Tuesday, April 1, 2008

All Fogged Up

Late yesterday, a fog rolled in, and lingered until after dark. I love how it cloaks familiar scenes and mysteriously transforms how everything looks and sounds. It gives new perspective - something I've seriously needed these last few days.

House repairs have been a source of frustration for me since the raccoon incident (parts one, two and three). In the days following the chaos, the insurance company's contractor has been out to start repairs to the interior. This involved cutting a rectangular hole out of approximately one third of my bedroom ceiling and a similar, though smaller opening at the top of my wall. Once they had access to the interior of the attic, Manuel and his crew filled a dozen large bags with broken stucco ceiling, drywall and soggy insulation. A makeshift plastic wrap funnel was designed to transport any further rain water or melting snow down through the hole in my ceiling and into a bucket on the floor. Plastic was taped beneath the hole, allowing for the funnel to pass through it. Then three enormous pieces of equipment were placed beneath the work, and left there to run for as many days. One was a dehumidifier. Its hose was taped to my carpet, following a path to the bathroom so that it could drain into the sink. The other two machines were over-sized fans - one of which was aimed at the wall, and the other at the ceiling, in an attempt to dry them out for further repair. This would have been more logical if the roof had already been repaired, or at least patched, and if we weren't going to encounter more rain or snow in the following weeks. But that was not to be.

The interior crew - Manuel and the boys were bright, kind and humorous people who helped put my mind at ease despite the lengthy repair time that was becoming evident to me. I have no qualms about their expertise and their consideration for our comfort as they work. I'll be happy to have them back to complete the job when that time comes.

The roofers were not as inspiring. A day or two after Manuel and his people were here, two men arrived to look at, and temporarily patch up the hole in the roof. The weather had been clear and dry up to that point so the fan-blown ceiling and wall had not been challenged. After about fifteen minutes of hammering, the men left, assuring me that this temporary patch would hold out the rain. It didn't. Yesterday morning I awoke to a drip, drip, dripping sound as the raindrops hit the plastic above me. I made another call to the contractor and he said that he'd have a crew out during the day to take a look at what needed to be done to keep me dry. True to his word, three men arrived, hammered some more and left. It rained again last night. My roof continued to leak, filling a bucket with about 2 cm (a half inch) of water and causing rivulets of rain to stream down my wall - a cool effect if it wasn't so damaging.

As it stands at the moment, I'm waiting for callbacks from a couple of other local roofers to determine what the problem is, and to acquire an estimate for the repair. I'll be happy when I know my roof can survive the next rainfall or snow melt and I can clear my head from this fog of house repairs.

As for the raccoon family, I've not heard any chattering since the day after their relocation, but an adult (presumably the mom) has been around at night, munching on seeds that had fallen from my bird feeder. When she consumed all visible seed, she climbed the tree, gave the feeder a good whack and sent more munchies tumbling down to the ground, where she feasted some more.

She was totally unconcerned when I opened the door to snap this picture.

Here are some photos that I took late yesterday, while walking around in the fog. Please remember to click on each of them to enlarge.

The day appeared dreary and the path bleak, yet the fog helped to soften the darkness.

I passed very few people out in the park yesterday evening. Paths were mostly empty.

This is one of my favourite sites along the pathway. The tree's bent limb stood out nicely against the dark fog.

Crows perched upon a nearby tree, were dark silhouettes to the background fog.

There are two lovely willows that grow alongside the lake in our park. This is one of them as taken from across the pathway and up on a hill.

A tree leans out over the water to touch the fog.

Winding my way along the path, I startled a pair of ducks who were resting in the snow. As I snapped this photo, one had just taken flight while the other flapped his wing in preparation.

They landed here on a small rocky peninsula that juts out from the shore.

The female met her reflection in the water below as she decided to follow her already-departed partner.

This was the view from the pathway just beyond where the ducks were sitting.

This is the other willow. Its limbs are as wispy as the fog.


the Bag Lady said...

Wow, Hilary - great photos, as always! (and the Bag Lady can see them, tee hee!)
Especially love the last, weeping willow (they are one of the Bag Lady's favourite tress)
Sorry to hear about the delays in getting your roof fixed - hope things improve soon.

g-man said...

