Gary Larson’s Far Side animal caricatures have ruined me for life. I swear, the instant before I rounded the curve on this Floyd County back road, the cows were walking upright, leaning on fence posts, one or two smoking cigarettes, when they heard me coming.
“Car!” the sentinel cow called, and they instantly assumed the quadruped habit for the benefit of romantic humans who think they look better that way, grazing peacefully in a lush pasture.
This is the time of year dominated by the tyranny of the mower, hoe and watering can. We’ve been blessed by regular rain so far. The grass is finally past that initial surge of first growth powered by stored winter organic decay, and has leveled off to just routine but unrelenting summer maintenance cutting. We’re wondering how to do less of it, but have it to a bare minimum for access to the house, garden shed, compost pile and barn. Perhaps, a goat?
My Ship Has Come In
I’ll be getting my first wee Social Security check in the mail next week. And while I’ve eased into the role of the post-employed, that check pretty much punches my ticket. There’s been an element of denial, I realize now, and I’ve not fully accepted that I’m about mid-way into the “Third Age”, a time of “fulfillment and renewal.” It is said to run from age 50 to 75. At 50, we had sunk our teeth into this place where we knew we wanted to be living (but not working quite so hard) when we got that first S S check in the mail. Now, here we are—or at least here I am, while SHE keeps us afloat, buoyed up by our so-called health insurance should our fitness for this work turn south. I’ll say more about this transition by and by. If you have thoughts about the pros and cons of retirement, send them my way.
Crows have discovered the chicken food in and around their pen. I hear one cawwing now, and know if I so much as crack the front door—a hundred yards away and through the maple tree-the guard crow sitting on the chicken pen fence would flush, followed by 3 or more waiting their turn in the tree line nearby. But they don’t eat much. And if they come to prefer this to plucking up my beans and corn seeds sprouting in the garden, they’re welcome to a bit of laying crumbles now and then.
I Never Knew Ye
It has been a sad irony how many new species have been discovered in the past two years, even as the extinction rate reaches unprecedented rates never before seen save for cataclysmic geological or astronomical causes, whereas this one is caused by one sole species. This is the so-called International Year of Biodiversity—a sad joke. Meanwhile, life flounders, limps and slinks along and new forms of life discovered off Tasmania, off the Australian coast, including fish with hands. The NatGeo images are, of course, impressive.