The trees at The Funny Farm have been misbehaving. Actually, they have a disease that is causing the upper branches to die and break off. You can see what this does to my aviary top netting in Daily Drama 13.
There are some band-tailed pigeons that like to perch up there, though.
Dobby wants to tell part of the story.
A LOT of branches have been falling, though they don’t all make holes when they fall.
The other problem is that raccoons like to enter the aviary through holes that open at the net where the birch tree trunks go through. I have patched holes, and then patched the patches for a dozen years. Now there are so many layers of chicken wire that the leaves and small twigs pile up and hold water. The wire rusts through, and it is no longer possible to determine whether the aviary is secure at the tree trunk area.
Because repairing the net means exposing a large area to predators, the work must be completed in one day, secured before dusk. We recruited our neighbor, Connor, to help tackle the chore. His experience with tree trimming prompted him to immediately recommend taking out the smaller of the three birch trees. It was actually a very low, large branch. That would never have occurred to us. He cut the tree branch and pulled it into the aviary through the hole opened up for the repair. Now we only had to patch around the two larger trees.
By the time the tree was pulled into the aviary, most of the spiders were out of the way.
Dobby wanted to rub his morrillo on the branches, but I sent the flock out to play in the yard with him instead.
Here are the two trees that grow through the aviary netting. It isn’t easy to secure the “roof” around them. You can see the chickenwire cylinders we attached. We’ll connect the roof to the chickenwire. You can also see Connor’s rope . . . and just make out Connor way up there.
Connor’s second brilliant suggestion was to remove as many dead branches as possible. BEFORE they crash through the net. WHILE the access hole is still open. That’s why he climbed up into the tree.
Everybody moved out from under Connor’s work area, even though he was actually working with a net. Spiders.
Don’t forget about Dobby’s corn time! He likes to take his corn off this table. If we put it on the ground, he walks away until we put it on the table for him.
More cut, yank, and toss.
Almost done. Each falling branch would have required a prompt removal and net repair, some random, inconvenient time this winter.
Grover hid in the aviary, but Kitty Hawk came out and Dobby hung out with him on the deck.
If you look at the earlier photos, you will see how much dead wood Connor managed to remove. There’s still more, but he got the big stuff.
Dobby and Kitty Hawk were underfoot. This is why none of us were IN the aviary during the tree work.
Compared to the tree trimming, the actual net repair went quickly with three people. This time we used 2″x 2″ wire mesh. It is big enough to let small leaves and snow fall through, but too small and too stout for raccoons to get through. It’s also flexible enough to give a little when the trees blow around in strong wind. I love cable ties, but we used a lot of wire, too.
Dobby is ready to go to the front yard, now. In this photo, and in real time, too. I need to finish my story and go outside with him.
The trees are a beautiful sight, now, knowing that dead wood is down.
The old netting we took out? The garbage crew didn’t take it. Wonder why . . .
Okay, Dobby, I’m coming. But first, look at the leftover wire. We call that “cutting it close.”