Tag Archives: corn

Don’t fight with a skunk for the garbage rights!~ Or, Perimenopause sounds like a new dance…

work in progess of a cartoon charcter of me.
rodents made this into a condo

The past few days have been just gorgeous. The air is cooler. The sky has been a range of clear blue, to heavy thick grey clouds and rain.  The trees haven’t changed color, even though the past couple of weeks the leaves have started to fall and dried leaves crunch beneath my shoes.

The yellow jackets are cranky with the cooler air, and the over abundance of fermented fruit.  Drunken bees are interesting indeed.

The grass and the wildflowers are now orange, red and browns mixed with dirty yellows.   Even the air smells like fall, dried grass and hay, mud, mold and Halloween.

 I feel a little sad; this summer was so hot, I couldn’t enjoy it. Each day was a steam bath of heat, making it nearly impossible to breathe, and walk at the same time. Even when I made an attempt, the mosquitoes forced me back indoors.

Now, I have to make my fall list of chores, I still haven’t finished my spring’s time list. Summer, forget it. That list was eaten by Uriah and I didn’t even care.

This past Friday the garbage was still sitting out by the curb, not having been collected on Thursday, the normal garbage pick up day; by Friday it was ripped open and spread around the mouth of the driveway by a skunk. I wanted to make sure it didn’t spread out into the road, so I rushed out and picked up the paper towels, and chicken bones scattered along the ground.

 As I shoved the very smelly garbage into a new plastic bag, I wondered, why the skunk hadn’t finished off all the bones. At that exact moment, when that question rattled around in my head, I saw a black nose, with black fur and a white stripe slip out of the drainage tile that stretched under the road  connecting the east side to the west.  

We shared a look and I stood up fast, “Oh no you don’t! I said out loud as I backed carefully away.  “You are not going to spray me!”

I thought I was safe, the skunk was in the drainage ditch and I was near the road. He would have to spray upward to get me.  I decided to ignore it.    I watched out for the cars whizzing by me, mere inches from my head.

Hurrying with the cleanup, I failed to notice one important thing.

 That little skunk had sprayed the other garbage bags.

I tossed the bag I was holding onto the pile, and then decided to straighten them all.

Right now, as I type this, I wonder why I had the compulsion to straighten the garbage bags….

The smell hit me hard, rotten chicken and the odd, burning green smell of skunk!

That skunk didn’t need to spray me, I did it myself. Then with all the brain power I had left, I covered my nose with my sleeve. The sleeve, which had skunk juice on it!

I headed back home, fast!  Uriah happily following behind, his nose pointed up as he kept sniffing the air around me. I gagged and blinked multiple times.  Having to stop when I thought my stomach would end up in the driveway if I moved to fast.

Next week, Michael is checking on the garbage!

****

Sorry, I haven’t been here a lot. I missed reading your Blogs. I will get back in the game. Sitting is a real pain.

Uriah is doing great. New dog food he lost a little weight. He needed to.

The examiner isn’t paying out like I hoped. They made some changes and the numbers aren’t posting correctly. Still I keep trying. I wrote my first article June 27th, I am on number 44 today, and I only made $17.97, that’s with 2,476 hits. Hmmm!?

I am trying my hand at cartooning myself. I jumped around on the internet checkout sites to make your self into a cartoon. Then I pieced together a character, redrew it, and colored it in paint. It is a work in progress. I posted it with this article on the examiner. ( I tried to add a link and wordpress just wouldn’t let me, here is the full link)

http://www.examiner.com/plant-life-in-chicago/searching-for-the-noxious-plant-called-marijuana-hampshire-illinois

 My camera started acting up. 90 % of the pictures came out blurred and the camera started making odd noises. Luckily I had a store warranty I took it back to Best Buy and they gave me a different camera. Maybe I should get an under water camera. It’s a thought.

 **Don’t read this part if your squeamish about women’s issues.* I’ve been doing the doctor run for Michael. Then I had my normal routine -yearly exams.  My doctor thought it would be a great idea to do a biopsy of my uterus. A fast decision he made. He said, instead of me coming back in a few months; let’s do this now…. I was in no position to argue. Michael said, I looked like I saw a ghost when I came out of the doctor’s office. perimenopause is so much fun! Results sometime next week.

