we discovered this lovely patch of rotten wood siding. That's the reward for our much-needed pruning of a bunch of ugly shrubs--exposing a bunch of ugly rotten wood and peeling paint. Okay, the paint is peeling in plenty of other places too, but now we've got a more urgent need to fix the siding and repaint the whole house.
At least we had already added some strategically placed flashing at the roof edge to prevent future rain-runoff damage. Now I guess we start the daunting task of finding a qualified and trustworthy carpenter. I'm allowing myself to get excited about the prospect of new paint colors anyway!