I sure hope your week is going well. Things are busy as always for Lynette and I around here, but I did want to get a few words in before we ship this off to the press.
First and foremost, thank you to everyone for picking up this week's issue and giving some of your precious time to reading it. From day one, Lynette and I wanted to make sure this was a free paper for people who like to read. After all, what we do is all about readership.
The Grill, The Garden
& A Gun...
No, this is not a movie title about a distraught gardener fighting off an onslaught of cute bunnies... let me explain...
Last fall I went through some old stuff out behind the garage and found my old Father's Day gift from many years ago - a gas grill.
The grill had seen better days so I proceeded to refurbish it and put it back into use, which I did. Now this particular grill has a small triangle shaped hole in each side for a rotisserie attachment. I stepped out on the back deck a few days ago and popped it open to find the inside was full of little sticks. I cleared them out and went about my day, not thinking anything about it until the next day when I opened it again - the sticks were back. Well, I had my suspicions of what was happening so I cleared it out and went into the garage and watched out the window. Within a few minutes there it was - a little brown wren... with another stick in its beak. It hopped into the little triangle hole, deposited the stick and flew off for more. As any bird watcher knows, wrens are very small birds and a "wren house" is usually on the smaller side of bird houses, with very small openings. This wren must have thought he had found the "Taj Ma Bird House". The poor thing looked like it was trying to build a wren apartment building in my grill. Now, I appreciate nature, but sharing my grill with a bird family just wasn't going to work. So, after debating what to do with my wife, Lynette, she remembered a small sunflower painted birdhouse we had gotten from a 2nd hand store. We tracked it down and set it on top of the charcoal grill which was next to the gas grill. I then left the hood open to discourage any further construction. Sure enough, about twenty minutes later, I saw the wren hop into the little house with a stick in its beak. Mission accomplished... but wait, it can't sit on the charcoal grill either. So, I moved it across the garden onto a log table next to one of my horseshoe pits. In a few minutes, here comes the little wren... looking for his home. Well, he looked at me, looked at where the bird house had just been, looked back at me, dropped the stick, and let off a series of what I can only imagine were some pretty rank bird-language expletives. (something like "what are you doing, you blankety-blanking home-wrecking featherless freak?!!?)
The good news is that soon after that, the wren found the birdhouse again. Mission accomplished... but wait, it was just then, I realized that the birdhouse couldn't sit on that table, it would get knocked off by a wind storm. So, I had dug up some posts this Spring to expand the garden a bit, and I dug one in close to where the birdhouse was and secured it to the top, and, for good measure, I added a dowel perch to the post so the bird had something to land on before hopping inside.
I would like to report that new location is working out well. I see there is a pair of wrens now and they are happily "tweeting" away.
Well... work and weather has slowed our gardening down a bit so far. We have a couple things in and a few thing to get yet. We are going to try some eggplants this year for something new, plus the standard beans, carrots, onions, tomatos, peppers, etc. Hopefully I will have more to share in upcoming issues.
Another of my hobbies is woodworking. My father has been into black powder rifles and pistols for a long time and I wanted to get one of my own. For a couple of years, I kept an eye out and just never came across the right deal, at the right time, with the right money. So I ended up getting a .50 caliber Kentucky Long Rifle black powder kit to build my own. This was by far one of my favorite do-it-yourself projects I have ever done. The kit came with the barrel, trigger mechanism and some vaguely gun-shaped pieces of wood. It took quite a bit of cutting, sanding and fitting to get it right, but it did all look good in the end. I then stained, sanded, stained again and then put 8 coats of gloss finish with sanding in between each one. It is the first and only one I have built and I think it looked great and so did everyone else... but, the ultimate point is to make a gun that is accurate. The barrel came without the sights attached, so I had to tap them in and get as close as I could before test firing and adjusting. I took the rifle down to my folks place and my dad and I set up and old weather vane about thirty yards out. There was an arrow on one end and about a 2" X 2" square on the other. I leaned against one of the porch posts and fired... ting! It was ready to go. I have hunted deer with it since then, but that story will have to wait for another Publisher's Corner.
Take care everyone... we will talk to you soon!
Sean Athey, owner/publisher
sean@LakeAreaTidbits.com • www.LakeAreaTidbits.com