Monday, August 31, 2009

Couldn't Resist


Bleezer's Ice Cream
I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
there are flavors in my freezer
you have never seen before,
twenty-eight divine creations
too delicious to resist,
why not do yourself a favor,
try the flavors on my list:


I am Ebenezer Bleezer,
taste a flavor from my freezer,
you will surely ask for more.

Jack Prelutsky

Friday, August 21, 2009

LIfe goes On

Sonnet Silence

There are some qualities–some incorporate things,
That have a double life, which thus is made
A type of that twin entity which springs
From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.
There is a two-fold Silence–sea and shore-
Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,
Newly with grass o'ergrown; some solemn graces,
Some human memories and tearful lore,
Render him terrorless: his name's "No More."
He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!
No power hath he of evil in himself;
But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)
Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,
That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod
No foot of man,) commend thyself to God!

Edgar Allan Poe


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Loon died, climate change

I just called and the loon we took in to the rehab center died overnight the night we took it in. The body is in their freezer awaiting shipment to Tufts University for necropsy. Toxicology reports, et al, take time-I was told to call another number in November to find the cause of death.

Lead fishing gear has killed many loons-once the sinkers are in the gizzard, lead is absorbed causing neurological damage that is untreatable. X-ray evidence, physical evidence such as gizzard content, and levels of lead in the tissues (blood may still be obtained after death in some cases) can lead to a conclusion of lead poisoning, aspergillis will be confirmed or denied, feather condition such as waterproofing will be assessed, etc, etc.

So, although we are all very sad that the loon died, our act of turning it in to the right people might help save the lives of loons in the future.

On a brighter note, but also sad, I heard a loon calling on the pond in the wee hours.


The world wide ocean temperatures for July 2009 set a record:

The global ocean surface temperature for July 2009 was the warmest on record, 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F). This broke the previous July record set in 1998. The July ocean surface temperature departure from the long-term average equals June 2009 value, which was also a record.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sick Loon

We were on our way over to the pond this evening when we were greeted by a woman sitting in a truck parked along the road.

"Are you going for a swim? " she asked.

We replied that we were, and she said that they were, but there was a loon stranded on the little beach. I told the saplings to wait at the end of the drive with the dog so I could go check it out, and yes, there was one of "our" beautiful loons, just out of the water on his breast, with head up.

I had some discussion with the woman and her daughter and my own kids, and the Firebird went home for a pair of my heavy gloves and a guinea pig cage. I was worried it would be too small, but it worked. Willow donated her swimming towel and the woman distracted the loon while I dropped the towel over it and pinned it long enough to get it into the cage.

The loon is a striking water bird, a bit smaller than a goose, but with a wicked 4 inch long saber pointed beak for fishing. This one snapped at the towel as I withdrew it.

My initial plan was to drive it directly to a wildlife rehab center not too far from here, but I wanted to call first. I couldn't find the number in the book , and ended up calling a poacher hotline to be told to call state police dispatch for my area who would contact a game warden. Phew.

I called the state police dispatch and gave my information and was told a game warden would be in touch with me. In the meantime the poor loon was at least safe.

I tried calling the animal emergency clinic since it was after hours to see if they had the number for the wildlife center and they also told me to call the police.

We ate a quick supper waiting for the phone to ring-ha. I had read an editorial about someone calling about a deer and watched the deer succumb after several hours of waiting for the game warden, so I decided to call the police back and see if THEY had the number of the place, since the game warden would most likely be taking it there anyhow...

The state police dispatch lady was very helpful and said that the game warden had been paged and had not called in, and she did have the number and logged that I would be taking the loon there myself.

When I called the place, they already knew about the loon, It seems a guy called it in, and the rehab fellow told him to bring it in, and the guy wanted nothing to do with grabbing that loon, I guess, or couldn't get it, and what do you do with it once you have it, put it on your lap and drive there? LOL

So, we found the place with a little difficulty in the dark, the sign is small, although they thankfully had every light on in the place. Still, it is on a heavily traveled road that has a 55 mph speed limit, which made it tricky at night. Cars were passing me in the no passing lane since I was only doing 50 trying to find the place; with the sick loon odoring the car with loon poop, to be polite. LOL. Loons eat fish, use your imagination.

The fellow that met us was amazing, he reached in a grabbed the loon by the bill with one hand and scooped him up with the other and put him in a bigger crate with a big blanket. He told me if I need to know that birds need a lot of padding under them, and I had the poor loon on the bare cage.

I had sent the Firebird to run for it which was quite a distance, and forgot to tell him to put hay or something in it. I suppose I should have thrown the towel in, but I had thrown it over the head of the bird to get it in the cage, and my concern was getting the towel off quickly as I have heard one needs to watch for suffocation using that method.

Once that loon was snapping away in the cage, I wasn't opening it to put hay in. That was one of the reasons to get the loon into professional care ASAP. I can raise orphaned younglings, but sick adult birds are beyond me, especially a wild loon.

