Presidential Politics Become Personal

Earlier this month I got a note from a friend in state government telling me how Barack Obama’s people, while the senator was on campaign swing through Battle Creek, insisted that all uniformed police stay out of any camera shots. I followed up on the report with other sources, who confirmed it. Naturally, I wondered what Obama and his handlers were thinking and forwarded what I had heard to the senator’s campaign people, thinking if there’s some logic they ought to see how it is being received on the ground, and correct the impression if they can. Let me be clear here, I’m almost 65 and have voted Democrat most of my life, and was reluctantly leaning toward the same this time around, even though my personal respect for Senator McCain far exceeds anything for Senator Obama.

This response to my note came back on Sept 10: “Dear Friend. Thank you for contacting Senator Barack Obama and Obama for America. Barack is gratified by the overwhelming response to his candidacy, and we appreciate hearing from you. Please note, though, that we are now replying only to emails sent through our webform. You may resend your message through the webform here: http://m.barackobama.com/page/content/contact/.”

So I resubmitted on the new webform (a new word, I think), and on September 14 got the following response:“Joe – There’s so much as stake in this election – fixing our economy, solving the energy crisis, dealing with climate change, and restoring America’s position in the world.You and I know that. But John McCain is trying to distract voters from the real issues. And he’s willing to take the low road by making cheap personal attacks and lying outright about Barack and his record. It’s up to each of us to talk to voters across the country and make sure they know what this election is really about – especially in a battleground state like yours.” The note then offers me a tool I can use to call and talk to other voters, and the note is signed by Jon Carson, National Field Director, Obama for America. No answer to my question, however. I just want to know, does Obama not want cops in his photo ops, at his speeches, etc? And if true, why? And if not true, how did the misunderstanding occur, or is this some sort of GOP political baloney?

More forms, none of them clear, I filled them out and sent them on again, as instructed (best I could make out).

The next day, September 16, I get another email, this one from David Plouffe, Campaign Manager, Obama for America. David’s note is as follows: joe [NOTE: I don’t warrant even an upper case J in my name….] Even Karl Rove had to admit yesterday that the McCain’s lies and negative attacks have gone” too far.” John McCain is running the most negative and dishonest campaign in modern presidential history. He has demonstrated that he rather lose his integrity than lose this election….This year we can’t let that happen. Our goal is to bring 50,000 new donors into our movement by Friday at midnight.” At this point I replied to Mr. Plouffe as follows: “To Whom It May Concern: This sort of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo takes the bill. I’m voting for McCain. I see no responsiveness in the Obama campaign and no responsive organization in your website, which makes me wonder how the hell you expect to manage a country? I send an email question; you answer. What could be more simple? Please take my name off all lists. Sincerely, Joseph Heywood.”

September 17, David Plouffe sent another note to me. “Joe – Want a look inside our strategy to win the battleground states? I recorded a video on my laptop yesterday to brief you on the plan – including details that haven’t been shared publicly before. Our fight in the battleground states is going to be tougher than a lot of you may think. Take Florida, where George Bush won by just 381,000 votes in 2004. The campaign we’re running there is going to cost more than $39 million.That [What that is he referring to?] can only come from supporters like you – unlike John McCain we don’t take money from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. To reach our goal we need 50,000 new donors by Friday at midnight.”

The next day, September 18 I get a note from Barack himself (allegedly).

“Joe – The economy hit a new low this week, and in every part of the country, people like you are feeling it. The recent financial disasters – from the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the historic drop in the stock market – are not just a string of bad luck. They are the result of years of bad decisions made in favor of big corporate special interests instead of America’s working families. More than 600,000 Americans have lost their jobs since January. Home foreclosures are skyrocketing, and home values are plunging. Gas prices are at an all-time high, and we’re still spending $10 billion every month on a war in Iraq that should never have been waged. John McCain’s campaign is doing everything it can to focus attention on false personal attacks and distractions – but there’s too much at stake for that kind of politics. I need your help to get the conversation back on track.”

I responded, by asking again about the alleged no-uniformed-cops-in-photos issue.

