Jun 20, 2018

Summer Yard Prep at the Cabin

Last weekend we raked up and bagged about a gazillion pine cones from the yard around our cabin. Raking pine cones has turned out to be an annual spring ritual for us here. 

We have lots of different kinds of conifer trees, but they all only drop smallish pine cones. They're not the big ones that are so great for winter decorating. So we bag them up and take them, along with the fallen branches from the past winter's storms, to the Valley County Transfer Station which is about a 25 minute drive from our cabin. 

There, my husband empties the pine cones out of the bags onto the huge heap of other yard waste being composted. We use the same bags again each year.

Valley County doesn't have a garbage dump. In the old days trash was dumped down a huge ravine next to the Payette river south of town and left to rot. Really BAD IDEA!! When folks got smarter about keeping the forests and rivers clean, they started collecting local trash at a transfer station and shipping it out on trucks to other locations. We also have a recycle center that ships our recyclables as far away as Utah for processing. It makes us think very carefully about every single piece of trash we throw away or put in the recycle bin here. We really try hard to reduce what we throw away. 

After all that raking, no more pine cones - for about five minutes, anyway. This area was completely covered by them! Piles of them! The pine cones fall all year long, of course, but at least we can walk around now without tripping and stumbling over so many. It feels so great to have that big cleanup job done so we can move on to some summer fun. 

Next we put up our little screened tent. Mosquitoes are a nuisance here in June and July, mostly for our dog, Tucker. For some reason they just love him. 

After we found dog mosquito spray didn't work very well for him, we bought this small easy to put-up Coleman Instant Sreenhouse on Amazon so he can join us when we sit outside. It works great! We also found an inexpensive outdoor rug at our local Lowe's for the tent, so hopefully Tucker won't get so much tree sap stuck to his fur while he's hanging out in there.  We'll be able to just hose off the rug to clean it. On our list of someday projects is a screened porch on the back of our cabin, but for now this setup works really well for us. 

After the tent was up, which takes about three minutes, including staking it, we scattered our tree stump tables and Adirondack chairs around our fire pit. Lightweight plastic Adirondack chairs are great because we can carry them easily between the shed and the yard when we come to the cabin, and they stack up out of the way in the shed for the winter. We also like having a portable fire "pit" so we can move it anywhere around the yard we want to use it. 

That firewood behind the tent is definitely calling to me as I write this. I can't wait to have our first campfire and s'mores this weekend! 

Let the summer fun begin!


  1. We have tons of pine trees at my house and the pine cones and needles are endless! If you need big pine cones, come on over...I have tons of those too!


  2. Yay to summer fun! That was a lot of pinecones! Glad there's a good place to take them!

  3. Now is such a great time to buy things for outdoor summer use. It's all on sale! Love that you found an indoor outdoor type rug for the tent. We have a couple of matched ones on our screened porch and they really make it feel like another room in the house. The pups love laying on them too! xo Enjoy the tent!!

  4. Although it sounds like back breaking work to rake up those pinecones, I applaud everyone who does the right thing.

    I love your setup for enjoying outdoor time. The tent is perfect. I can imagine sitting inside or out and feeling like a true part of nature. I hope Tucker gets some relief from the mosquitos!


  5. Lots of work raking up all those pine cones, but well worth the work in the end. Tucker's one lucky pup to have you two as his mom and dad. Have fun and enjoy the summer in your sweet place. Hugs.

  6. We like the trees but the "other" stuff that comes from having them can be hard to love. We now have cotton wood seeds all over the lawn...white stuff all over. The tent looks cute and I am sure your dog loves it!


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