Monday, November 19, 2012

Right Now The Bear is Winning…

… But not for long.

On Saturday morning I got up for work as usual.  Let the dog out.  She came straight back in.  Cat wanted out.  She turned around and also came straight back in.

This is not usual, but on Saturday morning it also wasn’t wholly unexpected either as we were in the midst of what on the Island of Jersey (Channel Islands) is known as a Right Hoolie (not to be confused with a regular Hoolie which just blows the rain around and makes things generally miserable.  We were having gale force winds combined with rain so heavily pouring down that visibility was being impacted. I didn’t force the outside issue as I could let the cat out the front door to a covered (if windy) front step & Jasmine and I would be going out for our regular walk later on anyhow.

After the walk I actually had to strip at the door (inside, not outside) so as not to spread puddles of water all around my living room. Into the shower and ready for work I then got.

Last pre-departure pee time outside for Jasmine and what do I see, but a whole section of my fence lying down in the alley AND one of the walls of my marvellous compost bin lying on the ground with compost pulled out on top of it.


When on my breaks I looked up how to repel bears from compost and also bear proofing fencing. FYI, bear-proof fencing sounds scary as hell as the best ones are electrified with high voltage as it takes a lot more than a simple electric fence to stop a determined bear.


I stopped on the way home to pick up some more zap straps, some 2.5’ screws and some groceries for me (I found mint flavoured rosebuds!!) and while looking for the zap straps and screws I also asked about purchasing some lime. Evidently it helps break compost down faster AND it masks the scent of anything a bear would consider to be “yummy”.  None to be had, but the gal I was speaking with DID offer an interesting suggestion – cayenne pepper.  Bears don’t like to smell it (having taken a big whiff when I was dousing my compost pile, I can understand that) AND the taste makes them think twice about eating.

All items in hand, I came home and went outside to prop up the pulled down panel and douse everything with pepper.  It was actually more fun than it sounds.

I spoke with my folks that night & Dad will be coming up to help me repair/replace at least the back section of the fence (which actually has no posts sunk into the ground – no wonder the damn thing just fell over) in a couple of weeks time, but my job for yesterday was to go outside and shore up the fence and compost bin.

While it wasn’t terrible work, it was raining and so it was damp.  Everything was even still in place this morning when I got up, so maybe the cayenne pepper is still working even though it’s wet out!

Today’s projects are more domestic.  Some leaves raked and into the compost bin, bread in the oven baking now and cookies planned as well. I also needed to make a couple of calls to find out where I could get something called “navijack” which is a composite of sand and gravel used to make concrete.  Great news, there’s a big gravel pit not too far from my home that sells it either by the yard, or at a $20 minimum – so the half yard I will need isn’t going to cost as much as I thought it would – woo hoo!

Anyhow, for your reviewing pleasure, here’s what I was working on yesterday…

Propped up

Yes, this is a corner. That's right - that "corner"post
is mostly gone and wasn't actually in the ground!

Look at the right side - yes, that's an 8-foot length
of re-bar, bent at a 90* angle!

With love across the waters,