Monday, June 20, 2016

Birds and Wood Ticks

Yep, still alive.
No excuses for not posting every day, as you've been accustomed to. 
It's just life, I guess. 
What've I been doing?

Spending more time outside, I suppose. It's been neither too hot nor too cold; i.e. it's been just right for this here Goldilocks. Even if I'm just out on the step, listening to the birds ... we've got a slough pump (a.k.a. American bittern) in our dugout, which is just behind the house. It's very vocal in the evenings and I'm a-lovin' it. We've also got a catbird that was making a lot of noise before moving into the row of lilac bushes just off the back step, and I was enjoying that too. And of course there is the sora. Or more than one, naturally, of all of the above. And a lot of robins, and barn swallows, and ... the list goes on. 

Slough pump:
This is exactly the way "mine" sound. 
Also, I did see it once. I was on the step, chatting on the phone to Cathy in Saskatoon, and noticed what appeared to be a tall, dark stick among the grasses on the other side of the dugout. I quickly ran for my binoculars for a better look, and sure enough, it was standing there, still as could be, for the longest time. I was thrilled. I'm sure Cathy thought I was a bit nuts, being so excited about a slough pump in my yard. 

But these birds are the best part of living here. 

I guess this is why at at first I couldn't figure out what it was. It was mimicking the other birds around the yard. (And if you watch this video to the end, you'll hear the sounds "my" sora makes, and see a picture of one.)
The sound that convinced me it was a catbird the next day was this one, that actually sounds like a cat:
The surprising thing about the catbird here was that it was perched high up on a leafless branch where it could be plainly seen, which seems unusual for the catbird.

Had enough bird talk?

The wood ticks are still driving me insane. I'm dreaming of moving away for May and June from now on, just to get away from them. It does seem a bit extreme, but they are driving me fucking crazy. 
I tuck my jeans into my socks and smear tick-repelling scented oils onto my leather walking shoes. I spray my long-sleeved white garden shirt with commercial repellent, and put the collar up. I apply the scented oils to my neck, throat, chest, hands, arms, face. I avoid tall grasses, though do have to work in the flower bed so that may well be where I'm picking them up. When I come inside, I check my clothing for ticks. After the outer wear is off, I check my body. I look in the mirror. I feel around my scalp. No ticks. 
Half an hour later, I feel one crawling on my chest. 
Half an hour after that, there's one on my forearm. 
I guess I should be thankful I can feel them on my skin. But I've had enough. Enough already!

Here's what the trees across the road look like now that the tent caterpillars have been through:

Click to enlarge
There seem to be fewer of the worms now, but I've also heard they may go through a second "coming." Yeesh. Nature! It's no wonder humankind keeps trying to control it.

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Maggie Turner on "Holy Cows": 
Ohhhh I really really like that phrase, "The Wrath of Kath"!!! :) 

It has more of a ring than The Bath of Kath! or the pedantic Path of Kath! Actually that second one sounds perfect for a title to a new blog, if I ever get around to it.

I had to read this to my husband: "If I see one more updated profile photo of a homely person with 25 comments like "Beautiful lady!" beneath it, I just might puke. Honestly, people are so full of baloney.

Then there are all the selfies of the women who really are beautiful. But why the hell do we need to see a new photo every other week? Yes you're glamorous. Now get over yourself." 

We have talked about this very thing - the falseness of the admiring comments and the pure narcissism of some posters. And you know, I just posted with a bunch of wedding photos on my blog, but in my defense, I don't do a lot of that. And I definitely don't on FB. I actually like FB well enough for what it is - a way to keep up with family and friends. Bu I don't like the self-righteousness of it. And I use it as a way mostly to just post brief, funny things throughout the day. FB is faster and easier than blogging, but blogging has my heart. 

You heard me! You really heard me! (Said in my best Sally-Field-at-the-Oscars voice.)
I loved seeing your travel and wedding photos on your blog, and would have no matter where you posted them. 
Facebook, like any tool for communication, can be used for "good or evil." Hee! I find it a lot like television; there's plenty of good, worthwhile stuff, but you waste a lot of time with garbage while you're looking for it.

Whew! All's well that ends well, I guess! 

True dat.