Monday, May 30, 2016

Home Improvement

Before we get to today's theme of home improvement I want to revisit "da boids" for a moment. The barn swallows are back to nesting and eating bugs, but now and then take a moment to check out their digs. Here is a male perched in the barn doing an impromptu survey.
Meanwhile, on the outside of the barn, a group of local herring gulls are checking out their kingdom. The barn is 72' long (22 meters) so it looks like I have at least 50' (15 meters) worth of gulls standing there.
So much for this week in critters.

It has been raining a lot lately and I was getting a little antsy to get outside and actually do something. Yesterday I remembered bring home enough lumber to make a little project. Yesterday, before running off to a high school graduation party, I decided to make a bench. It is a simple design and didn't take much time to cut the pieces and assemble them. Had I been uninterrupted it would have taken about an hour, but you know how it is. The garage has a nice dry space in which to work, so I did.
Things are a bit spartan by the ponds, so I decided to replace the seating there with this more comfortable seat. Here was the one that has been there for a few years.
Alas, it had served us well, but there comes a time to upgrade one's comfort level. This morning we did the exchange and said our farewells to "old reliable" and put "new reliable" in place.
Here's the view.
It is a nice place to relax and observe the birds and bugs and whatever else comes along. Remember last year's beavers?

On the way back up to the house I noticed the "lawn". If it weren't for dandelions I wouldn't have a lawn at all. Since yesterday, Stitch made dandelion cookies (actually more of a natural dietary supplement) and dandelion tea which were both edible and good for us. It's not likely that we'll ever run out of dandelions.

Not likely, at all.


  1. the new bench looks much more inviting. ah, to sit there and while away an afternoon...

  2. That's a beautiful and fitting throne for the King of Dandelions!

  3. Nice bench!

    Dandelion cookies??? I've heard of dandelion tea and I'd love to try dandelion wine, but I'm a bit puzzled about dandelion cookies.

  4. Colour me impressed.
    That is a wonderful bench. And I love your dandelion carpet too.

  5. anne marie, Once the biting insects thin out it'll be a nice place to sit.

    Debra, My other throne is white porcelain.

    P.Peeper, They are more like a health food bar than a 1000 calorie cookie, but pretty good, actually.

    Elephant's Child, It would be fun to change locations with you for a few weeks.

  6. I like the bench - very impressive. And does the bird in the first photo really have all those colours on it?? I'm smiling at the row of gulls on the peak of the roof :)

  7. I didn't know you could get gull by the metre. Jon-athan Metrebench Seagull!

  8. There's nothing wrong with the naturally occurring indigenous flora called dandelions.

  9. An actual use for dandelions? Now I've seen it all. Make a bench out of dandelions, THEN I'll be impressed.

    (Actually I am already impressed. That looks really well done)

    Also, I don't know whether I'd laugh or feel terrified by the thought of an army of dumb, clumsy birds lining up to watch over me and plot out my death.

  10. jenny_o, I'd be happy to build one for you if you weren't so far away. In the right light the swallows (males) are actually fairly colorful. Usually they move to fast to see, however.

    Bill the Butcher, I didn't know that either until I realized what they were up to. Jon-athan Metrebench Seagull has a nice ring to it.

    Tom. Dandelions are quite tenacious and learning to love them and make use of them seems like a much less frustrating way to deal with them. The bees like them, too.

    ABFTS, Dandelion stems are pretty tough. If I can figure out how to weave them...
    Gulls are graceful and cartoonish at the same time. I just KNOW they're up to no good.

  11. I am mentally transported to your new bench, even as I type. :)

  12. Love the new bench! That's what I need next to my garden, instead of the tattered circa-1970 aluminium lawn chair that I have now. One of these days it's going to drop my butt right on the ground (and probably trap me inside the frame at the same time). At least it'll be good for a blog post...

    And I love dandelions! They're so tough and cheerful at the same time. :-)

  13. I love the birds, I love the bench (nice work!) and I really love your dandelions!

  14. beautiful photos ,birds worth of it really ,you captured them in a lovely manner,
    you made this bench? that is great job you made it so nicely ,thank you for sharing your fav view you see from your new bench,it is lovely and peace to eyes and soul.have a blessed time with your dreams and desires

  15. Haha I love "this week in critters." And the bench. Can't believe you made it so fast. Always wished I had taken shop class instead of home ec!

  16. I love dandylions...and love that bench..I think I can even make one.

  17. Donna, That reminds me of attempting some astral projection. Remember Timothy Leary?

    Diane, The buckets and board was just too redneck after a few years.I am learning to love dandelions.

    Jennifer, Thank you!

    baili, Thank you very much.

    Dawn, I think boys and girls should learn both home ec and shop. It just makes too much sense.

    JACKIESUE, I have no doubt you could make one.

  18. Nice! Love the bench. And I doubt you'll have a dandelion shortage...

  19. I really like the look of dandelions, such a happy golden colour. But unfortunately my neighbours are not so keen so I have been forced to use the dandelion removal tool on my front lawn.
    My mum always told me that if I picked dandelion flowers I would wet the bed..... and did you know that the French word for dandelion is pissenlit..... which literally means pee in the bed?
    I'd love a bench like that, I would definitely sew a nice cushion to fit the seat.

  20. Watch your back Jono. Those gulls look like they're planning something. ; )

  21. A sea of beautiful. And I love the placement of that bench!

  22. Wow! Look at all those dandelions! You'll have plenty of dandelions for snacking this summer.

  23. What a cute little birdie! It's almost as cute as a little robin- if only it spelled its name correctly. ;-)

  24. A row of Fecal Raptors.

    Wonderful bench. Can I use your picture as a plan? I now have power tools but lack real lumber. Do you deliver?

    Good you like dandelion. As you said, you will never run out of them. The leaves are nice for salads early in the spring and I have heard of dandelion wine but cookies?

  25. Riot Kitty, I wonder what potential there is for dandelions as a cash crop? Hmmm.

    Shammickite, I learn something new every day! Thanks! FYI after eating and drinking dandelion parts I did not wet the bed. At my age that's a good thing.

    Agi T, I think the gulls are ALWAYS plotting against humans. Maybe it's because we call them feathered rats.

    Optimistic Existentialist, The bench is in a great place for relaxed viewing. When the bugs die off it might make a nice place for a nap.

    Ahab, I might just get into pick-and-eat behavior if I'm not careful.

    Robyn, A Robyn by any other name....

    Blog Fodder, Fecal Raptor! That's one to remember! If I were a wealthy man I would be happy to deliver. It only take 8 pieces of 2x4x8'. Quite simple. Maybe I'll make a new farm logo featuring a dandelion.

  26. Lovely photos and I really like the bench! :)