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Posts Tagged ‘coyotes’

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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I was up at four thirty this morning. I wandered around the quiet house, then I opened the blinds and kitchen door and stepped outside onto the deck to watch and listen to the sunrise. Birds raised their voices in the cool morning air and sang.

When I make a video I try and choose the best audio I believe fits with the visual aspects. Doesn’t always work…

But, standing out in the early morning sunrise I don’t think anyone could have chosen any sounds better for this moment.

Yellow pink clouds in a clear baby blue sky, mists rising off the fields and the sun slowly rising in the east. I watched as the colors deepened to reds and yellows.

“Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning” I whispered to the Robin sitting on the roof.

The odd weather we have been having lately, baking in the humid heat, to storms with seventy five mile and hour winds, I wonder what today will bring. Behind me to the west the sky was a deep misty grey. I guessed maybe around noon I should see what Mother Nature has in store for us.

Uriah complained. He wanted to go outside. I pushed past the cats huddled near the screen. All were hopefully waiting for a bird or a horsefly to come their way. Kaoru talks to flies and Sanosuke eats them.

“Eat too many and you’re going to throw up!” I warn him over and over.

Kenshin stands close by and in total agreement about the flies.  He had to be given antibiotics because of his infatuation with flies. Now he ignores them. 

Uriah whined again. I let him out through the garage doors, then came back inside and collected his breakfast. Some Iams dry food, two liver snaps and a beef basted dog bone.

By the time I stepped outside he was already hunting out his ‘mouse’ formally known as, That Rat.

If, I call it a mouse he chases it. If, I call it a rat, well, I think he hears cat and we don’t chase cats.

I took a few moments to notice the wet grass and the chilly air was a bit more uncomfortable, while standing in the grass, than on the deck.

Still, early mornings, in the summertime, remind me of camping.

I would wake up starving and make an attempt to light a fire. Some worked most didn’t. When the fire started I would fry some bacon in a pan, add an egg or two and pull out some stale bread, which I would toast by setting on the edge of the pan. 

When the wet wood refused to burn; I would let my nose find breakfast. In state parks they have a small store, with a little area where they cooked up and sold a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage and coffee, milk or juice. Sitting around on a damp picnic table wrapped in a sweat shirt, half asleep, eating like I was starving  in that cool damp morning air, and usually the only meal without the added protein of bugs. Was a wonderful adventure! And that food was amazing!

The sun lifted up over the trees. Bright white yellow and reflecting off the mist and dew everything sparkled.

Uriah munched on his breakfast and I headed into the house for some pancakes and coffee, minus the bugs…

Happy Father’s Day!

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I wrote and rewrote this Blog. I had a hard time writing this.

On June 3rd in the middle of the afternoon, just when I decided to slather my face with a face mask someone knocked on the front door. I splashed water on my face and hurried to the door. I was worried about Uriah, he was wandering around the back and he could get hurt when a car comes down the driveway.

I was surprised by a state police officer informing me that a neighbor was going to be working on the drainage tiles…Long story, very stressful.

  • In 2008 this neighbor, the one who told me to get a gun because of the Cougars and Wolves wandering around- We don’t have Cougars or Wolves!- He filed against me and another neighbor to tear up the drainage tiles. This man had bought the lowest area of land in 2004, and it flooded regularly. He wanted to replace ancient drainage tiles, without putting a retention pond on his property. He also broke through the Aquifer so he could have a swimming pond on his property and he wanted to attach the pond to the tiles that would add to the water problem and tap into the fresh water. Bad idea to go into court thinking this is crazy and someone will listen-when you don’t have a lawyer.. *

 

I asked the policeman, why now? He had told me two years ago, that he was working on the tiles, and it would only take two weeks. But he never touched anything. The police officer said, that neighbor had been waiting for approval from the, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, concerning the wet lands.  And he, the policeman, was sent to tell me what my neighbor was up to…

I will call this neighbor, Bob, not his real name.

I asked when Bob, would be digging. He didn’t know.

How long would it take? He didn’t know.

