this weekend.
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(no subject)

Mar. 20th, 2014 10:15 pm
jennlk: (reticulated iris)
In today's sign of spring, I saw a chipmunk digging in the birdseed under one of the hanging feeders. The grackles and starlings are back, and I saw a quartet of robins last week sometime.

In another sign of spring, DB was able to come in the front door after school -- he still had about three steps in an ankle deep snowdrift, but considering that it was halfway to his knees and halfway down the sidewalk when he left this morning.....

I saw the hawk today as well, although I don't know if he actually caught anything. He was perching on one of the birdseed hooks, and then one of the cats romped across the den and spooked him off.

(no subject)

Mar. 11th, 2012 01:35 pm
jennlk: (tulips on blue)
spring-y things!

Over 60F, sun's out, and it really feels like spring out there. A light breeze is blowing, and we've got some of the windows open a little bit. There's a couple of house finches starting to show their spring colors, and I saw a flock of wild turkeys a couple of days ago. There is a single iris blooming in the side bed. It looks as though some of the tulip leaves have been nibbled off, probably by bunnies or other rodents (the ground is soft enough to show deer prints if it was them). There's a big dark frog hanging out in the pond, and I saw a butterfly!

(no subject)

Mar. 11th, 2012 01:35 pm
jennlk: (tulips on blue)
spring-y things!

Over 60F, sun's out, and it really feels like spring out there. A light breeze is blowing, and we've got some of the windows open a little bit. There's a couple of house finches starting to show their spring colors, and I saw a flock of wild turkeys a couple of days ago. There is a single iris blooming in the side bed. It looks as though some of the tulip leaves have been nibbled off, probably by bunnies or other rodents (the ground is soft enough to show deer prints if it was them). There's a big dark frog hanging out in the pond, and I saw a butterfly!

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