Posts filed under ‘Nature’

The Trees Are Gone

Yesterday just before 7 am the truck showed up and the men began taking down the trees. They were dangerous and had been for some time. I had always refused to have anything done but when I saw how they were moving in the strong winds and realized how wet the ground was, it was time. Luckily, no one got hurt and they never did fall on the house. If I had a nickel for every time I heard “you need to do something about those trees before they fall on the house”,I would be a very wealthy woman. Well, they are gone. It is going to take some getting used to for sure! We planted a maple tree a few years ago and plan to do more planting after we get the yard repaired from the huge holes left from the tree removal.

Tree Cutting 1

                                                                                                                                                                                     tree cutting 2tree cutting 3

tree cutting 4tree cutting 5

Tree cutting 6                                                                                                    tree cutting 7

tree cutting 8                                                               tree cutting 9

I will always miss these trees as I said in another post. They have been the home of many birds and even a couple of families of racoons over the years. They have provided shade and that wonderful sound of leaves blowing in the breeze. We’ll be planting soon and I’ll be sure to share that when it happens.


May 25, 2011 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

Bird House Fun! Bluebirds and Swallows

swallow claiming housethe postWell, as planned, on Monday I spent most of the day putting up bird houses. When I woke up on Monday morning I was pretty sure I saw a Bluebird and that did it! I was out and down to the Amish farm to purchase cedar posts. When I returned I began choosing the places to put the houses. In March I cleaned out all of the existing bird houses but wanted to add more. Seeing that Bluebird motivated me to take action and add more. To the left is the pole after it was put in, before I mounted the first bird house.

swallow going toward house

The first place I put a house was at the back of our yard. There had always been a bird house near there but when we got rid of what used to be the sheep yard, a couple of the bird houses went with it. I was very excitedly banging in the first post when I suddenly heard a noise. It was the flapping of wings and the brief sight of something. As it turned out, a swallow was circling. The circling soon became dive bombing and before I could get the second screw into the post, the bird had claimed the house!  I did manage to get back to secure it with a second screw, thankfully. It was great fun!


April 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Birdhouse for Robins and Swallows

Today I’m putting up a new birdhouse. This one is for Robins and Swallows. They are both looking for nesting sites and last year a Robin built her nest on top of our wood pile right next to the entrance to the garage. Every time we walked near there or went into the garage, she flew out! The same went for the wood pile. I’m hoping that this new house will encourage nest building in a more humanly suitable spot. For many years the Robins would nest under the pool deck of our above ground pool. Year after year, they came and nested there. When we took the pool and the deck down, I think it left nesting areas up for grabs. Hopefully this house will help the birds out. My plan is to put it up and then keep tabs on it and see if it becomes occupied. This morning I’m just trying to determine the best place for it. Right after breakfast, the first thing on my agenda is to hang that house. I’m then going to get some fence posts and put them up for a couple of other houses I need to hang.

Robin and Swallow Bird HouseThis is the house that I’m going to be hanging this morning. The over hang is what these birds look for in their nesting sites. Hopefully, they will choose this one!

April 25, 2011 at 7:28 am 1 comment

Strong Winds Wreak Havoc at North Fork B&B/Gifts

Well the good weather I recently spoke of  certainly did not last! Strong winds, rain, ice pellets and yes, snow, greeted us yesterday. As I walked it started out  clear, then it began to sprinkle, then ice pellets, then later in the evening snow. All the while, blustery winds. This is one result of the strong winds. Unfortunately, we have to have these trees taken down. After over 20 years of enjoying them and being graced by their presence. I love trees and these have had everything from Kestrels to racoons nest in them over the years. When my daughter was 6, she rescued baby birds from these trees. They hold many happy memories and it saddens me that they will have to go. At this point they are simply dangerous, plain and simple. Cotton wood, great to plant and fast growing but certain to cause problems to someone down the line. Our house was built in 1868 and I believe whoever built the house, planted these trees. In the ice storm of 1998 they sustained damage and had to be topped. Lesson learned, topping trees is not always a good idea. At any rate, they are scheduled to be taken down sometime within the next 2-3 weeks. I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes and share the experience. This is the middle tree. Originally there were 4. We had to have one removed about 5 years ago.

damaged tree
Strong Winds Wreak Havoc

Through all of this nasty weather, the flowers have shown their tanasity by blossoming anyway. I have such admiration for these daffodils! And yes, those crocus are still at it. When I took this photo, the crocus were closing for the night but they stood tall and proud despite the weather.


