Archive | May, 2019

The Sparrow Has Found Her a Nest

29 May

The weather for past couple of weeks have been miserable, but today dawned clear and bright – always, of course, subject to change without notice – so we decided to hang out what clothes hadn’t gone through the electric drier yesterday.  Sheets and rugs, for the most part.

I use plastic milk jugs to hold my clothespins; they are virtually free, pretty much biodegradable, and easily replaced. I slice the handle just where it joins the body of the jug, cut an opening in the front, and slip it over the line. The jugs slide along the line easily and three of them hold all the pins we need.

I’ve been keeping the pins on a shelf on the patio when we’re not using them, and when I went to grab them this morning, this is what I found. One deserted bird’s nest, made of moss and dried leaves. Safe from wind, ran, and various predators. Clever, these little creatures. I’m just glad it had been abandoned, as I would have done without rather than disturb the mama bird.

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Letting it all Hang Out

28 May

The Squire and I went off this morning on our weekly “day out”. We go to the laundromat, swing into KFC for lunch and then stop at Aldi’s for groceries. (I’ll tell you, those Rice’s are a wild bunch!)

Another couple came in while we were eating lunch, and after they ordered I noticed the woman talking on her phone, and hunched over as if she was fiddling with her belt buckle. No such luck. She walked over to the table where the napkins and utensils are stacked, and proceeded to talk on the phone and pick at her belly.

Those of us who are a certain age generally suffer from mild to severe cases of Dunlop’s Disease, where our bellies tend to sag a bit and lop over our belts. This gal had pulled up her shirt, and lifted her ‘lop’ so it hung over her shorts! and was engaged in some sort of personal hygiene. I though perhaps she had a pierced naval that was giving her trouble, but that didn’t seem to be the case. In any event, she spent about five minutes – in the middle of the restaurant! – digging at the skin on her tummy.  Lady, there’s a rest room right around the corner!

I’m really trying to be less judgmental, but this sort of s–t makes it just about impossible!

We All Scream For Ice Cream

27 May

A week or so back I found a freezer-burned carton of ice cream on the bottom shelf – Pumpkin Pie flavor, if that gives you any idea how old the stuff was.

I took it out back and left it beside the dish we use to feed the foxes. The carton was gone the next day;  not surprising, as they will frequently carry off plastic carry-out trays or the like to eat at their leisure. Today I had a bunch of stale bread to toss out to the critters – deer will eat bread, as do the birds and squirrels – and as I was coming back I noticed a flash of orange in one of the trees.

Apparently the raccoons had taken the carton away and climbed the tree to eat the ice cream in peace and quiet. The tree is about thirty feet from the dish so I wasn’t likely to see it there, and it was also on the back side of the tree. The carton was in the mulberry tree on the far right of the photo, about four feet off the ground. (We feed the foxes in an old angel food pan, dropped over a stake pounded into the ground. Food dishes are among the things they have carted off, and we got tired of searching for their dish.)

Can’t blame them.  I feel the same way about ice cream. Keep your paws off!

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Graduation Day

24 May

The Squire and I drove over to College Park to watch one of our granddaughters graduate from University of Maryland. She had originally wanted to be a vet, but changed her major to Environmental Policy – or something. My friends call me the “recycling queen”, but Jess has me beat by a mile. She got her Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science and Policy Laws. with a concentration in Wildlife Ecology and Management.

The University of Maryland was founded as an agricultural college – animal husbandry, crop and field studies (improving the soil and what sort of stuff to plant for the area), avian improvement, and the like. Over the years it has expanded its scope, offering every imaginable course, including medicine. The courses on crop and field studies offer a degree in golf course management! And, presumably, a job at Mar-a-lago.

This photo of Jessica captures her spirit exactly! Pretty, funny, great with kids and animals, smart as whip, and a little bit crazy. (What can I Jessica Gradsay? She likes to climb cliffs.)

During the ceremony, we heard a siren, and several cell phone began to chirp. The Dean looked a bit startled, and then announced “We have a tornado warning.” Please follow the staff to the lower level auditorium.” And so we did. And then we did it all in reverse. Actually, the crowd was so large that only half of us had gotten out before the warning was lifted, so we just returned to our seats. A ceremony that should have lasted one hour dragged on for two.

And there was another one scheduled behind us. Running late before it even got started.

And we didn’t get a drop of rain at home.

 

Battle Stations

4 May

Blazer and I went out this evening to feed the fish, which of course also includes feeding the snapping turtles. We have three in the pond at the moment, which is about four too many, and they are very hungry after a long winter fast.  They will often climb about halfway out of the pond to get the food, but today one of them came all the way out and was really threatening me.

Blazer came roaring over and barked at the monster, who promptly reared up and bit the poor puppy on the nose! I heard the dog “yip” but didn’t realize he’d actually been bitten until we went inside.  At any rate, he pawed at the shell and tried to roll the critter over.  Mr. Turtle hurled himself  back into the pond and was satisfied eating the bread I tossed in. We’ll have to see if he is quite as feisty tomorrow.