Tag Archives: flowers

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.

Life is a cartoon rat that lives in a hollowed out zucchini ~

The sky was a bright baby blue, with dollops of white and grey whipped crème floating over head.

The humidity had abated for the past two days, slightly. The temperatures were in the eighties, with a cooling breeze that edged its ways over cow pastures and corn fields, filling the air with the pungent scent of wet hay, cows and manure.

Uriah was covered in a layer of powdery dirt. He had spent most of this hot, hot summer hiding under the deck, where he had dug himself a hole to keep cool, Uriah’s favorite place to sleep away the summer. He hated coming into the garage.  I assumed he didn’t want to miss the chance to chase a bird, or run in circles after a rabbit, rat, or skunk.

I pulled out the hose, set a bottle of watered down shampoo on the grill and picked up Uriah’s’ leash and harness.  Then, I looked around for the dusty dog.  He had slipped past me and was heading at a trot towards the apple trees.  Head down he never looked up as I tried to call him back.  Trying to drag him back would be a waste of time.  He always won.

I gave up! I turned off the hose and sat down on the steps, and decided to enjoy the day.

The warm breeze rustled the trees sending a spray of dried leaves floating to the ground.

It is still August and Mother Nature is yelling fall.

I already picked one soccer ball size pumpkin and set it inside on the kitchen table, there was another one slowly ripening, it was slightly bigger. A third had grown entangled in the tomato patch that one has been gnawed on for the past month by the rat family. I tried covering it when I first spotted the dark green fruit; I was excited it was actually growing. Then I was surprised by how much of the unripe pumpkin was eaten and it still grew. Now it is a bright orange buffet table, along with half a dozen zucchinis, whose insides were eaten first. They sat elongated and hollow. Mini rodent condos!

Mice and rats must be drawing straws to see who would be the one to forage for food. I wonder if they realize they are on a suicide mission.

The more they poke around the more they are noticed. The last rat, would yell at me when I came outside. She chattered a safe distance away, like a nagging wife/husband.. I haven’t seen her in a week or more.

With that thought, I saw a flash of dark gray fur scurry from the trees to the garden.

 I stood up to check it out, when this little creature hurried over to watch me!

 It poked its head up between the leaves and blinked. It had big cartoon eyes, a tiny body and the biggest roundest ears I ever saw on a rodent.

Uriah ambled over to find out who I was talking to, and then decided to save me and raced into the zucchini plants. The rat ran in the opposite direction and Uriah was left searching for something that was no longer there.

I stood and watched. I took notice that the grass needs to be cut. The door frames should be painted. The deck should have a coat of stain. And there is a nest of hornets or paper wasps that really shouldn’t be hanging near the door. 

All this and more should be added to my, ‘To Do’ list.

Things that I have to do before winter!  Stuff I can only do in the summertime.

Hmmm!  Like eating ice cream!  Once that thought flashed into my head, I put away the shampoo and dug in the freezer for the last ice cream bar. I un-wrapped it, then sat outside, on the steps, mentally adding to my list, ‘Get more ice cream!’

Uriah’s nose immediately zeroed in on the treat.

We shared…

Poem For a Thistle!~ Or, Talking Heads, Nodding In Thorny Agreement!~

Musk Thistles

 

Tall and strong, they held their heads high

Their skin, a smooth line of waxy green

Coated with thorns

They looked up

And saw the sky

Blue…

Amid fast moving puffs of white and grey

They looked abreast, and saw the ground

Brown…

Lines and leaves of diverse greens, amassed

Thrust, from side to side

with each random breeze

They looked out at my camera

wide eyes of innocence and unease

In that moment of stratum pink and white

they wondered, If…

and survived

 

The Musk Thistle is considered a Noxious weed in Illinois.  These Thistles were growing near the road. If you want to read about them click on the link below.

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CANU4

Uriah’s Rabbit Dinner & After Dinner Bath!~ Or, Crunchy Dead Bunnies & A Dip!

 Sweat ran down my back and I felt light headed from the heat and humidity.  The sky above me was a hazy, darkening blue-grey with soft, puffy white clouds. The tops edged with a hallo of white sun. I watched a Blue Heron fly towards me from the west. He nearly disappeared inside the glaring setting sun. This is his usually way of approaching the pond.  His large wings barely moved as he glided in.  His long legs held out behind him and his thin neck stretched straight ahead in elegant splendor. Slowly, his heavy wings caressed the air as he slipped between the trees into the pond. His goal was to  feed on frogs and catfish.

