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Posts Tagged ‘animals’

A walking path is never even. That was the thought in my head this afternoon when I headed out through the garage. The winds were coming at me from the northwest, cold and strong. First thing I wanted to do was collect one large bag of trash from the pole barn, there seems to be a never ending supply of junk in that barn.
As I opened up the barn I kept talking out loud to myself, I was hoping that the skunk who lives around the barn would scurry away when it heard me coming.

I consider it a good outing when nothing furry tries to chase me down:-)

After I had one bag stuffed and tied off I looked off towards the back path, or what use to be the back path. My tractor had stopped working this summer, as well as the gas mower. So parts of my lawn /field grass were ankle to waist high, making my walk an arduous excursion. I still had the narrow path that Uriah had carved. I decided to take a walk, before deep snow erased that path.

I stopped my non-stop, keep-away-animal chatter as I hit the lowest part of the path. I followed a line though the grass then turned to the left and walked on the incline, sidestepping a section riddle with burrows.

I made a mental note to bring with a small saw or heavy clippers next time, and cut the invading Bog Willows away from the old path.

I continued on towards the east invisible fence line. I turned towards the north and a wave of sadness hit. I kept walking.

I was in an area where, years before, I had been charged by a forty pound raccoon. At that time I had three dogs with me, they all saved my life.

I stopped and listened. Winds blasted over the oldest Bog Willows and rustled the tops of the four to five foot dried grass , then blew past me.

“ I think I need to walk a different path …” I said that out loud.

Instantaneously, a buck stood up, not more than forty feet from where I was standing.

I can’t speak for the buck,..for me, that moment moved in slow motion.

I stopped breathing and froze! I was hoping that he wouldn’t notice me standing in front of him wearing a bright orange jacket, I closed my eyes ..I really wished that would make me disappear!

A male deer’s mating, or rutting season is around November. Bucks are attitude with pointy antlers. And I found myself standing too close to one. If he charged at me he could use those antlers or stomp on me, yes they do that! Ouch!

When the buck rose up from where he had been resting, he slowly turned in my direction. I could see the wind slightly ruffling his fur as it blew towards me, lucky for me I was down wind. He snorted as he stood up and again as he faced me. He stomped the ground, and raised his head up and smelled the air.

At this point I was trying to become a turtle and shrink into my coat.

I didn’t breath! I didn’t move, that is supposed to work right? Or it that only for bears?

After a minute he turned and took a couple of steps away, snorting indignantly. Then with three effortless jumps, he disapeared in the trees. I got an impression he had springs for legs.

It took me a couple of minutes to relax and head back to the house.

Note to self… Tomorrows walk will be taken in the open, empty farm field next door.

oct pic. leaves have fallen off

Tall grass hidding deer

Male deer are called bucks, bulls, stags or harts. Female deer are called does, cows or hinds. Young deer are called fawns or calfs.~ http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_facts/Deer.htm

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Careful they cut deep!

I was in the local grocery store yesterday, I was reading the bulletin board, and someone was giving away a rooster free of charge.

I pointed it out to Michael and mentioned we could get some hens and have fresh eggs. He started laughing, and told me to re-read the flyer and if I really want it, it’s fine by him. He just wants my camera to take the video of me and the new rooster..

This is what the flyer said:

Free Rooster- it hates kids and women- if you want him he’s yours..

Later that evening;

I was typing with one hand while Michael was muttering and snickering.
Earlier, at sundown, I was pulling weeds in the garden. Uriah was wandering, sniffing around trees and piles of cut grass for rabbits, ground squirrels, and moles.

I saw a large clump of grass, about a foot high, next to the strawberries. With my tunnel vision turned on, I knew that area had to be cleaned out. I had only a few more minutes and then I would be pulling weeds in the dark.

Working quickly, and using both hands, I grabbed a handful of the thick, woody, very dry grass and pulled.

The grass stayed in the ground.

I tugged harder.

I had a very tight hold on that grass, as it slipped through my hands. It gave me an Indian burn and sliced along my palm and fingers.

Uriah had wandered back, and was sitting in front of me, when I made an odd sounding squeak. He jumped up, with a look that said. “Whatever bit you isn’t going to get me!” And he ran and hid under the deck.

One of those heavy blades of grass, had sliced my little finger open wide and very deep. I saw that with the first glance. Clutching my hand, I headed into the house.

Michael was on the Xbox, playing; Red Dead Redemption, when I walked in trying to not drip blood on the carpet. He kept looking at me like I was speaking a different language.

Calmly, while holding my left hand out in front of me in a tight fist, I said for the third time. “I think I cut my finger off with a blade of grass..!”

Then he started laughing. I was not amused!

Then he began describing how he had to have stitches on his finger years before.

If you don’t know, you will now. I am very phobic of needles and sharp objects! Really! Michael is use to me not freaking, just warning doctors who take blood, then I get up and run.

So here he is telling me how they stitched his hand. Deadened the area, laid it open, scrapped it clean, and used a sharp needle to sew him up, five stitches…Wow! I’m getting very dizzy writing this.

