Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The world still turns on its axis

Taking a break from the killings, political blathering, wars, weather disasters, Hollywood's latest scandals, and the latest professional sports assaults and money problems (too much money is a problem), I have decided to give this one to my own little world.

A couple of weeks ago was my birthday so the ladies and I went up the Gunflint Trail to a wild edibles walk given by a friend of mine. Mostly berries and mushrooms on a very hot Sunday afternoon, but it was good to get out in the woods for a bit in some different terrain than what we have on the farm.

June berries, service berries, strawberries, and a few others were tasty even though the birds and bears had gotten a lot of them.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, some of the cats were getting restless. It's what they do when they are not sleeping, eating, or barfing what (or who) they have previously eaten.

The neighborhood squirrels were helping themselves to sunflower seeds from the "squirrel proof"  bird feeder. They practice their circus act sometimes just for our entertainment.

There are a lot of fledgling birds around us now. Some are more spoiled than others and still think their parents need to feed them. The young think they are postponing empty nest syndrome for their parents so I guess it's some kind of symbiosis.
From across the road I heard a funny noise and decided I would sneak up on it and see what it was. It did a pretty goo job of staying hidden considering it's four foot height, but old Hawkeye Jon and his camera caught a quick glimpse of it in the deep grasses.

Click on that one and look in the middle.

It was the last I saw of that Sandhill Crane until a day or two later when three decided to visit Odamae and Beezer in their pasture. They were okay with the birds sharing their space and the cranes were just passing through anyway.

So this week I let the world go to hell in a handbasket from the relative safety of my home in the northwoods and don't really give a shit what the politicians are going to do to make my life better.

And  a service announcement from me to you. I had a colonoscopy this morning. If you are fifty or older or have a family history of colon cancer you should get one. The preparation is a nuisance, but the procedure is not a real pain in the ass as you're unconscious. In ten years I will have another, the last most likely, but I have lost several friends and family to various forms of colorectal cancers. If you can't do it for me, then do it for yourself and your family.


  1. Proactive health care over there is so much better than here......
    Mind you you pay for the privilege

  2. Love the Sandhill Crane - and was intrigued to learn that the young are called colts.
    I have poohed on a stick, but am yet to have a colonoscopy. Next year. And I will.
    Happy belated birthday.

  3. Ah, you're into wild food? I'm glad to hear it. Did you find any bolete mushrooms during your walk? The summer berries sound delicious.

  4. I see sandhill cranes frequently in the summer, they nest out on the rivers near Butte. They look almost prehistoric to me, striding around the fields.

  5. Sandhill cranes are a common sight around here, often walking in ditches by the side of the road. The first time I ever encountered a pair, they came right up to me. I was so scared they'd peck on my camera, I ran off.

    The squirrel picture is hilarious!

  6. You know from having read my book that I fully agree with your PSA. Started those procedures in my thirties.

    I love your close-up nature shots of the birds, squirrel and horses. Hope you had a berry happy birthday. Looks as though you did. =)

  7. That's a slice of heaven right there Jono. Thanks for the refreshing break from the shit that doesn't matter as much as people think it does.

  8. We are so detached from nature we get laser focused on society and it's insanity and lack of solutions. It is good to regularly touch base with the world without humans for a while.

    You are fortunate living where you do.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  9. Happy belated birthday! And thanks for the happy pictures, too. Did you taste the russula mushroom? They're edible enough, but not my fave wild mushroom. I actually found a giant cluster of oyster mushrooms a few weeks ago, and they were delicious! Gem-studded puffballs should be out within the next week or so, too, so my mouth is watering.

    No colonoscopy for me yet - so far my doc is satisfied with the FIT test (also known as the SH*T test in our household). But I'm sure the black snake is headed my way in the foreseeable future, since there's bowel cancer in my family, too. Thanks for the public-service reminder. :-)

  10. My colonoscopy was a breeze- except for the drinking of 8 quarts (or was it gallons) of water and gatorade and noxious chemicals. The prep is the worst part!

  11. Shoutout for the important health awareness notice re colonoscopy and the unintentionally (?) appropriate illustration with long necked cranes! I love finding and eating free food, it is just the most natural thing to do!

  12. I love your photos. You have such an eye.
    My colonoscopy was a failure as they did not find my head up there. But yes, getting checked over from stem to gudgeon is a good idea. Time I went for another. thank you.

  13. I love medical (and dental) procedures because it feels so good to get them over with. Love may be the wrong word, but you get my drift. The colonoscopy is especially good to have behind you. Heh.

