Tag Archive | home

Neighbor, We Need to Talk….

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If my neighbor’s tree branches hang into my yard, can I trim them?

Yes. By law, you have the right to trim branches and limbs that extend past your property line, nothing further into the neighbor’s yard. You may not go onto the neighbor’s property or destroy the tree. If you do harm to the tree, you could be found liable for up to three times the value of the tree. Most trees have a replacement value of between $500 and $3,500. Some are considered ornamental or landmark trees and can have an astonishing values of between $20,000 and $60,000. Be sure to use extreme caution when tree trimming!

If my neighbor owns a fruit tree and the branches hang over my property, can I eat the fruit?

No. The fruit of the tree belongs to the owner of the tree, so don’t pick any unless you’ve asked! Courts are divided on who can have fallen fruit, however. Be sure to check your local laws to see if you can eat any fruit that falls from the tree.

If my neighbor’s leaves keep blowing into my yard, could I file a nuisance claim?

No. Leaves are considered a natural product. Even if the leaves cause damage, like clogging your gutters or pipes, you have no legal claims against the owner of the tree.

However, if the tree branches that are shedding the leaves are hanging over your yard, or the tree trunk is encroaching on your property, then you have a right to trim those branches up to your property line.

You could also consider building a fence. Fencing that is built on your side of the property line may help those leaves from blowing over into your yard. Ever heard the saying, “Fences make better neighbors”?

Most of a large tree hangs over my yard, but the trunk is in the neighbor’s yard. Who’s tree is it?

The neighbor owns the tree. So long as the tree trunk is wholly in the neighbor’s yard, it belongs to the neighbor.

When the tree trunk is divided by the property lines of two or more people, it is referred to as a “boundary tree”. In the case of a “boundary tree”, all of the property owners own the tree and share responsibility for it. Tree removal without the consent of all the property owners is unlawful.

My neighbor dug up his yard, and in the process killed a tree that’s just on my side of the property line. Am I entitled to compensation for the tree?

Yes. In this situation, the tree owner has the right to sue for damages. Anyone who engages in tree removal, tree cutting, or injury to the tree without the owner’s permission is liable for compensating the tree owner. In many cases, the tree-owner has been compensated by up to three times the value of the tree. If you will be excavating near any trees, be sure to consult an arborist.

A storm knocked down my neighbor’s tree limb onto my property, damaging my house, car, and yard furniture. Is he responsible for the damages?

It depends. The court will probably apply a reasonable care standard. If your neighbor took reasonable care to maintain the tree branch and the tree branch did not seem to a reasonable person to be threatening to fall, then probably not. If a reasonable person could not have avoided this from happening in any way, then it will be deemed an Act of God, and the neighbor will not be liable.

If, after applying this reasonable care standard, however, the court finds that a reasonable person would have or should have known that the tree branch posed a danger of falling, or that the neighbor never did reasonable inspections to maintain the tree branch, then the neighbor could be found liable of negligence, and therefore responsible for damages to your property.

My neighbor’s tree looks like it’s going to fall on my house. What should I do?

Landowners are responsible for maintaining the trees on their property. Legally, they have two duties: make reasonable inspections and take care to ensure the tree is safe. Therefore, if a reasonable inspection shows that the tree could be dangerous, your neighbor is responsible for the tree removal. If your neighbor does not remove the dangerous tree, and the tree does in fact cause damage, your neighbor can be held liable.

If you have spoken to your neighbor about the tree issue, and he has not done anything about it you do have laws that protect you. The tree may constitute a nuisance, by interfering with your use and enjoyment of your own property. You could file a nuisance claim, and if the court finds that the true is a nuisance, the court may order the tree removed. Having a professional arborist write a letter describing the condition of the tree will help.

Hopefully, you will not have to go that far. Most cities have ordinances prohibiting property owners from keeping dangerous conditions on their property. If you call your municipality, they may remove the tree themselves or order your neighbor to do it.

Utility companies may also have an interest in the tree’s removal if the tree’s condition threatens any of its equipment. A simple call to a utility company may prompt them to remove the tree themselves.

The spreading of tree roots on my land damaged my neighbor’s septic tank. Do I have to compensate my neighbors?

