Down in the Maple Hollow in the morning
Randomness Monday, Oct 20 2014
As a vestry member and parish clerk, I am so glad that the elderly Sugar Maples that are periodically dropping things are not on the church’s property! They are elegant old trees belonging to the neighboring house…but it is never a good sign when two unfriendly and focused gentlemen are walking around taking photographs and staring pointedly at the offending trees!
Talk about a traffic hazard. The river runs hard against a big retaining wall in the center of town, making a lovely pool (I do hope that wall has good footings!). People are forever parked in the breakdown lane of the highway fishing over the side, since it is a good spot. The river has plenty of fish, especially trout, and the combination of deep water, braided channels, and sandbars make the area particularly interesting. The fishermen are an expected hazard. The unexpected hazard was the gorgeous, large, juvenile bald eagle that was also trying her luck in the spot and flying at about eye level with passing cars. Lovely animal.
Every once in awhile Friday, Oct 17 2014
Almost garish Thursday, Oct 16 2014
Insulting bears Wednesday, Oct 15 2014
One of the places I work at is a store which sells bird food; one of the major complaints (or reasons for not buying) is that there are bears in the area. This is commonly followed by: ‘but that (raiding bird feeders) is because we are moving into their habitat’*
I find this insulting to the bears. The modern eastern black bear is a highly adaptable, incredibly successful animal. Current estimates for its annual population increase in Connecticut and Massachusetts are at 15% to 20% Increase each year since the 1990’s. There were No black bears in Connecticut after c. 1840 and probably much earlier. In the 1980’s the gov’t admitted that there was a breeding population that had returned to the state sometime after World War II. Today the population is estimated at between 500 and 800 bears, there are over three thousand in Massachusetts, which also saw its original population extirpated by the 1800’s.**
We are not moving into bear habitat in New England. The early colonialists did. But the current population? That has moved into the state and has increased, even as the human population has increased. Why? Heavy forest combined with lots, and lots, of garbage cans, dumpsters, bird feeders. And that forest? really heavy on black/red oak, lots of acorns there.
This is not some absurdly sensitive predator that can’t deal with the slightest disturbance to its food chain. This is an intelligent, problem solving, omnivore, with a highly efficient metabolism, and good reproductive success. Give it a bit more credit. It can thrive in New Jersey for heaven’s sake!
*I also have to refrain from commenting, since the person almost always has an address of x lane, circle, court, or drive all of which indicate modern subdivisions, that if they are so concerned about the environment, why are they supporting suburban sprawl?
**That is an incredible number, since Massachusetts is only around 10,554 square miles: or one bear for every 3.5 square miles. And female bears have ranges of around five to seven square miles, with males a bit larger…
One ladybug, two ladybug, three ladybug, four Tuesday, Oct 14 2014
(hundred or thousand or….)
The perils of autumn include ladybug swarms. This year they are in two spots: the south wall and the northwest corner. It is the northwest corner which is most disconcerting, because they have gotten inside and seem to have an affinity for the library ceiling. Ladybug tea is unfortunate.
Thankfully, they aren’t too interested in the southwest corner of that section of the house, which is nice because ladybugs in bed are even more unfortunate.
It is not limited to this house, I was somewhat comforted by observing the inevitable swarms in the church tonight, which is down in the valley. There, they seemed to be enjoying the northeast corner. I can’t imagine the numbers in the steeple!
Shadows Monday, Oct 13 2014
Feel free to ignore Saturday, Oct 11 2014
(my politics probably don’t match yours) (once in awhile, the fact that this is my blog as well as the house’s will be asserted)
If one more F*!$#@! person or media thing tells me the recession is over, employment is climbing, inflation is not happening, and Obamacare will not cause my health insurance to double in cost (and cover less)….well I won’t scream, I won’t hit them, but I will consider them to be in need of serious, immediate psychiatric care or to be immoral F*@#$!, depending on how charitable I am not.
My hours are cut, the two businesses I am connected with (one retail, one media) are practicing scuba diving, and yes my insurance has gone up by another $100 a month.* We won’t consider the lie that is the Federal inflation calculator, you know, the one that does not include food?
*I haven’t gone to a doctor in 15 years, either.
Asters Friday, Oct 10 2014
Even following a dry season, the fall asters are much happier with the shasta daisies brought under control. As are the blueberries, which had a nice touch of red to balance the dusky blue. The tall dry seed heads are the remains of the pink aster; the tall ones to the left are the goldenrods. Of course, what really makes the garden work is the bench!