Would A Sign Help? ‘Chicken Or Pheasant Crossing, Slow Down’~

 

Early Tuesday, afternoon I headed outside to get the mail. I stopped, about forty feet from the road. When I spotted some large, bird tracks that crossed the driveway, south to north.

I followed the tracks to the south, the way they came into my yard, and looked over the fence into my neighbor’s yard.  I couldn’t see where the tracks started from. But, I could see a large number of bird and small animal prints around the trees. I noticed only the large bird had separated from the rest, and walked a four toed pattern under the wooden fence.

I retraced my steps back to the driveway and hesitated. Should I just collect the mail and head back to the house?  No! This was bugging me, that bird could need help.  I decided to follow the bird’s claw prints across the front yard.

 Uriah came over and sniffed at the snow, then followed me.  

I found a couple of feathers. They were stuck in the snow a few feet north of the driveway.  Reddish mottled brown with a soft gray tuff closer to the tip, about two to three inches long, I slipped them into my coat pocket and kept following the tracks in the snow.  They guided me across the front of yard.   That bird had walked a zigzagging pattern, headed north, and kept to the harder packed snow.

I reached the property line on the north end. Slipped between the evergreens and stood on a sizable chunk of plowed up dirt, and stared across the field. Uriah stood next to me and waited.

 I took off my right glove and readjusted my hat.  The temperature was in the lower 30’s, without a wind. I wiggled toes, to check how frozen my feet were, they weren’t cold. And my fingers were still warm. I wasn’t cold at all!  This gave me a reason enough to move on with my quest.

I was thinking the bird might be a hawk and he was hurt. Why else would a bird take a walk?  He could have a broken wing!  Or he may have been clipped by a car driving by too fast!  I shook my head silently. No! If the bird had been hurt I would have seen a blood trail.

It might be a pheasant!  I usually see a few of them running in the snow, or startling me when Uriah flushes them from the tall grass.  Again, I shook my head; the tracks didn’t have lines formed from the birds trailing tail feathers. And this bird had four toes. I thought a Pheasant’s tracks usually showed only the front three toes.   

 I replaced my glove, and made sure my footing was steady. “Well, Uriah, should we head back to the house?  Or…Should we see what type of bird left those tracks?”

 I left it up to Uriah to decide what we did next.

I use my old ski poles as my walking sticks,  I grabbed them both in a way that said I was finished standing around. Then I looked towards my dog. 

Uriah sniffed the ground, glanced up at me and started to walk on ahead. Now he was following the tracks, and I followed him. 

I carefully stepped out on a wash of tiny black icebergs, small points of back earth, which stood out above the snow.

Tracks of coyotes, a fox, and raccoons crossed my trail heading off to the east and west. Tire treads cut through the snow from an off road vehicle, probably the neighbor who I saw on Sunday.  His tracks headed across the road into the farm field. The animal’s prints looked fresh, possible early this morning.  I thought, maybe they were chasing the bird. But no, the tracks crossed each other. I doubt they actually saw one another.

Curiosity had me moving on.   I was beginning to think I was following a drunken chicken

The bird had walked towards a couple of very old, gnarly Oak trees.  Scratched in the snow then turned towards the road, and walked in the ditch, until he headed out on the road.

I called Uriah back, and made him sit. I waited for two cars and a truck to pass by. Once it was clear, I allowed Uriah up and out of the ditch, so he could stand next to me on the blacktop.  I could see that something had been hit by a car recently. It laid still another twenty feet to the north on the opposite side of the road. The car that hit it, had been heading south.

I made sure there wasn’t any traffic in sight. Then, I told Uriah to sit and wait!   I approached the carcass. It was a rooster, a big roster. With a red Comb, or was it a male ring-necked pheasant? No, it looked like a rooster…

It had the shape of a fat chicken. Well sort of.  It was hit by a car!

I kept checking for cars, and took my eyes off Uriah for a second. In that time frame, he walked up to me and stared at the bird. 