I didn’t trust Bob; I asked how much digging would he be doing? I was told he would only take out a fifteen foot wide section of trees, running along the tiles.

I told him Bob couldn’t bring his young kids on my land. If they got hurt I could be sued. He agreed that could happen.  He said, he would inform Bob, not to bring his children on my land.

The police officer told me Bob would replace my fence and toss around grass seed.

Grass seed?  He needs to replace the wetlands vegetation!  

The policeman shrugged and said nothing.

My thirteen year old was graduating from eight grade that evening, so I went back inside and made a note to send out and email to the county and find out what was going on.

I didn’t have a chance to send the email that night. The next morning before I got up, Bob had torn out the trees. He ripped through the wetlands destroying nesting areas of countless birds and animals. From the deck I watched the birds circling and screaming.

He pulled out more than fifteen feet; the least was twenty feet wide. I need to measure to be exact, but it looks like he tore a crooked line of up to thirty feet wide.  The length from north to south is around five hundred feet.

I was under the impression it was illegal to tear out vegetation during nesting season. Or am I wrong…?

This may be small compared to the oil spill in the Gulf. But each time a tree is ripped out a nest destroyed, a plant or fish is killed. We are losing a little bit more of nature. A little more fresh air, a little more life is gone.  It makes me ill to think of all those baby birds that died.  I have a hard time wondering what else died under his wheels.

I was shocked at how someone could come onto my land and do so much damage. Later that evening I took Uriah out for a walk.  I watched Bob driving along the road in a four wheel, off road vehicle; he turned into the farm field, next to me.   He wasn’t on his land. He saw me with Uriah and turned away.  His two boys were with him. He was taking his kids to check out the area he tore up..

 Here is a very small list of the birds that live around me. There are some odd birds and songs like the bird that looks like a Miniature Blue Heron; it has a loud screaming call.  Or the one I can’t seem to see very well through the trees, it has a throaty growl. There’s a beautiful bird with reddish-brown back and head, with a beige underbelly that holds itself like a Jay. It might be a Cuckoo or maybe a Brown Thrasher.  I didn’t add the foxes, skunks, muskrats, or coyotes. 

This is not a complete list at all.

Great Blue Heron
Blue Jays
Crows
Horned Owl
Cardinals
Red-Tailed Hawks
Turkey Vultures
Screech Owl
Pheasant
 Peregrine Falcon
Sedge Wren
Ducks
Geese
Woodpeckers
Robin
Toads
In the video I turned and faced the neighbor’s house, you can see where he dragged the downed trees. This pile, earlier, was circled by birds franticly searching until they finally gave up.

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 Sweat ran down my back and I felt light headed from the heat and humidity.  The sky above me was a hazy, darkening blue-grey with soft, puffy white clouds. The tops edged with a hallo of white sun. I watched a Blue Heron fly towards me from the west. He nearly disappeared inside the glaring setting sun. This is his usually way of approaching the pond.  His large wings barely moved as he glided in.  His long legs held out behind him and his thin neck stretched straight ahead in elegant splendor. Slowly, his heavy wings caressed the air as he slipped between the trees into the pond. His goal was to  feed on frogs and catfish.

I was standing next to a giant Blue Spruce.  It towered overhead as I pushed into its soft prickly branches.  Uriah was half hidden underneath the thick needles.  His choppy movements shook the upper branches and a pinecone hit me on the head. I tried to drag him out by his chubby body.

He had something in his mouth and he wasn’t giving it up! In the expanding darkness I couldn’t make out what it was.  All I could hear was a loud, “Crunch! Crunch!”

 I pushed Uriah to the side and yelled at him to drop whatever was in his mouth. He rolled his eyes up at me and refused to open his mouth. Like a spoiled kid caught eating a candy bar he swallowed his prize.

Using my walking stick I scrapped at the pile of grass that accumulated along the bottom of the tree. Uriah had his nose to the ground, digging at a specific pile of grass; he pulled out what looked like the remains of a nest and a decomposing rabbit. I saw the back feet and a sort of body, but no head or fur, except for a fuzzy tail. The entire rabbit was covered with the grass clippings and dirt.

