Thursday, February 26, 2009

Testing, 1 2 3

I haven't died or anything, in case you're wondering. I just haven't been able to get Blogger posts to save on Internet Explorer or the AOL browser, so I haven't been able to publish. I'm coming in from Mozilla tonight, and it looks promising. If this works, I'll be back. If not, I'll just come visit y'all.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Babe in the Woods

The Hubby returned from scavenging for firewood this morning with news.

"I was down in the woods, checking on the drainage in that low part, and I saw this little brown head pop up out of a hole in the ice. What do you suppose it could be?"

Given how things are going lately, I sighed and shrugged and guessed it was some kind of marsh rat. Probably a scout rat, the first of an invading horde. Maybe we'd get lucky and they'd eat some mosquitoes. Or, more likely, the mosquitoes would eat them.

I had forgotten about it by the time we headed down the driveway to go rent a movie. Hubby slammed on the brakes halfway down the drive and pointed to an open spot in the ice. "There it is again!"

And indeed it was. A round, brown little critter, about the size of a large Guinea pig, about half submerged in the water. We looked each other over for a while, each of us curious about the other. Eventually, he decided we were no reason to miss lunch, and proceeded to munch on some new green weeds.

As luck would have it, I had the camera. (I'm learning to keep it close at hand.) The little guy seemed so relaxed, I decided to try getting a little closer. That was pushing it. He made a surprisingly quick getaway, but not before we got a glimpse of his tail. Our rat isn't a rat at all. He's a baby beaver!

We've never seen any adult beavers around, or a beaver dam or mound, but we have seen stumps in neighboring woods with the characteristic pencil-point remains that beavers leave behind. I can't imagine, though, where they are. Hunting for them should provide some much-needed fun.

Man. I love this place.

*Click the photo to enlarge. Again, the quality isn't great because my zoom kinda bites.

P.S. Feb.22: I think Michelle is right about this being a muskrat. Though the pictures of beavers and muskrats on Google are pretty much identical, it seems unlikely that a baby beaver would be out in the woods all alone. We never did catch sight of his back end, but I'm thinking not-a-beaver at this point. The good news is, it's also not-a-scout-rat. They're solitary, and raccoons keep the populations down. We have coons out the wazoo, so the poor little guy's days are probably numbered.

Believe it or not, my research indicates that muskrats is good eatin'. Mmmm. Muskrat gravy. Gimmee somma dat.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Name That Hawk

I know it's a fuzzy shot (my camera's zoom is pathetic) but do any of you bird watchers know what kind of hawk this might be?

I see it floating through the yard now and then, and I caught the flash of its striped wings as it swooped up to this broken tree. I just happened to have the camera handy, but it was a long way off. So far, in fact, that after a while I wasn't sure whether I was seeing a bird or just a splintered end of the log.

I've seen a pilleated woodpecker in these lower woods too, only the second one I've ever seen. They're pretty impressive. So are the holes they're excavating in the trees down there. I'm not sure yet whether to love or hate those guys. Them and the deer.

Just When You Think Things Can't Get Worse, They Do.

"It's always darkest before it goes pitch black." -- Connie Winkler

Well, it turns out they're closing our division in a few months and laying everyone off. Granted, I had one foot out the door anyway, but a. I'll never last long enough to get severance, and b. All my coworkers are now my competitors for this kind of work. And this area leads the country in unemployment rates already.

So the big question is, do I try to hang in until the bitter end, or should I try to get out ahead of the pack? Do I want to look for other positions within the same company, or do I want to start over again at the bottom somewhere else, at age 57?

I wonder if Walmart needs any new greeters.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pardon My Howl

Full Moon

My, what a big moon you have, Grandmother.

The better to heal you with, my dear.

There's nothing like a full moon on a clear night to put things into perspective. Its ancient magic transforms despair into a simple, silver melancholy. It is good to be reminded that we are, after all, very small.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Consulting the Cards

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Hmmm. High Priestess. Is this anything like "Crone" do you think?

I ran across this at somebody else's blog (sorry, I've forgotten whose) and, being in the market for a new identity, I thought I'd give it whirl. I have to admit, it's something of an ego boost. I would have guessed The Fool or The Tower at this point.