old spray foam cans and UV-destroyed plastic
Sunday, September 17 2023
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
I should mention that in the past few days I've been seeing mice in the cabin's basement. At first I'd see one running across the floor, but yesterday evening I actually saw as many as four at a time running around at the top of the south foundation wall. These are clearly field mice or deer mice from the surrounding landscape coming in through the Bilco doors, which I leave wide open most of the time while I'm at the cabin. (I'd also had the two of the basement windows opened but screened, and someone chewed a hole through one of the screens. But those windows are now closed.) There are some things a mouse could eat in the basement (and certainly upstairs, which they can access through a fairly wide gap under the basement door), but they're inaccessible and there was no sign that they'd been reached. So why would mice bother coming in at all? Are they scoping out a warm place for spending the winter? Eventually I found a bag of birdseed on the lower shelf of my workbench with an obvious mouse hole in it. They'd been coming into the basement to get that. So I put that bag outside near the Bilco doors under a five gallon bucket so rain wouldn't get in and the mice could. The hope was that they'd sense the location of their food bonanaza had changed and develop new paths to its new location and discontinue going into the basement. I also hoped that any in the basement would leave before I shut the Bilco doors prior to driving back to Hurley. It's possible, though, that I will need to live-trap any mice remaining in the cabin. Hopefully they'll be easier to capture that the Brewster Street rats proved to be.
I had a sense that I'd drunk a lot last night, which is something I don't typically do when I also consume cannabis. Nevertheless, I was able to get myself out of bed, where the first order of the day was to squirt water on all the portland cement I've been applying to the foundation cladding. I'm a little concerned about what it will take to make those cement alterations look good in the context of the surrounding Durock, since the latter (which contains gypsum) is considerably lighter in color. This isn't as much of problem when working with Wonderboard, since it already has the look of cured portland cement, as that is essentially what it is.
I managed to move all the rock I'd collected yesterday on the drive back from Bleecker. I used a good amount of it to further my vision of completing the retaining wall behind the cabin with smaller stones, though I also put a fair amount aside for a possible retaining wall under the decks to stabilize a transition in site grade (remember, I plan to leave some of the excavation under there open to facilitate using that area for storage).
I briefly went down to the lake to collapse the one chair that was up and to put away the canoe. As far as I could tell, nobody was near the lake while I was down there.
I did the usual cleaning jihad that is our tradition when leaving the cabin. But in addition to that normal cleaning, I also gathered up most of the plastic I've been using to cover things like borrow piles (some of which has already started falling apart due to ultraviolet damage in the sunlight) and put in in the back of the Bolt. I then gathered up all the empty bottles of spray foam (which numbered somewhere around fifteen) and empty tubes of adhesive that I could take home with me as well. I figured if I get started on cleaning up the containers for these messy materials I've stopped needing to use, it will ease my transition to the cabin basement cleanup that I will eventually have to undertake.
I started the drive back to Hurley a little after 3:00pm, opting to take the lower-energy scenic route through the northeast Catskills. I'm still a little unfamiliar with the route, so I depended on Google navigation. I told it first to take me to Middleburgh, where I then told it to take me to Saugerties (after which I did drive on the Thruway to get to Kingston). The whole 105 mile drive took me two and a quarter hours (only about fifteen minutes longer than if I'd taken the Thruway) and only consumed about 80 miles of range.
Gretchen was just leaving to go hang out with one of her friends named Kaycee as I was rolling into the driveway at around 5:15pm. I immediately took a bath, taking a glass of Jack Daniels on the rocks with me to take the edge off my hangover.
Spotted knapweed, a noxious weed that the bumblebees love (several weeks ago I accidentally stepped on one trying to pollinate a spotted knapweed and the bumblebee stung me).
Phlox, one of several species present in a wildflower seed collection Gretchen broadcasted in various places near the cabin last fall.
The northwest corner of the cabin today after all the portland cement work. You can see the darker portland cement especially around the basement windows.
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The retaining wall north of the cabin, viewed from the steps immediately to its east.
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The same retaining wall viewed from the north.
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