Tag Archives: Green

More green

Green Cayennes

Well, yesterday’s post was about bad green. Actually, green is my favorite color and there are tons of green things that I have snapped pics of this summer. These greens are much better than Soylent green.
Green bug on black locust

Humans have three types of color receptors in the eye.  Basically, they are for sensing red, green, and blue.  In general, humans are most sensitive to greenish wavelengths.  I suppose that is why greens seem so vivid (or is it just me?).  I used to do some physiological research on various critters, among them, zebrafish.  Zebrafish have four sensor types and are most sensitive to UV.  I wonder what their favorite color is…
Green zucchini pickles

I guess I am sort of glad, but also bummed that a camera just rarely seems to capture colors as vividly as they are in real life.  I guess that’s one of the things that makes the moment so special.
Green sunflower
Green Hillside

This hillside is outside my office and has been very interesting to watch evolve in color through the summer.  Right now, there are plants that are turning bright red and goldenrod has also really cropped up.  Green dominates but the hillside is alive with color!

My favorite green!

This is my favorite green…I am trying to avoid caffeine and drink more water and milk so it’s rare that I get to enjoy any of this nectar…so sad…


There was an old junky shelf in our basement that was pieced together with a 1×12 and a 1×8 screwed together. I hated to just burn it up but wasn’t sure what to do with it. Isaac and Abigail had a visit at their Summer camp program from the Three Rivers Avian Center where they learned about bird habitats and their bird rescue program. The kids were so interested that they suggested we make some birdhouses out of the wood. We’ve had a house wren pair that have nested in an existing house the last three years and hatched 2 sets of eggs per year. That leaves us with a lot of house wrens around. I found some plans online for a house wren’s house and our wood measured out sufficient to make 3 houses. That should hopefully help our wren-friends. I ripped the boards to width and the kids sawed them to length by hand. They did a marvelous job on the first house. Abigail primed the wood and painted it in a rainbow motif. She assured me that the birds will like it and never go to the wrong house. She also thought the bees would enjoy the colors. It is really a beautiful paint job. We’ll probbaly work on the other two houses next weekend.

Unscrewing the old shelf

Unscrewing the old shelf

Hand sawing the board
Hand sawing the board
Sawdust nose?

Needs more paint!

Priming the house

Abigail was a tremendous painter through it all. She applied several coats of primer to both the house and her legs. She waited patiently for each coat to dry…at least 10 minutes or so between coats. The best part was her work with colors. She was incredibly excited with her creation…with good reason!

The nearly finished product

She has not yet announced her design thoughts for the next houses.  She is opinionated about everything though so I am sure she will let us know!

Reel mower to the rescue

We have an old Lawnboy 2-cycle mower that has been passed around the family for hundreds of years. It has been a great mower but it became unreliable on our watch. We decided to go shopping for a new mower and had hoped to find something easy to push on our crazy hills. I had been looking at various reel mowers but had never used one. We decided to look into it as we shopped. We found a fairly light one made by Scott’s and figured we’d try it.

It gives an awesome cut! It is easier to push than our motorzied mower and doesn’t make me smell of exhaust afterwards. The best part is that it cost only $82 compared to $250 or more for the motorized ones. It produces no pollutants and costsus nothing in gas money. The only weakness we have found so far is that it does not do great with those weed things that stick up way above the grass. I think we are going to go shopping for a weed-whip this weekend to remedy that problem.

Rain Barrels

This was the first rain barrel we installed. I went to a seminar put on by DNR and the city. They discussed the need, the benefits, etc and subsidized the cost. The best part about it was that it started out white. No need to paint it! I don’t like the bottom drain so much but it surely works.

My parents got some blue barrels that were originally full of vinegar. I painted them (is it that obvious?!) and hooked them up. Both drain to the location the down spouts originally fed.

Don’t forget to install a drain! I didn’t have drains at first thinking that it wouldn’t flood too bad…well, I got a lesson in how much rain runs off of a roof in a downpour. Drains are critical unless you don’t mind the water running down your foundation.

I hooked two barrels together on the side of the house where the gutter drains the largest amount of roof. I could probably use 10 barrels on that area but it wouldn’t look too hot. Anyhow, I also saw some other folks who had a contraption built to allow the first several gallons to pour out rather than go into the barrels. Basically, on mine the water goes down into the big pvc pipe which holds a small plastic ball. As it fills, the ball floats up to the neck between the big and small pipes. When it reaches the top, it seals the large vertical pipe and redirects water into the ‘y’ and down into the barrel. There is a small leak in the big pipe so it drains ‘automagically’ between downpours. The two barrels are joined together by the hose that connects the two via their spigots. I just leave both spigots open most of the time (but I can close the individually when I want to use some water). Water will level itself between the two barrels without my intervention.

I could probably use some lessons in spray painting but it blends with the house from a distance…unless you ask Emily.