Friday, April 29, 2022

Pretty Birds and critters

I took the bird feeder down a while ago when the DNR in our area notified the public regarding the Avian Flu that was in our state. However, this little tub is my boot tub where I rinse the mud off from my boots before going on to the porch.

I'm kind of anal about keeping the porch clean. 

We were having our morning coffee when I spotted some color on my porch rocks and the boot tub!

I was lucky to have my camera right next to me and I had removed the screen from the window to take shots out the window this winter so I got some sort of clear shots of these guys!

They are Yellow-rumped Warblers that migrate through our area and head north. 

Chalk this up to another bird I've never seen before.

The one below should be either a Hairy or Downey Woodpecker. All the woodpeckers love this tree!

Here is Sven, the goat in the new little lot that he is supposed to work on cleaning up. He seemed more concerned about the new area and where I was going than eating.

And here is my 24 yr old red mule lazying about:  

Yes she is wooly! The mules are just starting to shed.

This one looks pretty thin. The hot wires are on my side of the barbed wire fence that separates my pasture with the neighbor's pasture. He rarely maintains his fence so I put up a hot wire to keep my guys from going through to his side and getting caught in the barbs.

Our littlest mule used to jump the fence and browse on the neighbor's land and then jump back when he wanted to be with the rest of the herd.

At 37, he doesn't jump fences anymore. Poor old fella he is running out of teeth but no one makes dentures for aged mules. He is really starting to lose weight. His comparison to human years could make him about 105 years old. 

Well, that is the farm report.

Nothing too exciting here. Cold weather and cloudy. 

I worked on the fencing back in the woods. Clipping back multiflora rose and briars is not a job for those with faint hearts or those who don't have heavy gloves.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

This has to be the best response from USPS

I reported a missing package containing medicine for me to the USPS Customer Service department. The site recommended using an email inquiry as phone inquiries have long wait times.

My nano needles were on my 'Dashboard' to be delivered on Saturday, then a notice to be delivered on Monday. By Tuesday, all evidence of the package disappeared. I'd saved the tracking number to look for it. The last scan of the package was still in the facility it arrived in on the 21st in Tennessee.

Starting and stopping meds like this kinda sucks, you know? So I filled out the info and checked that it had medical supplies. 

Thank you for taking the time to notify us of your experience. Your USPS® Service Request 38186095 has been marked as resolved.

Please accept our sincerest apology for any trouble this may have caused you. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you again in the future.

Yes, that was the reply. Your inquiry is closed and we hope to serve you. Our facilities have a high volume and are experiences delays for service.
Um yeah. Like have a nice day.

Their customer service person asks that I continue to monitor the package's progress. Um. It hasn't moved in 6 days. What progress is that?

Sigh. 90% of the time our local post office loses packages or leaves a comment that I am not home. Sometimes the postal person may not have enough room in their delivery vehicle for the amount of packages they have to deliver. Rural routes like mine have drivers using private vehicles for delivery.

It is not an easy job, but sometimes I have to laugh at the reasons I'm given for non delivery. 

Once it was because there was two cows in the road, another time it was a goat was near the mailbox. Another time the mail person said he couldn't find my house. Um. OMG....

I get it. The postal service, like everyone else is shorthanded. 


I would have worded their automated response a bit differently though:

Something more like ~ we are so sorry for the trouble and we are thoroughly investigating it. Even if it were a lie, it would make me feel better about it.


The USPS issue wasn't resolved, but I will be able to pick up the nano needles through a local pharmacy. Which worked out just fine.

Still awaiting any sign of the package from TN.

~~ Update 4-28 early morning: the package has been scanned and found. Still another 24 to 48 hrs away! ~~

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Howz it going?

Mental Battles are the hardest.

I find the mind is an interesting thing to deal with. About 6 months ago I had a bone density test which revealed severe osteoporosis. It came as a shock to me and to say that it hasn't messed with my head would be a lie.

After all, I'm taking some new meds every evening that reminds me about my diagnosis.


How have I let things change? 

Does my body feel any different than it did 6 months ago? No! I wake up with the same stiffness in my body parts as I did a year ago when I knew I was invincible.

I have good days and bad days just like anyone else. 

But I am letting this vision of bones cloud my vision. I don't feel any different than I did a year ago, I don't even look any different than I did a year ago [well, perhaps a few more grey hairs and age wrinkles!]. So why am I letting this mess with my head?

The bone density predicts the severity of future breaks and injuries. 

I'm not going to analyze things other than to say that I need to remind myself that I need to keep up with what I did before. Hiking, exercising, and doing what I love. 

Letting the vision of a skeleton mess with my head is not acceptable.

I'm going to climb that rock outcropping, I'm going to keep hiking and dream about camping and traveling. I'm going to greet each morning and marvel in each new day.

I'm going to take an Attitude Adjustment. 

Sometimes I use photography to express how I feel. I'm sure you may have figured that out.  Rabbit and Bear is how I expressed feelings regarding all the medical issues my husband had one particular year. I became an expert at driving to the VA's ER with him. I found it to be an interesting way to express thoughts.

And with that said.....

My Life in Lego Land

Coming to terms with Skeletal Issues....

Learning to deal with it...

And I found some of the guys busy helping with the laundry!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Adventures in Squatch Land

There is something magical in watching the sun rise with good friends.