It depends. You will need to check with your specific state laws, as each state is different. In most states, the bothered neighbor can engage in the tree trimming or root cutting herself, and does not have a claim against the tree owner. Other states provide that neighbors may sue if the following conditions are met:

  • Serious harm caused by encroaching tree limbs or tree roots may give rise to a lawsuit. Serious harm usually requires structural damage, such as damaged roofs or walls, crushed pipes, cracked foundations and cracked or clogged sewers.
  • If an encroaching tree was planted, not wild, the neighbor may sue.
  • A neighbor may only sue if the tree is noxious. “Noxious” means that the tree must be inherently dangerous or poisonous, AND the tree must cause actual damage.

Still other states are not as straightforward, but lawsuits have been successful when the tree does cause substantial damage or interferes with the neighbor’s use and enjoyment of her property (constituting a nuisance claim).

 

 

The bottom line is that you need to check your own state’s laws regarding who’s responsible for tree related damage. However, why wait? If you see a tree on your property or a neighbors, hire a professional arborist to check it out. She will bring you piece of mind and may even avert a hefty claim on your homeowners insurance!

Added after publishing
I was reminded of a story regarding this tree… If you look at the left side of the tree, about a third of the way up, you’ll see a large stump. This limb had snapped, was touching the ground, but not completely severed from the tree. In forestry, these are called ‘widow makers’. There is a similar term in heart attacks when a specific area of the heart is effected, as the result is the same. A widow is made.
I saw the snapped limb the next morning after a storm. I had actually heard the crack the night before, although couldn’t see it. Later on that day, I heard a chainsaw fire-up and went out to investigate. My neighbor had his ladder against the tree and his wife was at the end of a rope that was attached to the limb to pull it out of the way when it detached (silly human – Woman=160# and Limb=1500#). I started to run for the fence… It was too late. Before I could either film the possible death of my neighbor or yell for him to stop. The limb gave way.
I’m no physics major, nor slept in a Holiday Inn the night before, so in layman’s terms, the tree was pulled back like a slingshot when the limb fell, and when the limb was cut free, it ‘sprang’! His ladder was propelled backwards with him on it. His chainsaw fell, since he chose to hang onto the ladder instead. Luckily, the wife was clear. Although he was able to lean and send the ladder back forward towards the tree, the location he had rested the ladder originally had shifted and he fell forward, while the ladder feet slid out with the top rung of the ladder scraping down the trunk of the tree. A helluva ride down!!
This all happened in 5 seconds.
This man has already had a heart attack 4 years ago.
Hopefully, the only bad outcome to this was he had to change his pants…


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Bathroom Renovations Part 2 – Construction

imageSo, I left you, my dear readers, with me still using the freezing basement pooper, mad because I had to buy another can of paint, apply said paint and was running a bit late in the scheduling department. ( Part 1 ) Thank goodness I did not build in a time frame into my contract. I guess as long as it was done before March, I was golden. 😉

By now, my vanity had arrived. I am not afraid to order from Amazon.com, you just need to be a bit open-minded sometimes. Color is the worst thing to deal with. I have had shit luck buying formal dresses, however other clothes have been fine. It arrived well packaged and looked great for the price. These sinks usually go for 3X what I paid (due to the labor) and this one has it’s quirks, hence the lesser price. We’re happy with it, though!

Back on the color matching issue, until the vanity was delivered, I couldn’t shop for any shelves or accessories until I saw the vanity color in person. I knew my hubby could match anything in color via stain, so I was safe buying anything ‘raw’ for him to stain. I had already ordered the raw shelf that would eventually go above the tile. Now for a mirror. We had to go to the Big Depot to buy some grout and ended up finding a matching mirror and medicine cabinet for good prices! Couldn’t pass ’em up and off they went home with us.

So, I’m armed with most of my bathroom ingredients, all staged to go in my garage. It should (did) all flow well now. It was time to tackle the third coat of paint… Since the second can of paint could have been +/-3% off in color from the first, I decided to save some time and tape the ceiling off & not hit it with the third coat. It was white originally and two coats looked great.

I was now ready to apply my faux painting. I have done many faux finishes before: ragging, sponging, linen effect, and faux Venetian plaster. I’m not afraid to try things! Since the Venetian plaster was out, I just perused the paint store for ideas. They had opalescent paint that could be colored in any color I wanted. Perfect. Since there is no window in there, I guessed the opalescence would give the illusion the room is lighter than it is. I picked a color called ‘Cool Avocado’ and bought scrap T-shirt material to apply it, called ‘ragging’. In short, I soaked the rag in the paint and smooshed it on the walls with different angles and pressures. If you really want to know the details, go to You Tube!

wp-1454296245058.jpg The opalescent paint is so beautiful, IMO. I love how it moves in the light. It seems to disappear in places the light hits, giving the illusion that I missed a huge spot on the wall! However, if you shift positions, you can see the shimmery green return to the area. This worked great for my application, however I don’t think this would look good as a stand alone, solid color.

