Monday, April 15, 2013

Bat houses, bird houses... Everything AND the kitchen sink!

Another week in paradise! Too bad the flippin' weather can't make up its mind! 

    This weekend turned out to be both beautiful AND productive!

      Kids and I had a nice day Frida puttering about the house. I managed to actually fold and PUT AWAY a week's worth all by myself. The rest of the house went to rat shite but hey, I'm only human!
Nick's Dad and Step Mum came over Friday night to deliver Elias' new big boy bed! Got him a double so that one of us could crawl in with him and the other have a good night's sleep.... so far the plan is only working so so... Ruby still manages to sneak in our bed!  

He looks SOOOO tiny in the dang thing. I got all emotional making it and putting him to sleep. ....*sniffle* .... And then our 42 year old neighbour, bless her heart, had her third child this weekend and I have NO QUALMS about closing the 'baby' chapter in our lives. (Love ya B but NO thank you!)    

Nick threw out his back cleaning the exterior of the RV trailer. Ladder broke from underneath him, as he leaned too far over. He didn't get too hurt but it was SOME shenanigans! Had another neighbour help us remove the canopy from the truck so as we can get some river rock and soil for the sailboat project.... if ever we get the money together!                        

Nick pressure washed the patio under the back deck for my 'Cabana!' SOOOOOOO excited!!!!!!! Then he made us some bird houses and Ruby and I spent a lovely afternoon painting them in the backyard while Elias slept and the Canadian SnowBirds ROARED overhead practicing their aerial manouvres!!!

I'm investigating some 'Bat Houses' as well.  Bats are actually an INTEGRAL part of the eco system, but being nocturnal they are often overlooked and practically forgotten. Much like frogs, which numbers (like those of the bats) have been mysteriously decimated in recent years.     Well perhaps not so mysteriously, we humans continue to destroy habitats and poison the ones we don't destroy leaving little behind for our fellow creatures. And then we find out usually too late that the species on the brink of extinction we actually NEED for one reason or another. Plus having a bat house just sounds freakin' COOL!

Now I know what some of you (mother and mother in laws) are thinking.... RABIES!... But you all need to relax.... Rabies is a virus carried and spread by many mamals including; cows (which live up the street at the dairy farm), pigs, dogs ~ we have one but she's vaccinated, cats~ have 2 they're vaccinated and the raccoons living under our shed. The likely hood of the bats (which are also mamals) contracting the virus is rare and the probability that myself or the children will ever touch a bat is like 0.1%

There are any one of three kinds of bats found in North America  which may inhabit our 'Bat Houses' aka roosts. The information I've been able to gather from  indicates that on average it can take 9 months to 2 years for our bat houses to become inhabited. But the three kinds of bats in our region have the ability to individually eat up to 1000 mosquito sized insects per HOUR. So if you're having issues with mosquito's in your backyard, perhaps think about adding some bird or bat houses. Nature has it's own remedies, no need to look further than what options she already provides!

We'll have our work cut out for us... er... Nick will.... the dimensions of the roosts have to be quite precise for optimal occupancy. As does the temperature, colour and humidity level of the bat box. We may have to make  3 or 4 boxes and test them in different areas to see what is preferred. Because of our microclimate in the Valley I am unsure what will be necessary. The bats will want to remain cool in our warm summers but warm in our cold winters for hibernation, finding the ideal location in the yard which provides both will prove an interesting mystery. I have half a mind to contact some local wildlife resources for someone who might be able to come look at the yard and give me some intel.

I'm kind of giddy with this project! Can ya tell?

We'll definitely be adding more bird houses. I've seen some great plans on Pinterest for a row of 4 bird houses, on a pole but the neat thing about them was the back panel on hinges. Underneath was a piece of plexiglass and by lifting the panel one can view the birds nests inside without disturbing the birds. Pretty cool!

I've also seen on Pinterest ~ yes I know I'm an addict~ a Ladybug habitat!!!! Using 1 ft length of 4" diameter PVC pipe (painted brown or red), stuffed with some bamboo rods and twigs of the same length and suspended from a tree. I believe adding one or two raisins is essenial to attract them. Ladybugs are WONDERFUL little creatures helping to pollinate and eating the aphids which can decimate veggie crops, especially tomatoes.

I need to make a hummingbird feeder also. Several have come up to my kitchen window in the last week, leading me to believe at one point a feeder was hanging there. Hummingbirds have memories and return to food/shelter sources year after year.

Nick has been following our local farmer's market via their facebook page. From it we've met a woman round the corner with an AMAZING front yard. She herself blogs and has the facebook page  Well we technically haven't met her, but we'd LOVE too! We see her posts and walk by her house to the park all the time. From one of her posts Nick saw she had made an outdoor kitchen sink to wash veggies in... AND she had extra sinks! So we made sure to stop by and pick one up! Following her instructions Nick made a BEAUTIFUL sink! I'm THRILLED! Eventually he plans to run some copper pipe under the lawn 10 ft so we can have a spigget on the sink but for now we'll be just using the hose line.  The water will then be recycled and used to nourish the veggie garden. UBER coolness!

For now I'm home with the kiddies... Ruby woke up with Pink Eye so we couldn't go to gymnastics. We'll just wait for Elias to get it and then we can resume life! We're enjoying the sunshine!

Bird House Plans

Other project on the list
Elias's Race Car Track   Should only cost about $65 and an afternoon!

Please leave a comment I'd love to hear from you!
The kidlets being 'goombas.'

Helping Daddy put together Eli's new 'big boy' bed.

Ok, excuse the language but that's some 'Redrum,' shit right there.

The beginnings of my 'cabana!'

The 'kitchen sink!'

Hmm pics are out of order but I'm too lazy to fix it... this is the clean patio that hubby power washed! Ain't it purdy?



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