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DayCreek Journal

 

A Stellar Wall

The Big Dipper has been done numerous times by cordwood builders, so I instead elected to use the constellation Orion. The red bottle represents the red giant star named Betelgeuse.

 

Wall number 61 was completed last week, leaving only 3 cordwood walls left to do. Will I get them done before winter? It's not looking good at this point. There are too many other things that I must get done before winter: split and stack firewood, clean the chimney, re-gasket the wood stove, fix a few gutters, install snow brakes on roof, add gravel to our road, insulate the cistern with hay bales, etc... The list seems endless. But that's pretty typical for autumn—that's when my "to do" list seems the longest. Of course, with autumn comes shorter days and less time to do chores outdoors too.

At least the weather feels more like autumn now. Last week was unbelievable. Temperatures reached a record high of 88° (F) and night time lows were in the 70's (F). It was very warm for this time of year and the balmy weather lasted for many days. Some people were calling it Indian Summer, but technically that doesn't occur until after the first freeze. It did cool down last weekend, but there was no freeze here at the house. The tomato plants still look quite healthy.

Besides my "to do" list, there are the other "gotchyas" that occasionally come up and bite you in the butt. Such as the soil temperature project. A few journals ago, I wrote about this project and how things were wrapping up. Well...they unwrapped a few weeks ago when lightning struck an antenna tower located about 20 feet from the soil probe. Say good-bye to the probe. Say good-bye to the data/RS-232 interface. Say hello to Alan having to build another probe! The probe wasn't in operation for more than a month when the lightning struck. It really did a number one of their antennas too— shredding the antenna, zapping a radio and taking out the National Weather Service web cam. Such is life!

Finally, I'd like to share with you a photograph that is one of my favorite bird photographs that I have been able to take this year and I took it just last week. Every year for about two days in the fall, large flocks of Cedar Waxwings congregate to feast on the berries on the cedar trees near our house. You have to be in the right place at the right time to photograph these beautiful birds. They gorge themselves full of the berries and within a day or two, the berries are gone and so are the birds. It was last Thursday when I was just getting packed to head to Illinois when I saw them descending on the trees. It was a cloudy, misty day, but nonetheless I was able to get a few great photographs of these birds. This is one is my favorite:

 

A Cedar Waxwing feasts on cedar berries.