Wildlife at Mountain House

Sunday, February 23, 2020

When we first moved into the house, we saw all kinds of animals. Here's some documentation by way of blurry images.
The wildlife camera also picks up foxes. And we've seen a coyote in the side yard (and heard them many more times).

We haven't seen many deer or turkeys this past year as we did in the first. Maybe the dog is scaring them away?
Lotsa cat sightings [indoors], though.

9/7/19 - Bear
4/20/19 - A wild beast
A wild beast.
5/4/19 - A garage cat.
A sneaky garage cat.
7/18/18 - Groundhog (aka, "Fat Bastard"), he lives under that bush
7/27/2018 - A pair of turkeys
7/27/2018 - Porcupine in front of the current veggie garden
7/27/2018 - A pair of deer
7/29/2018 - A very scary dogge
Sleepin' porp.
8/2/2018 - Hummingbirds (all.the.time. in the summer)
8/13/2018 - Goldfinches (super common!)
8/22/2018 - Turkey fam.
Turkey fam.
8/22/2018 - a deer.
Single deer.
9/8/2018 - Bold turkey
Turkey close-up.

Copper Tape to Keep Snails Out of the Garden

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Applying Copper Tape to Raised Beds
We had a horrendous snail infestation last year, but no problems in my garden. Why? Copper tape around the raised beds. Not a single snail in there!

Basically, you clean the area with water and rubbing alcohol. Once it's dry, you peel back a bit of the copper tape backing and apply, only removing a few inches of backing at a time. Smooth as you go and try to go straight (I followed the edge of the wood plank). The copper tape is very delicate, but if you go slowly it should work out alright.
Applying Copper Tape to Raised Beds
Kale in the Garden
Applying Copper Tape to Raised Beds
You can clean it off year after year and it'll become shiny again, although the adhesive might give out at some point. Just reapply!

How I Set Up Raised Beds for the Garden

Sunday, February 9, 2020

To get us through February, we're about to have one zillion posts about gardening. So, so green! In cold, cold February!

Raised Bed Garden (Pseudo-hugelkultur)
Now that we're firmly into winter, all the seed catalogs are out and garden planning has begun! This is how we get through winter and mud season. This post documents my approach to raised bed gardening. I take a pseudo hugelkultur approach in which I fill much of a traditional raised bed with tree limbs and other organic matter that will decompose over time. This varies a bit from my wildflower stump garden as the beds have walls.

  1. Build raised beds, staple-gun hardware cloth to the bottom (keeps the moles, voles, etc. out).
    Attaching Hardware Cloth to the Bottom of the Raised Beds
  2. Ensure raised bed surface is even. My land is sloped, so I have to dig into the slope.
    Raising the Raised Bed's Ditch a Bit with Yard Debris
  3. Mix organic matter in with the dirt for the raised bed foundation. It'll rot over time and improve the soil.
    Filling in a Raised Bed Ditch a Bit for Better Drainage
  4. Place raised beds in their hole, put in a layer of sticks mixed with dirt.
    1 - Pseudo-Hugelkultur in a Raised Bed
  5. Tree limbs or a few logs come next.
    2 - Pseudo-Hugelkultur in a Raised Bed
  6. Another layer of sticks and native dirt.
    4 - Pseudo-Hugelkultur in a Raised Bed
  7. More tree limbs.
    5 - Pseudo-Hugelkultur in a Raised Bed
  8. Decomposing organic matter (leaves).
    6 - Pseudo-Hugelkultur in a Raised Bed
  9. The top 12" is the Joe Gardener Perfect Soil Recipe: 50% topsoil + 30% compost + 20% mixed organic matter.
    7 - Pseudo-Hugelkultur in a Raised Bed
  10. I like to mix the soil ingredients as I go along, rather than doing some complicated tarp-mixing approach.
    8 - Pseudo-Hugelkultur in a Raised Bed
  11. Keep mixing up the perfect soil recipe until the raised bed is full.
    9 - Pseudo-Hugelkultur in a Raised Bed
  12. Top off with some leaf mulch or softwood mulch.
    10- Pseudo-Hugelkultur in a Raised Bed
  13. Plant!
    Raised Bed Garden (Pseudo-hugelkultur)
  14. At the end of the season, the dirt should have settled down a few inches, top with a few inches of leaf mulch or compost. (Do this as needed, as the tree limbs break down).
    Asian Greens in a Low Tunnel

Austria Trip: Vienna

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Vienna might be the city of gluhwein. So much hot wine! I've acquired ~4 gluhwein tea mixes on this trip, which will be good for future mulled wine nights.