I was able to finish the faux in about 6 hours on a Friday. This was perfect timing, as it dries very fast and we could at least get the toilet set before sundown. Whew! Indoor plumbing 😉

So this is how it all fell together, start to finish, Cliff’s Notes Style!

  • Remove old vanity.
  • Add matching tile where missing under vanity.
  • Unset toilet and remove everything from walls.
  • Center off-center electrical box for vanity light.
  • Drywall, fix holes and sand, and sand, and sand…..
  • Paint 3 coats of expensive, moisture resistant bathroom paint.
  • Faux ‘ragging’ paint in opalescent green.
  • Toilet set.
  • Hang & grout the green glass tile for our ‘back splash’.
  • Hang both the fan light and the vanity light.
  • Install the vanity, sink and faucet. Ah, it’s good to know a plumber!
  • Hang the mirror – we chose to use two screws, not liquid nail to hang our mirror (gesh, overkill!)
  • Hang medicine cabinet, shelf, hooks, towel rod, TP holder, and shower curtain.
  • Lay cute stone cobble rug.
  • Cue dogs for photo bomb of finished product!
  • Done? To Be Continued….

Here’s a picture gallery of the progress:

Yes, the 1970’s called, they want their bathroom back! Not entirely horrible, real oak vanity, large med cabinet… The shower curtain was an experiment. It looked like a Jarabe Tapatío (Mexican Hat Dance) dress! Yes, that was cut from the re-deux.

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First to go was the vanity. We had electrical, dry-walling and painting to do. There were at least 6 coats of paint to deal with around he vanity and old medicine cabinet. Along with the damage where the mirror was glued to the wall. I felt like Karate Kid… SAND THE FENCE! Well, really SAND THE FLOOR, as it was circular motions.

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After all the dry-walling and sanding, it was time to paint. My husband hates painting, however helped cut in the corners. I did write a love note to my husband on the wall behind the vanity. Like a time capsule!

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I painted the whole room. All 5 of the subsequent paint jobs, after the first one (while being built) never painted behind the toilet. If someone really wants to change these fixtures, they could potentially keep this paint job.

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Coming right along! The cute picture in the middle is of my husband’s and Breck’s plumber butt!

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And we’re done!! I’m sure I’ll add some trinkets and perhaps a shelf for junk in the future though.

So, when it came down to schedule, I was about a week over or 1/3 over the originally projected time frame. Eh, that’s pretty par for the course.

And now the big question… How did I do on my budget. Well, as I said in Part 1, a 20% – 30% additional is about right. I have not added these up yet until now, writing this post & after the project was complete. I don’t have enough OCD to know to the dollar what I spent, but let’s see where I ended-up, roughly:

Budget was for $1,700.00 + 30% ($510.00) Gives me $2,310.00 for realsies. I’m not counting labor here.

  • Vanity & associated products – $845.00
  • Mirror – $57.00
  • Faucet – $36.00
  • Medicine cabinet  – $37.00
  • Wood Shelf & stain – $30.00
  • Floor tile & associated products – $80.00
  • Drywall & associated products – $70.00
  • Glass wall tile & associated products -$85.00
  • Paint & associated products – $190.00
  • New vanity light, wall plates + rewiring – $75.00
  • Hooks, towel rack & TP holder – $80.00
  • Shower curtain & rod – $70.00
  • Rug – $25.00
  • Dye for towels – $3.00 (saved me $150 in towels!!)

Aaaaand the total is: $1,683.00!! Uh oh. UNDER budget? Let’s see here… 20, carry the 4, then add the 6… Yup. Technically, spot on budget! I could argue the fact that I still need a soap dispenser (eyeballing one @ $20.00) and I would really like a ‘bath sheet’ (another $20.00). A new bath mat would be nice also ($12.00). Lastly a trinket shelf (about $40.00). That would add $92.00 to the tab. New total – $1,775.00.

What really happened in my head when I came up with the $1,700.00 budget in the first place, was that I really wanted to only spend $1,500.00, but added the extra $200.00 for ‘uh oh’s’ that came up. I didn’t expect to have to buy a mirror, however I didn’t expect to not have to buy towels, either. I expected the vanity light rewiring to be more work and material than it was and didn’t expect to pay an extra $60.00 in the paint department. I think I was just pretty lucky this renovation!!

