Projects in Progress and Done

Looking into the living room last week, I saw this:


The final phase of replacing windows in the house was underway.  It was a good feeling to see the guys at work.

I went back into the office to work on a website.  A bit later I returned and checked on the construction progress.


One of the crew is here today to put final touches on the project.  Once that is done, Sylvia will paint and I will install the blinds.  We’ll be ready for winter this year.


I posted earlier about the tree that came down in a recent wind storm.  The County Road Commission sent a work crew to move the tree out of the road.  They left it like this:


I made arrangements to have our lawn man cut the tree up so that we could toss it on our burn piles.  Before he came, neighbor Bob showed up with his chainsaw and started cutting.  Sylvia and I hurried out to help remove brush and stack the fire wood in a neat pile.  Before he left, Bob helped us burn the brush piles.  Recent rain did not allow the piles to burn completely.  Nevertheless, about two thirds did.  On Friday, we returned from running errands and saw that the wood was gone.  We were very happy.  The scene now looks like this:



Tree Moved

Yesterday, I posted a pic of a tree that had fallen in our front yard.  It was partially blocking our road.  I also reported that the county work crew was starting to clean up the situation.


They did their part and left.  I still have a mess to deal with.


They were good enough to cut the tree trunk close to the ground.  I’ll still need a man with a chain saw.


I checked the rain gauge this morning and found one inch had fallen since yesterday morning.  Can someone say “wet?”

Today’s Adventure

It rained most of the day and we had strong winds out of the east.  Driving into the city to meet our son and daughter-in-law for lunch was not much fun for the heavy rain and traffic.  Coming home was different.  The rain had slackened and so we had much better visibility.

We had been in the house for a short while when I noticed a tree branch down beside the road.  It looked to be all on the lawn.  But a closer look revealed the rest of the story.  Just minutes after we had driven by, this happened.


A work crew from the county road commission is now clearing the mess out of the road.  Update to follow.

Tree Discovery

Today, there’s a breeze in the trees.
Pollen too, and I want to sneeze.

On her most recent visit, Sharkey identified the species of the maple tree on the north side of our house.  It is a Tatar Maple, which is native to Russia.


The apparently leaning tower on the right side only indicates that I was pointing the camera at an upward angle.

It doesn’t show well in the first pic, but there is a bird’s nest in one of those shaded areas.  Let’s take a better look.


The wire is one of Sylvia’s amateur radio antennas.  She doesn’t use it these days.  Otherwise, I’d have to trim the tree around it or move it to another location.

This morning, I’ve been watching the birds make frequent trips to the sour cherry tree.


The power pole is vertical.  The camera angle gives an illusion of leaning.  Can you see any cherries in this pic?  Take a closer look.  It’s loaded.


The birds fly in and land on the branches.  Evidently it’s difficult for them to get what they want.  Soon they come to the ground and sort through the cherries that have fallen on the lawn.

This fruit is good for people too, but seldom gets ripe enough for us.  The birds get it first.  That’s okay . . . they’re probably sour anyway. :rolleyes:

Crab Apple

When I captured the images in my most recent post, the crab apple blossoms were mere buds.  The next day they opened.  I’ve always been fond of those flowering trees.


As a student, and later as an employee at Michigan State University, I always enjoyed May.  MSU is reported to have the most extensive collections of flowering crab apples anywhere.

Bright and Beautiful

Just before Mother’s Day, it seemed that the whole world was taking on beautiful hues in anticipation of the upcoming tribute.


Some trees pink.  Others are white.


I’ve been watching for the grape hyacinth to appear in the lawn.  It finally has.


We had some nicer hyacinths growing near our back door.  Like the crocus, they disappeared one year.  Now, we have to check under the mulberry tree to find them.

Sometimes life goes that way.  You have to seek if you want to find.


Last Thursday night, our sleep was uneasy.  Sylvia and I could hear the howling winds that buffeted our house. We took comfort in the steel roof that covers the old asphalt shingles.  (We’ve had them blown off before.)

Friday mid-afternoon while the wind continued unabated, the power went out, but was restored in a few seconds.  Then shortly before 4 PM, the power went off and stayed off.  About 20 seconds later, our emergency power generator turned on and we had electricity again.

I went online to the power company website and saw that our area had already been reported without power.  By bedtime, the website estimated that power would be restored by Sunday . . . 6 PM.

Friday night, strong winds continued to shake our house.  After the previous night, we slept better . . . if only because we were so tired.

Saturday morning, the power company website still estimated Sunday 6 PM for power restoration to our neighborhood.  Several additional areas in our vicinity were now reported as being without power.

That morning as I did a visual inventory of our property, I was looking for wind damage.  Lots of small branches littered the ground.  That’s not unusual.  It happens every winter.

Then, I saw a downed tree.  With camera in hand, I went to access damage.

The stump is a bit over six-feet high.

The stump is a bit over six-feet high.

The main trunk was mostly dead wood.  I found a better angle to document the incident.

Pity that it didn't break into "stove lengths."

Pity that it didn’t break into “stove lengths.”

Power was restored around 3 PM on Saturday.  Color us happy campers.

Next step is to contact the tree service.  Unfortunately, Mike’s phone is “temporarily out of service.”

Beauty of Morning

Wednesday morning, I sat at breakfast washing down eggs and toast with hot coffee.  I was enjoying the hot food, company of Sylvia and the bright sunshine of a November morning.  It was beautiful!  All of it.

I glanced out the window and liked what I saw.  Heavy rains and winds had stripped most trees of their leaves.  A few remained.

After breakfast, it was time to gather camera, tripod and then head out the door.  Could I capture an image of what my eye had seen?  I thought so.


Can you see my shadow waving “Good morning” to you?  This was the wide view that had caught my eye while I was at the breakfast table.

There were two parts of this scene that were of particular interest.  The first is top center.  The second is on the left.


It was that group of trees in the center whose leaves were still clinging to their branches that first caught my attention.  I like that “Never say die” attitude.  Doesn’t this image say “November?”  It’s almost deer season for firearms.  There are two hunters’ blinds in this photo.  One is nearly obscured by birch branches.


The second scene is neighbor Bob’s cattle grazing.  It’s a very common sight from our house, but it never ceases to fill me with a feeling of peace and of things being right.

I’m smiling and feeling good.  Hope you are too.

Fall Has Fallen

Do you remember this scene from an early post here on Secondary Roads?


A couple of weeks went by, and the scene had changed.


Makes me feel a bit sad.  As if earth is mourning the passing of Sylvia’s father.

At Dad Harris’ funeral, I could clearly see what his great grandchildren are becoming.  The young men, there were a number of them, are all tall, handsome and strong.  The one exception was a baby great grandson.  Briana was the only great granddaughter present.  If you read this blog you know what she is like.  All of the great grands are doing well in careers or in school.

While Dad’s time has past, there are other generations that are taking up the mantle.  I could feel sad about the past . . . even the present.  In spring, life returns.  The cycle goes on.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.