Bat House Day

Yesterday was my day off. This particular day, or at least morning and early afternoon, were all mine without obligation, regard or regret. After I convinced myself to get out of bed, I pulled on an outfit of relatively warm clothes and went out to the garage. First things first I fired up my new brush cutter.  I was in such a rush to buy it a few weeks ago then I got too busy to use it….now the time had finally come.  It’s a 2-cycle machine that uses a gas and oil fuel mixture. It comes with a harness that makes it easy to use and well-balanced, distributing the weight across my body.

The first task on my list was digging the hole for our live Christmas tree.  If you recall we got a live tree last year, and the only way to plant it after the holidays is to dig the hole now before the ground is frozen. I consulted the landscape plan and decided just to wing it.  I’m not sure what species the Christmas tree will be so I selected a spot about 30′ from last year’s tree and 30′ from the driveway.  I’m pretty sure it’s not over the utility trench so there should be no need to chop these memorable trees down should the need ever arise to mess with the utilities.  Frankly by time the trees get tall enough, hopefully the house will be off the grid anyway….though there would still need to be the means to transmit energy from the house back to the grid.  Oh well, I digress.

We dig the hole for our Christmas tree in October before the ground freezes. In the background you can see last year's Christmas tree doing well just off the driveway.

We dig the hole for our Christmas tree in October before the ground freezes. The hole is covered with plywood so the ground doesn’t freeze. In the background you can see last year’s Christmas tree doing well just off the driveway.

After the hole was dug and covered with plywood to keep it from freezing, I moved onto erecting the bat houses. As you may recall I fastened two bat houses to a 4×4 post, and stained everything brown. And there it sat in my drive for the last two months, getting in the way. Well this was the day to get them up and out-of-the-way. I cleared a path to the pond berm and dug a 2′ deep hole with my post hole digger. I then drove two 3′ long 2×2 pressure treated stakes into the ground at a 90 angle to the post hole. I inserted the 4×4 into the hole and dropped some cement into the hole to get the post stabilized. I checked to make sure the bat houses faced east and west, so the bats will have morning sun. Not sure what the west house is for, other than shading the east house. Oh well. I then leveled the post and fastened two treated 2×2 braces, screwing them to the bat house post and the stakes. I checked to make sure everything was still level, then filled the hole with cement and water.

For the bat house I dug a hole with my post hole digger and drove a couple stakes in the ground to prepare for raising the 4x4 post in place.

For the bat house I dug a hole with my post hole digger and drove a couple stakes in the ground to prepare for raising the 4×4 post in place.

bat-house-4x4-post-in-cement-with-braces

The bat houses installed just on the far side of the pond berm, along the edge of the east meadow.

The bat houses installed just on the far side of the pond berm, along the edge of the east meadow.

Yay! The bat houses are installed and out of our driveway. It will be April before we find out if anyone moves in. I did have a few random falling leaves freak me out as I was installing the post…out of the corner of my eye the leaves looked like bats. Oh by the way, the bat post is located near water (neighbors have a snake infested pond a couple of stone throws away), and it’s not too close to trees where predators can get the bats.

While on the pond berm I noticed we’re actually retaining water. The pond berm that is. I am not retaining water…not as far as I know. Why? Do I look fat? It’s the cake.  I’ve been eating a lot of cake because of birthday parties…..and donuts…..you can’t goto the grocery store on Sunday morning and not get donuts.

The pond is slowly forming. Crystal clear surface water pools at the base of the pond berm, trimmed with tufts of water loving grasses.

The pond is slowly forming. Crystal clear surface water pools at the base of the pond berm, trimmed with tufts of water loving grasses.

After checking out our little pond, I planted a fir-tree sapling the in-laws gave us from their collection of wild fir trees.  There’s a nice little sunny spot that should fall alongside a future nature trail that I planted the little tree.  I also planted a tiny oak sprig that was intertwined with the pine tree.

I planted a pine tree sapling on the pond berm, along one of the future nature trails. You can see one of our famous dead trees lying nearby, having fallen earlier last year.

I planted a pine tree sapling on the pond berm, along one of the future nature trails. You can see one of our famous dead trees lying nearby, having fallen earlier last year.

Included with the pine tree from my mother in law was this small oak tree which I also planted on the pond berm.

Included with the pine tree from my mother in law was this small oak tree which I also planted on the pond berm.

With my work on the berm complete I put my tools away in the garage and grabbed my brush cutter. I spent the rest of the morning and some time after lunch cutting the nature trail from the birch trees where I left off all the way to the bees. I also cut the larger brush in the septic field. I really like the brush cutter. It’s not too loud, though after lunch I put on ear plugs because I couldn’t hear very well after running it all morning. With the metal blade it easily passes through grass and 1″ or less trunks.

It’s really nice now, we have a great nature trail to enjoy and it makes getting around the property easier so we can enjoy more of it.  After the trail was cut I also knocked down all the plant remains in the veggie garden.  Lastly I hung up a ball of alpaca fiber in a tree. The birds will like that for making winter and spring nests. Oh, and I cleaned out the bird nests on top of the front porch columns, as well as mowed the front lawn.

We picked up this bundle of alpaca fiber from a local alpaca farm. Birds will take the fiber and use it for their nests.  I hung it up in the south meadow. I'll keep an eye out to see if the birds are using it.

We picked up this bundle of alpaca fiber from a local alpaca farm. Birds will take the fiber and use it for their nests. I hung it up in the south meadow. I’ll keep an eye out to see if the birds are using it.

I happened upon this most perfect birds nest in the front yard yesterday. It was unseen beneath a blanket of summer foliage.

I happened upon this perfect birds nest in the front yard yesterday. It was unseen beneath a blanket of summer foliage.

Once all my chores were done I spent some time exploring the land.  I went from corner post to corner post, trying to discover the metal stakes in the ground. It was a  nice opportunity to see some little nooks of the land that I don’t normally see; a small clover patch here, some interesting brush there. It was a day well spent alone doing mundane things out in nature. The type of day that no one else knows about or can remark, or reflect upon but me. A day devoid of drama or fanfare or grand accomplishment. A very good day indeed.

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One thought on “Bat House Day

  1. Pingback: 5 Green Holiday Tips | nine apple trees

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