All in all, I am ECSTATIC about my new pooper!

Next project? The kitchen! =-O

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Bathroom Renovations Part 1 – Budgets & Scheduling

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This is how Alaskans do it!!

On the first day of my winter break, I got a wild hair in my ass to renovate my main bathroom. I have been wanting to do something to the house since we became a bit more stable in the financial department. . However, every time I chose a construction project (kitchen countertops, new windows, patio…) the “construction dominos” would start falling and I quickly lost interest as my budget was blown.

What is a construction domino? It’s when you stack all the things you need to do for a project in a line then try to fill in other dominos (problems) that crop-up during the project without them all falling. When you plan to do any construction, there is ALWAYS an unknown factor that can’t be factored in at the beginning. Or even when you do factor it in, it can be the maker or breaker of a project.

EXAMPLE – You may think you are doing a quick change out of a new toilet for about $250, however after you’ve bought your new toilet (thinking you’ll save money by buying it yourself at the Big Depot instead of from the plumber), it’s the wrong size and you now need to pay the plumber to pick-up the right model… Or, the toilet collar turns out to be rusted away and needs to be replaced… Clack, clack, clack. The dominos start falling, just like the dough you’re dropping into the project.

I am a landscape construction estimator. Believe me, I know about construction costs! Basically, add a healthy 20% – 30% to any budget and that is where it will really fall after all is said and done. One more time, be sure the initial estimate is 30% LOWER than what you want to spend.  Believe me! Small things not anticipated can add up quickly! Even for a seasoned professional like myself.

My budget for my bathroom project was $1,700*, with a completion schedule of 2 weeks. The project will encompass a new vanity/sink/faucet, new mirror, tile backsplash, shelves and a faux paint finish. All of the work will be done by my husband and me, no other contractors needed. Big bucks can be saved every time you can do something yourself. This project would easily be $5,000 had I hired a contractor and not done as fast, because they would need multiple visits to complete.

Here’s just a few of the construction dominos that fell (so far) during my bathroom renovation:

  • There was no tile under existing vanity – as I had bought a vanity with legs this time, I needed to match the tile & lay 4.5 tiles.
  • I had planned on reusing the mirror, however I damaged it on removal – need new.
  • The light above the vanity was wired incorrectly and not centered.
  • Toilet seat broke when someone stood on it to reach the light. .. (not me!)
  • I originally wanted to go with a Venetian plaster finish to cover the poor drywall job. Turns out the color choices are very limited in Venetian plaster and I didn’t like any of them, so I needed to do A LOT of drywall repair to be able to use regular paint.
  • Even after 2 coats of expensive, primer included paint, it did not cover the dark green paint & I need to buy another $57 gallon for a 3rd coat.

Right now, 3 weeks after my winter break, I’m only to the point of painting my 3rd coat today. Remember ‘construction schedule’ are two words that go together like military intelligence or politically correct. IE, they don’t!! So, just like the budget estimate, add 30% more time to your project. I thought I’d be done last weekend… Well, as of today, it looks like the bathroom will be functional next weekend, however not fully complete with shelves and a mirror.

Thank goodness, I have a basement washroom to shit, shave and shower in. I don’t know anyone’s basement that’s cozy warm, and mine is no different. Allow me to reference the Styrofoam photo above. .. I love watching the “Buying Alaska” series. In Alaska, there are many homes with no indoor plumbing. How they combat the shock of sitting on a frozen, outhouse toilet seat is to create a seat of Styrofoam that is kept warm in the house. When needed, the warm seat is brought to the outhouse and your butt won’t freeze to the seat! This seat now resides at the top of the stairs, warm and at the ready when I have to use the freezing cold, basement loo! 😉

Watch for Bathroom Renovations Part II – The Construction Project coming up soon (When I finish it!!)

*$1,700 –  This number was to also include towels, rug, shower curtain/rod and wall plates. Stop laughing at me… 😉

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Men Don’t Get Hints

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I found this post in a Reddit forum:

I wonder if to women, who seem to live in a world of subtlety and nuance, we men just look like great big oblivious walking bricks. We are astoundingly literal creatures.

“Let’s go back to my place and check out the new wallpaper in my bedroom.”
“New wallpaper? Why the fuck would I be interested in that? Dumb girl.”

Ladies, take this to heart. When your guy is not picking up on your subtle hints, it’s not because he’s being deliberately obtuse, it’s because we’re just not built that way. If we miss hints that would lead us to poon-tang (which we’re interested in), then we’re sure as hell not going to pick up on hints regarding whatever random household chore we have apparently failed to do. Glue a post-it note to our forehead, write it across your breasts, but don’t simply hint at it and then get frustrated if we don’t catch it.