I was standing next to a giant Blue Spruce.  It towered overhead as I pushed into its soft prickly branches.  Uriah was half hidden underneath the thick needles.  His choppy movements shook the upper branches and a pinecone hit me on the head. I tried to drag him out by his chubby body.

He had something in his mouth and he wasn’t giving it up! In the expanding darkness I couldn’t make out what it was.  All I could hear was a loud, “Crunch! Crunch!”

 I pushed Uriah to the side and yelled at him to drop whatever was in his mouth. He rolled his eyes up at me and refused to open his mouth. Like a spoiled kid caught eating a candy bar he swallowed his prize.

Using my walking stick I scrapped at the pile of grass that accumulated along the bottom of the tree. Uriah had his nose to the ground, digging at a specific pile of grass; he pulled out what looked like the remains of a nest and a decomposing rabbit. I saw the back feet and a sort of body, but no head or fur, except for a fuzzy tail. The entire rabbit was covered with the grass clippings and dirt.

Uriah and I started a little dance of power.

He tried to pick up the remains.  

I yelled!

He dropped it!

I skipped backwards away from it!

He jumped forward and grabbed it!

 I yelled! 

He dropped it!

This could go on all night…

Finally I stepped between Uriah and rabbit, and pushed him towards the house.  I could see his little mind whirling.  He was storing this information, so in the morning he could reclaim his prize.

Mental note to self: Tomorrow get rabbit before Uriah does…

In the morning, I walked out with Uriah. The heat hadn’t abated, rather someone turned up the thermostat!  I hurried around the house and grabbed a shovel and a plastic bag.

Luckily, Uriah spotted a bird near the garden and decided to chase him away.

I dragged the shovel over to the Blue Spruce and carefully scooped up the carcass holding it as far away as possible.  I was surprised it didn’t smell.  When I reached the drive way I opened the plastic bag and tired to figure out the easiest way to get it into the bag.

I looked up and saw Uriah trotting over to the Spruce, nose to the ground hunting out the dead rabbit. After minute he looked up at me and ran over. I knew then that this plastic bag wouldn’t keep Uriah away from the rabbit, and I certainly wasn’t going to bring it into the garage. 

My next thought was: The burn pile! I could bury it there, under the ash.

It was relatively easy, the ground bowed to the power of the shovel and I dug a shallow grave. In the meantime Uriah had run off into the trees so I thought I was getting away with something..

When Uriah finally came back we took a walk to the pond where he happily swam in circle, then promptly ran out and shook all over me. He probably figured he was doing me a favor. It was very hot, and I was melting.

I stood in the heavy humid air, with the hot sun already burning my skin. It was only eight-thirty in the morning.  Birds yelled at me! We scared all the toads into the water, I couldn’t see them, but I heard their heavy bodies making contact with the water the same way I do a belly flop. Ouch! With Uriah stirring up the mucky bottom I couldn’t see where they went to, even when I pushed through the grass and searched the waters edge. I had taken a picture a week ago of one floating lazily in the water.   

I could hear my neighbor cutting his grass and a truck passing by on the road.

I shielded my eyes from the sun and motioned to Uriah to follow. We headed back to the house. I washed off the shovel with the hose before I went inside.

While I did that Uriah was nosing around the burn pile…

Winds Blast Across Illinois Farm Land~Or, Are These Political Winds? If Yes! They’re Kicking Up A Lot of Dung

 

This afternoon we had a small dust storm. The farmer across the road from me had turned over his field during the past week. Today the winds picked up the dirt and manure from his fields and ran it straight north.

The wind tunnel was an interesting sight. So I decided to Video tape it for you. I was really glad the wind didn’t shift and come out of the west and head east. That would have brought all the dust down on me. 

 Check out the video. I add a short poem.

Winds blast
across the open field
Pushing in from the south
tearing to the north
Too close
Yet, just far enough away
I should head back 
to the house
If the winds shift
I will be covered
in dust and manure
A powdery layer
That will coat everything
This Place is
Dubbed…
Tornado Alley
Not that one ever hit the house
They all seem to jump over
to somewhere else
As political winds do
Unless they want to cost you money
Then they stay, and
rip your roof off
For now I watch
I lean against my car
It convulses
as the wind
beats against it
in an attempt to push it
and me
off this road…

If I Were Kate Gosselin…~Or, Poem for Thursdays Jingles Poetry Rally!~

I am not Kate Gosselin

I don’t have eight kids

Really! I don’t!  Believe me, I looked!

