Friday, April 26, 2013

WATCHING BIRDS AND OTHER THINGS


It wasn’t freeze-the-eyeballs cold.  It wasn’t windy. It wasn’t dark.  It wasn’t even cloudy.

In fact, the sky was clear and a full moon was heading for the western horizon.  I didn’t know if I was hallucinating or it was finally-FINALLY spring when I went out with my camera this morning.

 Why did the Canada goose cross the road?  Because it was the chicken’s day off.

 Then I came across some odd tracks. When I went home I checked the all-knowing internet to see what I could find.

“Look in the mud near the water for footprints. Both have claws designed for digging. Beavers have five very distinct toes on their front feet. Their hind feet are about 5 inches long and are webbed. A muskrat’s small front feet appear to be four-toed, but there is a tiny fifth toe that is hard to see.”

I count five toes.  It could be a beaver, but since beaver have webbed rear feet and their tail drags these are probably rock chuck tracks..

 But I guessed beaver are around by the trees gnawed by those big front teeth to make dams in the river.

 I know she’s covered with feathers but I’m pretty sure this is a hairy woodpecker.

 The dark-eyed juncos were not trusting the warm weather.  They were still wearing their down jackets.

 Another junco, but this one has pinkish-brown sides so I’m guessing it’s an Oregon junco.

I like to call crowned sparrows, “biker chicks,” because they wear do-rags.

See how their head scarves are tied in the back?

The hawks have returned to their nest by the pond.  
I would have walked right by this one, but he called me names and told me to buzz off.

These mergansers stopped for a break on their migration north. Someone needs to help them with their hair products.

Ethel Thayer: Look! Look! Oh, look, I've spotted the loons! Oh! Oh, they're so lovely.
Norman Thayer: Yeah, they're huge.
I never saw such big loons in my life.
Ethel Thayer: Those are boats, you poop. Come in closer. 
(On Golden Pond-Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda)

Here’s something I didn’t expect.  A bald eagle!

 How do you identify a bald eagle?  All his feathers are combed over to one side.

So after taking pictures of almost everything that moved…

 …and some things that didn’t.  I walked home.

 Two robins were sitting in a tree. “I'm really hungry,” the first one said.
“Me, too,” said the second. “Let's fly down and find some lunch.”

They swooped to the ground and found a plot of plowed ground full of worms. They ate and ate and ate and ate until they could eat no more.

“I'm so full I don't think I can fly back up to the tree,” the first robin said.

“Me either. Let's just lie here and bask in the warm sun,” said the second.

“OK,” said the first.

They plopped down, relaxed and soaked in the rays.

But as they dozed, a big fat tom cat sneaked in and gobbled them up.

As he sat satisfied and licking his lips, he thought,

 “I love baskin' robins.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FENCING LESSONS


The big wind that did this to a wedding photo shoot ---

 --also snapped several fence posts and took out a section of our fence.

After removing the slats, DH discovered there was damage to most of the posts on that side caused by years of blustery weather.

 The posts were 4x4 cedar sunk in concrete.  
The guys used their mechanical engineering to lever and fulcrum the weights out of the ground-- 

--and the hand cart to haul them off.

After removing the posts there was a trip to the local building supply store. 
 New posts were set --


 --and new concrete bases poured.

 The guys took a break over the weekend to give the cement time to cure.

On Monday DH put the slats back up.  Later Beavis came to help with the gate.


In spite of all that damage, only one slat was broken.  

The guys will replace it with a new one after they get back from their fishing trip.

Priorities, you know.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

BIG JUD'S


I’m not telling you, ‘Never eat a hamburger.’  Just eat the ones with real beef, you know, like the ones from that mom-and-pop diner down the street,…and it’s so good that when you take a bite of that burger, you just know somewhere in the world a vegan is crying.”—Homer Simpson

Most of the eating places around here belong to some cookie-cutter franchise:  same food, same d├ęcor, and same menu as any place else in the world. 

We have to drive a few miles out of town, where there isn’t even cell service, to find people standing in line for a Big Jud’s Burger.  While we waited for our order to cook I was told to get a pitcher of root beer.

 Here it is:  A picture of root beer.

Next up were baskets of fries made from Idaho Russets.  They were fresh potatoes only moments before.  This basket was twice as full as shown here but I was too slow to get a photo.  Teen age boys make food disappear at an alarming rate.

 These are BIG crispy fries without equal which should be eaten with fry sauce.

Enter the tray full of Big Jud’s Burgers:  one pound of lean beef cooked to perfection, served between dinner-plate sized buns and loaded with everything.

Big appetites can put away a whole Big Jud’s by themselves.  We cut each of ours into four pieces, which was just the right amount for me.  When our group got through eating there was nothing left but crumbs.

 Side effect of such a meal:  calorie coma.