Yes, I have been with my man for 12 years, however that doesn’t mean that I understand what the hamster that runs the wheel in his brain does. After staring at the situation in the photo for three straight days, I decided to do a bit of research into why this situation wasn’t remedied with my husband’s first trip to the bathroom.

It comes down to men not getting the hints we lay out and not wanting to deal with the nagging that usually ensues after said hint is not picked up upon. Here are the two techniques that I have tried to implemented at our home and seem to be working:

Remember to say please and thank you—be sure to touch him when you do

No one enjoys being bossed around, especially by spouses, so there’s no point in throwing down orders like a spoiled diva. All it does is stirs up memories of their mothers nagging them to clean their rooms.

Therapists concur that we need to approach our husbands not like children, but with the calm, respectful manner we would friends. Be sure to ask, not tell. One day I said to my husband, “The fucking garbage?!” That sentence didn’t even get a reply. I tried again. “Could you please take out the garbage? It’s totally rank.” I could have left out the last part, I suppose, but I did get a response, although it wasn’t the one I wanted: “I’ll do it when this show is over.”

Later, when the garbage remained unchanged (and still smelly), I took the advice of Toni Coleman, LCSW, a relationship coach from McLean, Virginia. “Husbands will respond better if you place a persuasive hand on his arm or back. Men really respond to physical touch.”

So, I leaned in closely, but not close enough to block his view of the T.V., placed my hand gently on his shoulder and using my sweetest voice, I said, “Honey, could you please take out the garbage now that the show is over?” Not only did I accomplish getting his attention, he got up and took care of the smelly mess straight away. He seemed pleased (and a bit shocked) when I thanked him with a kiss afterward.

Granted, I don’t get a kiss, box of chocolates or diamond earrings when I clean the bathroom, however this technique takes very little of my resources and, more importantly, IT WORKS!!

Play the empathy card

Another handy tactic is getting your spouse to empathize with your situation. It is better to say that you can’t relax and scratch his back until the dinner dishes are washed than, “Why don’t you ever help with the dishes?” Not only do gentler words persuade your husband, they allow him to come to your rescue—something men take pleasure in doing.

One day I asked my husband to bring the crates that were filled with camping gear down to the basement for the winter. One day went by, then two… then on the third day, I nagged again. I was told, “Why don’t you put the crates down there yourself!”

I realized that my husband didn’t understand why I was asking (OK, nagging) him to do something I could do myself. I told him it’s difficult for me to lift the crates and carry them down the stairs. The next morning the crates were put away.

 

Ladies, I know it’s difficult to communicate with our men, but hopefully after utilizing these two techniques at your home, the garbage will never be full and smelly again!! =-) 

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Merry Dang Christmas or “Enjoy Your Time Off!”

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This was a gingerbread house contest entry sponsored by the Girl Scouts of America. This girl sure has a great imagination!!

It’s getting closer to Christmas and I’ve actually hardly noticed! I have been counting down the days until my two week holiday shut-down at work (18th), however not Christmas. I’ve stopped celebrating Christmas and generally ditched my Christian status about 8 years ago. I’ve stopped decorating, buying a tree and garnishing my nails with holiday scenes. My Catholic husband doesn’t seem to care, as he surely doesn’t feel like climbing on the roof to hang lights and right back up to remove them.

I enjoy not having the pressure to exchange gifts or make relatives happy. My father spends most of his winter time in Hawaii and I see my brother often enough for him to spend the holidays with his fiance’s family. He is also a Christmas-season baby like myself, so we’ll hook-up for some pub crawling the weekend after. The lack of pressure also really helps my mental ups and downs.

I have two small glitches to my plan of complete Christmasness… two nephews. I’ll play along for their sake while they are kids, although at 18, they will become adults and no auto-presenting will occur.

This doesn’t mean I’m not generous with my money or time. Although I do give regularly to my favorite charities*, I tend to give a bit to other causes this time of the year. I also love spending time to make wreaths and door swags for the local gardening club, workdays at Volo Bog and organizing toys for the needy.

Anyway, it won’t be long before it is inappropriate to say Merry Christmas. ‘Happy Holidays‘ has been in use for a good 20 years to my recollection, and ‘Merry Christmas’ only first uttered around 1565. The new phrase is to prevent any offense to non-Christians. Recently, I’ve just chose to say, ‘Enjoy your time off!’ As you may not get these religious holidays off in the future, either. Change is inevitable. There were many religions before Christian and there will be many more after it. So…

Enjoy your time off!!!