Wicked wicked cool pictures. Bummer on the construction issues. I hope that all works out for you.

Frank Baron said...

Loverly pics, as usual.

I love fog. Have always been comfy when wrapped in one. Dunno what that's all about really. I, uh...well, anyhow...you know.

Anonymous said...

Wow, love the the pictures, especially all the duck ones.
Sorry it's taking so long for your repairs. No more snow melt, cause no more snow!!! Love, Andi

Reb said...

Love the photos Hilary. All are great as usual, I got the perfect fog enshrouded effect complete with muffled hearing as I was looking at them.

Good luck with the repairs. Make sure they replace the drywall on the wall, you don't want mold to start growing a few years down the road.

Tink said...

The fog shots are stunning Hil. Absolutely WONDERFUL. Your roof situation, on the other hand, is not. From the girl whose house is against her... I'm sorry.

Tink said...

Btw, I think you should rename your blog, "Hil-A-Beans." *Snort*

Hilary said...

• Thanks Baggie, I'm glad that high-speed has finally landed for you. :)

• Much appreciated, G-man. Thanks for stopping by with your kind words. :)

• Thanks, Frank. Remind me who you are, again? ;)

• I hope your words pack some power, Andi. Thanks, sis! :)

• Thanks for the kind words, Reb, and I'm glad you felt the fog. :) They tested for moisture and presumably have removed the affected parts so hopefully they'll be replacing anything that had potential for mold to form.

• Ah Tink.. you sure do know house woes. I'd almost forgotten about all that. Ugh! As for Hil-a-Beans, I used to have an uncle that called me that when I was little and I hated it then. But it's indeed snort-worthy now. Thanks, you little Tinker! ;)

Jo said...

I'm sorry for your house headaches, Hil...seems to be growing arms & legs! At least you have one reliable crew; my fingers are crossed for you over the roof situation--at the very least, no more rain! I would be a madwoman over it; your composure never ceases to amaze me...or do you perhaps have a place in the woods where you howl like a banshee?

Such dreamy, lovely pics this round...I'm in love with the first & last photos, they're so full...I could stare at them a long time. You capture solitude & it never feels lonely...it's always like a secret.

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

wispy, dreamy...........love the last shot of weeping willow specially!!!!

Shammickite said...

It was foggy on this side of the GTA too. I love how my street looks with all the houses shrouded in the mist. But I'm not keen on the cold dampness, it feels even colder than when it's snowing! Your pictures are very evocative, soft and comfortable looking.
I'm sorry to hear about the repair troubles, but I think the rain should stay away for a day or so.... according to Dave Duval last night.
And all because of a raccoon mummy finding a warm dry place to bring up her babies!

Sweet and Salty said...

Hi! I came to see good photography and I was not dissapointed! I loved the lake with the mist and the foggy path. Just awesome!

So sorry about your construction there. Good luck...

Tamie said...

Oh... fog shmog. I want to see the sun:)

Your pictures are nice but gloomy.

photowannabe said...

Beautiful moody shots Hilary.
I have been catching up on pasts blogs so I didn't know about your woes. Hope the repairs get done quickly and done well.
Racoons are interesting but not in ones attic.

Hilary said...

• Hi Jo, thanks for your empathy, but composure? Boy, do you have the wrong blogger! ;) I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and you sure do add a lovely poetic element to them with your words. Thanks for that. :)

• Thanks, Moi. I'm glad you like the photos. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, ex-S. You're so right about the fog feeling cold at this time of year. We're supposed to have rain on Friday, but I've just arranged for my roof to be repaired tomorrow (Thursday), by a different roofer, so I'm feeling a lot better about that. I can't say I blame that poor raccoon mom. She sure went through her own ordeal, and besides the kits were so cute! ;) Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Thanks so much, Pavel. I'm glad you like the photos and I appreciate your good wishes. :)

• Ah TKWI, I can sure understand your wish for sunlight, but I'll take fog over snow any day! And until my roof is repaired, I'll take it over rain too. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Photowannabe. I hope you're right about the repairs. I'll find out tomorrow. Thanks for your kind words. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Hilary I love those wonderful, evocative fog pics. I was going to say the pathway pics were my fave but that weeping willow tree. Gorgeous.
I got high speed today so there'll be no getting shed of me now!