The next day, September 19, an email comes from Elizabeth Wilkins, Field Director, Michigan Campaign for Change. “Dear joe – This past week has proven what workers and families in Michigan have already known for a long time – the economic policies of the past eight years have devastated the American economy and caused hardship for far too many. The only way Michiganders can guarantee we break from those policies and bring real change is to take this election into their own hands. This Campaign for Change need you to join your Neighborhood Team and talk to your friends, family, and neighbors about Barack and his message of change. Watch this video about our campaign in Michigan and join your Neighborhood Team.”

I didn’t answer. What was the point? I note the interesting statement that Republican policies have caused hardship for far too many. Are we to infer from this that there’s an acceptable level of hardships, and if so what’s the number? Dammit, what about cops in the photos?

September 20, I got an email from Joe Biden, a politician I really like, even when he sometimes puts his foot in his mouth. “joe – Our team has built a tool called Neighbor to Neighbor that lets you tap into the power of this grassroots movement right from your home. You can reach out to potential supporters by knocking on doors or making phone calls at any time that’s convenient for you. Take this election into your own hands righ now by signing up and talking to voters in your battleground state about Barack and our campaign for change.”

Yo, Senator Joe. How about answering my simple question? And taking me off the damn website list, as previously requested. Please?

Sept. 21, Jon Carson is throwing more unsolicited electrons at me. “Joe [hey the j has been upgraded!] Think of all the people you know – your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors. What if every on of them voted on Election Day? That’s a lot of votes. But odds are many of them aren’t registered – or aren’t sure if they are. Now there’s an easy way to learn our status and get registered. Our new one-step voter registration site, VoteForChange.com lets you do it all: check your registration status, register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and find your early voting site or polling location.”

I’m registered, okay? I already have my absentee ballot, okay? What about the cops? And why am I still getting stuff from you people?

Two days later I get a note from Michelle Obama. “Joe – This Friday, we’ll reach another milestone in the campaign – the first debate of the general election, on Sept 26th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Millions of Americans will tune in to watch Barack debate John McCain about foreign policy and our role in the world. I recorded a brief message about hosting a Debate Watch Party. Please take a moment to watch the videoand sign up to attend or host a Debate Watch Party in your community.”

Boy oh boy. A debate isn’t a milestone. It’s an event, only one among many. It’s not even the ONLY debate. What’s with all the rhetoric here? Michelle: what about the cops, and did you folks not get the message I’m voting for McCain because of the insipid website communications that keep flowing from you folks? Huh? Take me off your lists.

Four days later it’s Jon Carson with yet another electronic message. “Dear Joe, Barack is moving ahead with plans for Friday’s debate. The election is less than 40 days away, and the American people deserve to hear directly from the candidates about how they intend to lead our country. You’re invited to join a Debate Watch Program in your community and discuss the issues that are most important to you and your family, friends, and neighbors. Find a Debate Watch Party in your area and RSVP today.”

Righto, Jonny boy. Uh, my question about the cops?

On debate day, the note was from Joe Biden announcing McCain has decided to debate and because I live in a key battleground state, could I volunteer to sign up to volunteer on one of the four crucial days leading up to Election Day? Face-to-face contact with voters is the single most effective way to deliver the votes we need to win,” Joe pointed out. I did not counter that a political battleground is a limp-wristed term with no currency. People who have been in real battles, people like John McCain, know the difference.

Whatever, Senator Joe.

Then, on Saturday, Barack sends me this message: “Joe – I just finished my first debate with John McCain….Let’s be clear John McCain is offering nothing but more of the same failed Bush policies at home and abroad that he has supported more than 90 percent of the time in the senate.”

My response: “Barack, I watched the debate. What I saw was McCain rattling you and getting under you skin and causing you to mumble and interrupt with yeah-but, yeah-but, yeah-but. Dude, if John McCain can rattle you so easily, how the hell will you deal with foreign leaders who are truly evil and hate your guts simply because you’re American? Pathetic showing, Senator. And your website is worthless.

And the cop question? How about that? It’s still not answered and of course I’m still on their lists.

Barack sent a second email on the same day. “Joe – The last day to register to vote in Michigan is Monday, October 6th. Are you registered. Are your friends and family? If you forward only one email to your friends family and neighbors today – make it this one.”

At this point I had archived all the messages, so I opened each one and sent the following message: “Dear Senator Obama. I am not voting for you. Please remove my name from all of your lists and check into your website. If your people can’t run a website, how he hell will they run a country? I won’t even ask again about the uniformed cops and photo ops.”