Being small has its advantages. One can get very close to the little things in the forest, like moss.

Misty mornings leave water droplets on the moss capsules.

~~So much beauty in
tiny things.~~

Squatch had an idea. Would Hobby like to come along?

It could be an exciting adventure. One fraught with danger and mystery. Well, perhaps that was exaggerated. 

They came over the hillside and stood by a towering Dutchman's Breeches plant coming out of the leaves.


Caves could be great places for Squatches to hide out.

Perhaps they should start investigating caves to see if they could find a Squatch relative.

They waded through a small creek.

No other Squatch tracks. It was a disappointment. However Hobby had a feeling IF they just could get past this large body of water, they may just find something!

The search continues....

Monday, April 25, 2022

Tweet Tweet ~ For the birds

 Sunrise Saturday morning from the ridge. 

I went to watch the sun come up and not really to look around for birds, but somehow this one did catch my eye. The first shots didn't turn out because there wasn't enough light, but he was still in this tree when I went back home. The morning sun just gave me enough light.

I made some coffee and put in in a thermos and thought I'd sit on a bucket in one of the pastured areas and just enjoy the sounds of the morning.

I listened to cardinals, starlings, red wing black birds and robins. One bird sat in one of the Box Elder trees in the distance. It sat for what I thought was an unusual amount of time. These were the best shots I did get of him/her. I didn't dare move closer because I didn't want to frighten it away.

It was a Brown Thrasher! I have to admit, I just figured it was a very large sparrow at first, but if one can zoom in, you can see his yellow eyes! Wow! I sure was excited.

While I was working on the goat and pony fence under the tree that had been struck by lightening, these birds started a racket above me. They kept coming back so I grabbed my camera.

What punks! I know they are wood peckers but I couldn't tell if they were Downy or Hairy. They sure were noisy.

Is this the same kind? I sure don't know. But this one is noisy too.
But they DO like this old tree!

We are still seeing bluebirds nearly every morning. My photos of them through the window absolutely stink. 

So Sunday, I thought I'd try and 'hunt' them with the camera. 

It was hard to find a spot where I could sit quietly out of the winds but still be in the area where I'd spotted them northeast of the house.

I'm learning a new skill of just sitting still and observing. This is a good time to practice this skill. No gnats or no-see-ums yet to bother me!

Since we have seen bluebirds now both female and male for about 3 to 4 weeks, I am assuming they have a nest somewhere around here.

These moments are good for me. I get to relax my brain and just 'be'.

Allow Nature
to teach you
Stillness ~
Echart Tolle

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Fencing time?

Lost and found! While hiking through the woods to go get the mail I squatted down to look at an interesting shape on the ground. Excuse the blurry shot, it was just around sunrise and I just snapped it with my cheapo cell phone:

There is a joke in my household. I often wear odd work gloves as I seem to be able to drop one while hiking and can never find it again. I purchased some cheap and really ugly hot pink gloves a few years ago. That worked. I never lost the mates. I wonder how long this glove sat on the forest floor? I mean look at the moss growth!

When I lose a glove I try to match it up with another lost glove and then I wear two kinds of gloves. When the tips of the fingers wear out, I cut them off.

Saturday, the neighbors messaged me and said they'd walk down and help me move a mattress and do two other simple things that required the strength of two people. Justin moved this log off the fence so I could repair it. He'll come back later with his chain saw to cut it up. 

This tree top had been struck by lightening a few years ago. Each year it loses some part of its top from winds.
Over the winter the top fell. I cleaned up all the branches and burned most of what I could up. I was left with two huge logs that I couldn't cut up.

This spot needs a goat to graze it. There are things that the other equine won't eat that the goat does, so I decided with the mild Saturday temperatures, I'd make a new Goat & Pony yard. 

It sure looks confusing to anyone who doesn't understand my method of madness for rotating critters, but since I do understand makes sense to me.

Three hot wires are needed to keep my little escape artists in, so I set up a temporary fence with gate handles and access for the skid steer and 4 wheeler up. Little Richard is 32" tall at the withers and used to duck under hotwires to escape. He is in his late 20's now and doesn't try to escape as often these days.

Sven will stay with Little Richard and do some very annoying things like chew on his friend's tail until the pony gets pissed and chases him. It is a love/hate relationship that only the two of them understand.

These two are together in a lot I made in 2020 to clean up behind our large machine shed:

They have done a great job! 

I'd say it was a pain to build the fence, but I enjoyed it. I'll probably keep this for a year or so to see if my weed whackers do a good job.

My mules can be sorted into rotational pastures with just one hot wire. I worked on some new sections last year and have an idea for something a bit different in the woods this year.

I do miss the small Dexters cows we had. They were experts at cleaning pastures, but a huge pain to fence in. [Just like goats are!]

Looks like I need to get out to the woods and repair the fence damage the deer did to the hot wires so I can be ready to turn the mules out to the back woods to look for goodies.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

My Life in Legos

 Muck the pony stall...

Pick up manure!

Drive Safely!

Check fences...[I don't have a Lego 4 wheeler, this will have to do!]

Ride... [We do have a grey mule, so is this close???]

Explore... [There will be more of this going on as the Forest floor awakens with Spring Beauties and other wild flowers!!]

With the rains and warmer temperatures coming, I am looking forward to hunting wildflowers and morels!