Welcome. Thanks for stopping by. Recently, I've been researching whether it's worthwhile to contemplate constructing a "bear-proof" chicken coop. I've found a couple of examples on-line. For one I'd need a welder and metal working skills that I'm a little short of. For the other, I'd need a portable saw mill and more trees than I have available in my back yard. Other folks have suggested that a guard llama is sufficient. Actual, the suggestion was that two llamas are better and three are ideal. I think it was on a different site, one for rescued llamas, that I came across a factoid that it costs about $1,000 a year for hay per llama. At this rate, home grown eggs could start to approach the price per ounce that my grouse and trout and waterfowl used to cost. As I remember, my rugged outdoors colleagues and I decided that we (and our wives) would be happier if we didn't actually finish some preliminary cost per pound calculations on stripers, bluefish, cod and wild game. On the other hand, the bears haven't tried to break into the garage to get at the trash can, which, during the summer, lives in the garage so that I don't have to clean up the trash on a daily basis after my friendly local Ursus americanus has visited its snack bar (would that be a snack bear at the snack bar?). It might be more fun, and my budget, such as it is, could come out ahead, if I forget about the chickens and concentrate on finding a nice 14 foot aluminum fishing boat to replace the 16 footer I sold several years ago. That would also be more consistent with the heritage of Minnesotans who believe that every Minnesota family has a God-given right to a boat and a camper or cabin up north or all three. Now, if only most of the fish in Minnesota didn't come from waters that had consumption advisories against eating too many fish caught in them. Minnesota's Environment and Energy Report Card does mention mercury several times. It carefully points out that it's a naturally occurring element and that we're making progress reducing the amount discharged to our air and water. To me, that's kind of like describing Attila the Hun as rude. The entire Report Card smacks too much of Minnesota nice while there are too many corporations ready, willing, able and hell-bent on raping and pillaging My Minnesota. We can create more and better jobs retrofitting our homes for energy efficiency and raising chickens in the back yard (unless there are too many bears in then neighborhood, in which case we should raise or buy a boat). Rants and raves (sometimes both) delivered daily in My Minnesota. Please stop back and find out what's being served tomorrow.