February 20, 2019

Gutter Smith was out today to clean and repair the gutters.  He asked how we knew of his service, and I told him that Mike saw the truck on North Camanche Parkway.  Apparently, Camanche Reservoir is one of the contractor’s favorite places to fish.  He also asked me if I had caught any bass in the big pond below the house.  Not that I have, but Mike enjoys the wildlife and his taken his boat out into the pond.

The contractor did a thorough job, cleaning the gutters up to the second story and identifying and repairing leaks.  He also cut down the existing downspouts to allow additional flow when redirected into the garden.  All this in just a morning of work. Mike and I assembled the rain barrels and confirmed consumer complaints when we found one brass spigot missing and one with a broken handle.  Mike has an idea for additional flashing that will direct the water more directly into the rain barrels.  The hard reality in these beautifully remote foothills is finding a contractor who will clean gutters and repair them.

While overseeing the gutter work, I cleared more of the back hillside.  In my legislative review I found a recently introduced bill authorizing Fire Prevention Authorities to establish standards that require homeowners to maintain a one hundred foot defensive perimeter around residential structures.  I may be close.  The dead thistle came off easily, but to my dismay I found new clumps of thistle sprouting across the hillside.  Clearing the next section of the slope at least had the advantage of uncovering where I will need to apply the Roundup.

Meanwhile I applied two coats of primer on the last section of the backyard fence.  A generous application of wood filler covered the knotholes evenly with some sanding.  One of the redirected downspouts attaches to a black plastic tube that snakes under the fence to add additional water to the bed in the far corner of the back yard.

Later tonight I heard the ping of the rain against the gutter that I had never heard before.  The ping was always muffled by accumulated leave mold, dirt and debris.  The debris is now enriching the mulch pile that Mike created with his wood chipper.

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