Potpourri

FORD VILLAGE, ALBERTA, BARAGASTAN: Sunday, May 22, 2016 –Yesterday in Marquette to sign books and browse. Greeted in the store by Owliver the Discerning Owl. And humans too. Photos follow the blog. Today was  pretty laid back, reading, etc. We Met Randy and Sally Clarke for dinner at the Hilltop. They are headed BTB after three days up on Brockway Mountain. Yesterday they saw 200 migrating hawks, today, driven on a south wind, 2,000 more, mostly broadwings, but a real mix of raptors. Got some great photos, which I’ll share when Randy sends them along.

With millions of living things (viruses,bacteria, etc) and species in so many habitats, we haven’t identified all on “our” earth and given this mass amount of pure biological mass, whey would there not be living things elsewhere in the universe? (Think Other Planets)

We look backward to Shakespeare’s time (he died 400 years ago this past April) and wonder how people then could have been so “ignorant.” Naturally we wonder how ignorant the facts of life from 2016 will appear in 2416. Far worse than the look-back from here, I suspect.

How many birds come to our feeders when we’re not there, or not paying attention? Some kind of corollary to “if a tree falls in a forest and there’s nobody there to hear it….”

Randy Clarke, while working at a nature center (Bay City I think, but might be wrong on this) remembers the sight of bird watchers, usually old women in sneakers and trench coats and he told himself then he never wanted anything to do with them.  Now he and wife Sally are two of them (absent  trenchcoats), ,but armed with donkey-dick sized cameras with telephotos that take shots that reach nearly to god and frames per second capabilities rivaling the canons on an A-7 in attack mode.

Dave Stimac and I took a buzz down to Kingsley North in Norway this week to replenish polish and grit and some other rock supplies for Daves bird’s-eye wood and rock gift shop here on campus. We noted on our return journey that Evelyn’s Curve Inn had burned down. Dave related how in the 1970s the joint had trailers “out back” staffed by prostitutes – real life bagnios in Cheeseheadland. Those days appear to be long gone from the far north.

Heard word of an interesting homicide case underway in Iron County and it seems to have some very Coen Brothers elements to it so will give this some professional attention and see what comes of it. Stay tuned.

Blackflies are out with a vengeance here. I got six in one day under my shirt. Awful. We hauled out the Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer and began making slurries to rub onto the bites and alleviate the itching. Until two or three years ago blackflies rarely bit me and when they did had not a lot of effect. Now I puff up almost instantly. Nasty. Adolph’s works effectively and quickly. Only drawback: messy when it dries and falls off your skin.

Hummer males are here and being sighted at about 100 a day. Females should be along soon and counts will jump way up immediately. All the migrations seem to be running late this year. Warblers are just arriving – about 3 weeks later than normal.

Think of anger as a tool – say a hammer—especially when you punch the cause of the anger in the snoot.

Folklore and farmers sometimes fall way short. Rule of thumb here is no planting until after the first full moon in June. But that moon this June isn’t until the 20th and the frost-free planting season hereabout is only in the range of 70-100 days with our location on the lower end. So we will plant and cover and keep an eye on night-time shenanigans. The unpredictability of weather is only one reason small farmers contemplate suicide. As Napoleon once said, “On se degage, et puis on voit,” which translates roughly to “It clears up, and then you see.”

Photos follow: Over.

Owliver.
Owliver.

 

Jen, at Snowbound Books.
Jen, at Snowbound Books.
Signing for Jan Sabin.
Signing for Jan Sabin.
My pal Marvin Roberson.
My pal Marvin Roberson.