What I got back was the following response: Dear Friend. Thank you for contacting Senator Barack Obama and Obama for America. Barack is gratified by the overwhelming response to his candidacy, and we appreciate hearing from you. Please note, though, that we are now replying only to emails sent through our webform. You may resend your message through the webform here: http://m.barackobama.com/page/content/contact/

Sigh. I will continue to archive incoming fodder, but I know now there is no hope. Like many folks, I am very concerned about Sarah Palin and her right wing views and her qualifications for leadership, but at this point if she can “shake” and “sit” I’ll vote Republican. What a pathetic election at such a critical time in our nation’s history. Having posted this, we will see if the electronic attacks start – automated programs that see perceived negative messages and try to flood my site to render it inoperable. The sad part is that I am still a Democrat and a liberal, but a candidate that can’t find a way to answer questions now will be hopelessly out of touch once he’s in the White House.

P.S. I hesitate to add this, but this morning at 11:21 AM I got another email, this time from my “old pal” David Plouffe. “Joe — Election day isn’t ahead of us — it’s already here. Early voting has begun in eight states — including the key battleground of Ohio, where voting begins today and it will be starting in a dozen more over the next two weeks. Tonight is also the most important reporting deadline of the campaign. The resources we have on hand heading into October will decide the sie of our voter registration and Get Out The Vote operations. The need for your support is more urgent than it will ever be. If you haven’t made a donation yet, now is the time to donate. If you donate $30 or more, you’ll recieve a limited edition Election T-Shirt before Friday, October 17th….Thanks, David.”

Dear Dave, Old Pal. I don’t live in Ohio and couldn’t care less about what goes on there. I have not made a donation to Barack and won’t. Take me off your damn lists and by the way,  for $30 I could design and produce a fantastic T-shirt all on my own. You people are blowing so much hot air my computer housing may need repainting.  You sound like Seymour the carnivorous plant from Little Shop of Horrors: Feed me, feed me, FEED me! What about Obama and photographs with uniformed cops? Huh?

Moanday Morning

Moanday morning, cleaning and re-organizing files – avoiding meaningful work. My former agent, Betsy Nolan used to live part of the year in Australia and regularly send me copies of interesting items from the Ozzie media. Thought I’d share some of it before it goes circular. There, of course, were few dates or names of publications where the items appeared so I offer them as I got them. And I offer no veracity for any claims of anything. I simply deliver the messages.

In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, make the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase, “Good night and sleep tight.”

It was accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead was a honey-based beer and the Babylonian calendar was lunar based and this period was called the honey month, which we know as the honeymoon. Babylon was a city in what we now know as Iraq.

According to German-born mathematician Burkard Polster, a knot in mathematical mumbo jumbo is: “a homomorphism that maps a circle into three-dimensional space and cannot be reduced to the unknot by ambient isotopy.” No kidding?

Coca-Cola was originally called Ke-Kou-Ke-La in Chinese characters, which translated to, “Bite the wax tadpole.” This was changed to new characters Ke-Kou-Ke-Le, which translates to “Happy Mouth, Happiness.”

For many years in Beijing, foreigners found a sheet of paper on their hotel bed, which said, “Decadent songs and actions that go against decency are not allowed here.” Okay then.

Mahatma Gandhi, as we all know, eschewed shoes, and walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet he suffered from bad breath, which made him a “super callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.”

Or this from the Suddenly Senior newsletter: “Rigor Morris, the cat is dead.”

From Washington Post contest the definition of abdicate: “To give up all hope of every having a flat stomach.”

Trucking company supervisor Gary Morris, a punter (gambler) who hangs out at the Rat and Parrot Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley: I’m on a strict budget. Every week I spend $600 on piss, $100 on smokes, $100 on horses, and $10 on food. Sometimes I dip into the food bill for my gambling.”

 Sign seen in Australia; “DANGER: Feral Animal Control Shooting in Progress.”

The rare southern hairy red snail once thought to be extinct, but found on King Island, is now listed as vulnerable.

Cover from magazine Private Eye, 22 Sept, 2000 shows photograph of George Bush with balloon caption: “I’m not dyslexic – I’ve never even been to Dyslexia.”

