June 15, 2009

The Hummingbird Comes to Life

Saturday June 13th, 2009 - Sunday June 14th, 2009

Our weekend project was to install a real door on our bunky and paint the whole thing to protect it from the elements. We drove up Saturday morning and encountered a doe and her cute little fawn on Hadlington Road. Nice to see some wildlife for a change! This weekend actually turned out to be great for seeing wildlife. When we got to our property there was a blue jay at our feeder, and a chipmunk and red squirrel hanging out underneath it. When I started painting the cabin, my roller went up under a piece a roofing that was hanging over the side and a small brown bat flew out. He flew back again, didn't like the feel of the paint and then took off into the woods. Now there is a poor bat with grey paint on it somewhere! Jared had to go to Gooderham to get some wood to re-frame our door opening since we had originally left enough space for a door with a sidelight. When he came back, he told me he saw the doe and fawn again, a turkey, a huge snapping turtle and a grouse. At night, Jared heard a sound in the woods and caught a flicker of eyes in his flashlight beam. We think it may have been a fox. Exciting! Not long after that, we had a flying squirrel pigging out on our bird seed. Of course we also had our usual chickadees and nuthatches at our feeder as well, but they seem to be more interested in eating bugs at this time of year. The phoebe family is still incubating their eggs under our deck, and they really didn't like us doing so much work on our bunky this weekend. They would fly around, keeping a really good eye on us, waiting for us to leave so they could go back and sit on the nest. On our way home, we saw a turtle laying eggs on the side of the road. There were lots of hatched turtle eggs in the same spot too.

We bought our steel door at Lowe's because it was cheaper than Home Depot. Our door is fantastic! We were going to buy one with a working window for air flow, but since we are going to put a small window on the same wall we opted for a fixed window. The neat part of the window is there are tiny horizontal blinds between two panes of glass. We got a great set of door hardware, which I like to think of as the jewelry of the cabin. The door was hard to install correctly, but once we got it done it looked really great! Originally we were going to install the door with an out-swing to save room inside the cabin. We decided not to do this because it would have meant a little extra work and we felt we could live with the door taking up some of our valuable space. Jared took our old temporary door and turned it into a larger (safer) walkway which will be fine until we build some actual stairs up to our bunky.

Painting the cabin was really fun! I did most of it myself while Jared got supplies and worked on the door. Originally, when we had talked about what colour our cabin should be, Jared wanted it to be camoflauge print. That wasn't classy enough for me, but I did want it to blend in with the forest. So the inspiration for our bunky palette were the granite boulders that are all over the place. We bought Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior Paint, which was expensive but had the primer built right in so it saved us a lot of time. The colour of the bunky was 790D-4 Granite Boulder (how fitting is that?) and we did a flat finish. This is a really nice grey colour with a slight greenish-beige tint to it, and it picks up on the lightest colour of the granite boulders perfectly. The colour of the trim was originally supposed to be black, but we went instead with 790D-7 Black Bean in a semi-gloss finish. This is a very dark green with a tiny hint of brown in it. At first, I was thinking it didn't look right and clashed with our black roof, but after a couple of coats it grew on me and now I absolutely love it. It really picks up on the colour of the bark on some of our trees. The colour of the door is a gorgeous 420F-6 Egyptian Nile, which is a lovely shade of olive green. This was also done in a semi-gloss finish and it matches the colour of the moss that grows on our boulders.

We did two coats of paint overall, but the door will need another coat and we will have to re-paint the Black Bean when we get some real trim. Around the door we are planing on a thin border of Black Bean and then a border of white cedar. I think it will look really nice. The funny thing is that we can't remember what our bunky looked like before we did all this work, and when we look at the before pictures it is shocking how much of a difference it is. Before, our bunky looked like a shed but now it looks like a real cabin. Amazing!