I glanced both ways along the road, and then asked Uriah. “Okay, what do you think it is, chicken or pheasant?”

I rolled my eyes and shook my head at him as I checked the road.  Then I asked. “Okay, Uriah! What do you think it is, chicken or pheasant?”

I don’t think he cared.  But wanting  to get in on the game, he looked at the bird.  Then he looked back at me!  Then back at the bird! I could hear him loud and clear, “Can I take it?  Huh? Come on let me take it!” His eyes sparkled and he started prancing around.  His nails clicked loudly on the frozen blacktop.

I shook my head at him, “No! Let’s get out of the road.”

Uriah followed and only looked back once.

I saw a truck coming at us, really slow.  We had enough time to walk along the road. Then move off the road, in-between the Blue Spruce and the Austrian Pine, at the north end of the front yard.  

The truck turned out to be a farmer and his tractor; he was pulling a couple of swaying grain carts filled with corn. The farmer was very, very slowly making his way down the road. I waved at him. As I check the mail…

I Took My Walk Looking Up Today~Or, I Missed Last Nights Party

It was nearly two in the afternoon, when took my walk.  The temperatures had risen today. It was close to 35 degrees.

 I stood out on the path in the middle of the lowest spot, along the drainage tile. I was surrounded by heavy snow that crunched with each step I took.  My heels sunk into the wet snow and my toes followed with a rubbery sound, similar to rubbing your fingers across the outside of blown up balloon.  

 I felt I was shrinking! An optical illusion as the trees towered above.  

The sky directly overhead was void of clouds.  

While the horizon itself, was painted with a smooth, dark grayish, blue color.  

Furrows of lighter colored clouds stretched upward from that darkness, and meandered in soft lines. They swirled upward, round and round, lighter and lighter until the clouds broke apart.  

Everything pulled together like a tassel at the top of a hat.

All that soft brightness reflected off the surrounding clouds, with a very pale washed out center of whitish blue.  

I felt as if I were spectator, sitting in a cozy chair in a planetarium.

Everywhere I looked, the clouds followed that spherical path, up and out.

Two flocks of geese approached from the northwest and  flew over my house.   The first group, a wedge, flew in a ‘V’ formation.  The second flock flew a straight line, a skein, like a tail of a kite trailing last.

 I watched the geese turn and head southeast.  Both groups merged into the wedge, one wide ‘V’ formation. They flew in a wide circle.   I watched them fly directly towards the east, then turn sharply and head back north.  All the while honking and talking like a group of teenage girls.

I moved on up the path. I dragged my feet through the snow, so I wouldn’t slip. I noticed I wasn’t the only one who walked this way in the past twenty-four hours.

The white snow was marred by multiple foot prints, coyotes, opossums, rats, rabbits, deer and raccoons. 

Mother Nature must have had a big party last night.

Corn cobs were scattered under the trees and stripped of their hard kernels. The animal that ate that corn was very patient. The hull was peeled and eaten.  Remnants scattered around like peanut shells.

Off in the distance I could hear the motorized high pitch whine of a snowmobile.  It rose in pitch, lowered then rose up again, over and over. I couldn’t see the vehicle. But, it sounded like someone was having fun as they raced in the fields.

Heavier clouds were moving in, I called for my dog and we headed back home..

Picture From:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/living/canada_geese.htm#info
(Photo by Russell Link.)

How Many Rocks Can My Pockets Hold?~

Written on December 7th, 2009~

 Earlier this morning when I took my dog out for a walk, the air was a mist of grey fog. The sun was a haze in the early morning sky. When I first glanced up, I thought the Sun was the Moon, defused in the grey mist and entangle in the dense cloud cover. My breath and the fog were inseparable.  

It had snowed during the night. Everything was covered in white. Each branch was coated, in a perfect holiday photo shoot. The ground was frozen so even the driveway was paved white.

I stayed near the house, and planned on walking out back later in the day.

It was nearly four o’clock in the afternoon by the time I decided to take a walk. The snow was no longer coating the trees. Only lines of snow zigzagged across the lawn   

Uriah took off in the trees, angrily barking.  He reappeared in front of me, only to follow the tracks of a grey squirrel. Whose residence is in the trees at the beginning of the path.

