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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Little by little

I took a few moments and finished up the tree pruning project in the front garden this afternoon. There were only 4 small trees left. They are of a slightly different variety and get less sun, so there was less to trim, so the work went fast.

I also got a look at what Rosanne has been working on in the front garden. She has attacked the grass and weed problem with a vigor and you can actually see most of the paths again. There is one short section left to weed, but it is a big difference. NOw we should re-lay some of the plastic edging and get some pea gravel or mulch on the paths before the weeds spring up again.

We had our usual tree person come in to give us an estimate. We have 3 trees -- 2 living and one dead -- that need to be removed. I still don't know how can have so many trees on this small property. The most pressing priority is an ugly Arizona cypress that is leaking sap all over our neighbors car. In the interest of maintaining good relations (they have been the BEST neighbors) we will probably have that tree removed first. The dead one will be next, though. We should get rid of it before the Santa Ana winds roll through later in the summer.

That is it from our neck of the woods. As the temperatures go up, the garden tends to slip into a bit of a slumber, so cleanup work is the word of the day.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Who needs a cave?

Whenever I am feeling a bit stressed by the city, I often talk about finding a nice cave in the desert and living there. This would be much nicer, though. Perched high above the forest floor in my own little pod. I can feel myself relaxing already.

Spherical wooden tree houses These look really amazing.

Free Spirit Spheres has commenced limited production of the 3.2 metre fibreglass sphere tree houses and now has sphere shells and kits available for the DIY market. Orders are now also being taken for the wooden shells and component kits and fully-finished made-to-order wooden Free Spirit Spheres. Shells can also be rented for the night (if you’re in Canada). Link.

(Via MAKE: Blog.)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Listen to the Mockingbird

We have had a bachelor mockingbird singing his almost continuous song outside our window for about a week now. Our sleeping has not been the best during this time, but I am unsure whether it is truly the mockingbird that is keeping us up or some other issues.

It is amazing to hear such a complicated and on-going song as the typical mockingbird. In an attempt to attract a mate they often mimic the sounds of their environment. Here in urban Los Angeles this might include the "caw" of a crow, the twittering of other birds or even the repetitive call of the, all too common, car alarm. Lying in bed last night listening, I heard these sounds and many more. At times I found myself chuckling quietly as I noticed this noise or that that had crept into the birds song.

We have mockingbirds quite frequently in the neighborhood, but this has been the first one to pick a territory so close to the house. I suppose he will eventually attract a mate and give up his singing for other pursuits.

As I was looking for further information on mockingbirds, I came across this page, Listen to the Mockingbird, written by Diane Porter in 1998. It offers an interesting method of dealing with the night time song of mockingbird, since there is little you can do to avoid it. Sometimes the best way to make some thing less annoying is to go deeper into it. Listen to the mockingbird song, more and more closely and you might find yourself lulled to sleep like the author. While whippoorwills taught her this lesson, it should apply equally well to the mockingbird.

You can find more Mockingbird information via this Google Search.