OK, Who Swiped It?

Mother loved to sit on the porch and watch the birds and squirrels.

I was feeling guilty the other day that I hadn’t put out any feed in over two years, so I bought a bunch of feed and put a couple new feeders in the back yard so I could see them if I got up from the computer.

Fuzzy-tailed rats

Even though Brother Mark calls them “fuzzy-tailed rats,” I enjoy watching squirrel antics, so I hung an ear of corn off the maple tree. In two days, it was mostly gone, so I replaced it last night.

This morning, I looked out the window and the corn was gone. I don’t mean the kernels had been stripped off; I mean the WHOLE darned thing was gone. I looked all over the back yard, and there was not a sign of it anywhere.

So, which of you had a hankering for corn in the middle of the night?

You can click on the photo to make it larger if you want to check for fingerprints.

What’s the White Stuff?

The gravel in the driveway was getting a bit thin, so I put about a dozen 50-pound bags of it down several weeks ago. The recent rains exposed some more muddy spots, so I bought another five bags.

The irony is that Dad used to buy gravel by the train-load, probably for what I had just paid for about 20 bags. Anyway, while I was spreading the gravel, I noticed specks of white flying by. I didn’t think it was the fireplace belching ashes, so I watched more closely. Sure enough, some of the pellets were turning into flakes.

You can click on the photos to make them larger.

The Bolton House across the street

I decided I needed to bring in more firewood, so I hauled the wagon outside, then went back inside to piddle around for a few minutes. Suddenly, I saw people in the area posting on Facebook that it was snowing.

Son of a gun, it WAS showing. Snowing enough that the ground was white and I had to empty out the wood wagon before I could load it.

Walnut waiting to become firewood

When I bought Mother’s house from my brothers, I had a list of things that needed to be taken care of. One of the first was to chop down two maple trees that Mother and Dad planted when they bought the house. One of them was so hollow that it was a wonder that it hadn’t fallen on us or the neighbor.

I asked the tree trimmer to cut some dead walnut limbs that were about to fall either on the driveway or the roof. He looked this tree over and said, “You’d be better off to let me take it down now instead of having to come back in a year or so.”

I hated to see it go, but he does this for a living. I let him haul off all the big pieces, but had him leave pieces small enough that I could cut them to fireplace length without having to split them.

Shed in a Box

In 2013, David, Mark and I built Mother a Shed in a Box to park her riding mower in. It was a lot easier for her to do that than to wrestle tarps over it.

It’s getting some stress tears in the tarp top that I’m going to have to patch up with tape as soon as it warms up.

Mother loved having these spinners in the yard so she could tell how hard the wind was blowing. This is the last one left, and it’s only a matter of time before the elements get it, too.

Gradually returning to nature

There was an old tree at the corner of the yard that died many, many years ago. Mark said not to cut it because there were holes in that indicated that it was home for all kind of critters.

Old age and gravity finally won out. It’s gradually becoming compost to feed other plants.

 Needles and flakes

The tiny ice crystals lodged wherever they could. Fortunately, they weren’t accompanied by damaging ice and sleet.

A study in green and red

The holdover red holly berries add a festive touch to the cold. It’s 18 and falling at midnight (feels like 8 degrees), and it’s headed for 11 at 6 a.m. I don’t want to know the “feels like” temperature.