 The air was cold yet tolerable. I had forgotten my gloves back by the house and my fingers weren’t freezing, so I was happy. I started walking to the right, where the ground moves upward on a slight incline. Directly in the center of the path a small, three inch evergreen had taken root. I never saw it before.  I made a mental note to remember and check on it in spring.  If it really was growing on the path I’ll need to transplant it.

 I continued on my way. When I reached the far back and started to circle home, I stopped to admire the old farm house and its red barn, equally sized white Silos and smaller buildings all built up together like a castle, the surrounding grass and turned over fields, patterned shades of brown, yellow, green, and beige.  The sections were the last rain fell washed the dirt to a dark black.  White snow striped the empty corn fields.

I could see for miles…  

Faded green grass still stood out in the farmer’s air field. Along the air field, past forty acres of plowed fields, I watched Black Angus cows. They moved slowly into a fenced in field. 

Off to the northeast, I could see helicopter hovering in the direction of the express way.

Uriah started to bark, as  I walked  back, I kept calling  his name, and he kept answering by barking- not by appearing.

I reached the part of the path, that was directly across from where I saw the little evergreen, at the beginning of my walk.  I stopped and poked the dirt with my ski pole, it gave way. I called to Uriah each call I stabbed the pole at the dirt, I hit a rock!

Curiosity got the better of me.  I stood there digging out this little rock, which lay just under the dirt and field grass. It was a slight tipsy square flat rock, to my eye it was nearly perfect. With the thought of crafting something, maybe checkers.  I slipped it into my pocket as Uriah barked again.

At that point I looked down, and found another little evergreen growing on the path.

The grass all around me had given up trying to reach for the sky and laid level with the ground, sleeping until spring.   I walked back a few feet searching for more of the little saplings. I found six more going in the center of the path.

Uriah’s barking became more agitated; I started walking back towards home. Every few feet I called him and he answered back, I felt like I was playing ‘Marco Polo’ with him.

Picture from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blackangus.jpg

Uriah and I stopped sneezing long enough to watch the harvester turn around.

Beautiful day!  Skies are clear, very little wind; temperatures are mild, in the mid fifties.

 Uriah was the first to notice the farm equipment pull into the field next door. He freaked! He climbed on the deck and cowered on the north side, farthest way from the equipment. 

The corn in the southern field was finally being  harvested. I stood outside and watched as the large tractor moved slowly into place. I could see the farmer in the cab and a child.

Farmer’s children will help them with the harvesting.  They watch for problems as their parent harvests the crops.The cab they sat in was sealed, heated and air-conditioned.

The winds were blowing away from me, so as the tractor passed by most of the dust spread out to the south.

Just as I thought, “Wow,  I am lucky the wind isn’t blowing in this direction.” The wind changed!  I started coughing, and blinking rapidly as the dust settled in over my head.

I choked out Uriah’s name and we headed towards the path to take a walk. The trees in that area blocked some of the harvesting dust. Well, sort of..

I crossed my fingers that the farmer would only be working on the lower part of the field at this time. I smiled, when I saw him hit the half way point near the drainage tiles and turn around.

 Uriah and I stopped sneezing long enough to watch the harvester.

With all the bare fields, the animals have been congregating in our trees. Last night, every hour, I was yelling out the doors for the coyotes to leave. There must have been close to a dozen howling and yelping very close to the house.

Coyotes don’t understand windows.  So, I had to insure the indoor cats stayed away from the glass. I really didn’t have to worry; they hid under the bed when the howling started.

Uriah, on the other hand, was whining and barking wanting to chase them. A dog barking won’t keep coyotes away from the house. It has the opposite effect. So, between trying to calm down Uriah, petting the cats and yelling at the coyotes, it was a fun night.

Halfway through the walk, Uriah disappeared with hackles raised, into the trees. Stupidly I walked in after him, calling and getting tangled in leafless under brush. After a short time, I headed back to the house. When Uriah reappeared  his tongue was trailing on the ground.  