Anonymous said...

Those foggy shots are gorgeous. Although I can easily picture that deserted path in a horror flick!

Good luck with the repairs, hopefully it will be taken care of swiftly

Daisy said...

I'm all too familiar with roofing issues, and I sympathize.

Your photos are gorgeous, as usual.

Hilary said...

• So glad to hear that, Leah. I'm glad you'll be stopping by more often. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• Thanks so much Susan. I'm glad you liked the pics but now I'll be watching over my shoulder next time I'm out there... ;)

• Thank you DaisyJo. I hope you're not having roof problems right now. :/

John-Michael said...

OK ... 'Hat in hand,' I shamefacedly confess ... "I am the April Fool!" I have been clicking on the “Smitten with Hilary” link on the sidebar of my blog, and wondering “Why has she not posted anything since 11 March (’Knee Deep’)?

So, I focused my ’learning-disabled’ (really, for fact) mind on the address of the link, and, (you guessed it) I had linked that one posting! Now (on the positive note) I get to enjoy the treat of all of this delightful “catching up.”

I do love you Hilary! (Yep, sure do!)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

We had the huge fans in our house after a pipe break. I thought they would drive me to homicide. I hope it gets better.

Daryl said...

Oh Hilary.. I love those fog photos .. what is happening to your house not so much .. OY! What a disaster and that momma racoon is sure not afraid of much .. I hope two schtoonks like us can meet someday!

Unknown said...

I love the bird silhouette imagines....when it gets really foggy around my house the birds flock to our trees......the acoustics are incredible! I've been meaning to get some similar shots of the visitors :o)

David said...

We had racoons living in our attic when we first moved here 9 years ago. Yesterday we sold this racoon house and bought in the old part of town. A small house on a quiet street.
I miss those rascals.
great post, great pictures

Hilary said...

• Hi John-Michael. I'm glad you were able to figure out your linkage woes. and that you're enjoying my newish posts. Thanks for your kind words. :)

• They're LOUD, aren't they Jenn? Thanks for your good wishes. :)

• That would be cool, Daryl E. I'm glad you like the photos. And yup, she sure is a bold little thing but most moms are when it comes to protecting our wee ones. :)

• Hi WW. :) I'm glad you stopped by and I sure hope you do get some photos of your foggy flocks. And maybe even a video. I'd love to see/hear them. Thanks so much for your kind words.

• Thank you, David. I'm certain that I won't miss having the raccoons in the attic, but I do hope to catch a glimpse of them now an then, as long as they're being totally non-destructive! Thanks for stopping by. :)

david mcmahon said...

Love these shots - the duck is my favourite. I love photographing fog.

Hilary said...

Thanks, David.. much appreciated. :)

Sandi McBride said...

Thank the Good Lord for a reliable and honest crew. The pictures are so lovely (even the one of the little masked bandit sitting at your door! Good luck with everything, Hilary...oh and I need to say David sent me over...

John-Michael said...

It was my intention to silently steal another visit with your work on the path and in the foggy conditions. But I simply must tell you how much I like the bent branch photo. There is a story in that somewhere. What the tree was overcoming and growing around. Some no-longer-evident circumstance. It touched me!

Cath said...

Hilary - I read this ages ago and I don't know how I failed to comment. I must have got disturbed. :( Flippin' family! Interfering with my blogging! Hah! Thanks for all your comments at mine. They are very encouraging.

I love these photos - and the way you write. Branches "leaning out to touch the fog..." and a duck "meeting her reflection..." - poetic. The snap of the ducks in flight is really good! And the fog is eery.

Hope you get your roof sorted soon. Glad mama raccoon still calls by.

Hilary said...

• Thank you Sandi, for stopping by and for your good wishes. I hope you'll drop by again soon. :)

And thank you David, as always for sending your fine readers my way. :)

• Thanks for stopping by for another look, John-Michael. I've often wondered about that tree myself. :)

• Thanks so much Cath. I always appreciate your visits and kind words. I'm glad the mother raccoon and her young are still around too, and even glader that they're outside now. I heard them today.. still under my deck. :)

Kerri Farley said...

These are beautiful! I am a HUGE Lover of FOG!!!

Hilary said...

Thanks for your kind words, Kerri, and please stop by again soon. :)

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