BIRDS AND SQUIRRELS – Marilyn Armstrong

The birds are eating like there’s no tomorrow. I actually spotted a fat woodpecker, one of the big Red-bellied Woodpeckers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fat woodpecker. But this one was very round … and very big, too.

Today, while it isn’t sunny, it is warm. 70 degrees and going up. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but it is nice to not be shivering, to be able to open the windows and let some air inside!

The cleanup crew

More cleanup

I used my time to clean. I got tired of waiting for help, so I just took a deep breath and did as much as I could. There is so much more to be done, but this helped. Duke is shedding, so everything is covered in white Duke-hair.

The Brown-headed Cowbirds are back

I don’t see many non-flying squirrels much these days. They show up very early in the morning, around sunrise, but this little guy has been dropping by regularly. I think he is young because he is quite small. Awfully cute, too!

LOVE THY NEIGHBORS – Marilyn Armstrong

Our anti-bug and mouse guy says we have an awful lot of birds, but fortunately, we live several hundred yards from anyone else. I’m sure our neighbors would complain, but all they do is grow dope, so I don’t think they worry about birds.

The place is set up with cameras and piles of trash everywhere. Apparently, dope-stealers hate trash. They should wear Bean-boots so they wouldn’t need to worry about their shoes. People never wear the right shoes for late-night theft. Sneakers are inadequate.

We don’t have much in the way of burglary or other “home” crimes, but pot theft is big locally since we have big lots. We have 2.5 acres, about which we apologize as in “we ONLY have 2.5 acres.” Neighbors look at us pityingly. Most people have between 15 and 40 acres and then there are maybe another few hundred empty wooded areas owned by the town or no one, much of it abandoned farmland.

If I could get my birds to poo on something other than our deck (birds are messy and never wash their hands, not having hands), it would be the nasty-ass pot growers next door. They are unpleasant people. They used to fly their own Confederate flag accompanied by a little Black jockey on the front lawn. Garry marched over there one day a few months after we moved in and asked: “DO WE HAVE A PROBLEM?

He had to shout since they were having a massive skinhead beer event. The music was loud enough to hear in low space orbit. The flag and jockey soon departed (we were not the only people who disliked it; this is Massachusetts, after all), but now there’s a lot of dope. I don’t mind the dope. It’s their bad manners I dislike.

All their plants are confined in wire cages. Not at the moment because it’s too cold.  I assume the plants are in their basement under lights. They have to lock them up because otherwise, the deer will eat them. So will the rabbits and skunk, but the deer are more of a problem.

There’s nothing worse than stoned-out deer collapsing in your backyard. You either have to eat them except it isn’t deer season until next fall. Shooting them is a big no-no. Alternatively, you have to wake them up and convince them to move on. Deer can be very uncooperative.

Ah, the joys of rural living. Welcome to life in the country!

What China didn’t do to Donald Trump, Coronavirus did – THE SHINBONE STAR: A REBLOG

A pretty good summary explaining why we get nauseated when Trump shows up on the news and we feel obliged to turn off the television. These days, no TV at all is sometimes the best TV.



A body wrapped in plastic is unloaded from a refrigerated truck outside a New York City hospital. Trucks are being used outside several hospitals in the city as bodies pile up. — AP Photo/John Minchillo

This story was going to be about Donald Trump’s new persona. He tried being caring and humble for a few minutes in a daily broadcast featuring dead bodies being loaded into the refrigerated trailer of an 18-wheeler at the Elmhurst Medical Center. That’s all it took for the news media to speculate that Trump was taking a new path to America’s heart.

The horror show Trump saw happened in the borough of Queens where Trump calls home. He got misty eyed on TV relating his horror at seeing the corpses being loaded into cold storage after expiring from the novel coronavirus pandemic that is attacking humanity. There is no nobility in sheet-wrapped corpses.

News accounts…

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UP IN THE AIR, JUNIOR BIRDMAN: DAY 4 – Marilyn Armstrong


It’s such a little airplane and it’s 75-years old, too. But it flies. So high it disappeared into the clouds. For an hour, all we could hear was the occasional buzz of the engine. We had hoped to catch a ride, but eventually, we couldn’t even hear it, much less see it.

It was a long trip home through little twisting roads, so we wanted to get home while it was still light … or at least get to familiar roads before dark. We hoped we’d be able to go back, but it didn’t happen and now, it doesn’t look as if it will ever happen.

Sometimes a missed event is permanent, though you never imagine it will be forever.

And of course, we need the song to go with it, right?