Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bad Squirrel!

This is a picture of the branch that has been peeled of its bark by a squirrel. You can also see in the background that a woodpecker has taken a liking to this tree at some point in its lifetime, as well. It's an old tree and is probably on its way out according to the former owners, but it frustrates me that a squirrel may be hastening its demise. Bad squirrel! It's not like there isn't enough food around here. Grrrrr.

From what I've found on the internet, no one really knows why squirrels sometimes do this. There are theories but they are all supposition. Squirrels can choose a certain type of tree or they can just like one particular tree for this activity. So far it looks like it's just this one tree. Yesterday when I took this picture I looked at the other trees in the area but didn't see any others like this, thank goodness. The stripped branch gleams in the sunlight so it's pretty easy to spot once you have seen what you are looking for.

We're probably going to go ahead and cut off that branch to try to save the tree. Bad squirrel, bad!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bark Peeled Off - Anyone Else?

Today I noticed that our apple tree has a limb that has been stripped almost completely bare of its bark. It was too late in the day to get a photograph of it, but it was quite a nude branch.

Google search results indicate that it is probably squirrels. The other possibilities would involve damage lower on the tree trunk. The bark had been stripped off of a horizontal limb. The only bark still on the limb was around a knot on the underside of the limb, which told me that the offender was on top of the limb.

Has anyone else has any such marauding squirrels?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


They were so quiet that I didn't even hear them at first. I was deep in thought and didn't notice them until they started chatting among themselves. Quietly I came over the hill in the effort to catch a picture of them. I'm surprised to see that I did get a clear picture because they quickly took off.

(I believe you can make the picture larger by clicking on it in order to see the ducks better.)
Aren't they gorgeous? I'm going to have to look it up and see if the ratio of 5 males to 2 females is a common flock composition or if that's just who happened to be at the pond at the time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Tribute to Our Tractor

My husband has been seeing another woman. It's been going on since last summer. He'll pretend he's going out to do an odious chore, but the sparkle of glee in his eyes gives him away. I know that means he's going to see "Her."

Was I jealous? No. I knew he would be coming back to me when he was through with her. Hey, if it made him happy, it made me happy, but I have to confess that she didn't do much for me.

Until recently. Now I must confess that I am enamored of her.

When we were in our darkest hour (okay, not really, but it was pretty ugly) she came through for us. We were merely going up a slight hill in our truck to drop something off at the barn. It was only supposed to take a few minutes at the most so we could go on about our day. Unfortunately the ground was still so water-saturated that we couldn't get up the hill. The truck tires spun and spun, uselessly. We tried to get the truck out, to no avail. We were in a hurry so we decided to take my car instead. Oops, there was a problem there too, which maybe I'll tell you about another day. It's still too fresh to discuss.

So there we were, stuck with a truck stuck in the mud. Hubby looked at me, wondering if he should even mention her. He decided to go for it. "Let's see if the tractor can pull it out."

He woke her up and drove her over, hooking the truck to her drawbar. She slowly pulled the truck out of the ruts in the mud and up the hill. Whoohoo--she did it! I love this girl!

This was the point at which we had our whirlwind ride down the hill. Wheeeeeee!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Yes, I Asked for It

Yesterday was a challenging morning for us. We thought we needed to get materials A to point B so we could make use of the truck bed again. We didn't want to leave them sitting out on the ground to get wet and muddy so we wanted to put them in the shed. However, reaching the shed involved crossing a very muddy terrain. In hindsight we should never have tried to make it through the mud but....we did try, and we did get stuck. Oh, did we get stuck. We spent a while trying to get out, to no avail.

Finally we were able to get out by using a tractor. Bless the workhorse tractor! So we were now on terra firma on a hill and unloaded the bed, but then we had to get back across the muddy marsh to get out. Oh boy. There were 2 big trees that we needed to go between with utter mud-mass in between them. To the right of the path (and the right tree) was more mud-mass. No hope there. No hope to the left-side tree either as it is not a clear area. So between the trees it had to be, over mud that has already been churned up.

Pausing at the top of the hill, we looked at each other. My husband said, "You have gotten the country experience this morning, haven't you? When was the last time you got stuck in the mud?" He mimed putting on goggles, I started laughing, he gunned the engine, and away down the hill we went. He didn't let up on the gas and fortunately we didn't get stuck this time. It was definitely a wild ride.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Last summer we would have paid money for rain of any kind, much less this much rain. We've been getting rain regularly for weeks now. The ground can't absorb any more so now there are a few new ponds at our house. This boat might be handy to have to get around. Hopefully it comes with some really big paddles!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Beauty and The Beast

We all know the fairy tale about the beauty and the beast, but this isn't about them. This story is about one entity being both the beauty and the beast.

The following picture is one I took. The slant to it is because the horizontal post isn't really horizontal but is slanted, but the focus of this post is at its center: the plant.

I was looking at this picture and analyzing the composition when I remembered that I wanted to know what kind of plant it is. It has all these black berries that are quite pretty and that I'm sure birds just love. There are a lot of those plants around here. I showed the picture to a friend and received the prompt response of, "Run! Run for your life!" It is privet, her long-standing nemesis of which I have heard more than a few tirades. Crestfallen, I double-checked and, sure enough, privet it is. I have seen the beauty and the beast, and privet is its name.