Michael kept saying, “Time for the ER!”

I insisted that it wasn’t bleeding that bad- it finally stopped two hours later.

Michael asked, “You’re not going to bleed to death on the couch are you?”

I was sort of positive I wouldn’t. No blood squirting on the walls and I was still awake, all was good!

“No! I’m fine! I am stronger than a blade of grass! It was really sharp!” I shook my head and held my hand tight.
I washed off my hands and danced around the kitchen. I realized later the stinging was from the Indian burns and slices on the rest of my hand.

“Are you sure, you’re fine?” He asked again.

“No problem!” I smiled a goofy; I’m going to pass out look if you keep mentioning how they stitch up your fingers! “All’s good. The finger is attached!” Even if it wasn’t I would just flap over the skin, and use some old fashion duct tape to hold it in place….

So no surgery for me!

Not even my pinky finger.

Time for leather gloves!

When I took Uriah out this morning I had a hard time looking at the grass. Each blade seemed unusually sharp today.:-(

I found this site on needle phobia.
http://www.needlephobia.info

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The sky was a bright baby blue, with dollops of white and grey whipped crème floating over head.

The humidity had abated for the past two days, slightly. The temperatures were in the eighties, with a cooling breeze that edged its ways over cow pastures and corn fields, filling the air with the pungent scent of wet hay, cows and manure.

Uriah was covered in a layer of powdery dirt. He had spent most of this hot, hot summer hiding under the deck, where he had dug himself a hole to keep cool, Uriah’s favorite place to sleep away the summer. He hated coming into the garage.  I assumed he didn’t want to miss the chance to chase a bird, or run in circles after a rabbit, rat, or skunk.

I pulled out the hose, set a bottle of watered down shampoo on the grill and picked up Uriah’s’ leash and harness.  Then, I looked around for the dusty dog.  He had slipped past me and was heading at a trot towards the apple trees.  Head down he never looked up as I tried to call him back.  Trying to drag him back would be a waste of time.  He always won.

I gave up! I turned off the hose and sat down on the steps, and decided to enjoy the day.

The warm breeze rustled the trees sending a spray of dried leaves floating to the ground.

It is still August and Mother Nature is yelling fall.

I already picked one soccer ball size pumpkin and set it inside on the kitchen table, there was another one slowly ripening, it was slightly bigger. A third had grown entangled in the tomato patch that one has been gnawed on for the past month by the rat family. I tried covering it when I first spotted the dark green fruit; I was excited it was actually growing. Then I was surprised by how much of the unripe pumpkin was eaten and it still grew. Now it is a bright orange buffet table, along with half a dozen zucchinis, whose insides were eaten first. They sat elongated and hollow. Mini rodent condos!

Mice and rats must be drawing straws to see who would be the one to forage for food. I wonder if they realize they are on a suicide mission.

The more they poke around the more they are noticed. The last rat, would yell at me when I came outside. She chattered a safe distance away, like a nagging wife/husband.. I haven’t seen her in a week or more.

With that thought, I saw a flash of dark gray fur scurry from the trees to the garden.

 I stood up to check it out, when this little creature hurried over to watch me!

 It poked its head up between the leaves and blinked. It had big cartoon eyes, a tiny body and the biggest roundest ears I ever saw on a rodent.

Uriah ambled over to find out who I was talking to, and then decided to save me and raced into the zucchini plants. The rat ran in the opposite direction and Uriah was left searching for something that was no longer there.

I stood and watched. I took notice that the grass needs to be cut. The door frames should be painted. The deck should have a coat of stain. And there is a nest of hornets or paper wasps that really shouldn’t be hanging near the door. 

All this and more should be added to my, ‘To Do’ list.

Things that I have to do before winter!  Stuff I can only do in the summertime.

Hmmm!  Like eating ice cream!  Once that thought flashed into my head, I put away the shampoo and dug in the freezer for the last ice cream bar. I un-wrapped it, then sat outside, on the steps, mentally adding to my list, ‘Get more ice cream!’

Uriah’s nose immediately zeroed in on the treat.

We shared…

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Kaoru cleaning PJ

Last night I was woken up by an odd sound,  ‘Pud-pud-pud-pud’!  Sanosuke was standing on his hind legs and digging at the door mirror. I watched him sit back on his haunches and stare into the mirror, past his own refection.

He wanted into the mirrored image. A part of the bedroom he thought he needed to explore. ‘Sanosuke in wonderland’…

I rolled over and fell back to sleep, but within the hour the same noise woke me!  Pud-Pud-Pud-Pud!  He looked like he was practicing on a boxing speed bag. That was how fast his little paws were moving.

 I sat up and got his attention away from the mirror.  “Sano! That’s a mirror! You can’t get inside a mirror!” he reverted back to the mirror with a shake of his ears and a downward turn to his whiskers, frowning, first at me, then at the mirror.  

This went on two more times during the night.

I even got up and stared into the mirror to see if, maybe, a bug was crawling just out of Sano’s reach. It wasn’t.

Sanosuke wanted to find a way into that other room.