Uriah and I started a little dance of power.

He tried to pick up the remains.  

I yelled!

He dropped it!

I skipped backwards away from it!

He jumped forward and grabbed it!

 I yelled! 

He dropped it!

This could go on all night…

Finally I stepped between Uriah and rabbit, and pushed him towards the house.  I could see his little mind whirling.  He was storing this information, so in the morning he could reclaim his prize.

Mental note to self: Tomorrow get rabbit before Uriah does…

In the morning, I walked out with Uriah. The heat hadn’t abated, rather someone turned up the thermostat!  I hurried around the house and grabbed a shovel and a plastic bag.

Luckily, Uriah spotted a bird near the garden and decided to chase him away.

I dragged the shovel over to the Blue Spruce and carefully scooped up the carcass holding it as far away as possible.  I was surprised it didn’t smell.  When I reached the drive way I opened the plastic bag and tired to figure out the easiest way to get it into the bag.

I looked up and saw Uriah trotting over to the Spruce, nose to the ground hunting out the dead rabbit. After minute he looked up at me and ran over. I knew then that this plastic bag wouldn’t keep Uriah away from the rabbit, and I certainly wasn’t going to bring it into the garage. 

My next thought was: The burn pile! I could bury it there, under the ash.

It was relatively easy, the ground bowed to the power of the shovel and I dug a shallow grave. In the meantime Uriah had run off into the trees so I thought I was getting away with something..

When Uriah finally came back we took a walk to the pond where he happily swam in circle, then promptly ran out and shook all over me. He probably figured he was doing me a favor. It was very hot, and I was melting.

I stood in the heavy humid air, with the hot sun already burning my skin. It was only eight-thirty in the morning.  Birds yelled at me! We scared all the toads into the water, I couldn’t see them, but I heard their heavy bodies making contact with the water the same way I do a belly flop. Ouch! With Uriah stirring up the mucky bottom I couldn’t see where they went to, even when I pushed through the grass and searched the waters edge. I had taken a picture a week ago of one floating lazily in the water.   

I could hear my neighbor cutting his grass and a truck passing by on the road.

I shielded my eyes from the sun and motioned to Uriah to follow. We headed back to the house. I washed off the shovel with the hose before I went inside.

While I did that Uriah was nosing around the burn pile…

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Dis mornin’ I decidid it wuz time ta git du tracter grass cuttin’ reddy. First I had ta git disel fule.

The above sentence was fixed by Michael when I walked away from the computer, serves me right for leaving it up on the screen:-)

To open the over head barn door I have to flatten my hands against the door and push upwards. In theory that door should slide easily upward. Reality, the door sticks on the inside track and fights back. With a grunt I push upwards sending the door on its shaky flight up. I hesitate just in case it slipped back down on my head. It didn’t and I walked carefully into the barn.

 Hey, it’s not as if that’d be a first time it slipped back down without me noticing.  

The diesel five gallon plastic tank was sitting next to the still covered tractor. Last fall I had set the air tank behind the tractor after I filled the tires with air. Every year I say a prayer of thanks over those big tires that they are still connected and haven’t shredded. Every winter all four tires lose all their air and I have to refill them. They also need to be checked check constantly during the summer.

The empty plastic water jug was tipped over on the cutting platform. I didn’t see any oil or radiator fluid pooled anywhere under or around the tractor. There was a pile of dried grass along the right, along with a number of boxes I had tossed in that need to be burned. I looked up into the rafters; I couldn’t see the paper wasps, yet.

 Just getting the tractor uncovered, oil checked and changed-Oops! Note to self, need to buy oil- The cutting bed will need oil along with the wheels and around the motor. All that will take me half a day to accomplish. First, I have to move all the stuff out of the way and sweep the floor, before I can even move the tractor an inch from where she has been sleeping all winter.
Crippled husbands suck… note to self, trade ‘im in for a younger, healthy model. (Michael added this part I left it in He’s feeling sorry for himself today.)