The farmer took a lunch break and finished the back half of the field; I stood out on the deck and enjoyed the view.

This scene has to be a little boy’s dream.  A large tractor harvesting corn slowly chopping, crunching, and roaring through a field, as an equally large dump truck waits to be filled with the corn; such an impressive, unobstructed view of a real mid-western farm life.  

I love it out here.

I wanted a bowl of chicken soup with carrots for lunch

I wanted a bowl of chicken soup with carrots for lunch. So, I took an old colander out to the garden. Kneeled, and carefully pulled up the small carrots. Their tops were still green and healthy looking. The Taproot, a tasty dark orange

This past spring, I had planted a six foot long line of carrots. They grew slowly and perfect, except I planted them a little to close together. Next springs carrots will be spaced apart more evenly.

Carefully I wiggled them loose like a child’s tooth. I have only half a foot remaining in the row.

It was easier than I thought to grow carrots.

Water a little,  weed a little, and then leave them alone.

This year, I have sliced them thinly and cook them into canned soups, homemade soups, and packaged dry soups. I have made beef stews and ‘any vegetable on hand’ soup.

I added the vegetables,  the garlic along with the onions and tomatoes, parsley and potatoes. All were grown in my garden.

The potatoes were a surprise. I had mixed in assorted vegetable peels and egg shells from the kitchen.  I was amazed to see potatoes growing with a dozen strawberry plants. I didn’t plant those either! They came from a couple of fresh, rotting strawberries thrown in around July.

Using  tree leaves  I  covered a large part of the garden in preparation of winter. I planned on moving the strawberries to a different section this coming spring. That idea may change; I have all winter to mull it over.

I pulled out two dozen finger sized carrots; they were growing in a massive clump. I broke off the tops and tossed the them in the mulch pile.  I tried and failed to remove all the dirt. I scrapped off as much as I could. I really don’t need to clog my kitchen drains with mud.

We have had a few frosts already. I was surprised we haven’t had a foot of snow. Some of the carrots have some frost damage; they are a reddish orange color. I set those on the side to be mulched.

I creaked and groaned as I got to my feet, looked up at the blue sky and walked into the house to make myself some soup.

Uriah decided to stay behind and started  hunting  the rat that lives around his kennel.

Clean up and sliced carrots

A quarter of an onion chopped

Rive one clove of garlic from bulb

Relish with a Pinch of salt, and pepper

Olive oil to sauté, Swanson chicken broth

Two skinless chicken breasts simmer till done

Carrot picture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrots

Peace with nature

Its mid-morning, pale baby blue sky, painted with wisps of white clouds, the air is no longer cold, just cool. On the path the grass is about three inches tall and it shimmered in the morning light. Drew drops were everywhere, glinting along the gnarled fence post, to slipping slowly off bare branches.

If I had to describe this morning with one word, it would be ‘peaceful.’

I watched a family of Blue Jays glide noiselessly through the trees to the North. When I was spotted, a single long whistle announced me as trouble. Very similar to the whistle I use to call for Uriah. I whistled back at the bird, smiled and moved on.

I snapped my fingers at Uriah, and we headed for the path. Uriah ran in circles and headed into up the incline to the south, the scent he caught was over powering to him. He had to find it! He didn’t… I could smell a faint a faint musky order it lingered over the damp ground. I knew the animal was no longer here. Finally, Uriah figured that out and came back to me; immediately he pushed off in the opposite direction when a new smell caught his attention.

 A Red-tailed Hawk screeched in the trees to the north. His call reverberated in the morning air. Blue Jays answered with their danger whistle and the Hawk screeched back at them.

Both are extremely beautiful birds. The bright blue of the  Jays and the intense pride of the hawk, for me, their voices carried the soul of the land.

That may sound corny. Yes! But standing here listening, takes me back to my grandmother’s house, and brought me peaceful feel to the day, to this moment.

Peace is more than a word, a thought, or a phrase. It is a way of living. In nature, animals come together to drink from the same pond without killing each other. Just for the sake of replenishing their thirst…?  Or, is it more than that?

