Thursday, January 26, 2012

More birdhouse perils

One mullet birdhouse went up...

...and then the other mullet birdhouse went up.

It was completely uneventful getting both of them up and that made me very, very happy...confident even. Those two houses looked good despite me having a hard time figuring out what straight was (even with a level) because I don't think one tree out there grows straight up.

But when I tried putting this birdhouse up, the tree immediately started to pour out sap as soon as I drilled a hole for the bolt that would hang it. The sap just gushed away. My confidence was gushing away too....panic had moved in.

That oak tree was shooting out so much sap that after a couple hours I took the birdhouse down because it was as sopping wet as the tree. This was horrible. What was going on? This has been an odd winter (all winters are odd to tell you the truth) what with day temperatures in the 40s and 50s and sometimes 60s and night temperatures in the 10s and 20s and 30s. Sap flows when the weather sets up like that but why this one tree and not the others....and why oh why would it not stop?

A couple weeks later, it was still leaking. I wasn't sure what I could do at this point...I was kind of thinking about putting a tampon in it. :-/

But rather than do that (!!!), I decided to wait...and hope that that tree figures out a way to heal itself soon. In the meantime, I put up the birdhouse I had removed earlier and hung it high on the hill...on a tree that stayed dry once I drilled a hole in it. If any other tree gushed like that one oak, that would be it for me regarding the drilling of any future holes in any future tree. It's not like the birds out there need my birdhouses anyway because there are plenty of dead hollow trees for cavity nesting birds to use for their nests. Makes me feel awful hurting a tree...I just don't want to risk doing that again.

But now confident with another birdhouse successfully put up without a tree crying about it, it was time to put up my very last birdhouse.

It was such a pretty day. Although the earth was brown and there was still ice on parts of the creek, the sky was a glorious blue and the temperature was in the.....60s! Fabulous.

That last birdhouse went up uneventfully....exactly what I was hoping for....and then I dropped (!!!!!!!?????!!!!!) my ratchet wrench.....directly down into the creek. Well, what's the big deal in that? Well, take a look at where my eye level is and where that cedar tree is in the distance. That's kind of high up.

And I had dropped my wrench in a wild part of the creek that I had never set foot on before...because the sides of the creek are steep from the top all the way down to the water. There are no flat areas on the banks (what banks?) to walk on. I also imagine lots of snakes hiding in and around all the rocks in the creek bed too. I couldn't get down the slope where I had just put up the birdhouse, it was too overgrown and too steep so I had to find a flatter area to cross the creek and then make my way back again to where the wrench was lying...

...on the thawing ice just a little bit beyond this tree. I have to admit it was kind of exciting because I had never been in that part of the creek before. Bo smartly stayed on the other side of the creek and distressingly cried and whimpered but Mary followed right behind me (with her 6 foot branch she kept whacking me with) while we made our way across the rock and ice and cold water to get to that darn wrench.

But hurray, it was retrieved! And if Mary and I could figure a way to easily navigate ourselves across the creek on the flatter parts ahead of us.... we could celebrate with some canine Costco confections once we got ourselves back to the "treatmobile." Which we did.

It was such a pretty day and I finally had all of those birdhouses up (three went up last year, nine went up this year!). What a great feeling.

When I drive to my land in Kansas, I cross the Kaw River and always think about stopping and taking a photo but before I complete that thought, I have already crossed the river. The sky had been beautiful all day...and when I stopped my car on the bridge because I had preplanned to do just that, the view of the setting sun was exquisite. A perfect ending to the completion of this year's birdhouse making and hanging project.

One last thought about birdhouses (probably because it took such a long time to get them put up and I still can't believe I'm finally done, done, done)...

Somebody has already expressed an interest in moving into this birdhouse I put up a couple weeks ago...or maybe they already have.

I had checked the other two woodpecker houses I put up last year to see if the interiors needed cleaning...which they did(!!!!!) maybe this birdhouse will see some baby flickers (or whatever was hatched in those other two birdhouses) this spring too. :-)


Pix at Under the Oaks said...

That was one busy day Maria! I have to get out of the house this morning for an appointment. I am coming back to read again and comment. I gots stuff to say. That crying tree would have done me in, I'd a been cryin' too. A tampon! You funny!!!

Maria said...

Pix-That wasn't just one day. I WISH. Things just go wrong so if I could get two birdhouses up in one day, that would be a very successful day. That post was probably a couple weekends worth....feels like it too when I try to reread it. That is one long (and rambling) post but I just wanted to get everything I had to say about birdhouses DONE so I can move on to thinking about something else. Isn't that crying tree something? I cringe just thinking about it and hope that it's back to its cheerful self by now. Guess I'll find out this weekend. Maybe a box of kleenex would be more appropriate for the poor thing. :-/

Leenie said...

Holy cow! Call the E.M. Trees! You must have struck an artery. I've never heard of a tree bleeding like that.

The birdhouses look super. I hope your neighborhood urban development and brings in lots of new and colorful neighbors.

Good on you for going after that wrench. That sounds like something crazy I would do. The sunset photo is a winner.

Maria said...

Leenie- That's exactly how I felt...that I had struck an artery with that tree. I never heard of anything like that before either!

Thanks for the compliments on the birdhouses. I'm now having second thoughts about the two birdhouses I cleaned out....They had about an inch of material at the bottom of both birdhouses I'm thinking the parent birds were in the process of building nests for this year. Sigh. I hope the flora and fauna out there survives my education.

And that wrench. Hahaha. I was going to leave it there and not be met with an imagined risk made true but I'm glad I did it. And I forgot to mention in flipflops too (it was in the 60s that day). Flipflops on a slope on ice with a dog pounding my butt with a stick. And I consider myself a cautious person too! my friend Dick said after I told him I was not a reckless person....."Trust me, Maria. You have plenty of 'reck."

Pix at Under the Oak said...

Ok I am back! I love the style/design of those birdhouses! And I am pretty much relieved that didn't all happen in one day! And now I forgot all I was going to blah blab about SO I am going to go read the NEW post!

Maria said...

Pix-I'm back too but as soon as I finish my coffee and get Violet off my lap, I'm scramming to you know where. :-)