Tag Archives: wild things

Where the Wild Things Are

22 Oct

Last weekend we sent to the farm. A Monarch came back tot the house.  It was found in the grass beside a cornfield being battered by the wind and rain.  It lived in the kitchen for over a day and then went outside. A second one was seen flying around the next day up by the airstrip.

Monday friends from overseas came to supper.  M especially liked the squirrels!

The mornings are colder now.  A bow hunter parked in the lane this morning.  It is deer season.  Jay went out and shot a pheasant with a bow!  A first!

When walking, the crunchy noise emanating from the drifts and layers of leaves  is so delightful it often takes my mind off what was being thought about.

One topic of repeated consideration is how much God has used/ is using Hawthorne to teach me about parenting.  Here are today’s thoughts:

Because of the hunter, this morning Hawthorne was on a leash for most of our time together.  He tends to pull, wanting me to go faster, or the way he wishes.  Not unlike a teen.  What works best?  Each time he pulls, I stop and stand still until he comes toward me, making the line slack.  It takes a long time to actually go anywhere by this method since it has to be repeated every few seconds for the first ten minutes.  But gradually he remembers.  Near the the end of the walk he kept the line taut but never pulled hard and always gave way if I slowed down or changed direction.  Then he went off lead for the last two fields home.  Hurrah!   Our children also have pulled on the lead ropes, wanting their head, wanting their way before we parents thought it was time.  And the best way to train them is to not give in.  And not yell.  Just quietly refuse to do business with their ideas of what is appropriate and slowly walk on.  And let them loose when it is time.

The girl just had a (to her) significant birthday: we will now allow her to wear a modicum of eye and face makeup.  The leash is loosening.  and today i heard her say that this year was going to be “the best: no lying, no deception!”  Straining at the leach.  I’m sure.

Catch and Release

9 Oct

The forefinger largehairy caterpillar eating on the Milkweed fell off the plant I picked so it did not come home to be photographed.  It sure was not a monarch larva.  It was a caterpillar.

The red darning needle dragonfly was rattling under a piece of grass.  Freeing it, holding it in my hand, wondering if I should set it free or keep it for cards.  It was a spectacular  bright red.  It flew off just then and I was happy the decision was made for me.

The Black Swallowtaillarva went back out into the dill and promptly disappeared.  It overwinters as a pupa so perhaps it got ready for winter.

We found one Katydid still alive and kicking in the long grass verge on the side of the corn field.

Earl and Merle Squirrel have increased their range dramatically.  They now go over the lower roof to the west side of the house, they meet us at the door, and this afternoon Earl was on top of the freezer in the back room; I gave him a chestnut, got hold of him and he jumped onto the door and up over the roof.

Jay took Isabelle hunting Saturday and they came home with one goose.


And while we were cleaning up the garden, we thought maybe the answer to higher food prices is to feed out the turnips.  One of these would feed a family for a couple days.  Or even longer if no one likes turnips! Turnips as large as your head.

Turkey and Quilts

1 Oct

Happy October First!  The Morning Glories were glorious indeed this morning.  There were more than 45 blooms.  Perhaps they sense their time is just about up?

Jay went turkey hunting this first morning of the season and returned with a nice hen he met on the edge of the cornfield.

Hawthorne was very excited by the arrival of the bird.


Ellie and I went to the perennial county quilt show.  There were about 10 Civil War era quilts on display there from the county history museum which were made in this county.  Here are two:

This was made by a member of the Treman family of Trumansburg.  Lots pf striped fabrics. 

Incredibly beautiful.  And below, a silk quilt, perhaps made by Quakers since it is backed with the same drab brown cotton they used to line their silk dresses.

The docent from the museum who shared a bit about these quilts said that the silk in this quilt came from Paris and was of higher quality than Victorian era silks and thus had not shattered.  I asked what the difference in the silks was.

It seems that silk from China was sold on a weight per pound basis and to make the fabric weigh more the element lead was added during processing.  It also gave the silk the nice weight and rustle when used in dresses. The lead, though, also caused the premature decay (shatter) of the silk itself.

