Saturday, April 12th, 2008
Our daughter, Heather,
purchased a Weeping Willow
to plant on our island. Today, Matthew came to
plant the tree on the island, with help from his
son, Kyle and Heather's son, Jeremy and a
friend of Jeremy's.
After rowing out to the
dug a hole and planted the tree.
With all that help, they had
in no time at all! Willows love water
so it should be quite happy out there.
course, Molly had to go with them!
Even though the water must have been
very cold, she swam circles around the boat!
Monday, April 21st
Stained Staircase Railing!
Remember that railing I had to stain and
polyurethane? It is finally done! As are all the interior
doors! Carpeting is next!
Saturday, April 26th
The Master Bedroom
The last room to be painted
was the Master Bedroom.
I chose a faux finish called
in a color called Gingerbread.
Once we cut in the edges and
rolled on the
paint (this took Ellen - Rick's girlfriend - and I
7 hours) we had to apply a second coat with a
technique that really made it look just like suede!
This part took us another 7
hours! But the
end result is so warm and yummy! It makes
you want to take a nap!
The Swan Song
Those of you who have followed this
saga, may recall how thrilled we were when geese showed
up on our lake. Well, in time, we began to see them as a
huge nuisance! Lots of them, they are noisy and they poop
big! We explored many possibilities for how to control or
get rid of the geese. The most promising and
environmentally kind was to get swans. I guess swans
protect their nests so aggressively, that the meer sight
of swans chases geese away. However, swans, we soon
learned, are very expensive.
Then, like the answer to prayer, Jack, a
man Fred and I knew through the church, told us that his
parents had a pair of swans and he would put us on a
waiting list for a pair of swans when their eggs hatched.
That was last year. The eggs never hatched. So, we were
hoping to get a pair of baby swans when the eggs hatched
this year. Then, about a month ago, we learned that we
could come pick up our swans. It seems the neighborhood
children where this pair of swans were living had begun
abusing them by throwing stones at them and Jack's mom
was looking for a home for the adult pair. All we
had to do was go catch them.
Easier said than done! Fred, Matthew,
Kyle, Heather, Miker, Trevor, and Abbie (Trevor's
girlfriend) went to Marysville to catch them. As it
turned out, the male (Hansel) aggressively guarded their
empty nest. When Fred stood next to their nest, Hansel
came out of the water to chase him away from the nest.
When he approached, wings flapping, Fred grabbed him by
the neck. Matthew had learned that the way to transport
swans was to cut a hole in the bottom of a large garbage
bag and put the swan's head through the hole and seal up
the other end of the bag, covering their wings (which are
their weapons) and their feet. They then placed Hansel in
a dog cage in the back of the Jeep and went back to catch
the female (Gretel). One down, one to go!
Gretel, however, is no dummy! She saw
what happened to her lifelong mate, Hansel, and she
stayed in the water. Even after Heather and Abbie got in
the cold water to chase her out of the pond, she was too
fast for them. After several attempts, they gave up and
Fred brought Hansel here alone. The plan was to return in
a day or two to try again.
So, in the midst of our painting, Fred
arrived with Hansel. We set him down on the ground at the
edge of the lake - He was huge! - and cut the bag off him
and off he went into the lake. What a beauty.
Soon he was exploring the
Flapping his wings...
Snacking on grasses around
the edge of the lake...
He even got brave enough to
come over to the
house side of the lake by the dock.
But on Sunday, I noticed
that he had "taken up" with a
female Mallard duck. We have had a pair on a lake for a
Whenever the male left
(perhaps he had to go
to work or something) Hansel would swim around
with the female duck.
He seemed so confused when
the male Mallard returned,
taking his rightful place with his woman. What is a poor
lonely swan to do when he has lost his lifemate?
Sunday afternoon, Stephanie
and the boys came
over to see the swan. She even managed to get
this close, trying to hand feed him.
I wish that was the end of the story. On
Monday, Hansel seemed to have settled in, although he was
still struggling with his affair with the "other
woman". On Tuesday morning, when I looked out,
Hansel was gone! I was frantic! I searched everywhere for
him! I even got on the gator and drove all over in the
woods looking for him, or for signs that some animal may
have gotten him. No luck. I called Fred and Matthew and
they agreed to come out that afternoon to search for him.
Matthew arrived around 3 and got on his
4-wheeler to go searching. He was back in 5 minutes
saying he had found Hansel in our neighbor's pond! I had
to leave for an appointment, but when I got back, we
(with help from Stephanie and her son, Nicholas) went up
to our neighbor's pond to try to catch Hansel or at least
herd him back home. No luck. He was just too fast and too
smart for us.
Wednesday, we went to get the female,
Gretel, hoping she would lure Hansel home. We used a
remote control boat to tire her out and chase her out of
the water (I was glad to hear that tiring them out was
not a BAD thing to do! I was worried that it might stress
her too much.) Once Gretel got out of the pond, we were
able to catch her immediately. Of course, we were still
wondering how we would get Hansel back from our
neighbor's pond when we got home, but much to our
delight, when we got Gretel home, he was back at our lake
already! I guess once he was satisfied that Gretel was
not in the other pond, he came "home" on his
own and was happily eating around the edges of the lake.
This, in itself, was surprising since you can't see one
body of water from the other and I did not think he had
been in his new home long enough to imprint the location.
Anyway, when we released Gretel, she swam
away from us just as fast as she could. When we released
Gretel, it was getting dark and Hansel was behind the
island and did not see her. When Gretel got around behind
the island, they must have spotted one another and made a
beeline for each other! When they got together, they
actually curled their necks around each other (like a
hug!) and chortled (or whatever you call that noise)...it
was very sweet to watch! Clearly, they were happy to be
Since then, they have been inseparable! They spend most
of their time eating underwater grasses along the edges
of the lake. The previous owners did not feed them,
except as a treat. Best of all, when I took a bag of food
down to the dock (shaking it as I went to attract them)
and calling them by name, they swam right over to me.
They stopped about 3 feet away, but ate the food I tossed
to them voraciously. I also noticed that when they hear
or see me come out onto our deck, which is about 20' from
the lake, they come right toward me. I bet eventually,
they will know me and my voice...and associate me with
getting a treat of food and I hope the memory of our
catching them will fade.
PS - The geese are gone!