Saturday, March 17, 2012


When you see a sign like this just a few blocks from a university campus you might expect indignant co-eds at such brazen sexism.   Or at least you’d expect a young man or two checking out the merchandise.

You’d be right about that part.

 In a town where moose mosey, skunks stroll,
 groundhogs ramble and bunny rabbits roam... 

…baby poultry at the feed store…

 …are the closest thing we have to a zoo.

There are all kinds of fowl creatures waiting for a ride to a local farm.

 To make sure new owners get what they want, 
these new chickens have been bred so the boys can be 
distinguished from the girls without much problem. 
See…baby birds aren’t like mammals when it comes to 
checking out…..well, you know.

 Although even at this young age 
there are plenty of other discernible differences.

 But like all babies they are all cute and soft and need a lot of sleep.

 Charming, yes, but keep hands off.

 Here are more peeps ready to take home.

 Don’t be fooled by the peep pretenders.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


A reposting from June 2010

I had some birdseed that was too big to fit through the openings in our bird feeder. It was full of kernels of corn, peanuts and sunflower seeds. So I put some in a bowl on a rock in the garden for the squirrels. This is what happened next.

Grosbeak found a big bowl of birdseed in the garden. “Oh my!” she said. “This is good. I will eat it all myself.”

Tanager came. He said, “Grosbeak, may I eat some of this seed?”

“No! No!” said Grosbeak. “It is mine. I will eat it all.”

“There is too much for you,” said Tanager. “You must learn to share.” “No! No!” said Grosbeak. “It is mine. I will eat it all myself.”

Tanager flew away to eat bugs on the lawn.

Blackbird came. He said, “Grosbeak, may I eat some of this seed?”

“No! No!” said Grosbeak. “It’s all mine. I will eat it myself.”

“You are very selfish,” said Blackbird. “There is too much here for you. You will not be happy if you eat all this seed.”
“Yes, I will, “said Grosbeak. “It is mine. I will not share.”

“If you eat all this seed you will get sick. Then you will swell up and explode into LIT-TLE TIE-NEE BITS,” said Blackbird.

“LIT-TLE TIE-NEE BITS?” said Grosbeak. “OH MY!”

“Yes,” said Blackbird. “You should learn to share.”
“I think you are right, “said Grosbeak.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


My brother and I watched the low area at the bottom of the pasture slowly fill with water from the heavy snowmelt as we brought in the cows each evening.

Our parents were in town shopping when we decided to hook a chain to the cow trough and drag it to the new pond.  Dad had made the watering trough from a metal fifty-five gallon drum.  He’d cut off one side with his welder and set it in a frame of short logs.  It would be the perfect vessel to take us exploring on our lake. 

We emptied the water from the barrel by using the tractor lift. Then we hooked the chain to our makeshift boat and in no time had it towed to the water’s edge.  We even thought to nail a plank to a pole for a paddle.

It took some effort to launch the craft, but the bank was downhill and slick with mud.  It didn’t concern us that we both had water in our boots by the time we embarked.  The two of us fit just fine in our craft and we were soon paddling around the pond. It was heady adventure but the excitement wore off in the cold evening breeze.  We realized we’d probably get in as much, or more trouble for not doing our chores as for relocating the watering trough.

My big brother decided he could cover for me on our chores if I’d take on the task of dragging our improvised boat back to its place of origin. 

We made it to shore without incident and he hurried up the hill to bring in the cows. 

It didn't look like it would be too difficult to hook the chain to the trough and drag it back with the tractor.  I just knew I had enough time to take a short solo voyage first.  I was giddy with power as I took command of what had quickly become a pirate ship.  All went well until the paddle broke and I was left in deep water with nothing but a short pole. The plank part of the paddle was quickly floating out of reach and the sun was leaving the sky.

Fortunately there was still a nail in the end of the pole I held in my hand.  I was somehow able to pull in the plank, but not before both sleeves of my coat were soaked.  I paddled to shore with the plank and had to wade up to my hips to get the chain wrapped around the watering trough. I was nearly blue with cold by the time I’d towed it back to the barnyard.

If I remember right Brother and I both had extra duties added to our chore list for a week.  A sailor’s life is not an easy one.

The watering trough/boat