Wednesday, March 30, 2005


For the past week on my Sister's Iowa Farm it unfolded like this:

Something has dug a pile of dirt at the Big Shed Door. We're puzzled. Badgers??
Two large brown birds in the Birdbath. Run for the Binoculars. It's Rats!! Bathing!!
Next day Rats are in the Big Shed Rafters looking down singing "nah-nah-nahnahnah".
They ate all the Field Corn including the Cobs. Burp
Five packets of Rid-a-Rat are placed tenderly in the middle of the Big Shed.
No results. P-nut Butter is added to the packets and given a shake. No results.

Yesterday the Packets were moved behind things and along the walls. One was being dropped behind the Recycle Barrel. Behold, a Rat in the Barrel in "freeze and stare" position and looking up.
Today it's time to clean up the Garden and Rake the Yard. Every WorkGlove taken from the Wooden Box in the Big Shed has the Thumb chewed off. Rats!
Not to worry,,
All is quiet in the Big Shed.
Oh No! What is that under the John Deere? Why it's DirtyRat I and DirtyRat II.
There they goooooo up to the Rafters! You DirtyRats!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Nest Time

We were hearing a riot of birdsong here in the mornings. This week Pairs are appearing at the feeders. Yesterday I observed a female House Finch hungrily pulling Niger from the feeder. Her mate finished eating and rested on a branch to watch her. They were followed by a pair of Nut Hatches and Wow,,,a pair of Carolina Wrens at the Suet. First time ever a House Sparrow has appeared and he sat a while on the birdhouse. Black Capped Chickadees flew like passengers on a Roller Coaster to the new Seed Block. Little cuties.

The birds are policing the yard and garden for stuff to stuff in their nests. The Grackle wanders the garden carrying flower leavings around and looks like a harvester sorting and putting them into piles. Some ends up in the Birdbath.

One year the Cocoa Doormat on the front porch was getting bald spots. We discovered a Chickadee twizzling at it and flying away with beakfuls. Another year I discovered a long plastic push-up Popsicle cover in a Brown Thrashers nest. I like the Owls nest cleaning routine,,,just push it all out the front door!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

No Snakes on The Emerald Isle

Fifth Century Legend has St.Patrick standing on a hill using a staff to herd the slithering cold-blooded creatures into the sea.

Cold-blooded? They become the temperature of their surroundings.

Why no Snakes in Ireland? The Ice Age. More than twenty times Glaciers advanced and retreated on Ireland and only let it thaw out 15,000 years ago. Those snakes reaching Ireland would have become Popsicles. Hence, Ireland has 12 miles of icy-cold water in the Northern Channel separating it from Scotland where several snake species abide today.

There are no snakes in Ireland for the simple reason that they can't get there.

Luck of The Irish!


Thursday, March 03, 2005

March Parades In

Yesterday found me working around in the front yard cleaning up and getting ready for Spring. The brisk March Wind made quick work of getting the debri into piles and out to the street. I was sweating Icicles. Raking around the Acuba Bush I found a Tunnel under the fence. My thoughts were on how I miss that little Black Dog, when a Mirage sprang up out on the street.

No Mirage, it was Black Dog, with his Curly Tail and Head held high leading a Parade. In his wake marched a Large Black Lab. I almost stepped to the Curb and joined in.