According to Gareth Smith of Byron Bay: The peace symbol was invented by graphic artist Gerold Holtom in 1958 for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s Aldermast march. Its inspiration came from the semaphore signals that represent N (nuclear) and D (disarmament). Holtom combined them with a circle so that the N comprises diagonal lines running from the circle center to the circumference, while D bisects the angle they make and runs nor-south in the circumference.”

According to an unnamed , unspecified source in Australia, Bill and Hilary Clinton’dog, Buddy, was not struck by an automobile, as widely reported in the media, but froze to death while sitting on Hilary’s lap.

Memorably Remembering Someone: According to the Telegraph in London: “Kenya’s last legendary white hunter, Bunny Allen, sole survivor of the golden age of the royal safari, has died at the age of 95. Allen, remembered in the former British colony as much for his prowess with women as for his hunting, was a contemporary of Bror Blixen and Denys Finch-Hatton of Out of Africa fame. Allen was second gun to Finch-Hatton. “Bunny was very eccentric, but women liked him very much,” recalled his friend Edmond Bradley-Martin, a geographer and wildlife film producer. “He had a great sense of humor and an infectious laugh…he had a very outgoing and pleasant personality and he told stories well. What more could you want if you were a woman?” Allen’s first wife Babs, left him after one affair too many. His second wife, Jerri, recently revealed how she kept away predatory women: ”I would give them diarrhoea,” she said. [Three comments: Second gun to Finch-Hatton? Must be jargon. Then, is Jerri’saction best described as proactive? Finally, this guy actually lived to be 95? Sheesh.]

 

 

50th Anniversary, Anatomy of a Murder

John Voelker (Robert Traver) in his natural habitat. Painting by the gifted trout fisherman, Larry Cory. It has hung over my desk for years and years and always provides inspiration -- for fishing if not for writing....
John Voelker (Robert Traver) in his natural habitat. Painting by the gifted trout fisherman, Larry Cory. It has hung over my desk for years and years and always provides inspiration -- for fishing if not for writing....

My remarks for tomorrow in Lansing can be found by highlighting the PAGE, “Searching for Johnny-Bob’s Trout.”

Ka-na-tan

In the Cree tongue (which is close kin to Ojibwa) the word, ka-na-tan means clean, and implies no city, no congestion, drugs, alcohol, overpopulation – “urban” or “white societal traits. Two days ago Jambe Longue took a walk down “our” neighborhood trail and found that it had been brutally brush-hogged to make room for new power poles. Gone were acres of deer, rabbit, woodchuck, coyote, fox and bird habitat and cover, all sorts of blackberry and raspberry bushes, not to mention more sassafras trees than you can imagine. Naturally, nobody in the neighborhood knew this was to happen and last night when we ambled over there to take a look we met a woman walking her two dogs who said, “It’s a disgrace and if they did have to do this, couldn’t they use a local company and employees.” She was right. The trucks were from Kent, Ohio. Every person we met last night was frosted about this and feeling helpless to do anything. It seems that in some towns and cities the concept of clean is as shown in the pictures, not as imagined by the Cree. And talking of helpless, I talked to a fellow in the U.P. last weekend who has a small house and said it will cost him $1,200 – $1,500 a month to heat with oil this winter. He and the wife are on social security. The economics of this country has gotten completely whacked out. Years ago I saw twenty-somethings buying $300 – $500 K houses all around the area and asked where the hell the money was coming from? I was still in the corporation back then and made a good living, but I sure couldn’t afford anything like that. It was a bewildering phenomenon, the source of the money simply stumping me. Now we know, of course, it was all a sleaze and smoke-and-mirror game, which the government either missed seeing or ignored until now. Years ago I tried to explain to my New York Editor, of WW2 vintage, how citizens in the hinterlands can love their country and hate their government, and he refused to believe me until Tim McVea struck the federal building in Oklahoma. Our country is in damn rough shape and the future of our kids is anything but bright. We need a leader who will do the tough things, but offer a vision for tomorrow, if not for old farts like me – then for our kids.

