Monday, May 23, 2011

Our latest visitor

Pulling into my driveway this morning, I looked up ahead and thought I had another short limb down from a tree. Then it moved on me.

Closer inspection revealed an unusually large snapping turtle. I estimate it weighed 10-12 pounds. When I picked it up, it disproved the axiom "as slow as a turtle." In a lightning move, it flexed its neck and grazed one of my fingers.

Read what Wikipedia says: "The common snapping turtle is not an ideal pet. Its neck is very flexible, and the turtle can bite its handler even if picked up by the sides of its shell. The turtle can amputate a finger with its powerful jaws." Remind me to consult Wikipedia before picking up live animals.

When I scratched one side of its back with a stick, it would tilt to that side, and then do the same thing on the other side. Betty got a video of the "turtle dance," but I'm too much of a turtle brain to figure out how to upload it on this site.

When we finally got out of its way, the turtle moseyed on down the drive and then slid into Deerfield Creek.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A pox on our house

In South Louisiana cypress siding is used on homes because of its indestructibility. The siding might look as if it was put up yesterday but can be more than 100 years old.

While cypress stands up well against moisture and bug infestation, it's no match for the hail storm we had two weeks ago. You can see in the photo that it looks as if someone dabbed a brush in white paint and stippled our house.

I guess I know now what I'll be doing this fall.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The cleanup continues

This is the storm debris gathered from one small corner in the woods in front of our house. The woods in back of our house was littered with pieces of vinyl, roofing materials and small pits of paper, including old receipts and what looked to be somebody's homework.

So, instead of the dog-ate-my-homework excuse, try "the tornado blew it away."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Two weeks to remember

When I left for the Vawter House renovation on April 25, Prince William was happily single, Osama Bin Laden was merrily clicking away on his remote and my blueberry bushes were full of leaves, blooms and small berries.

You know what happened to the Prince and Osama, so take a look at the photo of one of the blueberry bushes -- stripped to the bone by the massive hail storm and high winds. We also had several thousand dollars worth of damage to the house, but we are better off than many of our neighbors. Certainly, I shouldn't complain after what happened in Alabama and the flooding in Memphis. It will take a while, but we will get everything shipshape here.

Renovation of the Vawter House was, in a word, intense. While battling a flooded cellar, my cousins and I were able to finish all the rooms in the house that will have furniture. We only lack the kitchen, bathroom and main hall, and those rooms are 75% complete. We worked mostly 15-hour days, but enjoyed the challenge.

It was good to get back to Deerfield, even if my freshly graveled driveway was a series of fresh ruts caused by storm water rushing off the hill.