Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Barn Work

It has been a while since I posted. Not for lack of activity, but for lack of activity pertinent to this blog. Our lives have other aspects than the ones we chronicle here.

However there have been a few things I have been doing.

We are shaping up an old barn. Maybe it will be called the Hay House, as some of Phoebe's relatives lived in it years ago, when they first were on this property.

One thing I am doing is digging out years of accumulated barn floor duff. It is a mix of old hay, sheep manure, bailing twine, pallets and the odds and ends of 70 years of barn-ness.

The floor itself does not look like much, as you can see in the above photo. But as you see below, there is a fair amount of it built up. Phoebe points out that it is basically cob, a building material made of straw and mud. I am not sure the ratios are right for it to be used for anything, but maybe.

Digging out 18 inches of this stuff made for a dusty couple of afternoons; it also noticeably increased the amount of room in the barn. I got down to the layer of dirt and rock on the bottom, and if we ever get a tractor up here, we may take it down another 6". Every bit will help when we start stacking tons of hay in there.

Some of the tin on the roof needed replacing, so I poked at that for a bit. Some of the tenants in the barn were not happy. The lizards that live on the roof were curious, but not too upset.

It was the bats that I felt most sorry for. Woken in the middle of their night, only to move house in the blinding sun. I console myself with the thought that they will soon be able to move back in and that their abode will be better for the effort.

There was also a colony of mice living in the barn floor. I felt like I was some kind of villain in a Watership Down nightmare for them, as I chipped away at the duff, exposing their tunnels and burrows. Oh well. Mice in the wild I am fine with. Mice inside, not so much. The barn is kind of a middle ground between those two extremes, and I have no doubt the mice will be back. And once we have some grain in there, it will once again be time for them to go. So it goes


  1. I haven't noticed any lizards here at our place. I know that at my parents house down in CG I remembered seeing them sometimes as a kid. Not very often though as I think the cats were a detriment to them. When we lived in Arizona for 5 years I would watch the lizards sunbathing on the block walls outside. It would look like they would do push ups and it was cute.

  2. Hi Robin! It is a strange little micro climate here. Lots of Madrone trees and lizards.It's halfway between Molalla and Colton. I grew up here so it never seemed strange until I started realizing that I never saw those lizards at our other house less than 8 miles away. The homestead is a hill of rock and I think that is the main reason they do so well here.

  3. Thats neat that you have your own little micro climate. We live near a river (in Pleasant Hill) and have noticed a little bit of a micro climate going on too. We almost drove near Molalla last weekend as we were on a outing with Lee's parents but we hung around in Salem instead.


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