Along the denuded trail, especially in winter, deer seek thermal cover, but that’s gone now. Probably it will be back in 2-3 years, but who knows? One thing the hackers did not get is the fruit tree shown below. Small yellow, apple-like fruits, sweet to the tongue. If anyone has an idea of what they are, please advise! They’re about the diameter of a quarter and yellow with a reddish cast on their skins. This year is first I’ve noticed them. I’ve also put up a couple of pix of the cleared area where habitat used to be and where Shanahan loved to run and poke. Will walk him down there tonight, see what he thinks. This Saturday it’s Lansing and the State of Michigan Library for the 50th anniversary celebration of John Voelker (John Travers} Anatomy of a Murder. I’ll post my presentation on a new page Saturday morning before I head out.

Mystery Fruit
Mystery Fruit
North side of the trail. Both sides out to the walk were thick like the stuff you see by the tower.
North side of the trail. Both sides out to the walk were thick like the stuff you see by the tower.
Aftermath and not pleasing to the eye.
Aftermath and not pleasing to the eye.

Rocking & Rolling

Finding the unexpected. You go to step over a driftwood log and look down and see slashes of color th equal of any rocks on the beach and woneder what would account for such color.
Finding the unexpected is part of being outdoors in the U.P. You go to step over a driftwood log and look down and see slashes of color the equal of any rocks on the beach and wonder what in nature would account for such color.

Just made another quick Yoop trip, again to beef-up rock and driftwood supplies for winter’s creative works. The manuscript for Woods Cop No 7, Hard Green Violets, is done and will go to NY later this month. And I’ve started No. 8, Force of Blood, and am far enough along into it to take a break. Half hour ago got a call from Mr. George Cheeseman of St. Ignace, who reported he is reading Death Roe, so No. 6 is out there already. Enjoy.

The Devil's Smile by Morning
The Devil Smiles at Sunrise

If you’ve got rocks in your head (not in a negative way) a great person to talk to is Bob Bernhardt, who owns and operates BJ’s in Trout Lake. He’s forgotten more than most of us will every learn about rock-hounding and shares and teaches willingly. His eclectic shop, in an historic old building, has a little bit of everything for the eye and brain. Wife Judy is a talented painter.

BJ's in the Heart of downtown Trout Lake
BJ's shop smack in the center of inner-city Trout Lake

Temperatures at Whitefish Point were in the high-60, low-70s with lows in low 50s or high 40s mornings, nice. And it was sunny, with wind whipping and waves crashing to shore with continuous rolling thunder. Walked between three and four miles west and came back and when we went back out an hour later after a lunch in the truck, the beach had been entirely turned over by the crashing waves. Very impressive, Mom Nature: You the one! The driftwood stacks of logs and root balls along this stretch are alone worth the walk. Most tourists stand on the wooden platform at the old station, and gawk outward at freighters. A very few walk the mere 75 yards to the water’s edge. Even fewer venture more than 200 yards from the main site. It’s very instructive to observe, but seems to point to a viewer-society among we older folk in our dotage, not a participant culture. Too bad.

Caught the rising red moon on the way up, around the purple coneflower preserve at Kenneth, and I did a racing stop, Jambe Longue jumped out and took a couple of shots through da trees and away we went. Next morning she took her time taking shots of sunrise as we trooped out to the lake, wondering if the rain squalls to the northeast would visit us, but they didn’t.

Debris makes one think Mum Nature had a helluva a beach party last winter.
Debris makes one think Mum Nature had a helluva a beach party last winter.
REd Moon Rising
Red Moon Rising

On day two we had a freighter run very close to shore bearing west, and she captured that as well. Never thought about it before this trip, but when freighters pass, eventually a cascade of waves follows and can swamp your sorry self — if you aren’t paying attention.

Rockhound magnets
Rockhound magnets
You can't hide from the waves.
You can't hide from the waves
Ship Ahoy
Ship Ahoy

As for color, it’s just starting to change in the hardwoods between Iggy and Whitefish. Area around Gaylord is a bit more advanced than further north, but by Grayling it is in early stages again, and not a whole lot different than down here in southwest Michigan. I previously photographed some early colored leaves here, which were splashed bright colors again brown. And upon my return found more leaves in the rock garden and the contrast was too much to pass up, so photos are included in this entry. This is my first digital camera and I’m sorry I didn’t try this earlier. It provides an amazing amount of flexibility and quantity.

