On May 1st, summer snapped on like a thrown switch. All the signs had been accumulating in the preceding days and weeks, but on that day, it suddenly felt like summer. And we’ve been running in high gear ever since.
Michelle spends every free moment in the garden, hacking out the root bed beneath the patch of ground on which we’ve raised strawberries every year since we arrived. She’s excavated to the old beach rocks; soon we’ll begin building new raised beds, using the dimensional lumber we hauled in by boat and back. We plan to replace all of our old raised beds, which have been cobbled together with recycled lumber, with new, uniform beds of fresh lumber. She’s also planting furiously, seeds and transplanted starts. The greenhouse has become a verdant jungle, already providing salad greens.
I’ve been working hard on next winter’s wood. My focus has switched from hauling the accumulated woodpiles from the far side of the property to cutting and hauling a birch tree on our neighboring property. The owners have been here lately, in their own high gear, finishing their cabin. They pointed out the broken tree and invited us to use it as firewood. Bucking up, chopping, and moving the tree piecemeal to the sunny, windy beach rocks leaves me exhausted at the end of each day.
The herring run has lightened up, but Dolly Varden char have dropped out of the freshwater lakes, and are patrolling the coast. I haven’t spent more than one afternoon fishing for them, but I look forward to the next chance.
We’re getting ready to switch to the summer water system. This year, this requires digging up our winter tank water line and installing a new gate to shut it off. This has not been a straightforward process by any means, as you’ll learn in future posts.
Peppered among these major projects are a myriad smaller fixes, improvements, adjustments, and nudges to the “homestead’s” infrastructure. We’ve installed a T in the summer water line that allows us to run a hose directly to the compost bins. The compost needs a bit of babying to get it cooking again after the freezes of winter. I rehung and secured a broken stairway on the boat deck.The whole place could use a bit of cleaning before visitors arrive. A fresh nail here, a screw there, straightening this, removing that—anywhere and everywhere we look there’s some job to do.
Through it all, we’ve listened to the weather report each day. We’ve had sunny, warm weather (our outside thermometer registered 79° the other day!) but the forecast hinted at showers in the offing. After days and days of clear skies that had been forecast to be gray and sprinkly, we got lax. Then, Saturday night, squalls developed and swept in, but then stayed overnight. That led to a new high gear, tarping our far flung wood piles, scouring the worksites for carelessly stowed tools, making sure nothing that should stay dry might be getting wet. After that, perhaps we’ll shift down for a bit before gearing up once again.