    Nature does have a way of putting things into perspective.

    And an edibles walk sounds intriguing. As kids we ate berries in the woods behind our little school. I'd be scared to do that now, but at the time, I guess it was safe enough - big kids showed the little kids what to eat and since they hadn't yet died, the berries were clearly okay.

  14. John, Yes we do pay dearly in so many ways.

    JACKIESUE, They even sent me home with pictures from "way in there".

    Elephants Child, Colts? I didn't know that, so thanks! I have been enjoying your pictures of the very colorful birds from your side of the planet. Thanks for the birthday wish!

    Ahab, So far I haven't gone out for a walk and actually come home heavier than when I left. No boletes yet. It's been pretty dry and our chanterelles were pretty sparse as well.

    Should Fish More, When they fly over we often point and say, "pterodactyls."

    PP, I can see where they might be intimidating at four feet tall.

    RawknRobyn, I know I am not alone. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I totally took the day off. Being Sunday made that easier.

    Agi T, Sometimes I have to get away from all that stuff or I get my undies in a bundle.

    Ol'Buzzard, I am indeed lucky to be away from the hustle and bustle world. I drop in it from time to time, but not for long.

    Diane, I love checking the woods for the latest food crop. Haven't been out as much this year, though, but I keep trying.

    Professor, Getting scoped out is the easy part, but yeah, I think it is gallons and noxious chemicals the day before that make it less fun.

    Onevikinggirl, Yes, it was unintentional on a conscious level. Just because my eyes are open doesn't always mean that I am fully conscious, though.

    Blog Fodder, I was two years late for the first one and one year late for this on, but I got it done. Cranial-rectal extraction is a much needed procedure in most governments, but is too often overlooked.

    jenny_o, It's like my favorite part of house building was being done with the roof. The Cooker always shows me a plant and says, "Lok at this! If I die this is what I ate!" Then she eats it.

  15. Thanks for this lovely respite from the Donald and company.

  16. Donna, Even I can only take so much. And it's all too much some days.

  17. It looks like so much fun! I remember going out when I was a kid and I'd find wild blackberry bushes and you could eat the berries right then and there (forgiving you were gonna be covered in purple juice).

  18. "Wild edibles walk" has an entirely different meaning here in Colorado.

    Were any of those mushrooms hallucinogenic? I bet it'd be cool to be out having a snack in the woods and then just suddenly have a life-changing vision quest, as given to you by a talking tree.

  19. Robert Bennett, Thanks for stopping by! My favorite berry as a kid was the Beach Plum. Tasty and a stain that wouldn't disappear.

    ABFTS, I have often wondered what the ones I can't identify would do to me. In my younger days I had a few of those "visions" and they weren't life changing. At least I don't think they were. Were they?

  20. I like that photo of the hidden Sandhill crane and also the photos of your four cats – all long hair I see. Do they bother the birds? We have two cats but they stay inside and stare at the bird feeders through the window. Our bird feeders are also “squirrel” proof but the empty them regularly.

  21. Vagabonde, The cats rarely bother the birds, but do get the occasional rodent. Their outdoor time is limited. They would rather watch them through the window as if they were watching a movie. There are a few short hair as well as medium hair cats in our lives.

  22. I don`t believe that there has ever been a bird feeder that is completely squirrel proof. The person who invents such a contraptions should be given the Nobel Prize for Humanity!
    And Colonoscopies are such fun aren`t they. I`m due another one next year, yuccckkk. Drinking that stuff makes me scream. My last colonoscopy doctor closely resembled a 12 year old Chinese girl. Doctors are getting out of med school younger and younger.

  23. I kind of like the l or two pound weight loss I get from colonoscopies. A good "clean out" so to speak. Of course, I guess, if we'd just barf like your cats, we could achieve the same thing.

    I do wish we had an edible tour. There's so many things I'd like to eat when I'm out hiking, but I'm chicken. I'm still amazed anybody ever tried eating pumpkin seeds. That person had to be really hungry.

  24. That squirrel shot is a classic! In fact all your photos are great. :)

  25. Shammickite,There really is nothing a determined squirrel can't access. Maybe your last doctor was a Doogie Howser type.

    barbfroman,I always try to make the best of the weight loss, but seem to give in to the temptation of eating rather quickly.

    LL Cool Joe, Thanks!

  26. Colonoscopies aren't so bad; I just hate the prep!! :) Hope your results are a big fat nothing! So important to catch it early. Love all the photos, especially the cats, acrobatic squirrel and mama-baby bird duo!