Beware the beasts hiding in White Fish Point's rocks
Beware the beasts hiding in White Fish PointTwo hours later, the beast is exposed -- driftwood, not a sleeping hippo.

trip to UP since late June and overall we have had minimal animal sightings.

Two hours later we learn it was not a hiding hippo, but buried drift wood. Huh.
Two hours later we learn it was not a hiding hippo, but buried drift wood. Huh.

It seems that the late snows last winter killed big numbers. Will be interesting to see what the herd looks like when I’m out with COs for deer season. Animal count on the way up: 12 red tail hawks, 1 cooper’s hawk, 8 great blue herons, 7 deer, and a fox darting into the gloaming and cattails just north of the mouth of the Tahk River. Return trip: 1 deer [a gi-normous buck south of the bridge], 3 bald eagles, 20 turkeys, 6 great blue herons, 2 red tail hawks, and 6 sand hill cranes.

Even more color.
Even more color.
Intoxicated by color
Color, shape, and texture, inspirations for man-made art.
Nature's amazing palette
Nature's palette
More color
More color just sittin' out there on the ground.
Color eruption in the rock garden
Color erupts in the rock garden.

Stoned On Whitefish

Thin-red-line
Thin-red-line
Ancient Modern Art
Ancient Modern Art
Bigaggie
Bigaggie
Ghostaggie
Ghostaggie
Pancreaggie
Pancreaggie
Alicesrestauranstone
Alicesrestauranstone
Swooshie
Swooshie
Jelly Beans
Jelly Beans
Poxrocks
Poxrocks
Shiny Nipples
Shiny Nipples
Jaspereggaggie
Jaspereggaggie
Yemerrieoldechristmastone
Yemerrieoldechristmastone
Boomerangaggie
Boomerangaggie
Quatreaggie
Quatreaggie
Thresaggie
Thresaggie
Dosaggie
Dosaggie

Herein some of the rocks collected during a recent visit to Whitefish Point. All of these have been photographed wet and after tumbling 5-6 days in 80 grit. Polishing will occur this winter. Enjoy.

Aggieyed
EyesofAggieRUponU

‘Grilled’ Moose: The Off-Duty Life of a Conservation Officer

When dirty work needs doing, COs don't get a lot of help.
When dirty work needs doing, COs don't get a lot of help. Advice, yes. Help...not so much.

Sometimes people reading the Woods Cops mysteries find it hard to believe how totally consuming and unpredictable a conservation officer’s job can be. What follows are photos, just received this morning from Iron County. They depict a moose struck by a truck south of Crystal Falls on US-2, and there — of course — is CO Dave Painter, the consummate game warden, called away from home after 0100 to move the young bull from the road to his patrol truck. Far as I know, no human injuries, but CO Painter, clearly in his civvies and gum-boots has been called away from home to take care of the situation. For such eventualities, he always carries gum boots and a chainsaw in the truck in case Dispatch can’t get hold of a wrecker and he is forced to “quarter” the carcass in order to get it off the highway — an exceedingly stinky and messy job. This sort of unscheduled event happens all around the state for COs, 24-7.

This is the third moose killed in Iron County this summer. My apologies for the order of the photos in the blog, but this dadblasted software continues to befuddle me…. The other thing is that I have searched far and wide in prime UP moose habitat for years, and never seen a single animal.

Dead Moose in Da Middle of Road -- Yooper version of old country favorite that featured a dead skunk.
Dead Moose in Da Middle of Road -- Yooper version of old country favorite that featured a dead skunk.
In a contest between an 18-wheeler and a moose, the animal invariarbly loses. This is the time of year when moose are in the rut and males are running all over looking for companions, and the females are standing still somewhere bawling and raising hell until the boys show up.
In a contest between an 18-wheeler and a moose, the animal invariably loses. This is the time of year when moose are in the rut, meaning that the bulls are running all over the countryside, looking for companions; meanwhile, cows are standing still somewhere bawling and raising hell until the boys hear their pleas and show up to take care of business.
Off-duty Conservation Officer Dave Painter transfers deceased moose from highway to his patrol truck.
Off-duty Conservation Officer Dave Painter transfers deceased moose from highway to his patrol truck.

More on the No-Feeding Order BTB

With Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) found in one deer in a fenced in hunting farm in Kent County, the Natural Resources Committee has implemented a ban for all supplemental deer feeding BTB (Below the Bridge).

