Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring 2016

Spring seems slow coming despite our relatively mild winter.

This time last year I think we still had snow on the ground, so I am not sure why I am complaining!

The Phoebes came back around their usual time, the beginning of April.  Apparently they did not find things to their liking, because they moved up the neighborhood until the last week or so.  Now they are back, nest building under the eaves.

The first summer I started building the house, they went right through the framing and built a nest on the top plate under the second floor joist!  They have returned every year since.  I know spring is finally here when I hear the pee-wee, or kiss-it, call of the phoebe.  I miss them when they move on.

We planted peas. I bought a pound of peas seed, and we have planted peas everywhere we can think of, and it does'nt look like we put a dent in that pound of seed!  Guess I got a bit carried away.  I paid $4.99 PLUS tax for that pound of seed.  I couldn't believe they tax food seed now.  This state is just getting too much.  We pay tax on newspapers now as well.

I have seen daffodils blooming here and there, but ours haven't opened yet.  The red maples are just starting to bloom, and the alders have put out their catkins.

We have had a big red fox harassing the geese.  He's made two grabs for them.  I have a pen to lock them in during the day, but when I let them out in the morning I let them splash in their big puddle and nibble some grass while I am tending the goats.  A couple Saturdays ago I let them out and then went back in the house to hang on the internet for awhile, and then I heard their distress call and the dog lept off the couch barking.  I looked out the window to see Mr. Fox running across the lawn, so I grabbed the cam and snuck out hoping to get a pic of him.

He skirted the treeline, unaware of me, circled around across the drive when I took a chance to creep closer with the Blazer between us blocking his line of sight-then he made another dash for the geese on the other side of the blazer!  I jumped out and he fled through the woods out back, so no pic but the geese are ok!

I say he when referring to the fox, it may be a she, but I suspect it's a big dog fox.  They both hunt for the kits, and it is possible there are hungry baby foxes nearby.  The foxes come yipping around the house at night-I step out and holler at them to move on, but they are not as skittish as the coyotes.  The neighbors must think I am nuts.  Still, I know I can be scary because if the cat is up to no good and I yell, "HEY!!!"  I scare the pants off the Willow on occasion.  LOL

We had a light rain last night and the sun is just coming out.  Things had been very dry with extremely high fire danger because things have not greened up much yet.  6 acres of Marsh burned down in Old Orchard beach last week.  The old grasses are very dry, and we had big winds to go along with it.

I think I will head outside for the rest of the afternoon  The biting insects will be out any day, and that makes playing in the garden a lot less fun.  In fact, it is a frequent sight in Maine spring to see folks in their gardens high stepping and waving fist fulls of seed around their heads.  It's called, "Doing the Black Fly."

Sunday, April 17, 2016


well, my weekly newspaper column is going pretty well. I have managed to get one in every week since the beginning of February.  My April Fool's column, ironically, almost didn't make it in.

I did extensive research on April Fool's Day.  I used several books out of my own library, and spent a couple hours online chasing down Wikipedia sources.  One of the origins of April Fool's Day was "April Fish" in France, so I spent additional time searching for a public domain fish photo to go along with the column-the idea being the reader could cut out the fish and stick it on the back of their victim, an old tradition.

Things went awry from the get go.  I sent the photo link, but forgot to attach the column.  I rectified that, and then several days later, an hour before deadline, I happened to check my email to find a letter from my editor saying my column appeared to be cut and pasted from Wikipedia.  I was quite offended, and sent off several responses defending my research.  My nose was quite out of joint, to say the least.

The next day we exchanged a few more emails, and finally my editor sent my column back to have me take another look at it.  I did not recognize it, so I quickly fired off my column to him again, figuring it was 24 hours past deadline and the paper was going to print-there was no way the column was going to make it.  And I had added a birthday message to my oldest in it as well-which what may have been what saved me, because I had mentioned it to the editor and he didn't see that in the "column" so kicked it back to me.

On closer inspection, I realized what I had done.  I had sent him MY NOTES on my research, and not the actual column !! Talk about wanting to crawl into a hole and die!  Incredibly, the column did make it to print-but he forgot to put the fish photo in so the whole paragraph about snipping out the fish photo didn't make any sense!!!

Wow that was a big joke on everyone!

Well, I have lots more amusing anecdotes to share, but the beautiful spring weather is calling me to go play in the dirt!  Hope everyone is well!