Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Playing Catch-Up

It seems as though spring has finally arrived in my backyard. After watching snowflurries all day last Saturday, Sunday dawned cold, but clear as a bell. It was a wonderful day even though our high temperature was only 44 degrees. We got a little bit of yard clean-up done, I put up my purple martin gourds and tree swallow gourds, but as always, ran out of day before running out of chores.

Last night I talked Mr. Johnson into taking me out for a little birding drive after supper. We drove over to the flood-control reservoir a couple miles from home and found just a little bit of ice left in the SE corner, but otherwise all open water. We saw common mergansers, lesser scaup, canvasbacks, some gulls (herring or ring-billed, I couldn't tell for sure), but most exciting was a pair of American white pelicans at the far side of the lake. We then drove to my favorite birding place out in rural Olmsted county. There are many acres of CRP grassland here and it's also very quiet (far away from highway noise). We saw a pair of Northern Harriers and also a pair of Common Snipe flying around and making their "winnowing" noise. If you've heard this before, you know what an unusual sound it is. We also saw dozens of Eastern Wild Turkeys and heard a few Ring-Necked Pheasants (in addition to the usual red-winged blackbirds and song sparrows). Unfortunately, I was unable to get photos of any of these sightings.

Today was another sunny and warm day, spoiled only by strong winds from the south: sustained in the 30 mph range and gusts of 49 mph. On days like today, I can certainly understand why pioneer folk on the prairies were said to be driven mad by the wind.

The most annoying thing about the wind is the fact that debris from my disgusting neighbor's "junkyard"......

.......blows into my backyard

I'm going to wait till the wind dies down again and throw all this crap back over there!

And then I'm going to take some more pictures and plan to attend an upcoming township meeting to see what (if anything) can be done to force this guy to clean up his place. His place a total dump and has lowered the property value of our place and also our good neighbor who lives on the other side of this "junkyard." The most pathetic thing about this whole deal is that this neighbor is self-employed, specializing in.........HOME IMPROVEMENT!!


Trixie said...

Oh shoot! Nice Home Improvement Professional there. Document, document, document! Good luck, Miss RuthieJ

Jayne said...

Oh my Ruthie. I'd complain, and loudly too. That's not fair to the other neighbors at all.
Hopefully your snow will be a distant memory soon.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Trixie,
The piles of junk in the neighbor's backyard are mostly all the construction debris from his "home improvement" jobs. A few years ago he had a huge bonfire to burn a previous debris pile--I called the sheriff's dept. about that one.....I'm pretty sure there was some stuff he shouldn't be burning in that pile. It seems like no matter where we've lived, there's always one crappy neighbor.

Hi Jayne,
Believe it or not, he's actually cleaned up this backyard a little bit (the green demolition derby car was removed about 2 weeks ago!)
The unfortunate thing is because of the way the lots are situated, our house is the only one that really sees this view. I've planted some shrubs along the property line a couple years ago, but they're growing slowly.....guess I need to dose them with Miracle Gro this summer to encourage them to grow quickly and block out this ugly scene!

Marsha said...

I agree you should attend a meeting and see if they can make him clean some of it up. How disgusting in must be to take pride in your own place and keep it nice and then have to look at that all day.

We had those high winds yesterday too...I was hoping it would blow all the leaves off my lawn into the next county but looks like it just redistributed them.

Richard said...

Had a neighbor like that. He was into landscaping and a little of everything else. His back yard consisted of piles of rocks, bricks, trees in pots, piles of lumber, old cars and trucks, and just about everything else you could name. My only recourse was to put up a privacy fence to keep all his junk from blowing into my yard. At least I didn't have to look at it every day.

Mary said...

Home Improvement? He should be ashamed. It's like a guy I knew who owned a concrete company but his own driveway was just gravel. Silly, isn't it?

I'd call about him, too, and save the photos. We used to live next door to dirty people (foreigners) who owned a dog but NEVER in all the years I knew them, cleaned it out of the yard. When the grass/weeds got 12 inches tall, they'd cut it - you could smell it blocks away. We finally got fed up and our HOA took care of the problem real fast.

Glad spring has arrived, Ruthie!

KGMom said...

Ruthie--nothing more frustrating than a thoughtless neighbor. I wish you success taking the issue to local authorities.
Or you could start hoping he moves!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

OMG Ruthie. This neighbor is a nightmare. I do hope you can force him to clean up his property. Either that or make him put up a 6'tall privacy fence. Maybe all his junk would be contained then.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Marsha,
I think there's some sort of county regulation about old cars, but not sure about just general junkiness (because I've seen some other places on birding drives that look about as bad as this neighbor). Oh well, at least I can give it a try....

Hi Richard,
I would love to put up a privacy fence, but can't afford it. I have a short little garden fence there now that I put in years ago because this neighbor also has no concept of property lines! I just don't understand how someone can look at this mess all the time and not want to clean it up!?!

Hi Mary,
He has several dogs too....usually just chained out somewhere in the front yard, so the yard is all dug up. I hate that! Last winter on one of those bitterly cold days, I could hear one of the dogs out barking for hours. I finally called the Sheriff's department about animal cruelty. This person doesn't deserve to be a homeowner and certainly should NOT be a pet owner!

Hi Donna,
A few weeks ago there was a flurry of activity over here and they actually moved some of the old cars and other junk away. I was so hoping they were moving but apparently just making room for a new renter (sigh). The house was for sale a couple years ago and I took the realtor's "virtual tour". The inside wasn't quite as bad as the outside, but if I was a home buyer, just seeing the outside would be enough to make me move on to the next house without ever going inside.

Hi Lisa,
It's a nightmare for sure. I just need to get out and take those pictures for the township meeting. My neighbor's on the other side have pledged to go with me to the meeting because they are as disgusted as I am.

Meggie said...

I'm certainly lucky to not have to deal with neighbors...especially like Mr. Home Improvement. How frustrating for you!