Friday, June 18, 2004

Have You Cleaned Your Gutters Today? (Redux)

As I mentioned back in August, I originally planned to title my blog "Have You Cleaned Your Gutters Today?" because of a little problem we had last June with gutters over spilling, running down the windows and intruding under the windowsill to flood our bedroom.

Last night, after a nice dinner at Jaleo with J--- and her new boyfriend, we got home to find that the massive thunderstorms of the afternoon/evening caused a similar flooding.

There was a nice puddle on our bedroom floor, a small one downstairs (thankfully the curtains sopped up the water, keeping it from reaching the new chair and ottoman, which are sitting near the window still in their boxes), and a big puddle in the room I'm slowly painting. The plastic drop cloths on the floor should have helped things in there, except the room was bigger than the drop cloth, so I have a seam that water was able to get under. There was one puddle atop the drop cloth and another below. We had to dry up the upper puddle and then pull up the plastic to dry the floor.

I went around and closed all the storm windows, which is no panacea, but I think it will help. We have to go ahead and replace the old bad icky stupid windows some time soon.

I last cleaned the gutters at the end of April, after all the oak silks fell. In a normal year, I shouldn't have to climb back on the roof to clean things out until the leaves are falling in autumn, but I'm guessing the gutters are now full of dead cicadas or something. I have a feeling cleaning the gutters is going to be a grosser-than-usual task this time.

Thinking of the cicadas, it's been over two weeks since I've seen a live one. When we went hiking last weekend, we could still hear cicadas, but at home and work and in general around D.C. the noise seems to be gone. The only evidence of them (beyond what ever is in my gutters) are the little dead bodies and wing bits on the ground and lots of dead bits in trees throughout the region.

The cicadas seem to insert their eggs about a foot from the end of a branch, killing the top of each twig/branch leaving lots of patches of brown on otherwise healthy trees. The storms last night brought down a bunch of these dead bits last night, but there are plenty more still in the trees.

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