Day 1 we walked around Stephansplatz and the shopping area, and then went to the Clock Museum. J somehow found a Cat Cafe, so that's how we finished the afternoon. The evening (as in all evenings in Austria), was full of schnitzel, pork roast, potatoes, and wine.
Stephansplatz, Vienna
Clock Museum (Uhrenmuseum) Vienna's Cat Cafe - Cafe Neko

Day 2 involved a butterfly greenhouse and the House of Music (great for classical music enthusiasts). We grabbed some Vienna-famous Sachertorte and caffeine.
The Butterfly House - Schmetterlinghaus
Vienna House of Music
Vienna Cherry Sachertorte

Our last day was a Monday, which can be tricky (museums close), but the original snow globe factory was open, and the Vienna Naschmarkt, too. Purchasing of chocolates, gluhwein tea, and Turkish lokum was had.
Original Viennese Snowglobemanufactur
Vienna Naschmarkt

Austria Trip: Salzburg

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Salzburg from Fortress Hohensalzburg
We only spent a day in Salzburg, but it was lovely. We walked through old town. The funicular to the Fortress Hohensalzburg was closed, so we started by climbing up the cliff to the fortress.

Salzburg Old Town
Climbing up Fortress Hohensalzburg

Dinner was at Barenwirt (delicious!), followed by a Salzburg dessert souffle. The menu said for 2, but it divided among 6 quite well. Aftwerwards we went to a nearby beer hall (Augustiner bräu - Kloster Mülln) which was fun. Buy a ticket, grab a mug, give ticket to man pouring one type of beer. If you want food you need to go to the vendor hall. When it's closing time, lights are abruptly turned off.

Salzburg from a bridge
Salzburg at night
Souvenirs included some Salzburg salt, Xmas ornaments, and cliche Mozart chocolates (he was born in Salzburg).

Austria Trip: Kitzbuhel (and the easiest trail at Kitzski)

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Skiing Kitzbuhel
On the way to Salzburg, we stopped by Kitzbuhel for some skiing. Best known for its incredibly dangerous Hahnenkamm Race (Streif), we stopped by for more schnitzel and some puttering around on skis.

I prefer to do "Lazy River Skiing", in which I just pleasantly meander down a mountainside without much effort. This was difficult to find at the Kitzski Resort. We never even got to the backside of the mountain as that would've taken an hour or more (and required some challenging trails). But eventually we found it, the closest trail loop to a North American green trail that could be found. I drew it all out on this map, because I could not find this information anywhere. The blue trails at Kitzbuhel are like tricky blue trails in our local ski resort. I would say this 18-16 loop is the closest thing Kitzski has to a green trail.
Kitzbuhel Kitzski Austria: The Easiest Ski Trail

Almost every lift was accompanied by a cafe selling drinks, snacks, or more substantial food. Which was convenient because my rental boot hit a pressure point on my calf, and I could stop for a drink to regain feeling in my foot. (Note to self: Bring your own ski boots!)
Kitzski Ski Lodge on the Mountain
Once J found the lazy river trail, I was able to enjoy the scenery around me. As I got more tired, I started doing the very easy, very short 18-C4 loop, and that let me just enjoy the mountains even more (lotsa time sitting on a lift).
Skiing Kitzbuhel

Skiing Kitzbuhel
The town of Kitzbuhel was also very cute, nestled in the alps with lots of wood architectural accents on the buildings. We took some time to go to the Sportpark and learn how to curl on ice.

Downtown Kitzbuhel
Curling in Sportpark Kitzbuhel

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