Sept 8 - 10 - Wed-Fri....more shoreline weeds on the east side were "whacked" Thursday and Friday. My two bad shoulders seem to be improving with the use of the gas weed trimmer (exercise ?). I had been skipping a day (resting), but today was perfect to finish off the east shoreline. A larger section of this shoreline was "head high". 

Sept 22 Wednesday...work on goose blind...Pounce's stitches are to be removed the 27th

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Sept 16 Thursday - today was not easy...Pounce was driven (an hour away) to the Vet for cancer surgery. The rest of the morning was spent working on the goose blind. Two corners were put in place, the "flip out shooting door" was cleaned up some (stronger) and is not as noisy. At 2:30 pm, Pounce was retrieved from the Vet's and she was very groggy. The incision was 7 cm long because it took that much to remove all of it. When I looked at the bill, I knew ahead of time it would not make any difference. I signed the check without any hesitation. After doing an Internet search, I discovered the cost was much less than normal. With a month to recover (before goose season), Pounce will be "good to go".

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Sept 23 - Thursday...cool with a breeze making a perfect mid-day to do another section of weeds on the north shore of Thorson Pond. The job is abut half completed and one tank of gas in the "weed whacker" makes for just about all I can do in one session. Doing this every other day is necessary at my age.  

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Sept. 25.....Saturday - with a nice, cool breeze out the the south-west today's weed whacking session began on that side. A new grass weed made it more difficult because they proliferated in many small mounds that seemed to bring the level of the soil up here and there (all over). Once that area is cut, driving the van back and forth may level things out. I will make one pass for a test. After a tank's worth of gas, the blind was worked on for about an hour. It will not be long before completing the build. The only thing left to do after that is stick some fake shrubs randomly spaced near the blind so it does not look like a box on the bank.  

Sept 30...Thursday - high around 80°F.....then cooler weather...The blind had two more projects to complete the structure. Today, the waterproof cover was competed and a door was installed. The door did not go as planned and a different design was placed in the blind. Tomorrow will be spent installing Fast Grass.

           The following information explains the rationale for "whacking" the shoreline weeds down and short.

                                                      Canada geese: migration and your shoreline
                         Beth Clawson, Michigan State University Extension Educator - November 17, 2017

              Creating a buffer zone along the pond shore of tall vegetation is also known to help (keep geese
              out of a pond.)  The geese can’t see beyond the tall grass leaving a question of the presence of
              predators (and are cautious about landing in a pond where predators might be lurking). 

             Therefore, cutting the shoreline vegetation short removes that question and makes the water more
              inviting. Geese feel safer and are more willing to come right into a safe looking pond and even more
              so with decoys. However, late in the season one year, several groups of geese would not commit. I 

              removed ALL of the decoys and the next group simply simply dropped right into the "empty" pond.                   

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Sept 2 Thursday - day off for rest. Tomorrow, Pounce will begin transitioning to a new dog food...the same one Gigi is using - ProPlan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Lamb & Oat Meal. She will be eight years old in June and does not need the ProPlan 30/20 food anymore. Both dogs were given monthly "meds".

Sept 3-4 Friday/Saturday - Pounce is in the middle of transitioning to the same dog food Gigi is eating. In two weeks she is scheduled to have a small tumor removed from her neck. There is still quite a bit of the shoreline on Thorson Pond to be "whacked". However, the south shoreline is now clear. Clear means the geese feel more
secure when the shoreline is cover free with no visible chances for a predator be lying in wait, The geese land in the water and walk out a short distance to the picked corn field. The goose blind is being remodeled in the garage and will be soon transported to the blind platform. The plans are to make it easier to get in and out of plus be more windproof. With corn as the adjacent field crop, this will be a much better goose season than last (beans) and it will be even better if we have a late freeze.  

Sept 19 Sunday hot....in the nineties....did not do anything outdoors. I watched the Cubs and Bears win. Then a design for a goose, corn field blind occupied some time. Later in the day, I decided to do something about my loss in hearing and tried on some no battery hearing-aids. They work and are better than nothing.

