Saturday, March 15, 2014

Beware the Ides of March

According to Shakespeare this is the day your loyal friends might stab you in the back. Reminds me of the O'Jays back in '72.

Fortunately for me I never really had to deal with backstabbers as I tried to stay away from people like that. The reality is that by the middle of March things are usually looking up. The winter doldrums are fading in the lengthening daylight and attitudes are improving by leaps and bounds. It doesn't hurt to be lucky once in a while, either.

For example, the boss and I went down south to Duluth for a buying show put on by one of our main wholesalers. They have various drawings and giveaways and even a few direct cash rebates when you buy stuff to sell. The prices are about the best we'll see during the year, so it's a money maker for the owners and gets a better deal for our customers. Being a small lumber yard in the boondocks we don't qualify for a lot of goodies. This time though, we came back with enough cash to give everyone at work $100 and we also have a new large stainless steel grill to cook our lunches on. We also got a few more items like a cooler and some outdoor furniture which we will give away to our customers with a drawing in the near future. It was good that we brought the pickup truck to the show. We also had a 4 foot tall Pink Panther riding in between us on the way back. Quite a haul for a couple of bumpkins! Especially when people refer to the Twin Cities and we think they are talking about Beaver Bay and East Beaver Bay, populations 181 and 40 respectively.

Another lucky thing is morning rush hour traffic. Here I stopped to take a look at the ice to see if there was anything interesting and you can see the other two vehicles in the distance (click on the picture). So much for the traffic and the snow is starting to pull away from the road.

The local fauna is something we sometimes take for granted. I saw a dark spot on the ice and changed lenses on the camera to see what it was. Of course it saw me get out of the car and flew away so I grabbed a couple of quick pics just to see if I could follow an object doing about 50mph. Well, I sort of can, but I need to practice.

Then I got lucky one more time to find it down the road a bit in the top of a tall spruce tree. It's getting time for them to think of nesting.

One more bit of luck came last week when one of the cats was making noise while looking out at the bird feeder. This is not unusual, but what it was squeaking at was. Grabbed the camera for a quick shot from the inside of the house, but went with the autofocus (a mistake in judgement) as I knew I would only have a moment. I wouldn't normally keep or show an out of focus shot, but this is a bit of a rare sighting.

A sleepy Boreal Owl staying up past its bedtime.


  1. A little dose of the O'Jays is always welcome. Thanks.

    (What kind of bird is that in the last photo?)

  2. Sioux, a Boreal Owl. They are more common north of the border, but rarely seen during daylight.

  3. Hmmm, your road doesn't look a whole lot different from ours, a couple of hundred miles south. You never had to deal with backstabbers? Lucky you ... I guess you've never had a corporate job.

  4. Awesome that you got a shot of that owl! I hope you rewarded your cat, as cats expect rewards.

    Today in San Francisco there's an event called "The Brides of March." People dress up in wedding gowns and go bar hopping.

  5. Great catch with that owl photo. I'd have many rewards for the cat!

    We've had sightings of a snowy owl in Jacksonville, Florida. After it was reported in the press, a lot of photographers with very expensive glass started showing up in the hope of catching that one photo.

  6. Nice photo! I have yet to see an owl in the wild.

    I love this time of year. We went for a hike today on a snowy mountain trail, 50 degrees F and we had to take off our jackets. It was gorgeous but unfortunately the most exciting thing we saw was a fresh pile of moose poop. No backstabbers though, so no complaints.

  7. Tom, Lucky, yes. I was in the corporate world for a very nice family owned business, but I did see what others had to put up with.

    Donna, Cats expect a minimum of many rewards. Gotta love 'Frisco!

    PP, Snowys in Florida? Wow! The males are the prettiest you know.

    Agi, the trick to seeing an occasional owl is to never sleep. Moose poop! Some of the locals make earrings and pendants out of it. Of course you must dry and varnish it first.

  8. Wish I had access to your lumber yard. Wood construction in this country is centuries out of date. Just clueless. In Soviet times it was all concrete and bricks and no one seems to have made any progress since. I need a good planer just to begin any project as all is rough cut true dimension. IF you can find it.

  9. A bald eagle AND an owl - lucky indeed.

    Mid-March - no matter what the weather, I always feel optimistic. Spring is so close, the snow - if there is more - won't last long.