Archive | 2020-03-29

Beginning the Arch

I finally decided it was warm enough to unpack the garden arch I got for P’s memorial floral installation. I was less than pleased to see that there was a little rust, and that it was under the powder coat, so it hadn’t happened in storage or shipping. It wasn’t, however, enough to warrant sending back a big, 65 lb box, and I had to paint the arch anyway to match the fence panels, so I just cleaned it well with a wire brush, then wiped it down with mineral spirits. It was damp yesterday, so not ideal for painting, but I’m pretty good with spray paint–Christ knows I’ve had enough practice–and if it took a bit longer to dry, it didn’t matter because I can’t install it yet anyway.

Initial setup. Pinched my thumbnail once, and my pinky finger enough to draw blood, but overall, not bad. It looks black not only because of the shit lighting, but also because it’s brown-black. They called it “aged bronze” or something like that, but it’s almost exactly the same colour as my mascara, which is…brown black. The gates are crooked because the patio isn’t quite level, and because I made zero effort to adjust them. I’ll have to re-do everything once it’s in place, so not worth the effort.

I propped up a fence panel beside it, just to get an idea how it will look. I definitely like it more than the “matching” panels that would have cost me at least $500. I was going to hold off on these because shipping was $75, but R and Dad sent me the money so I could get them before they were sold out or something. Side by side, I could see a definite difference in the colour, but I’d already got a couple of cans of Canyon Satin Black paint, so that was fine. I think I’m going to be quite happy with this!

Once I started painting, it was easy to see the difference, and with black right beside it, the brown-black looks very brown.

Finished. I did order more paint because I used both cans, but that’s a just in case for touch-ups. It looks the same in a photo from a distance, but it perfectly matches the finish on the panels now.

I’m not sure whether I’ll go over and start working out where, exactly, the arch will go (depends upon how the panels will space), or whether I’ll do the laundry and sit on my fat arse today, but there’s no particular rush. I charged my batteries to mow the lawn, too, but whether or not that gets done remains to be seen; lawn mowing is not my favourite chore (I actually resent having to do it), and it’s not one I’m anxious to get started for 2020.

This entry was posted on 2020-03-29.

Spring Things

Just a few…I was taking photos so send to R because they’d got 6″ of snow, and I figured she could use some spring.

Forsythia. This is the little string I got for free with some plant order or another. I stuck it in the ground with no soil amendment, and then the landscapers ran over it with a mini skid-steer when they were leveling the spot where the old shed had been. It refused to die, so even though it’s not a native, it’s earned a place here.

Something broke the top off the biggest (relatively speaking) of my struggling Eastern White Pine trees. I don’t know that I’ve salvaged it, and it was a pretty quick n’ dirty bandage job, but I did try.

Spicebush flowers don’t look like much, but I’ll bet the bees found them anyway!

Elderberry leafing out nicely. Catbirds will appreciate this in a little while.

Virginia bluebell, which refuses to die in spite of the fact that junk plants have overrun what was supposed to be a flowerbed down by the creek, and also the fact that I don’t water anything down there, ever. Won’t be long before I’ll see their pretty purple flowers.

Allegheny spurge by the pond. Again, doesn’t look like much, but again, I’ll bet the bees noticed it anyway.

This one is from yesterday, when I was tidying up the front yard. I get a lot of fungus there because the roots from whatever trees the previous owner had cut down have all started to rot really nicely. I pulled two pieces out of the front flowerbed, and found a little surprise in one of them. Aptly named Pleasing Fungus Beetle, because he was indeed in fungus, and I was rather pleased to see him!

This entry was posted on 2020-03-29.

Mason Bee Time!

I’ve been working from home due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order (though we’re exempted by virtue of providing parts for essential industries, but no, thanks!) and there’s a lot going on in spring, so I’m a bit behind, but…bees!

I came to get my laptop on the 20th so I could get my remote connection set up, and noticed some of the mason bees had started emerging from the little yellow house. It was pretty warm, and they were okay until they hit the cold concrete; then, they started getting sluggish. I had to leave and go back to work, so I didn’t take pictures (not worth posting, anyway, since it was grey and dismal and they’re small), but when I got home, I hunted them all down and relocated them to the patio flowerbed. These would have been the males because they emerge first.

On the 25th, the ladies started making their appearance. Warming up in the sun on the yellow house.

Warming up on my hand, which was a lot more fun for me. 🙂

So fuzzy!

Also adorable.

Lookit his little eyes! <3

Fuzz on a hyacinth.

I was concerned because when the bees started to emerge, there wasn’t much available; even by the 26th, the crabapple tree had not yet opened its blooms.

They knew better than I, though, because later that day, the blooms began to open.

By the 28th (though I actually took this today), the tree was in full bloom.

I had purchased fancy (expensive), purpose-built mason bee tubes. I was going to build an enclosure, but the bees were so much earlier than I expected, all I could do was grab the yellow-est thing I could find to hold them for now. My yellow paint arrived yesterday, though, so if I can find something to use, I’ll make them a proper house.

Me: Here you go, guys–actual mason bee tubes!

Bees: Nah, we’ll just be using the old house.

Sigh. I know there are tiny larvae of some sort in that house, and they aren’t mason bee larvae, but I need to leave the house nearby because they look for it; as if they know where they were “born”. I want them to use the cardboard tubes, and a couple did check them out, but I was tidying up the front yard yesterday and didn’t spend enough time sitting there to determine whether they were actually using the new tubes, or whether they were checking them out and subsequently ignoring them. We’ll see, I guess; it’s not up to me, it’s up to them!

This entry was posted on 2020-03-29.