Nature is calling out today! With the same whistles, growls, screeches and yelps as yesterday. A peaceful coexistence, caught in a split second where I can connect with the land.

Tomorrow may rage a storm so severe the trees could be ripped up from their roots. This moment of peace, this moment is all I have right now. I am enjoying it immensely.

I have been playing with acrostic poetry.

 Peace

Place yourself within nature

Embrace your creative arc

Actualize your personal Mecca

Confidence regained in solitude

Enliven a past friendship

 

 

 

Picture from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_hawk

Peanut Butter Sandwich

Rain has coated every blade of dried grass, bare tree limb, and still standing stalk of corn.

The color yesterday, was a faded beige, yellowish green and dark browns, today with all the dampness  the colors have changed into a deeper, darker browns, reddish and wet.

Without the over cast sky everything would be shimmering, at least until the sun dried them off.

I could see my breath, the air was nearly cold enough to snow, but just not there, yet.

When I breathed through my nose, I could smell, cool rain, dampness, and trees. I started huffing and puffing, breathing through my mouth and the scents changed. I could taste dried hay, grass, and mold mixed in with the cool, calm air.

Stillness formed around me, anticipation of the next second. I looked up to the sky. The clouds were pretty high, and smooth; those clouds, were there for their aesthetic appeal and to keep the ground air cool.

No! It wasn’t going to rain on me, at least not in the next half hour. The horizon was clear. Right now I could see a line of clouds, very slowly moving in this direction.

I had taken this afternoons walk with my lunch, a peanut butter sandwich. I was driving Uriah crazy; he stayed at my feet drooling. His dog biscuits weren’t appeasing him; he kept crying and wiggling around on the ground every time I stopped. I had a third of my sandwich left when I gave in to him.  

“Uriah, sit!”

Silly thing to tell him he was already seated. I should have told him to stop drooling. I knelt down and handed him the sandwich. He carefully took it out of my fingers and stood there. He didn’t eat it, just rolled his eyes around.

“Well, that’s yours now.”

I patted him on the head and stood up and he promptly turned back down the path and trotted away. He was either going to bury it, or give it away. I wasn’t going to follow him and find out.

At that moment, a small bird decided I was interrupting his day and started peeping at me, over and over. I tried to see where he was at,  but I had left my glasses on the shelf next to the coat rack. Great place for them…

I reached in my pocket. Notepad and pen was also  back at the house.

 After two minutes of yelling at me the little bird flew out of the leafless mulberry tree. Then down onto a corn husk, where he kept watching me, watching him, while he picked at the corn and looked very upset.

 He was nearly vertical on the corn husk. Long and narrow, with light soft grey under belly and a black streak from his head down his back to his tail.

Uriah started a deep throat barking, somewhere in the trees.

 I started to shiver, dampness and cold temperatures, I craved a hot coffee and my wool socks. It was time to go home.

 I turned back to the little bird, and said goodbye. Then I whistled for Uriah, who was racing around the trees and grass, growling and complaining. He more than likely gave away his sandwich and like a child wanted it back.

“Come on Uriah! Leave your friends out here.” I whistled again, and kept walking home.

 

 

With the aid of Google search, I pulled up different bird sites, as I tried to find that bird.

I got lost in, “The Cornell lab of Ornithology-All About Birds” site and forgot what I was doing.

The sound of the Violet-green Swallow was very similar to that small birds sound

 http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Violet-green_Swallow/id http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violet-green_Swallow

I looked up. It wasn’t Uriah, but a coyote!

The winds had picked up from this morning’s slight breeze, into a dust blowing, eye tearing, corn leaves whirling mess of a wind.   Instead of coming in from the west, the winds are whipping around from the east blowing into the west.

For me, that means everything is being blown down the driveway out onto the road, and then sprinting across the miles of open farm fields.

With this type of wind I can’t think when I’m outside. My hair is going every which way, and sound is indistinguishable.

I called to Uriah, who was running in a circle with his hackles up. I pointed towards the path. He looked up. Then he looked down, and headed into the trees.

I shook my head at him, and started to walk on the muddy path.  The night before Raccoons must have stayed up all night pooping. They had deposited load, after load on the path for me to step in. Slipping on the mud, I maneuvered carefully forward.