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Sept 20 Monday.....much cooler and a perfect day to begin "whacking" the tall, shoreline weeds on the north shore of Thorson Pond. It will take several days (tall and thick) with an every-other-day schedule. Each day is limited by using one tank of gas. The rest of the waterproof fabric needed to complete the goose blind arrived today. The design for a one man/dog, a-frame goose blind for in the corn field south of Thorson Pond has been roughed out (room for one dog and a hunter using PVC). It will match either the picked corn field cover or snow, need to be portable via the UTV and must be easy enough to move around for someone that is 81 years old. (about four more weeks until the waterfowl/goose opener) 

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Sept 5 - Sunday cool..."whacking" shoreline weeds is done every other day...Since I am 81 years old, "pace" is a process. The regular goose/duck season does not begin until October 17th. By then the shorelines will be short, clear and appear to be safe for any geese or ducks that are looking for a picked corn field close by. If and when the pond freezes over, the UTV may be used for a few field hunts up in the corn (many years ago it was good). 

Sept. 27... Monday...the beginning of a semi-heat wave.....around 80's for five days and no rain for quite awhile. This afternoon, Pounce was taken to the Vet's to have stitches removed from the cancer surgery she had a few weeks ago. I am sure she will not miss the cone. Around noon, the last waterproof sections on the goose blind were be installed (east side and flip-shooting door). The design for an easy entry, exit windproof entrance door has been finalized. This will complete the waterproof layer and make it ready to add the last layer - fast grass. Just as I was writing this, the Vet called. The test results on Pounce's tumor could not have been any better. It was an 3/8", ugly black, benign melanoma that did not spread. Huge relief!  With a full three weeks until goose season, Pounce will be ready.

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Sept 21 Tuesday...a .cool morning made for another session of cutting weeds on the north shoreline. It is waist high plus in some places and I am about 2/5's of the way into it (three or four more mornings).

Sept 1 Wednesday - "whack" shoreline weeds on Thorson Pond (early in the morning)....the plan was to use up one tank of gas and "quit". The high cover on south bank was reduced to half the width. There is a lot more to do. I need to take my time and not over do it. Up until the last few days, the pond has been covered with a thick growth of floating, summer weeds. The summer die-off has just begun. 

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Sept 28....Tuesday... continued work on the blind. I had ordered a carton Fast Grass early last spring as waiting until later usually ends up with "unavailable" searches later. Fastening them to plastic fencing makes for easier and more stable blind attachments for now and quick removal later. In addition, this process is easier if done indoors....cooler with no sun or bugs. With several panels already saved from last year, the two new ones will be placed "up front" and down the middle.

Sept 17 Friday - Pounce must wear "The Cone" too avoid scratching at her stitches. Yesterday afternoon, before getting the cone fitted, she nicked one slightly. When it was in place, she went into sulk mode and is not a "happy camper".......won't move much and stares at me.....like it is my fault. Stitch removal is on the 27th. It will be a long ten days and then two more weeks before goose season begins.  This afternoon, she finally figured out how to move from one place to another and going down a flight of stairs to go outside had her moving much better (not nearly as anxious). The next step will be figuring out how to lay down (and get back up).  Just after reviewing this entry, I glanced over and Pounce was lying down.
Sept 18 Saturday - worked on the blind...covered the flip-shooting door frame and the 2X2's on the back corners. Then the wood stakes in front of the blind were driven down about 2-3 more inches (level with front of the flip-door platform). The view from inside the blind and over/out the "flip door" was adjusted. The last thing for today was to add some fast grass sections. This provided a view of what it will look like....soon. The plan includes using some fake trees or shrubs near the blind to reduce the appearance of a box on the shoreline. 
                        note: Pounce is doing well with the Elizabethan collar (nine more days). 

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Sept 29....Wednesday...hot and sunny...two more days in the 80's...we need some rain....Finished the zip-tie fastening of the second, two layered Fast Grass section (morning...indoors and air-conditioning). Around noon, the waterproof fabric on the flip shooting door was attached with zip ties and the hot, battery operated soldering iron continues to work well (melts and punches holes quickly). I took my hunting bucket with the up-right back rest to check for head room when sitting in the blind (just enough). There is a perfect 8" high, very wide window between the roof over-hang (top) and the upper lid of the shooting door. There is almost 180° (left/right) field of vision across the water in front. The shooting door pivots forward easily with very little noise and I am in the shadow side of the blind. Standing up is easy (big opening). The blind is deadly cool. The hour went by quickly and the sun/heat sent me home. It is good to be retired.