On another note, I made my first ever soy pillar candle yesterday. To see this and the process, check out our North Fork Gifts blog at  Please sign up for this blog and also please “like” my blogs and become a follower. I appreciate those that continue to follow my blog. I enjoy writing and wish I had more time. After being on break, it’s back to school for me today!

April 18, 2011 at 6:24 am Leave a comment

The Lighthouse Birdhouse

Lighthouse Birdhouse

The front of the lighthouse birdhouse

This is the front of my new lighthouse birdhouse that I FINALLY was able to put up. It is in place of my old one. What shoud have taken a few minutes ended up taking the better part of a morning. The old house was so rotted that it literally fell apart as I attempted to take it down. When I tried to attach the new house, the screws from the old one somehow managed to get in the way. This all while standing 6-8 feet up in the air on a ladder! Finally, after the better part of the morning had passed, I was able to get it all attached. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you have seen pictures of the old house. One of my favorites is the picture of the tree frog peaking out of the lower level.

old lighthouse birdhouse

This is the old house but with baby wrens peaking out of the top level. In the heat of the day, the tree frog would peak out of the bottom. I haven’t been able to find that picture but when I do, I will share it.

Tonight I was really excited because in the top of the house is a solar light. It was on and I was able to get a picture of it. I’m also going to share the back part of the house so you can see where the bird will actually enter and exit. I’m hoping my wrens come back again but we’ll see.

The back of the lighthouse birdhouse

The back of the lighthouse bird house

Lighthouse Birdhouse at dusk

The Lighthouse Birhouse at dusk with the solar light on

April 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm 1 comment

Eastern Bluebird,Mountain Bluebird


Mountain Bluebird                                                                                    Eastern Bluebird

Bluebird numbers have decreased 90 percent over the past 60 years in the eastern United States. The four reasons for this are: widespread insecteside use decreasing the food supply, severe winter which have increased winter mortality, changing agricultural practices reducing nesting sites and House Sparrows competing for the remaining nesting sites making nesting more difficult.

The best way to help increase the blue bird population is to provide wooden houses for them to nest in.
Bluebird houses shoule be placed by the end of February in areas around open fields, pastures, golf courses, cemeteries, gardens and large lawns which provide excellent bluebird habitat. These areas usually provide plenty of insects to eat. Avoid areas where insecticides are used heavily.

Place houses 4 to 6 feet above the ground and 50 to 100 yards apart. Face the houses to the south or southeast, if possible. Try to select places where trees, shrubs, utility wires or fences are within 25 to 100 feet of the houses. Bluebirds use these structures for perches when feeding. These perches are also helpful to young birds during their first flights.

If houses are located near woods and brush piles, other species of birds, such as chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, and wrens, will use the bluebird houses. These species, like the bluebird, are welcome additions to the area and should not be discouraged from using the bird house. These birds are also helpful in controlling insect populations. It may be possible to get a bluebird to nest in the same area by placing another house about 10 to 20 feet from the one the other bird is using.

Now is the time to get out there and clean out your bird houses. If you already have bluebird houses in and around your yard, they need to be cleaned out. Bluebirds won’t typically nest in a house that has left over nesting from a previous year. Swallows are notorious for taking over these nesting sites. If your bird house doesn’t have a proper clean out, you’ll need to take the bottom off or replace it with one that does. All or our bird houses are made with vents and clean outs so the birds don’t overheat in hot weather and they can easily be cleaned out. Purchases can be made at

Bluebird house

March 6, 2011 at 11:28 am 1 comment

Guest Ready!

We so enjoyed our guests last night. A wonderful family here to check out Clarkson. It was nice visiting last night and again at breakfast this morning.

Our Guest for tonight should be arriving anytime.

Tim is on his way home from Tupper. He’ll be roasting more coffee as they sold all of it today! Tomorrow he’ll be back up there providing another tasting. Big Tupper got a lot of snow today. We’re hoping I can go tomorrow and check things out. Tim says there’s lots of cross country trails. I hope I can go.

We’ve had a wild day, weather wise. The wind has just kept up and kept up all day. At times it has been a white out the snow has been blowing so much.  It’s nice and toasty here by the fire though. Time for a nice hot cup of coffee!

February 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm 1 comment

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