I could hear Uriah  as he crashed through the underbrush to my left. He came running out in front of me and stopped.

I looked up. It wasn’t Uriah, but a coyote, bigger than  Uriah, longer and taller, not fatter. This guy was slender.  His coat was gold, beige, and light brown. His fur stuck out at odd angles and he blended in perfectly with the tall dried grass around me.

If he had stayed quietly off the path, hidden in the trees and grass, I would never have noticed him. Except this beautiful guy had been hunting, and even now had his paw on a rodent. He stood frozen. 

Simultaneously we both noticed that there was only about a twelve inches between us. He turned his head slowly, with a look of, “Duh!”  He let his prey go!  Turned slowly away from me and raced up the path with his tail between his legs.

I just stood there, one foot still held in mid-stride. I had been taking a step when he ran out of the grass; I finished the movement, and stepped down.

Right on a pile of raccoon scat! You can guess what I said…

 When I continued walking the coyote was already out of sight.

At that moment Uriah came charging up behind me, fur upright, growling, sniffing the ground then headed off in the same direction the coyote had ran, north. I decided to walk to the south.  I could hear Uriah, as he huffed and puffed in the trees.

I headed back to the house. Uriah came up behind me, he looked very tired with his tongue dragging and a defeated look on his furry face. 

Coyotes have never bothered me on my walks and I have seen many of them. I’m not worried, I am not coyote food. They eat rodents, and small animals. Uriah is too big to be eaten, and too slow to catch them.

Raccoons on the other hand are dangerous, they will attack a human. They are also irritating buggers.

I grabbed a stick and started  to  clean my shoes!

 “Vernon Hills police” site –“Coyote Information”

“The name “coyote” (Latin name Canis Iatrans) comes from the Aztec word coyotl, which is loosely translated as “trickster”. Other names for the animal are brush wolf, swift wolf, prairie wolf and burrowing dog. The animal is in close relation to the wolf, fox and domesticated dog.”

http://www.vernonhills.org/thingsyoushouldknow/TheCoyote.asp#Description

Picture of coyote

http://www.weforanimals.com/free-pictures/wild-animals/coyotes/coyote-1.htm

Robins rely on the Earth’s magnetic field to show them the way home

corn harvesting At dusk tonight, around 4:40pm, I was standing at the back of the path,  looking out over the corn fields. I could see the farmer’s very large tractor slowly moving in the field, that bright John Deere green cutting a path as it harvested the dried corn. An equally large, green truck waited close by for the corn to be loaded. 

That sound, a whirling roaring, scream that tractors make, came at me in waves slipping on the wind, it sounded similar to those monster, sound effects in the old, ‘Lost in Space’ TV show.

My dog sat at my feet, his nose lifted up as he sniffed the wind. It was quiet, except for a few crows that flew past in a huff.

At that point, I suddenly missed the sounds the Robins made at sunset.  I don’t know when it happened, but they all flew south for the winter.

Last winter, the only winter I can remember I spotted a Robin hopping around in the snow, his red breast contrasted beautifully against the pure white snow. I thought maybe his direction finder was off kilter.

 So, I checked on line and found that- Robins rely on the Earth’s magnetic field to show them the way home, to food, to warmer weather.  I really wish I could tap in to that field. I get lost in my living room.

 I thought of an article I had written for a class. It was about electromagnetic fields disrupting bees, birds and our bodies on a cellular level. I find it sadly interesting how everything is connected, except when profit comes into play…

I turned to Uriah. “Here Boy, have a milk bone.”
Uriah pulled himself up, and wagged his tail, while crunching on his treat. He looked over his shoulder at the dark trees.

Squinting at the shadows, I smiled. “I got the message, let’s head back home.”  I rubbed his face with both hands.

He loved it so much; he started to bump his entire body against my legs, nearly knocking me off balance. I gave him a playful shove. He smiled back at me and waddled fast towards the house.

“Chickens also orient themselves by the Earth’s magnetic field”

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-07/jwgf-cao070507.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combine_harvester