Sept. 26....Sunday...perfect weather day to work on the north shore of Thorson Pond. I have been "doing" weeds ever other day so as to not get worn down. However, it seems I am getting in better physical shape. The  north shore of the pond is now "opened up" so that I can drive all the way around. Two days in row was not all that difficult. In addition, with the shoreline open, putting out decoys with the UTV will be much easier. The tall weed shoreline along the northwest end of the pond will left intact (tall) and that will make the east end of the pond (where the shoreline is cleared) more inviting (in theory). The corn field is over that way, too.

Sept 24 - Friday...warmer, nice breeze and sunny - worked on the blind......three sides are now enclosed and the rest is easy "stuff" (now that I finally know what I am doing). This year's goose blind will be much cozier than the previous. The key is to reduce "windows" where the cold air and wind can "work at you".  Saturday is the weed  "weed whacking" day and it is good to be almost finished with that. It is interesting how being busy doing "stuff" tends to make how old you are less of an issue. It only hurts when I am finished. My shoulders actually seem to be getting better and I have a better understanding of the "use them or loose them" phrase. 

Sept. 14 Tuesday...decided the boat blind, raffia cover was too heavy. When it rains, wet raffia becomes very heavy. Therefore, the plan is to cover the frame with a waterproof fabric and then lay over that sections of fast grass (it is light and dries quickly). A few 2X2's were added to the original frame making it easier to locate the  fabric attachment surfaces. Zip-ties will be used to tie everything into the metal frame. A Weller Cordless Soldering Iron punches (melts) small holes in the waterproof fabric. This process makes it easy to use zip-ties poked through and then around the metal tubing. Sections of Fast Grass are backed by plastic fencing using zip-ties. Each section (there are many) is attached to the metal tubing frame using large, plastic clamps. In total, the blind cover has three layers - 1) fast grass, 2 plastic fencing and 3) a waterproof fabric. With four weeks until the northern Illinois regular waterfowl season, there is plenty of time to have everything in place. 
Sept 15 Wednesday...test day for the portable soldering iron. It worked to perfection and the initial section is in place. Now that the experimenting phase is complete, the rest of the blind cover will be completed in small steps. There are about thirty days until the opener and the difficult designing phase is over.  

south shoreline of Thorson Pond leading to eighty acres of corn

Sept 6 - Monday...mowed part of lawn and both dogs had the day off.
Sept 7 - Tuesday....finished mowing the lawn and "whacked" another section of Thorson Pond's shoreline near the blind platform location. The blind frame will be modified to provide a few more inches of height, additional places for attaching new cover material making it more wind-proof (warmer). Fast Grass will cover the fabric. Both dogs are enjoying the down time and Gigi's digestive issues continue to show steady improvement.   

At about noon, the decision to work on the blind was made. It was cool enough to wear a sweat shirt.
As I stepped out of the van, the sight of three geese over by the shoreline (I had just spent thee days clearing) was strangely accurate. Three geese were checking out the safety created by whacking the tall weeds...over there.  They were in no hurry to leave and this provided time to snap some pictures to support the fact that knowing no predators were going to bother them does indeed alter their comfort zone. Evidently, they did not think of me as a predator. The plan was to work on adding waterproof covering to a section of the goose blind. So as to avoid wasting the expensive fabric, it was put in place with the idea of easily removing it and using it again next season. Using zip-ties and the portable soldering iron, the fabric is gradually being added. The few areas where it must be attached over wood are taken care of with a staple gun and sections of long line rope stapled over the rope and into the wood (through the fabric). This will make it easy to pull and save. 

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Sept 11-13 Sat-Mon.....continued to work on the goose blind and both dogs remain on R&R.After spending some time deciding how to construct the blind cover for this season, the solution was to use a large section of a blind originally built for my duck hunting mud boat. It has a waterproof fabric with a thick layer of raffia. The sizing was perfect fit for the width of the blind. More structural additions were added for a better seal against the weather (rain and wind). With four weeks to go before goose season, there is plenty of time to blend in with the shoreline. With to corn field right behind it and the easy, safe landing area of the pond, it is very inviting. The other areas not covered by the boat blind cover will be taken care of with fast grass over a water/wind proof fabric. The blind is cozy on a wet, cold day and the flip-out shooting window on the shady side is deadly. In addition, the unaware geese are almost always looking into the sun when setting up to land.