*
Volo Bog
Save a Pet
World Wildlife Federation
The Nature Conservancy

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Bugs Want In!

Insects have many ways of getting through the winter. Some produce antifreeze and tough it out in the elements. These guys want to come inside and sit besides you while you binge watch ‘Bones’.
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Ooopsy, I had a mis-ID on this fellow. He is a Leptoglossus oppositus, not an assassin beetle as thought. These guys eat fruit and actually do have a smell they emit if scared.

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Ladybug VS Asian Beetle?

• Ladybug is the name of the main group, while Asian beetle is a species of the group.

• Asian beetles are usually larger than most of the ladybug species.

• Ladybugs are native to many parts of the world including Americas, but Asian beetles are native only to Asia.

• Asian beetles have an M or W shape on the pronotum but not in other ladybugs. The photo to the left is an Asian Beetle.

• Some ladybugs are herbivorous but Asian beetles are always voracious carnivores. Herbivorous ladybugs are more serous pests of agricultural crops than the Asian beetles that could contaminate some grapes.

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Boxelder Bugs really like the south sides of homes because of their warmth.

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The gang is all here!!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Grass Spider ~ Agelenopsis Species

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Grass Spiders (Agelenopsis spp.) is comprised of 13 species collectively found throughout most of the U.S. and southern Canada. Like all members of the funnel weaver family, they spin thick, non-sticky, sheet-like webs with a funnel-like retreat where the spider hides and waits for the next meal to fall in the hole.

This one decided my paper roll was a great foundation for a home. It just needed a few web upgrades, but mostly move-in ready. I like grass spiders,  they take-out many other annoying insects. Even their webs are fairly easy clean-up as they aren’t sticky like other spider webs. When they are outside, a shot from the blower takes care of them. I usually wait for the autumn to be over and these guys have died off before I condemn the property tho! Grass spiders only live one year. They are born in the spring from an egg laid last winter.

Grass Spiders, like most spiders, inject their prey with venom. But no worries, their venom cannot be injected into humans because their fangs are not large  enough to pierce human skin. However, to small insects and other prey of this spider, their venom is very deadly.

 

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© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Brownie House Garden

My husband built a Brownie House a few months ago, hoping to attract a nice family of Brownies to help us fix the many broken items we have at our home.
imagewpid-20150701_122637.jpgBrownies are flightless fairy folk, similar to a hobgoblin, who love to fix things that are broken and improving them where possible. They do not like to be seen and will only work at night, traditionally in exchange for small gifts of food. Among food, they especially enjoy porridge and honey. Also, when ingredients are left out, they will bake something delicious, although they always attempt to make it into a dessert. I must have been a Brownie in a past life….

The Brownies that moved in didn’t seem to like the front walk and re-laid it more to their liking. I wanted their home to be a lovely retreat to enjoy during the day while they were resting from all the hard work they put into our broken items at night. I thought the flowers were a great touch. The Brownies must have agreed, as they added shiny glass gazing balls to their yard.

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© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

My Neighbor, Mr. Woodchuck

Happy Friday Neighbor!!!

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How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could
if a woodchuck could chuck wood!

The answer? About 700 pounds. Compared to beavers, groundhogs/woodchucks are not adept at moving timber, although some will chew wood. (At Cornell, woodchucks that gnaw their wooden nest boxes are given scraps of 2-by-4 lumber.) A wildlife biologist once measured the inside volume of a typical woodchuck burrow and estimated that — if wood filled the hole instead of dirt — the industrious animal would have chucked about 700 pounds’ worth.

Cornell University

It is another species that has many common names, however is the same species. The Algonquin Indians of the Midwestern area called them ‘wuchak‘, and the bastardized version became woodchuck. Other areas that didn’t encounter the Algonquins called them ground hogs, perhaps because of their pig-like squeals.

A woodchuck or groundhog is a North American species of marmot, Marmota monax. They like to call the open woods and ravines throughout most of Canada and the NE United States home. Its heavyset body is about 2 feet (60 cm) long and is covered with coarse, brownish fur accented with longer gray hairs. Woodchucks are herbivores that are active during the day.
Groundhogs are excellent burrowers, the build burrows for sleeping, rearing young, and hibernating.

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This little one has many things to eat around here. It will be a huge mulberry year. I see them ripening now. No worries, I’ll share!!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl