April 4

Monday after work we took Kelly Cat to the vet, who lanced and drained her abscess of its large volume of smelly pus.  What fun. 

Wednesday I took my class to the Raptor Rehabilitation Center.  It’s about the only chance we have to see any owls.
 
An eastern screech owl fits in your palm, weighs 1/4 pound.   Great horned owl is MUCH bigger.


This red-tailed hawk was in an outdoor enclosure.

After that we went to a park where I had seen a red-tail land in its nest the day before.

The nest looks small, but it’s not.  The tree must be 60′ high.

While we were there I noticed some mutant white violets.

 
White color morph (left).  Violet color morph (right).

The segment of the Tonight Show I saw taped in Las Vegas aired Wednesday night.  The first bimbo you saw Jay Leno interview was the one.

Thursday afternoon I took one of my students out to put up raptor nest platforms at Lowell’s.  Here’s the first one we put up.

It’s only 15′ off the ground, but the artsy angle makes it look higher.  We’re recycling old satellite dishes, of which there are many in excess of these days.

Lowell wanted to put one down by the lake in case an osprey wanted to use it.  I said, “Ha!  What are the odds of that?”  As we were driving to the second site we saw an actual osprey flying over the lake.  Then, as we were putting up the one by the lake, it flew right over us and looked down.


Dutchman’s breeches were in bloom.



Little spring beauties were too.


The snake den had no snakes, but housed this cute cluster of camel crickets.

My British radio interview has been moved to May 21.  Adjust your calendar accordingly.

Friday morning right after Stacey got up her pager went off.  She went to fight a fire.  It turned out that a garbage truck, or its contents rather, had caught on fire.  So the driver dumped his load in an empty lot.  Stacey went to put out a big pile of burning trash.  Boy, did she smell great after that.  I drove out north of town to look for ducks in the flooded fields.  The river is very high with all the recent rain.  There were some ducks, but too far away for decent shots.  I ended up at Rose Pond, where I haven’t been for a couple of years.  You have to park by the road and hike in.  It was windy and cold; by the time I got to the pond, my ears were frozen.  I have never failed to see waterfowl on this pond before, but there were none this day.  I walked back. 

Saturday was one for cutting wood.  I cut two pick-up loads, cursing all the while at my chainsaw for failure to idle and frequent chain jumping.  After I was done I took it down to George for a tune-up.  With one pull of the rope he told me it was shot.  No compression.  I guess while the saw was wearing me out, I was wearing it out too.  His advice was to buy the best saw I could afford, and use premium gas.  I helped him work on an old John Deere mower awhile.  I stopped by the brush dump to clean the bark and stuff out of the back of the truck.  Naturally, I picked up some goodies: a nice 4×4′ piece of plywood, a 2×10, and a bunch of bricks. 

After a long stretch of unseasonably high temperatures, things suddenly turned cold, starting about on Wednesday.  I cranked up the wood furnace on Thursday night, though I though I was done for the season.  I still had some seasoned wood left.  The worst part of this cold snap (19 degrees F this morning) is that all the plants that were coming up and even blooming have been frost bitten.  Our tulips are curled over and looking very sad. 

Sunday was a recovery day.  I went to meditation, then to the office to feed fish and water plants.  I got cool stuff in my Easter basket, like fishing flies, a bird book, and a carry bag.

Monday (today) I went downtown and got the truck tire fixed.  Turns out it had a hole in it.  I went to Lowell’s for a fun morning of logging.  First, we relieved the only wild redbud tree in Lowell’s woods of two trees that had fallen on it.  One was good for firewood, and we chopped it up–using Lowell’s chainsaw, of course.  We went to one section of the woods where the forester had marked trees to cut, and we cut.  We felled a bunch, but by no means all of them.  For a few, we used the tractor to more carefully aid and aim their fall.  I limbed them out, and we pulled the logs out with the tractor and a chain.  We had about six logs in one load.  I watched Lowell pull away, and three logs fell out pretty quickly.  Then two more.  Then the last few before he got halfway back to the shed.  I was cracking up.  Finally, he noticed that he wasn’t pulling a load anymore.  I chained them back up and we took them out.  After lunch, we set up a new rack with some steel fence posts and some long skinny logs to keep the firewood off the ground.  We chopped up the logs and stacked the resulting wood.  Then it was fishing time!  We went around the lake twice.  Things started off slowly, but the bass started hitting my black spinner eventually.  The bite was hot for awhile, and I ended up with 13 fish, the largest of which was 14″.  We kept all the small ones to thin the herd, and I filleted them.  The mother goose was on her nest platform in the middle of the lake, peering at us periodically.  No photos this day.

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