It’s springtime again!
Year 15 in this current evolution of my caretaking gig.
The snow has thawed, the ground is very wet, the grass is still brown everywhere with little green shoots trying to push through. The lake ice left early this year, really early. It was out by the second half of March, the earliest I’d seen previously was April 1st. Now the dock is free from it’s icy blockade and I’m ready to move the dock over into Cedar Bay. Anxious in fact. The Lake is up just enough, and everything should slide together easily at this point. Today is Monday, the day after Easter. And on Mondays I do my house checks. There are five properties I work for, five families, five high end estates. I start my morning this Monday like many before it headed up crane Mountain Road, to Bug Creek, to West Swan Shore Route along the Dark Side of Swan Lake.
The Dark Side of the Swan is the West shore. It’s tucked tightly against the mountains and is technically a rain forest. The forest floor is carpeted with dense peat moss, thick enough to lay down on comfortably. Vibrant enough to grow on and over large boulders which have been deposited here eons ago by the glacier that formed this valley.
The spring thaw is evident everywhere I look. Lots of water standing in the roadside ditches and ponds. Lots of ducks drifting about in these waters. beautiful scenes everywhere I look.
I love Monday mornings. My duties are laid out before me quite clearly, and they are uncomplicated at the start, and usually remain so. It is a day of hiking, peeking under houses, looking inside cabinets, listening, and smelling. I can generally finish checking all five homes by early afternoon unless I find additional duties to attend to. This leaves the afternoon open to other activities. Such as tending landscaping!
I’m so anxious to get my hands on the landscaping at Cedar Bay. The spring pruning of some bushes, the removal of the deer fencing from around the trees, the raking of the old dead material from the lawns in preparation for the new grass. De-thatching, fertilizing, renewing. Following the the holiday it is an appropriate resurrection. The regeneration of these properties to their summertime level of glory.
The greatest trials I have today are a Robin Redbreast that keeps pooping on the window sills of one home, and an owl that, until my recent efforts had been crapping all over the stone work on another beautiful log home.
For the defecating owl problem I found a product called bird spikes that are exactly that, plastic spikes that screw to the top edge of whatever the bird happens to be landing on that you don’t want it to land on. I also purchased and installed a couple of fake raptors. They now stand perched at the corners of the home keeping watch and intimidating any owls looking to vacate their bowels, I hope.