locating a buried 4″ drainage pipe

About 20 years ago I dug a 100 ft trench for a 4" drain pipe, which led from a concave area of the yard where the rainwater gathered, to a nearby creek.  Over the years I planted many trees and shrubs in this area.  The pipe worked well until the past few months when it completely ceased functioning.  With downpours seemingly more intense than ever, I decided I had to fix the problem. I have a 50 ft plumber's snake and I inserted it in the hole and it moved along easily for 45 ft and then hit Read more [...]

“Paradise Lost”?

So, some time has passed since my last post and that's because my focus has been distracted.  Reality has a way of intruding on the cocoon we build around us.  It may be sudden severe ill health.  Or, as in my case, an intrusion. In my "battle of wits" post last month I mentioned the advent of the fox which seized my favorite chicken.  A predator from the outside.  Well, a few weeks ago, another predator surfaced - the human kind, and one evening, when I was away from the property, they broke Read more [...]

2nd chicken coop door installed

Last week I designed, constructed and installed my first coop door opener - it has operated flawlessly the past week automatically opening the door at about 8am and then late afternoon I reverse the current and close it when I feed the chickens and settle them for the night. An ongoing issue has been the aggressiveness of the Buff Orpington rooster  to his Buff Orpington sister.  The coop has a partition door and, prior to the advent of the door opener, I would house Lady Macbeth (such a fierce Read more [...]

chicken coop door opener

After several weeks spinning my thoughts, I finally got down to it and built and installed an automatic chicken coop door opener.  For the time being it is half automatic - it will open the coop door in the morning (time set for 7.30am) and I will close it in the evening after I have housed and fed the chicken.  Cost of components, excluding scrap wood, hardware, and the transformer which was laying around, was less than $50. I have included full details and photos under the "Self reliance" Read more [...]

preparing for winter

Yesterday morning I did not need a weather forecast to know cold was incoming and that it was time to protect some of the plantings.  Of the 12 fruit trees installed earlier this year, the Gold Nugget loquat was the most vulnerable.  The loquat is suited for sub-tropical to mild temperate zones and freezing temperatures will kill the buds if not the tree.  My loquat did not do very well this summer, probably too hot for it, but I will do what I can to help it and first steps was to winterwrap Read more [...]


Highway robbers did holdups – stopped travelers under threat of violence to lighten their possessions. I was heldup for several days and only today was I released and able to continue my blog journey. The ethereal robber slipped through the internet highways and abruptly hijacked my laptop. It was not a baldfaced “stand and deliver” instead a more nuanced demand for protection money – the intruder announced it had identified serious virus threats and upon activation and payment of a ransom Read more [...]