Squirrel Siege

Tomato eatenI’ve had my eye on this swelling tomato for the past month until yesterday.  As soon as the fruit began to blush, a squirrel half devoured it.  I placed the evidence alongside a squirrel  that I trapped later in the day (above).

In spite of  a protective chicken wire cage surrounding the tomato plants, some of the little critters have managed to dig below the wire fence.

And this morning a squirell opened up the bird cage on the porch and grabbed the food bowl.  Maybe it’s time to get into falconry.  These two apparently did nothing about the breach.


When using the live trap, I use to ride the squirrels on my bike across the bridge where I would release them.  Since summer, policy has changed.

Below a culprit in Egyptian-style trial.


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ArcheoCamp – Day 5 – 2014

campjune27f campjune27e campjune27d  campjune27b campjune27a

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ArcheoCamp – Day 4 – 2014

Lawn deer as flotsam on Potomac shore.

campjune26gGirl campers on the opposite bank.

campjune26fDaring Tyson to climb into a fox den, the dare is promptly called off after he attempts entry.

campjune26eCamp this year includes watching the World Cup in the tiki hut.  The camp itinerary is adjusted for the USA vs. Germany match.

campjune26d  campjune26cRock scrambling at Carderock

campjune26bMox reaches a difficult-to-access blackberry bearing fruit.  A change of pace from the plentiful raspberry bushes.



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ArcheoCamp – Day 3 – 2014

Archeocamp poster boy, Willie!

campjune25aDam-building 101, outdoor classroom

campjune25dHunger Games competition



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ArcheoCamp – Day 2 – 2014




Crystal mining along the banks of the Potomac River.

campjune24j campjune24i campjune24hBooty collection




campjune24f campjune24e DSC_0031 campjune24c campjune24b campjune24a

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ArcheoCamp – Day 1 – 2014

The first day billed as Cave Day started with the little known caves of Palisades.

No. 10 diving in:



campjune23fTyson finds a baby terrapin turtle.

campjune23eAncient petroglyphs

campjune23dDragonfly gets clingy with Willie.

campjune23ccampjune23hThomas’ war club (as seen above and below) is used on the Doritos seeking rat at Camp HQ (after hours).


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Verjus Production in the Vineyard

Since my grape harvest fruits early in July, the hot temps compromise the ph/sugar balance, so I’m trying to encourage a late fruiting in September by removing grapes now.   I also hope to throw off the birds that are already circling and squabbling in the vineyard.   I put Max to work in the vineyard picking grapes and crushing them to make Verjuice/Verjus,  the juice of unripened grapes.  It produces a wickedly tart juice that’s an ingredient in various dishes.  I made a decent salad dressing with the juice and am pickling onions and grape leaves in it.   The pickling experiments, I imagine, have long odds since I’ve never heard of verjus pickles.




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World Cup Tiki

This past weekend was spent watching the World Cup in the new Tiki Hut.  Streaming Univision’s feed, it’s the closest I could get to a beach resort somewhere in Latin America.



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Tiki Rising

Will it be ready for the World Cup in eight days?


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And the winner is . . .

On May 15th  Mayor Gray announced the 2014 Winners of Historic Preservation for the District of Columbia.   In predictable fashion, the award ceremony was more about celebrating development money than anything historical.  A lifetime achievement award went to Doug Jemal, and two awards went to the upscale developments on 14th Street, The Diplomate by Starr Restaurants, and Northern Exchange, condos and retail by P.N Hoffman.   The two awards on 14th Street (ridiculously) insinuated that the redeveloped properties were helpful in reinvigorating the neighborhood.   Anybody who knows the neighborhood  would readily acknowledge that the area had long since been gentrified by the time these corporate entities got into the game.

The award for archeology went to the General Services Administration for their “efforts at St. Elizabeths for both an archaeological project and the preparation of a handsome history book of the campus.”    About a week after the award announcement, a devastating Washington Post article featured the expensive and obviously doomed St. Elizabeth’s Dept. of Homeland Security project.   Initially the St. Elizabeth’s development was hailed as an investment that would help the surrounding neighborhood.   One local resident who was involved in the initial public outreach states in the Post article: “Here we are, 10 years later, and it’s still pretty much on the drawing board and a billion dollars in debt. What does that say?”

Well, the development probably did create a new tranche of millionaires  (safe to say none living around the development), as well as, “a handsome history book of the campus.”  Oh yeah, and the award-winning archeology report from 2010 found not much of anything (which seems to be a requirement of the DCHPO).    If money ever stops flowing into the DHS St. Elizabeths campus, I fear there may never be another preservation award for the development.

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