French silk, on the other hand, contains no lead.  It also does not rustle.  It shsh’s.

Fish and Squirrels

8 Sep

Over six inches of rain have fallen here since Monday.  The county roads are all closed.  The girl’s second day of school cancelled.  But thanks to Jay’s efforts, our basement is drier than it would normally be after this much rain.  He spent a long time working on redirecting roof water into and onto eaves troughs pointing away from the house.

Monday during the downpour he went fishing and brought back: Two bass and a catfish.  We had them for supper last night and will have them again for lunch today.

Monday Angela came to visit.  We played games, napped, watched a documentary on origami and Angela served as comforter for Merle.

He took a long nap on her.

Yes, the squidgjums now have names: Merle for the larger and Earl for the smaller.  Other names I liked were vociferously shot down: Nic and Nac, Zig and Zag, Ric and Rac.   But Jay liked Earl and Merle Squirrel. And Isabelle conceded the point.  I, as little red hen, thought I should be able to name them what I wished.  You understand the allusion, do you not?

Last night Sue and Max came.  They are the ones who brought us Earl and Merle a a week ago Tuesday night.  They were pleased to see how well they were and how much they had grown.

Notice Earl’s nice new splint.  The fourth he has had.  This one is Tygon tubing held in place by duct tape.  The last one, also Tygon, was held by masking tape.  He removed it after two days.  Here he is basking in a typical squirrlkin pose.

It is not only children who get in one’s hair.  Squirrels do so in a more direct fashion:

I am busy feeding Earl.  Merle decided he needed to go hunting for milk and worked his way up through my hair.  And then back down.  Ow!

All the way to where there was actual food.

Both Merle and Earl are now grinding walnut pieces to very small bits in between milk feedings.  I am assuming some bits are being ingested.  Although there are a terrific number of  nut granules to shake out of their bedding.

Never a Dull Moment

30 Aug

Well, maybe only a moment.

This evening Sue, my friend down the road who teaches science and with whom I discuss all things nature related, called.  One of her sons and a friend had called from a restaurant where a waitress had found two baby gray squirrels at the base of a tree. Would we take them to raise if the mother did not return by the time they were done with their meal?

Jay has wished for another squirrel since Banner’s presumed demise.  Of course!  They are now ensconced in a tissue box lined with washclothes and tissues and heated with a chemical heating rectangle used to keep one’s hands warm while hunting.

Their eyes are open.  They are about the same size as Banner was when she came to us.  Dehydrated.  Drank 7cc each of a electrolyte solution before coming here.  Full feeding will wait until the morning. Both males.

Squirrel Big:

And squirrel small:

40 Livers and a Flying Squirrel

23 Aug

And 40 hearts.  We helped slaughter 40 Cornish Rocks today and our friends did not want the hearts or livers.  I did.

So after cleaning and freezing most, I had fresh chicken livers fried in butter with sweet pickles.  Yum.

Last night S and her son T came to supper.  Rocky liked her very much and stayed in the sleeve of her shirt for an hour or so.

And he liked T, too.

Rocky goes home tonight, I think.

Tomato, Wasp, Raspberry, Deer Eating Corn season

18 Aug

If you are a pale gray or white small moth, though, you better watch out.  The birds are eating you.  I find their wings in the mornings on walks.  The deer rip off the young corn cobs and take one bite before leaving them lay on the ground.  Or they break off the top of a smaller stalk and chew on the inflorescence and young leaves.  Either way, the edges of the corn fields near the woods are mangled and battered.

It is tomato sandwiches morning and noon for me these days.  Don’t knock an open-faced sandwich of toast, mayo, and fat red slice with salt for breakfast until you have had it!

Three different wasps this week have made my acquaintance.  One was already dead.  The other two species died .  The ichneumonid  wasp and the dead wasp I have yet to key out which is metallic blue with lovely tight “c”-curved antennae are being readied for use in cards.  The yellow-jackets were showing way too much interest in my window washing for comfort and were poisoned.

Yesterday we harvested the first watermelon.  The first we have ever successfully grown.

It weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces. 

And it was very good warm.

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