Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter possums and broken roof rakes

We rarely see the possums during the warm months, but come winter they seem to know where to come looking for food.
At first they came for the birdseed in the patio.
Now that I know they are regulars I put out some table scraps for them.
The spot under the new pigeon coop / feeder I set up makes a convenient sheltered spot in the snow storm.
Chicken bones are his favorite
After dinner he retreats under the deck to clean up and drink from the mud puddles. We can observe him from about 4 feet way through the transom window in the basement. Yes, winter makes you do silly things for entertainment, like watching possums under your deck.


After about 24 hours of snow this is the scene that greeted us Sunday morning. Wet sloppy stuff this time.
Last time I had to clear the roof I managed to brake my roof rake due to the bitter cold, and no one seemed to have a replacement.
So time for a quick repair this morning.
Tools required are a heat gun and a thin spatula
And some steel mosquito wire netting.
Cut small strips of the wire mesh, and using the heat gun and the spatula, melt the plastic and work the wire into it.
Work it in some more  and make it as smooth as I can. Not the prettiest result but I figured it would have to do at least til I can get a replacement. It actually turned out to be quite strong. I sprayed it with silicone lubricant to keep the wet sticky snow from adhering to the rough parts and it actually did the job without breaking again.



10 comments:

  1. ¡Que habilidoso!

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  2. After having ice dams one winter, I bought one of those. Haven't ever needed it in the 15 years since. I hope I never do!

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    1. Gorges: Here I could not live without one. The house was built in 1937 and the roof is 20 foot long rough cut 2x6, two feet on center on an 8 pitch roof. Roof insulation is collapsed so the heat leaves the roof, melts the snow and when the water hits the cold edges it freezes. If I don't remove it ASAP I get in trouble. Also the 2 foot spacing on the rafters is to weak to let it all build up to much weight. 4 yrs ago I rebuilt the house. Wall got new insulation, new sheathing, trim and siding. I added the overhangs all around, Bituthane six feet up from the eves and all valleys, and new roofing at the time. But reinsulating the roof will mean ripping out the ceilings upstairs first. It will happen but not yet. So a roof rake is critical. They only last a couple of years and when you most need one they are all out.

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  3. Your Possum looks quite 'cute'. Do they arrive in pairs, then suddenly become dozens?

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    1. Cro:
      I think the harsh weather here ensures a high attrition rate. They are not normally seen around here, apparently it is only in recent years they have made the move this far north. Many of them have visible frost bite on the ears and tail. This fellow looks real healthy, so I don't mind helping him out. The most we have seen together at one time is three. Most time we see them separately. We had one big old lame one last winter that did not seem to make it through the year. 25 bellow zero C will cull anything but the most able. If they suddenly become a problem be assured I'd be looking up old Appalachian recipes on possum stew.

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  4. My roof is one layer of wriggly tin supported by 4" joists and lined with plaster board. If more than 6" of snow fell on it, I would be bloody surprised!

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    1. Tom: Best reinforce that roof..... I would not be at all surprised to learn it snowed in Angola. Did you hear about the massive snowfall in Quito last week? and the manatees and turtles dying in Florida due to the unusual cold? The Mexico city zoo had 25 large animals die of hypothermia not long ago. Where the hell is that confounded global warming they blame me for all the time?

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  5. We are in the middle of a thaw here now. Snow is almost gone. See you guys are still getting lots.

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    1. Dan, we had a few days where the temps actually got a couple of degrees above freezing during the day, long enough to position the truck in the right beam of sunshine and be warm enough to repair the broken door handle and the windshield wiper motor that also suddenly decided to quit due to the extreme cold. But last night it all plummeted again to a nice crunchy - snot - freezing 20 bellow zero C right now. In a day or so this "polar vortex" as they have taken to calling it here, will be headed your way.

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