The loon isn't going to stay there, it will be transferred elsewhere for diagnosis and there is a third place in the southern part of the state that specializes in loons as another option.

Chances are it is lead poisoning from ingesting lead sinkers. If memory serves some cases are treatable.

I asked to make sure if it recovers they will return it, and he said they do.

This particular place is not funded by the state. From what I could gather they specialize in orphaned raccoon (60 this year) fox (40) skunk (20) groundhog (2 to be released) geese, ducks, hawk and owl. Squirrels go to the squirrel lady, but they take chipmunks and flying.

I will call him back in a few days to see how the loon is doing.

No pics thought about it but it didn't happen. Somehow it feels disrespectful of the sick bird.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Give me a word
Give me a sign
Show me where to look
Tell what will I find ( will I find )
Lay me on the ground
Fly me in the sky
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find ( will I find )

Oh, heaven let your light shine down (x4)

Love is in the water
Love is in the air
Show me where to go
Tell me will love be there ( love be there )
Teach me how to speak
Teach me how to share
Teach me where to go
Tell me will love be there ( love be there )

Oh, heaven let your light shine down (x4)

I'm going to let it shine (x2)
Heavens little light gonna shine on me
Yea yea heavens little light gonna shine on me
Its gonna shine, shine on me
Its gonna shine, come on in shine

Collective Soul

Friday, August 14, 2009


Welcome to 2009. Where even Bob Dylan can't stroll unnoticed in a low income section of New Jersey.

Bob Dylan was out for a stroll before a stadium performance in New Jersey checking out houses and was stopped by police. The young officer asked what he was doing and he replied, "on tour," and she asked his name and he said, "Bob Dylan."

When Mr. Dylan was unable to provide identification, the police gave him a ride back to his hotel where staff vouched for him.

I was stopped once by police in an dangerous part of New Jersey- traveling through-and all the police wanted to know was, "Do you have a gun?

-and then when we said, "no"
the cop said, "well, be careful."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Barn Spider

(Arancus cavaticus)


Monday, August 10, 2009

"Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening."
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Turkey Vultures

(Cathartes aura)


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Brownish-gray Fishing Sipder

(Dolomedes tenebrosus)Tree809

Female spider, leg span exceeding three inches, guarding her spiderlings.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Racing Home

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Climate Change

A dry-ish May rolled into a soaking June and hopes for a hot July were washed away with tons of rain and cold and damp. August is pulling the temps higher, but when the sun breaks out the humidity is so high from all the moisture in the ground evaporating,the rain quickly builds again.

We had a thunderstorm move through this afternoon that dumped a half inch of rain in 45 minutes. It Might have been more-I was using a bucket on the back deck, which is somewhat sheltered, as a gauge.

I believe this cool wet weather is indeed an indicator of climate change. I have been arguing for a couple of years that the melting arctic ice (two record years back to back and this year in between the two) not only melts into the oceans, but evaporates into the atmosphere. Apparently to come down in the 40's latitudes.

Gives us about 50 years, and the desert conditions across the thirties lats will start to see a trickle-down effect and higher than normal rainfall. We'll be drying out then.

The garden is really a swamp. Two rows of peas proved enough for roaming snacking for the saplings, and at the finale we had a couple of guests, one who braved the quagmire to have me picking perfect peas for fresh snacking. The other, recovering from a leg injury, had theirs hand delivered the somewhat drier driveway.

Raspberries were coming on then, too, liberal handouts all around, and then a tour of the different mint varieties, (which are thriving in the wet) applemint, spearmint, lemon balm; a fresh sprig of each crushed and offered in hand.

Bee balm just starting to bloom-each received a flower and a story of Oswego tea.

The bed with tomatoes and summer squashes is really taking off- it maybe better drained. We might have a red tomato by September if the sun stays out long enough.

Other victims to the wet: the basil, the green onions, the garlic is pathetic, the pole beans, the gourds...the pumpkins,although we have a few survivors no fruit yet which is a bad sign for August.

One bright side-the windowbox hasn't needed watering once, and the well is full. We could certainly cut back on our normal water conservation-but I'm not sure the saturated leech field could cope with it.

Animal wise, the geese are happy! The goats are suffering from rotting hooves with all this damp and my waiting list. I have a long stretch of four days off-I am going to cycle through all the goat hooves and wash daily until we get back to normal.

I have been taking the kids swimming nearly every day. Some days I don't go in for a dip, bu I always sit on the log and throw sticks for the dog. He loves it-he's manic about it, as long as I don't throw one over his head. If I do, he will go out as deep as he dares and wait for one of the kids to push it within reach.

Peko will stick his whole face in the water to pick up a stick or rock-he's not afraid to get his face wet-the mark of a swimmer if we can ever talk the chicken out of him!

I did tear out the row of bygone peas early in the week-the earth was saturated soaking wet-and replanted a row of peas. Part of the other old row I planted some more salad mix. Two days of sun and the peas were sprouting-the torrential rain this afternoon probably shacked the lettuce...again...sigh. Well, there's always hope for the taters.... :D