Saturday, June 7, 2014

Meet some of the neighbors

This is shaping up to be a quiet weekend around here. The daughter person and her fiancee are up north at the cabin visiting his family and doing some fishing. My Better Half and I are sitting around waiting out the rainy weather, drinking coffee and feeling sorry for the guy in the photo below. For those of you who remember Walter Brennan's staged limp, or Dennis Weaver's stiff leg as "Chester" on Gunsmoke, have a pretty good idea of what this guy looks like when he tries to move. He's done some serious harm to one of his legs and we hope he heals before the local pack of coyotes stumbles across him. (Turkeys often rely more on their ability to run, rather than fly, to escape danger.)

[Late update: The turkey was feeding on spilled seed from the bird feeding that hangs on the deck. He's missing all or most of the toes on his right foot. We'll expect to see him close to the house feeding until one day when he's not.]
tom turkey with a bad leg
tom turkey with a bad leg                 © harrington

In case you're wondering, the pole in the center is holding up our purple martin house that's inhabited by tree swallows, and the yellow blossoms are a hoary puccoon plant. I just learned within the past week that "puccoon" is derived from a Native American word and refers to several plants that provide dyes. Also within the past week, the tree swallows have been joined by squadrons of dragon flies that look like miniature helicopters. As far as I'm concerned, there can't be enough creatures feeding on the mosquitos every time the mosquitos rise to feed on us when we go outside.

Our population of turkeys, mosquitos, swallows and dragonflies, has been joined recently by a non-flying co-inhabitant of "The Property," a white tail doe who has developed an unreasonable fondness for the lower branches of our pear tree. She isn't even courteous enough to sneak in during the dark of night when we probably wouldn't notice her. This brazen hussy comes and helps herself at mid-day in the bright sunshine and then grabs a quick drink of water from our "wet spot" which is only 15 yards or so from the house.

white tail doe munching on pear tree
white tail doe munching on pear tree      © harrington

So far she's stayed away from our apple trees and we're grateful for that. I wonder why she doesn't eat the


By Reginald Gibbons 

Coleridge carefully wrote down a whole page   
of them, all beginning with the letter b.   
Guidebooks preserve our knowledge
of their hues and shapes, their breeding.
Many poems have made delicate word-chimes—
like wind-chimes not for wind but for the breath of man—
out of their lovely names.
At the edge of the prairie in a cabin
when thunder comes closer to thump the roof hard   
a few of them—in a corner, brittle in a dry jar   
where a woman’s thoughtful hand left them to fade—
seem to blow with the announcing winds outside   
as the rain begins to fall on all their supple kin
of all colors, under a sky of one color, or none. 

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Please be kind to each other while you can.