bits and pieces

The most commented-on post on my old blog — more than one hundred comments before the blog died — featured the photo above and my chatter about the blue-tailed skinks that I see sometimes at my cabin. Many comments were about keeping them as pets — something I discouraged — but just as many asserted that based on my photo, there was no such creature on this earth, that I was making up the little beastie.

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I repeated my epic 27-mile bike ride the length of the Indian Creek Trail-plus on Sunday. It was easier this time, in part because I knew what to expect and, perhaps, because my heart and lungs were a tiny bit more fit for the challenge. I managed to make it a continuous ride, conquering two of the hills that had defeated me before and skipping the third by using a bypass trail around it.

On my bike back from the shop and its annual tune up, I felt as though I was riding a different bike. So smooth and quiet (still not shifting into second gear too well).

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I skedaddled to Roundrock on Friday afternoon for an overnight. The incessant rains had ceased and the incessant heat hadn’t, so it looked like a window of opportunity. Above you see the view I had from the cabin porch. This volume is actually uncharacteristic for this time of the summer. Usually by now enuf water has leaked out that it’s dropped much lower. More water for longer periods means better habitat for the fish in there.

I didn’t hike in the woods, partly due to the heat but mostly because I didn’t want to be scratching myself in embarrassing places this week from chigger bites. (This despite the poison I put on my clothes and tucking my pants into my socks.) So I stuck around the cabin and mostly slung more gravel around. I didn’t have a fire. Sunset right now at my latitude is around 8:30 p.m., and that’s close to bed time for me anyway, so I didn’t relish the idea of tending a slow-burning fire late into the night on the chance that I might hear a whippoorwill or a screech own. (No to both this visit, listening through the open windows as I lay in bed in the cabin.) I also didn’t swim, though I’m sure the water is plenty warm enuf.

Because my cabin is just above my lake, I don’t want to use any chemical herbicides in the gravel around it to keep down the weeds. Instead I use the old tarp that used to be our shelter before we had the cabin built. I lay it on an area where I want to kill off the weeds and then lay those boards* on it to keep it in place. In growing season, just a few weeks of this treatment will suffice, though the tarp stayed in its last place (west of the cabin) through the winter and spring, and did a fine job. I slung a bunch of gravel there on my recent visit, first laying down a landscaping fabric as an experiment to prevent the weeds from coming up. The photo above is where I moved the tarp over the weekend. This is behind the cabin, which is left of the photo.

For a nice discussion of this method of weed control — in the sub tropics and supplementing with palm fronds — you might consider this post on a blog that’s a long-time favorite of mine.

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If all goes according to plan, my 7th grandchild will arrive today. If she had come (been scheduled) a day earlier, she would have shared a birthday with both my twin sons (one being her father) and my twin grandchildren in New York. As it is, she will share a birthday with her uncle in Indiana. Also, the hottest day of the year so far!

UPDATE: Alice Rose was born today and weighed 7 pounds, 1.9 ounces! Mom and baby are fine.

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*Those boards came from a tree stand that stood near my pond for years. The tree died, the stand fell, and I harvested the wood for uses just like this.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ramblings Off Topic

One Comment on “bits and pieces”


  1. Congrats to Alice and fam!


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