Of Hummingbirds and Mushrooms and other tales
We’ve been progressing in our idleness. The hummingbird feeder that Thea got for Christmas is now out. It didn’t take very long for hummingbirds to find it. There are at least two that we’ve identified. The smaller one with a green mottled throat is more aggressive and will chase the white-throated one off. Or try to. Some nights there’s a standoff. Originally the feeder pole had a suet bell on it. But that was a bust. The few birds that found it could only peck at it if they landed on it. It was eventually placed on the flowerbed wall and the mourning doves finished it off. We were imagining that it would be the target of squirrels. But the only squirrel that we’ve seen is huge and lives in or around our pine trees, getting fat on the pine seeds that it gets from destroying the pine cones that are prolifically being produced. Wind storms have deposited what I now know to call pine straw all over the back yard. Thea has me racking and redistributing it as mulch into the many flower/garden beds that we have. She’s taken to trying to tame them three weekends out of four. The latest storms have produce a swarm of mushrooms in our neighbor’s yard. At first I thought it was going to be in one huge fairy ring. But on closer inspection it looks like it’s several smaller rings whose intermittent interlinkage is interspersed.
I completely failed to document the one near disaster that we’ve had in our new home. Thea went off to music and I set about cleaning the kitchen in my lounge clothes and socks. Cleaning makes your hands wet and wet hands leads to bathroom breaks. Anyway, I stepped into the powder room off the laundry room and my foot was suddenly wet. The tiles themselves weren’t wet just the grout between the tiles and only near one wall. So I proceeded to mop it up with a kitchen towel and it proceeded to defy being contained. The other side of the powder room wall is where we have our sideboard. And under the sideboard we had a couple of cardboard wine boxes. Those boxes had absorbed water and were wet eight inches up. So I grabbed the wet vac and started pulling up water from under the sideboard. It lead me to a portion of the wall that again defied containment. On the other side of that wall is the water closet. In the water closet it was hot and humid and everything was moist. I was afraid that it was all coming from the attic where the A/C fans are since the condensation pipes run through that space. As I was worrying about that, the dishwasher changed cycles and the hot water tank outflow pipe, a steel-braided flexible hose, suddenly formed a jet of water that was directed right at the sideboard wall. It had been going on long enough to have eaten a hole in the drywall (insert pun here). But since I only pulled up about three gallons of water in the wet vac, it couldn’t have been all that long. You may remember that we had a water tank moved from our master bedroom to that closet. Bill, our handyman friend, believes in shut off valves. The closet has three. One for both tanks and one for each tank. I turned off the water to the kitchen tank and called him. I supposed that I could have done the hose change out myself. But I rationalized that if there were anything else that had happened that I wouldn’t know to notice I could be screwed. I started out by calling it a near disaster and so it was. The floors were fine. The attic was fine. The rest of the plumbing is fine. The only scar is the hole in the water closet’s wetwall which is now dry.