We’re putting up owl boxes! I love this. We’ll be placing one box in each corner of the property. Plans from “The hungry owl project“. They don’t look like much, but the plans were VERY SPECIFIC about things like the dimensions of the hole, placement of the vents and slots, etc. Apparently you want to design these boxes such that predators can’t get in, but the right kinds of owls can. We hope to attract barn owls or screech owls. I have to say, it’s a joy to knock out components on a panel saw; my uncle and I made four of these in about 5 hours.
In other news, we got nailed with the California Tiger Salamander. This means we have to hire biologists and hope like hell that we don’t have any of the buggers. This could stop everything cold - if we can’t subdivide the land, we’ll have to sell it. Besides sucking for me, I have no idea what my aunt would do. She’s living in the house now, on what will become her chunk.
Finally, I fenced the land. 500 feet of field fencing, which took two weekends of hard work. But now the livestock are off the land (sheep and cows) for the first time in at least fifty years, and possibly a hundred. I’ll post photos as the land recovers. We found stinging nettles all over the land. These are supposed to be a sign of rich soil, so I have high hopes. I have also always believed that the ground was pretty much solid clay, but at least up top we have at least eighteen inches of topsoil. As we plant more trees, I’ll know more about the land. I also want to plant willows near the eroded spots, in the hope that nature’s sump pump will do right by us.