A column in today’s Kalamazoo Gazette warns people with bird feeders to be careful. We feed birds in our backyard and I’ve never seen a deer back there. But they sometimes walk and run through my front yard (or down the middle of the street) and jump into neighbors’ fenced-in back yards. According to the article, suet and birdseed don’t interest deer and can be used. But corn or sunflower seed will pull in deer and if the conservation officer thinks you’re feeding in violation of the ban, you’re gonna get a ticket. This also applies to those people who put out corn and other foods for wild turkeys and even for foxes and coyotes. This situation is also going to affect what bear-baiters can put out, meaning no corn, carrots, cabbage, sweet beets, or rutabegas. Donuts, jelly rolls, etc, will be okay because deer, biologists tell us, don’t have a sweet tooth.

The ban means:

1) No salt blocks (whole or broken up);

2) no minerals;

3) no grains;

4) no seeds;

5) no hay;

6) no veggies;

7) or other food to attract deer.

Naturally scattered food, like acorns, or food plots will remain legal places to hunt. But COs will no doubt be told to crack down on feeding and rest assured, they will do so. And if you own big chunks of land and think you can hide big bait piles in your back 40s,  be advised there will be aircraft up, wtih CO observers, looking for just such violations. If found, expect COs to visit you, ticket books in hand. I expect that people my age, 65 and older, who feed turkeys and other wildlife will be the most difficult to control and that such folks will lean on their ages and hope for a break. I hope the COs don’t get soft-hearted on us old farts.

Good Reads & A Website Note

I don’t usually recommend books, but in this case I’m making an exception. The two novels are: Carlos Ruiz Zefon’s, The Shadow of the Wind; and Jennifer Lee Carrell’s, Interred With Their Bones. Both will transport you to a different world, which is a real achievement in literature. Friday moanin, this, rainy and sticky but time to saddle up and git ‘er done! I finished the final draft of Woods Cop #7 Hard Green Violets two days ago, and have started Force of Blood, Woods Cop #8.

And speaking of novels, the opening chapter of Death Roe is now on the website to provide a preview of the 6th Woods Cop Mystery, which will be available at bookstores in most places October 1. To get to it, look above the Joe Roads Blog Label for the Death Row Chapter 1 Page, highlight it to open it, sit back and enjoy the read. Another route: highlight the picture of the book on the main page of the web site and this will take you directly to the new chapter.

The Teeming Autumn Big With Rich Increase

Da dog...da stick...da lake, and da stench, boss, da stench!
Da dog...da stick...da lake, and da stench, boss, da stench!
Beauty just lying on the ground, awaiting admirers
Beauty just lying on the ground, awaiting admirers

“The teeming autumn big with rich increase, bearing the wanton burden of the prime like widowed wombs after their lords decease.”

Shakespeare’s words, capturing the magic of the fall change, the death of one season, the promise of the next.

Over this past weekend it was a rock-collecting expedition to Lake Michigan (mostly fossils) and since then, Shanahan has taken on the mephitic fugue of a 19th century farm using humankind’s rawest fertilizer.

Last night a walk in the woods and he turned brown with thousands of stick-tites and the stench persists, so today we shall get bathed…

During the most recent UP trip I saw leaves starting to turn — mostly sumacs then, but last night in an old oak and maple forest where there are lots of pileated woodpeckers to hear and see, I picked up some leaves of color. It seems to me that if you look at the earliest leaves to fall each autumn, you will see an unexpectedly rich and complex color palette. One could spend weeks drawing such natural beauties and here I offer some for your early autumn viewing pleasure.

My friend and walkabout partner, Robochef,returned last night from a 14-day sojourn out west with wife J.P. and daughters Kelly and Laura, and said, “Geez it’s cold here!” Recently turned 58, he admitted to being unable to finish a steep mountain climb with his daughters and is in a funk about diminished capacity, a condition that eventually visits each of us. He’ll get over it…eventually.

Color abounds
Color abounds
Subtle beauty
Subtle beauty
If one wants to find colors to integrate in their lives, just walk into the woods and opens your eyes.
If you wish to find new colors and combinations to integrate into your life, just walk into the woods and open your eyes.