Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring, sort of

April is almost over. And after over four feet of fresh snow this month alone I am glad to see it go. Last Saturday morning I woke up to 2F (-16C) which was damned chilly. A week later here I am at 55F on a cloudy morning. I know, bitchin' about the weather is nothing new, but I was able to take advantage of the situation and do something destructive. The last several, well more like five or ten, years I have wanted to get rid of the olde chicken coop between this house and the olde farm house. It looked like this.
Of course it is still surrounded by over a foot of snow. I looked inside yesterday evening after feeding everyone and saw a dead fox inside. It hadn't been there long, but probably starved to death as it appeared to be young. I decided it needed a proper funeral and so did the chicken coop. This is how it looked.

So much for the olde chicken coop. I believe it was from the 1930's judging by its construction. There was still a little smoldering this morning and now I have to find a home for the corrugated metal roof that is now lying on the ground.

As the snow melted this week it exposed some of the carnage of the highway from the winter. Road killed deer are plentiful. There are those who can take advantage of the situation and find some nourishment. I'm talking about that intrepid carrion feeder and national symbol, the bald eagle (they don't know bald, I know bald!).
There are usually adults as well as immature birds at these open air restaurants. How can I tell they're immature? By the way they act! It's pretty obvious. The one on the left has done something juvenile and is fleeing the scene. There are things one can learn on the daily commute to work.
We've had a number of Spring birds showing up, but the snow and frozen ponds have got them doing some strange things. The snow buntings have usually gone north by now, but they have found our feeders instead.
The Cooker and Stitch took two of our geldings down to the Great Minnesota Horse Expo at the state fair grounds this weekend and left me all alone to fend for myself. A friend suggested I spend some time naked in this circumstance. I took that advice to heart yesterday morning. I got out of the shower at about 6 a.m. and looked out the bathroom window at a raccoon heading for the back yard and climbing over the fence. I quick ran outside to scare it off (the chickens were still locked in their coop, thankfully). Hearing me come out the front door was enough to send it scurrying. Had it turned and seen me naked on the deck I am sure it would have had a fatal heart attack. It was smart enough not to look. I have heard they are clever beasts.

As the snow slowly melts into the Great Lakes basin I bid you adieu for now.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

One more time

Did you ever feel like you had been trying hard to do everything right and after some real progress you were about to take a major step forward? All of a sudden something comes at you out of nowhere and hits you so hard it knocks the breath out of you. This time I am speaking figuratively, although it has happened in a more literal sense before. I am talking about spring. There were big patches of brown grass starting to show, the driveway was clear, and everyday a little more was melting was lifting my spirits. This morning negated all those good feelings with just a couple inches of snow. It's later now and at least 6 inches have fallen with no sign of letting up.

Not that this hasn't happened before.  You see, about this time of year, as the days grow longer, I wean myself off my winter "happy pills." Not too abruptly, mind you, but I really don't like taking any medication that isn't totally necessary. Forty years ago that was not the case. It used to be "I wonder what will happen if I take one of these?" Or, "what if I smoke a little of this?" Of course I don't think it had any permanent effect on me effect on me effect on me, but I don't know of any definitive studies done to determine the long term results of this short term behavior. I guess we make our choices and learn to live with whatever the results are, but it was awesome being indestructible, at least for a while.

So as a diversion from this April hell I got out the camera and took hints from my contented, well mostly, creatures in my immediate vicinity. My buddy, Orange Ruffy.
Then there is our token dog, Mandy who we adopted last fall. She adores me although it was not the intention for me to be her person.
Cotton is our furry version of Clint Eastwood's spaghetti western character or Dirty Harry. "Go ahead punk, make my day."
Then there is Cotton's sister, Princess Puffy Pants, doing something she does very well. God, I admire her ability to sleep through hell and high water.
Then there is Bella. She is the most confident cat in the house (there are 12 of the little furballs). We adopted her last year. She is diabetic and requires insulin twice a day, but deals with it very well as she gets special treatment that she obviously deserves. Here she is in her cube giving me "stinkeye" for invading her space.
The real reason I stayed indoors for most of the day is this stuff. Not that is as unexpected as I make it out to be, but damn, it gets annoying. While it is beautiful in some ways, it is not always welcome. It reminds me of an old Star Trek episode where the women of the planet, who ran it  BTW, were referred to by the men as "the givers of pleasure and pain". Nothing new under the sun, is there?
I guess we'll see what happens when daylight comes tomorrow morning. I may have to get the tractor out to clear the mess as I doubt it will melt fast enough for my liking.
I hope spring springs eternal for all of you.