Yesterday I brought up the last produce from the garden for this year: some small tomatoes, one cucumber, five small peppers and a very underdeveloped watermelon. Some of the pepper plants actually have flowers on them, which seems weird to me. Most everything else is finished being productive for the year.
The trees have just started to change into their glamorous fall wardrobe, with the yellows and reds really going vibrant in the past few days. We viewed some beautiful scenes as we drove down to the Lumber Liquidators in Huntsville, Alabama to look for flooring to cover the living area of the house. We decided on a bamboo laminate. Supposedly, the installation process is simple enough that we should be able to do it ourselves. It is expected to be in stock sometime next week, so next weekend looks like we have floor plans. (Ba-da Bum)
The forecast for the next few nights have temps dropping down low enough that if I was to shoot a deer, we could leave it to hang overnight to cool and then butcher it the next morning. JoAnna was really creeped out as she butchered the red rooster while it was still warm to touch.
On the subject of cool nights, my next big job will be to enclose the crawlspace area under the house. My insulation guy, Mr. McAfee, dissuaded me from applying insulation to the underside of the floor, saying that it would be better to insulate the perimeter walls of the crawlspace. That will certainly be simpler for me because of all of the HVAC ducting and plumbing that extends through the floor and all around under there. Since the house support posts are spaced with exactly 8ft between edges, I plan to attach a 2x4 ledger running parallel to the posts, recessed back a bit - enough for a 1/2-inch sheet of plywood to be mounted to the center of the posts. I also plan to mount 2-inch thick rigid foam to the inside faces of the walls, which will help keep the cold out from under the house. Eventually, I will cut doorways into these crawlspace walls to allow for storage since the height inside will be nearly 5 feet. But first, I have to just close it in to keep the water pipes from freezing.
Up until now, the chickens have used this area under the house to escape the summer sun as well as for protection from predatory birds. I guess they'll have to do without.
Which brings up another big job on the horizon - building the chicken house for their winter survival. It won't need to be huge since we are down to 8 birds, but we want it close enough to the house that we could run a power cord to it for a space heater to keep them from getting frostbite on the coldest nights. I also want to build it in a way that will keep them safe from predators, even though the only predator we have seen was the giant rattlesnake.
Today we rescued a box turtle from certain death as he was crossing the highway on our way home from the bank. I first passed directly over him at 55mph, and then turned back to try to get him before he became a pancake. We did get to him in time, so now JoAnna is deciding if he will be the newest member of this funny farm or if he will be set free near the pond. (Pun-alert) Having a slow-moving creature around might be a nice change of pace.