My divorce was never on the internet

Or television, or in the tabloids

Could have been…

At one point I did a walk-on for Jerry Springer

I was working, installing a sign 

Across the street from where they were taping

Up on a building, standing on a ladder..

They asked me to be the jealous girlfriend

Does that count?

If I was Kate Gosselin

I would have a reality show

Dance across the screen

And hit the talk shows…

Wait!

I’m still looking for those eight kids

They have to be around here somewhere!

Uriah told me
To stop being silly and
Take his picture please

To Bee, Or Not To Bee A Headbutting Bee!~

The very first spring I lived here I had a problem with Bumble Bees. For some weird reason anytime I step outside they have to hit me on the head. Most people think I’m crazy. Now that may bee.. 🙂

All I can say is it is a very weird thing to watch. Most people can’t stop laughing when they see it. I really want to file a grievance with the Bee community!

I haven’t been headbutted, yet, this year. I will let you know when it happens…

This picture was taken this Monday afternoon.  Can you see what, or who is sitting in the corner of the outside window?

 I had walked away, then turned and took another picture. Can you see he moved to the opposite side of the window?

Here is a close up of Sano…

Here is a close up of who was sitting the window. Yes, I know!  This  window  need painting. I need a hard hat!

Strolling Through The Grass and Mud While Listening To The Birds!~ Or-Did You See Where That Mouse Went?~

 

The past couple of weeks we went from freezing your butt off,   to help me I’m melting usually, all in one day.

Sunday morning, when I stepped outside I was surprised by the warm air and hazy grey skies heavy with moisture.  Saturday night the weatherman had announced. “It would be cold in the morning and a warm-up was coming in the early afternoon.” I was glad he got it wrong.   It was gorgeous!

It was only eight o’clock in the morning.  The warm air and a barrage of happy birds flitting from tree to tree helped Uriah talk me into taking a walk out back.

The path had drained off, but that downed tree still lay across my path. I followed Uriah as he walked around it and closer towards the fence.

Along the northern side of the path, the older Blog Willows grew, with their dark brown tangled tops reached upward. Maybe in few days, when I can take the tractor out, I will be able to push that tree out of the way… Even as that thought skimmed by, I knew from experience, that once the ground was able to hold the weight of the tractor, those roots will be stuck in the ground like cement.

I carefully stepped over the exposed roots and tangled dried grass that held a death grip on the base of the tree.  I could see a hole underneath exposing roots and rich black dirt.  Pieces of moss clung to the roots.

I mumbled out loud. “There may be an animal’s den in that hole!”   

I watched as Uriah stuck his nose close to the hole then stepped back quickly.   Using his normal ten second thought process, he caught a different scent and raced ahead of me. I glanced back at the tree and promptly followed Uriah’s lead.

By the time I caught up to Uriah.  He was circling an evergreen. The fur on his back was straight up.  He was kicking dirt out behind him as he scrapped at the ground. From the corner of my eye I saw something move across the empty field.  I couldn’t make out what it was, possibly a deer.   The large animal disappeared quickly into a grove of Oak trees. Uriah made a move to chase, but first he looked at me. Now it’s not like Uriah to listen, or ask permission. He knew he would be in trouble if he chased after the animal.  Most days he didn’t care. Today, he hesitated. Hmmm!   Uriah knew that whatever that was would hurt him and he just wanted me to tell him no.  Which I did!  Saving face, Uriah happily pranced back to my side.  

By the time I circled the path I was heading west and home.  Uriah took off in the trees to my right. He never got out of my sight. He even stopped and waited while I watched a flock of starlings in the trees above me. They fanned out then regrouped in a wave of wings and chattering. As soon as they settled in the tops of the trees one bird would rise up and the rest followed in a massive flow of feathers. Red Winged Blackbirds, Robins, Doves, Sparrows, Cardinals, sang around and above me. The noise level was incredibly loud. 

The trees that hadn’t budded last week were budding green this week.  The grass was growing at odd heights. I sidestepped a fairy circle and headed to the dog kennel.

Uriah panted as he ran up. He stepped into the kennel for water and a mouth full of his kibble.  Which I was glad to see wasn’t touched by the birds, or that rat.  

Suddenly! Everything fell silent!  I checked the skies for signs of the Hawk.  I couldn’t hear the Hawk’s high pitch screech. I was positive a predator had to be nearby!  All the birds stopped talking…    Just as quickly, they started up again.  The bird’s voices rose once more to a manic pitch and the wave of sound rolled over me.

