And the clean-up begins…

29 04 2008

So I finally have a moment to rest where I can catch up on my blog. It’s been an interesting weekend.

Now that tax season is all over, it’s time to begin spring cleaning, inside and out. I can’t stand a dirty house, and it certainly needed dusting. So, the weekend before last, I cleaned the inside really well. I mean, lifting up the chairs to dust under them and all the A-V equipment well. Hardly a speck of dust in sight. If it were my choice – I’d get rid of the carpet….

So this past weekend, it was the same, only outside. The roof badly needed blowing off, so that was the first project. And in the meantime, I managed to get a pretty nice sunburn in the process. Even with sunscreen. LOL. Maybe I’ll finally be one of those beautiful Floridians that you see in the travel brochures – you know the ones… They have those beautiful tans and not a hint of a burn. Yeah. Right. I’ll be sure to keep dreaming….

So next came mowing the lawn, edging the lawn and blowing off the driveway, which was under about a foot of leaves and pollen crap from the oak trees.

Commercial: I LOVE ZYRTEC!!!!! But – even with 4 Zyrtec in me, my sinuses were still screaming at me, and my eyes were watering. But I managed to get the job done and move on to something a little less tiring. Pulling algae and weeds out of the lake….
Hmmmf. Easy? Not even close! Even with an extra wide rake, it still took me 2 days to make any sort of progress. But – again, it has to be done. But why? You ask. Because it’s one of those beautiful joys of home ownership. And yet another joy of living/owning a lake to maintain. But the beauty of it far outweighs the upkeep.

Lakes, ponds, etc. have very unique ecosystems. I found mine to particularly interesting. I have known for several years now about the enormous bass that live in the lake, as well as the minnows and other bait fish, the many turtles and the scads of frogs and toads. (I have counted about 20 species so far…) Well. I found a new creature living in my lake. Crawfish. Yep, those wonderful crusteceans that are the base of Spanish Paella. Apparently, we have quite a few living in the lake.

But something more serious is happening to the lake. There are 3 of us that own the lake, and 2-3 others that get to enjoy the view without the upkeep responsibilities. The problem lies in the fact that those 2-3 people like to fertilize their lawns with some pretty nasty chemicals, and those chemicals eventually run off into the water, and help promote the algae that grows on the surface. (Those of us who actually own the lake know better….) Not good. So every few months, myself and several others are out there scraping it off and pulling excess weeds. The other downside of this simple project? Knowing how much to pull. This lake is rated one of the best in the quad-county area. There are schools of fish that come to breed, and then leave through a series of tunnels out of the lake. These tunnels also bring otters, which come to feast on the plentiful fish.

During the spring season, it tends to get a little crowded on the lakefront, as the egrets and herons fight the osprey for food, the frogs and toads begin their annual mating rituals, and the fish and dragonfly population explode. What a wonder of nature! There’s not a greater sound than living in the city and being able to sit on the back porch and listen to everyone talking at once! Sometimes it does keep me up nights, but I don’t mind. I’ll gladly trade a few hours of sleep to be able to provide such a sanctuary to nature.

So, today’s useless, but helpful fact. Find a pond or lake in your neighborhood and see what you can do to clean it up. Pull trash, skim the surface of algae, maybe even plant a few plants (non-invasive) and see what happens! Little by little you can make it your own “Sanctuary”.

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