He does the same fast run on the sliding glass doors in the kitchen. Now, that, I understand! He wants to either catch a bug, or have me open the doors; allowing him to sit by the screen and stare outside at the birds…

PJ-Sanosuke center-Kaoru

But what did he want in my bedroom mirror?

Sanosuke checking out the freshly harvested potatoes

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I have a streak of competitiveness that runs through me.  So when I signed up for the Examiner and found out that they won’t pay me until I hit twenty-five dollars and only then on the twentieth of each month through PayPal.  Well…

I had to get money in that first full month!

They have rules.

  1. You have to write about your subject. Mine is plants in Hampshire.
  2. You have to have a picture- sizes are different in article than in slide show
  3. You have to connect your articles to each other
  4. You have to mention local businesses
  5. You have to write between 200  to 500 words
  6. You should use quotes

 

I growled at my monitor, “Alright examiner I am up to the challenge!”   I have to fix some of the earlier articles to follow the rules, while I am writing new ones.

What I found is that writing about a specific ‘subject’ is a lot harder than it sounds.

Sometimes my odd sense of humor comes out.

Like this one:

“Why go to Spain on vacation when you could visit Hampshire instead”

My number are slow, or at least the money amount. Here is today’s tally.

Today I made $0.49 and I had 51 hits…

The average for the, Home and Living section was 16..

Hmmm!

Is my math right on this, I would need over 2,500 hits a month to get that twenty-five dollars…

Anticipating all that cash from the examiner…  I started a laptop jar in the back of my closet.   As of today I have a whole dollar-eighty!  And a fake mouse…added by the cats.  Woohoo!

Ahh! I love a challenge! 

Here is a poem I posted in my last article.

microsoft clip art

party in the mushroom rings

by Gerardine Baugh

the garden faeries laughed
and planted seeds of fun
they whispered, it was they, who
mixed up the garden, and
planted the green beans far from their trellis
eggplant was placed next to the pumpkins
tomatoes rolled into the neighbor’s yard
they sang and danced inside the ring of mushrooms
table set,
feasting on strawberries and corn
potatoes and cucumbers
glasses rose
a toast to the gardener
drink of dandelion wine
the fey cheered and sang songs
of times past, and those to come
some sat under mushroom umbrellas
wide and white, others
sat atop, and
scrutinized with words of nettles
peals of laughter danced across the lawn
this, the dark end of the new moon

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I have a few plants growing that I never planted. One looks like a Gourd. Or, maybe it’s yellow squash??

Sanosuke and Kaoru love Zucchini. It can be raw, or cooked they will gobble it up.

Here’s another what is this..Eggplant? Watermelon? Audrey II?

This one is growing on the west end of the garden, next to a pumpkin

Here’s the pumpkin..

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Hello, everyone!  This has been a very long, tiring month. With Michael unable to drive, I have been doing all the driving. Normally that wouldn’t be an issue, but I have a back injury that makes it hard for me to sit, stand, and walk for even short periods of time.  Before, we were taking turns driving, now it’s all me. With multiple doctor appointments for all of us, including our teenager who will start ninth grade August 16th, I am having trouble even checking my emails. 

Now on to other happenings..

Yesterday Uriah killed, ‘That Rat’!

Where’d he go!

We were standing next to the garden. I was complaining about all the tomatoes that have been eaten in the past week. Thirteen! Thirteen big beautiful tomatoes!

I can’t say for sure it was a rat that ate the tomatoes, it could have been the skunk, a family lives near the barn. Or the opossum, one tried to take up residence in the dog house. Maybe raccoons!  There are plenty of those around. Even coyotes love tomatoes. Do foxes eat tomatoes?

What they looked like, then they were gone!

Anyway, Uriah turned away from me and started nosing around a square drainage tube that was lying at the top end of the garden. Ground squirrels like to hide there. I raised the tube to slide out the animal, and it held on inside tight. I rolled it over, and over until it was pointed at the Bog Willows and the rodent slid out.  A very fat, cute reddish rat ran a zigzagged pattern towards the trees.

Uriah looked up at me, surprised.

“Hey, you go catch that rat!” Ooops! I used the wrong word. Rat sounds like cat, Uriah isn’t supposed to chase a cat, and so he sat and watched it run. I pointed at the rat and yelled.  “Mouse! Get that mouse!”

 Uriah hesitated, then started chasing it through the grass. 

Yes, it squeaked, so do Ground Squirrels and Chipmunks. I almost called Uriah off. Almost..

The chase lasted only a minute or two, with Uriah tossing it into the air, then turning in circles and a giant leap, then silence.  Uriah waited. I praised him and gave him a pork rawhide bone. He happily trotted off, while I moved the body to the burn pile, fully intending to burn the tree branches and that rat, tomorrow. 

We were due at the doctors in an hour and I won’t light a fire if I’m not around. So that was the plan, tomorrow light the fire…

It rained all night. The trees are flooded.  The water line is inching towards the house and overflowing the burn pile. I need another plan…

 Link on Chipmunks and Ground Squirrels:

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/directory_show.cfm?species=groundsquirrel

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