I watched as Uriah crunched his biscuits. He nosed around in the grass for every last morsel. My stomach growled!  Time for my own breakfast …

I wanted you guys to see; Kenshin and Sano are hot on case of, “The Mice in the Garage!” Will they catch them, or not stay tune!
Did you see where that mouse went?

I Refuse To Sleep With A Small Furry Rodent!~

One mouse in the house
Two mice in the garage
Three mice in the barn

 

It was two AM on Tuesday. I woke up to the cats boisterously running through the hallway and sliding into the bedroom.  They bumped into the bed, the walls, and the vertical blinds. I rolled over and drifted back to sleep.

Michael sat up and started talking, “I wonder what’s going on?”

Without looking I muttered, “They’re just playing behind the vertical blinds”

Michael crawled out of bed and carefully stepped in front of the bed, searching the shadows.  “No! Something’s up.”

He came around my side of the bed and flipped on the light. “Look at Sano?”

I sat up and Sano was sitting all pretty and proud with a mouse dangling from his mouth.

“It’s fake!” I muttered and tried to lie back down.

“No, that is real” Michael laughed and Sano nodded his head so the mouse, who was being held by his tail, swung upward  then came down and was hit against the rug.

 Sano’s eyes narrowed; when Tomoe walked up to him and sniffed the mouse, which I need to point out was very much alive. Then Sano growled.

Tomoe glared at Sano as if she wanted to smack him. Michael immediately told me to do something about that growl.

Sorry, I have had one too many mice dropped on my chest while I slept. I am not fond of the critters.  To show how much of a chicken I am, I pulled the covers over my head and told Sano to stop growling and take the mouse to his brothers, downstairs.

Instead Sano dropped the mouse. The mouse ran in a circle. Tomoe hates getting bitten so she stood a healthy distance away and just watched.

Sano played with the very fat grey and white mouse like he was playing a pinball game. He wouldn’t allow the mouse to run under the dressers, but he did let him disappear under the bed.  The one I was cowering on.

I jumped out of bed and ran in a circle flapping my arms yelling at Michael, “Get that mouse out of the bedroom!” Then I headed out into the hall and called Kenshin and PJ.  They recognized my frantic, Oh my!  A mouse is in the house!  Hysterical call and ran up the stairs to see what they were missing.

With the two older males now trying to find the mouse, I crawled back under the covers. Tomoe crouched on the edge of the bed, hanging over the side and stared at the floor and at Sano, who was carefully scooting out backwards from under the bed.

Michael muttered something I couldn’t understand. So I peeked out from beneath the blanket.  He held Sano up for me to see. Sano had that mouse clenched in-between his teeth and once more swinging by its tail.  Michael held Sano over the waste basket, and asked Sano to “drop it” -the mouse- into the wastebasket. Michael had to repeat his request three times before Sano opened his jaws and the fat mouse plopped into the plastic bag.

Sano was confused as to where his mouse went to and searched franticly with Kenshin and PJ’s help under and around the bed. Tomoe kept an eye on Michael and followed him out if the bedroom.

At this point, that mouse was out of my sight and I hoped Michael had given him a first class ticket to the moon…

Or, maybe toss him out the door.

The last mouse that was tossed out the door had been caught in a sticky mouse trap.  Michael was afraid the cats would get into the garbage and get stuck in the glue. So he had chucked that sticky mess out the door.  He figured on scraping it off the grass in the morning.  Instead it landed right in the path of a coyote.  Yapping loudly, that coyote raced across the fields with a rectangular piece of plastic and a struggling mouse stuck to his nose…

Picture from word clip art..

Look Up! Spring Is Putting On A Fashion Show~~

      Yesterday and this morning I took my walk looking up. The trees are just starting to bud. And the flowers are just beginning to show their colors.

The ground is littered with dried left over leaves, brittle and grayish brown, crunching under foot. Even as the grass makes an attempt to turn green, as the moss pulls on its most brilliant lime  green coat  of the season. The main show is taking place above ground; branches are turning colors as spring moves through them. Don’t miss the show!

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” ~Mark Twain

Within the past two hours, I have seen heavy fog, thick dark grey clouds, and a bright blue sky, that shifted to a pale whitish-blue.

A bellowing cloud of smoke passed through my house as the farmer burned off the dried grass around the creek bed. The thick heavy smoke made it a little uncomfortable to breathe. So Uriah and I headed off to the mail box and I took pictures of the blooming, Pussy Willow as Uriah disappeared to wade in the pond.

Uriah  came back out of the cold  pond and  pulled his fat tummy across the grass, this is his way of toweling himself off…