Friday, August 29, 2008

Aug 23-29

Butterfly bush - Aug 23

Tawny and Taz - Aug 29


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Beavers and their damage

August 16th: You can see two beavers swimming in this photo - they are bold.

August 24: This photo shows the six aspens that the beavers cut down here. This is at the southern end of the lake.

This photo shows one of the six trees that they cut down, and never managed to drag into the lake and then up to their den at the other end of the lake.

The beavers have gone to the happy hunting ground.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Constructing septic tank access covers

When our septic tank was installed, it was simply covered with sand, gravel, and dirt. This is no good when/if you need to get the tank pumped out as you have to find the access covers. This would be even worse if you had to find the covers when the ground was frozen or there was a lot of snow cover. We planned to finish this area with some flagstone that we have stashed away, but before we put that down we had a little project to find the access covers and create an easier access for them.

This photo story is from August 20th. David Reddekkopp came over and gave me a hand with the project. (David actually did most of the work as I had a raging migraine.) It took quite a while to find the first access cover. We initially used my memory to locate the first hole we dug, but after digging halfway through to Taiwan it was obvious that my memory was was worthless. :( So I went back to my photo library and found two photos that helped us locate the access covers.

This photo was taken after about 2 1/2 hours of work. David is standing on the first access cover.

The access covers are 30" (2 1/2 feet) across -- bigger than I had remembered. I thought the covers were about 2' across, which is what I used to calculate how much wood I needed. The covers were also deeper than I had expected - about 20" vs expected 12"... This meant I didn't have enough wood....

Digging is hard work, and David is relaxing a bit, taking a break.

Tawny was curious about the hole. I suspect that maybe she could smell a bit of the fumes from the septic tank, but she was a bit timid about jumping into the hole.

However, jump into the hole she did... Taz is curious but he's a bit more timid than Tawny is.

This is the box that we built to put over the access cover. This box is 3' square and has pressure treated fence boards on the exterior where the wood is in contact with the soil.

Because the big rock is slightly sticking out above the access cover, we had to make some adjustments to the box because of it.

David wasn't that comfortable using a circular saw but he got some practice in. Here David is cutting the angle on a piece of fence board for the side.

This is what the box looks like with the first piece of wood on the top. After this photo was taken, I pulled some landscape fabric through on the side with the customize boards to help keep the sand/gravel from washing in through any openings.

Here David is looking pretty pleased. Why, you ask? Well, it's because of this...

The first access cover is completed, including a custom notch for rock. Because of the gap around the box, Tawny was quite afraid to jump across to the top. Once I filled in the gap with sand and gravel so there wasn't any yawning chasm between the gravel and the box, neither Tawny nor Taz had any fears when stepping onto the top of the cover.

Freda and I had looked for some kind of manufactured stones to put on the cover, as the stone we have is irregular. In the end, we settled on 18" square rubber tiles (made from reycled tire crumb rubber). Although it is slightly more expensive, we think this would be better as it is not as heavy as concrete pavers, and also because the rubber is flexible, we don't have any worries about cracking.

If you're comparing prices, Home Depot charged ~$10 for a 12" round rubber circle, and Rona charged ~$7.75 for an 18" square rubber tile. On a per square foot basis, HD was over $10/sf and Rona was about $3.50/sf (18" square tile is 2 1/4 s.f.), or about 1/3 the price of HD...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Red tailed Hawk

August 9th: We saw a pair of Red tailed Hawks in the trees. The birds were quite far away so I held a pair of binoculars in front of the camera lens and was fortunate enough that one of the photos actually turned out quite well!

Aug 16th: another of the ubiquitous deer. This was at dusk which is why there is a lot of fuzziness in the photo.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Critters, weather, and floors

August 2nd: We have seen a chipmunk living in the rocks by our front steps, and we have seen a groundhog just across the road, on occasion (he lives on the hill facing the lake). But this was quite a bold groundhog, especially since the dogs always sniff around these rocks.

August 6th: Tawny was anxious to go out to play, and so she helpfully brought a pair of Freda's socks to her so she could get ready to go...

August 6th: As you may know, the floor manufacturer (TORLYS) is very graciously paying to replace our flooring because it was improperly installed by their authorized dealer. I will not hesitate to say that that flooring store is not an authorized TORLYS dealer any more. Torlys is supplying new flooring and is paying their premier Ottawa deals to remove the old flooring and install the new stuff. They will not remove and reinstall the shoe moulding, so we have to do that. I am limited to how much I can do in a day because of my excruciating headaches, so I have been doing a little bit at a time. Here you can see a section of the flooring and baseboard where I have removed the shoe moulding.

August 7th: Another incredible rainstorm!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Finished garage trim, and a few other things...

This is the finished garage trim. From this photo, it looks nicer than some houses. But don't look too close. The trim is just rough 1x4.

A neighbour who has horses gave us some bags of composted horse manure. We haven't decided what to do with it yet.

A beautiful deer by the side of the road. I cropped out the car mirror.

The owners association has purchased some benches which I assembled I also built platforms for the benches to sit on so you are not surrounded by weeds when you are sitting on the bench.
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