Since my knee blow out accident, the beds which weren’t mulched yet have been an ugly, embarrassing and overgrown mess, especially after a couple of seven plus inches rain spells. The wet weather has raised a hungry horde of mosquitoes that seem attracted to every repellent out there to go along with the tall weeds and grass. We haven’t found anything to scare them off. I read some where that Vicks Vapor Rub was a good repellent. It worked for about five minutes, and then the attack began again. Even though the temperature the last couple of weeks is great for working in the yard, the mosquitoes make it difficult.
I have a Troy-Bilt 6 hp walk behind weed eater that I purchased in 1996 after I did a Superwoman off of a ladder into a concrete drive at Mom’s house. Since I wasn’t in a cast and had all of these pins and bars everywhere holding all the broken pieces together , I needed something to use one handed while I worked with an Occupational Therapist to get use of it again. It has an electric start which is very nice to have. It was a little on the expensive side, but when you figure out how many hand held weed eaters you’ve purchased over that time spell, it’s really not that expensive. It can cut through just about anything except barb wire, which if you weed takes a long time to unwrap from around the string holder thingy. It does a great job chewing up plant tags if you get too close. It has been a steady performer and major expense has been battery replacement a couple of times and replacing a pull cord which comes in handy when you haven’t used it in a while and the battery runs down.
The biggest expense has been replacing the dust filter on the top of the motor which is my biggest beef about the Troy-Bilt. You cannot just buy the foam filter any longer, it can only be bought with the cover that the filter fits on which adds greatly to the cost I’m not sure how many of these plastic holders that I have up on the shelf in the barn, as I don’t need them. The original cover is metal, so why replace it with a plastic one? They’ve taken a dollar part and increased the price mark up to around $25 the last time I bought one, actually two. I purchased the first one and made the mistake of leaving the box with-in grasp of one of the hooligans who has a thing about boxes. She just loves to open boxes and chew on its contents. I came home once and a box of daffodils were scattered everywhere. The next spring a daffodil came up in a bed where none where planted and it took me a while to remember why. So it was back to my service shop to order another. The oil and gas caps are right up there next to the filter, it has to be removed and cleaned so you can put gas in and check the oil. Now filter number 2 apparently didn’t have the corners glued well and when it was rinsed the seam came apart. Is it by design or is it another part that was moved from made in the USA to out of the country? Well this lady isn’t running back to the supplier, I’m handy with a needle and I think using nylon thread will work.
This past weekend I worked along the driveway beds. It looks like I have enough piled up on the driveway to make one large bale of hay. The beds that I hired some one to clean and mulch back in the spring looks just as bad as or worse than the ones not cleaned. And I didn’t have to worry about loosing over two hundred dollars in plants in the beds not touched. I’ve been digging, dividing and making new larger daylily beds trying to get my colors co-coordinated between my Auburn, Deshler, UNA, Born in the USA and people, song and dance beds. Several of my re-blooming daylilies have been in bloom since the rain and cooler temperatures. I’ll show some of them in another post. It doesn’t look like my re-blooming iris are going to bloom this fall.
A couple of weekends ago, temperatures were near one hundred degrees and two days later, it was in the mid seventies. It was a record low high for the date. The following couple of cool days signaled the start of hummingbird migration back to Mexico. Each year it seems like I have more hummingbirds than the year before and this year I’ve hit the big time. I haven’t been able to keep my feeders full. (Have I told you not to use the red dye commercial stuff? It’s not good for them). When I take down an empty feeder, the ruby-throated will swarm around the empty ant moat and hanger just flying around and around looking for the feeder. When I walk back with a full feeder, I’m being buzzed and they are feeding before I can get it hung back up. I have a couple of videos of the migrants at my feeder for your pleasure. One was taken about a foot away.
The other video is from a few feet away so you can see how many are in the area around the feeder.