Uriah ran up to me when I was taking a couple of pictures. I thought he was being very friendly. But when I looked down he gave me a big doggy grin and bumped me again wiping his wet fur against my jeans.  With the warmer air and the heavy winds, Uriah had gotten thirsty and warm, without asking he wandered off and took a dip in the pond. Nothing like the smell of toad water in a dusty barn! 

I shooed Uriah outside and grabbed the diesel container. I left the door open. I hoped to at least clean around tractor today.

I buy the diesel at the truck stop with all the truckers.  I use the first lane for smaller vehicles, but first I need to prepay inside, so I walk back and forth between the huge trucks.  After  having pumped the diesel I went back inside to get my change and receipt.   I took my place at the end of the line. Truckers are very friendly people and soon everyone was laughing and talking about the tornados heading our way.

When it was my turn I asked about the price difference from their sign by the road, which read $3.21 to the price on the pump, $3.28. The lady behind the counter told me, that they took off seven cents per gallon if you pay cash. I pointed out that wasn’t posted on their sign. She just shrugged and handed me my change. What am I missing here?..

When I got back, I parked in front of the Barn and dragged out the diesel can.   I had bought myself a candy bar at the truck stop and tossed it on the front seat.  I grabbed it and tried to hide it from Uriah. That didn’t work ‘cause he’s a dog and all he does is sniff out things to eat -try not to think about it- and then eat those things, regardless of what said things are or where they’ve been.   (Michael added this last sentence. He caught Uriah grazing in the cats litter boxes earlier today.)

 

I shared a small piece of the candy bar with Uriah. It made him happy.

I wasn’t able to clean up the tractor or the barn, because the winds shifted and the storm rolled in.  And I mean rolled in! The clouds rolled out over head, low enough I thought I could touch them. The sky turned dark grey and rumbled, and flashed, as the winds tossed branches and leaves at us.   

Uriah hates lighting and thunder! He can sense when a bad storm is coming and he would rather stand in the middle of the yard than come in the house. I don’t understand it, but catching him can be frustrating, especially when lightning is flashing overhead

This morning, the sun was shining bright in the blue, blue sky. White wispy clouds gently floated over head.  I stood out near the barn and listened to the frogs singing. They sounded similar to a person whistling with a warble. Their pitch rose and fell as if they were singing a song and only they knew the words.

I contemplated opening the barn and trying again to clean up the tractor.  Then I looked out over the sea of dandelions and tuffs of grass and decided this was just too pretty to cut:-)

At that moment a gentle breeze swirled over my head and Uriah spotted a rabbit and took off ..

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This afternoon we had a small dust storm. The farmer across the road from me had turned over his field during the past week. Today the winds picked up the dirt and manure from his fields and ran it straight north.

The wind tunnel was an interesting sight. So I decided to Video tape it for you. I was really glad the wind didn’t shift and come out of the west and head east. That would have brought all the dust down on me. 

 Check out the video. I add a short poem.

Winds blast
across the open field
Pushing in from the south
tearing to the north
Too close
Yet, just far enough away
I should head back 
to the house
If the winds shift
I will be covered
in dust and manure
A powdery layer
That will coat everything
This Place is
Dubbed…
Tornado Alley
Not that one ever hit the house
They all seem to jump over
to somewhere else
As political winds do
Unless they want to cost you money
Then they stay, and
rip your roof off
For now I watch
I lean against my car
It convulses
as the wind
beats against it
in an attempt to push it
and me
off this road…

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I am not Kate Gosselin

I don’t have eight kids

Really! I don’t!  Believe me, I looked!

My divorce was never on the internet

Or television, or in the tabloids

Could have been…

At one point I did a walk-on for Jerry Springer

I was working, installing a sign 

Across the street from where they were taping

Up on a building, standing on a ladder..

They asked me to be the jealous girlfriend

Does that count?

If I was Kate Gosselin

I would have a reality show

Dance across the screen

And hit the talk shows…

Wait!

I’m still looking for those eight kids

They have to be around here somewhere!

Uriah told me
To stop being silly and
Take his picture please

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