LEAP!

I bought a new strap for my trail cam. Actually, I bought 4 straps because you can’t just buy one.

Now that the camera is properly strapped up, it’s catching the backyard scene again. Looks like opossum has moved back in under the shed. I have the opening covered but there’s a gap and apparently it’s just enough for it to get in and set up a happy home.

Bunny hops through almost every morning. I often see one or sometimes two bunnies in my or the neighbor’s yard when I take off for work in the morning.

Raccoons regularly coming through, too. I haven’t caught a skunk on camera for awhile. The deer don’t seem to have me on regular rotation.

There was lovely weather early last weekend which would have been a great time to do the annual roses prune plus I was going to do a little clipping on the blue berries plus the raspberry patch needs some TLC. But I missed my window and when I finally had a moment, it was too cold and damp out there. The forecast doesn’t look too promising.

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Friends of Trees

I made some new friends in my neighborhood and joined the Tree Squad.

We have stickers.

I joined them in volunteering to plant trees in my neighborhood yesterday with Friends of Trees.

When we first pulled away from the staging area we were following a bunch of people toting their trees with their bikes and I thought: what a great photo! But I was driving and it never occurred to me to take photos again for the rest of the event. All the photos are from the FOT website and used without permission. (Sorry!)

We planted 141 trees! It was their biggest planting event of the year. My team planted 7 trees, all a very short walk from my house and part of one of my walking circuits. I can’t wait to visit them.

We planted a Bigleaf Maple (Not actual size):

And a Firestarter Black Tupelo (also, not actual tree. It didn’t have leaves yet) and a few others.

I learned a lot about trees including a lot of information that would have been helpful years ago. I’m so timid with my plants and afraid of damaging them. When they showed us how to break up the root balls on the container trees — they weren’t afraid to be rough.

When I woke up, I was bummed that I volunteered but once I got over there it ended up super fun. Amazing how many volunteers they had and how organized the event was. Turns out people who love trees are really cool. I am going to get some help and figure out a strategy for more trees in my yard.

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Missing Chapter of the Three Bears

Image generated by ai on February 14, 2024

It seems like at the grocery store that either they have a package with way more than you need or else too small for what you want.

Example 1 is that I used to buy kosher salt in a cardboard box roughly the size of a dictionary or a big fat book. Bob picked some up for me and he got it in a plastic (frownie face) bottle about the size of a 12 oz soda. It’s already almost gone so I went to pick some up and there were no cardboard boxes. Only the inadequate and environmentally stupid bottle.

Example 2 is that, long story, but my bones are already getting old and I am investigating the doctor report and trying to be more mindful of protein in my diet. This makes me mad because I am a poster elder for clean living and I am getting diagnosed with pre-everything. Back to my story, I thought I might try a protein powder to add to my morning yogurt, fruit, cereal and I looked at the store and they were all 2 lb tubs. What if I don’t like it?

And honestly, in my dream version of myself I would do this but in real life it seems like too much trouble. I don’t like smoothies. I don’t like washing the blender. I don’t have a lot of time to make things to bring for work. I don’t see how anyone gets enough protein looking at these amounts.

I also know if I make it too hard on myself then I don’t do anything and I eat cookies when I get to work and that doesn’t seem like the best outcome.

For now I am sticking to my regular breakfast foods and continuing my research.

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Too Big

Yesterday I was settling in for a little yoga and looked over to find this sweetie hanging out with me. Generally, I’m not bothered by spiders but I don’t love these big ones. After a brief negotiation, I trapped it in a jar with some cardboard and relocated it to a new home outside which I’m sure means that it ran after me and is back in the house and also mad now.

WELL! I am having a weird issue with my photos and Adobe and my troubleshooting didn’t fix it and you know what? I don’t have the time or energy to solve *that* problem right now. So I managed to get this photo to save and I have another AI generated photo for later in the week.

Today’s topic is: The yard. I’ve been doing some research about my fruit trees and blueberry bushes and looking for tips about pruning and fertilizing.

Where is the fertilizing for dummies material? Everything I found was like a science project and suggested I send my soil out and get it analyzed by a lab.

SERIOUSLY?

I just want some berries for my cereal.

I did look it up for curiosity and there is a university extension that will test your soil for $$$$. I think that’s for environmental testing. It looks like you can buy a kit at certain stores. I still don’t think I will do it. It sounds too high maintenance.

The pruning advice also seemed overly complex so I think I’m just going to trust my instincts. Worst case is I get no fruit and I don’t have any fruit now so not like I’m going to lose out.

Possible photos to come.

Meanwhile: I am obsessed with the Big Bear Bald Eagle live cam. Three eggs!

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Roto!

Before

This is the earliest ever that I churned up the garden. There was decent weather so I ran over to colleagues to borrow the rototiller. I bet I do it again before I start planting.

Quite a few potatoes came rolling out during the process. I don’t think you can ever stop having potatoes once you’ve started.

I thought I threw some cover crop seeds out there but nothing is growing except grass and weeds. My garden technique is admittedly super half-assed.

After

I need to go through the seeds I already have and see what I should buy or decide on a strategy for this year. Normally what I do is go through the catalog and buy a ton of stuff.

Later, when I go to plant, I realize I still have zillions of other seeds from the year before. Then I take all those seeds and toss them out there because I figure they’re old and most won’t even germinate.

But of course, I’m wrong and there is chaos. Which is fine. Some areas of my life I needs lots of order but I like chaos in the yard.

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Back to the Bus Accident

Another actual image from accident. Generated with AI ∙ January 29, 2024 at 5:23 AM

There was one thing I forgot to add to the bus accident story.

Normally we get to the park-n-ride around 5-ish but because of all the waiting around we didn’t get there until after 6pm. Dinner is going to be late.

As we are exiting, this guy from the back of the bus heads toward the door holding a cupcake.

Not like the cupcake is wrapped up. It’s ready to eat. How did he sit on the bus for over 2 hours and not eat that cupcake? Was he high compliance and didn’t want to eat on the bus against the rules? Did he forget about it until just then? Was he holding the cupcake like that to save for later? Or maybe he was passing around cupcakes to the people in the back and this was the last one.

I should have tried to make a new friend.

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Late-Night Visitors Return

Look who’s back!

The birdfeeders were mostly empty because on the weekdays I get home after dark and don’t refill them. The deer hung out for about a half hour, wandered all around the yard leaving deep hoof-prints in the mud. Also left me some poop.

Same night another visitor. Almost missed it. The deer are in the way back in the upper left and an opossum hiked through, seen at the very bottom.

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Collision

Actual image from accident. (Generated with AI ∙ January 26, 2024 at 11:57 AM)

This week my bus was in a 5 vehicle accident on the bridge.

This is my fourth time being in an accident on public transport.

Once, a truck tried to beat the lightrail. The truck lost. Bigly.

Two times there were merge incidents. State law: yield to the bus. Plus, it’s bigger than you are. (2010 merge incident.)

This time I didn’t see what happened. It seems like there was another collision on the bridge and we got caught up in the slow down.

We were all fine but if there’s an accident on public transportation the first thing that happens is the driver calls a supervisor to come check things out. In this case, we also had to wait for State Patrol to do their thing. We got off the bridge and pulled over to the side. I got home over an hour late.

Also actual image. (Generated with AI ∙ January 26, 2024 at 11:57 AM)

When we started braking hard I braced myself against the seat in front of me and after impact my wrist started hurting and I would die of embarrassment reporting my wrist booboo. Hilariously, (not really) during one of the merge incidents the driver had to brake hard and I was in a side facing seat and fell down and caught myself with one hand and my wrist hurt.

It stopped hurting and there was no damage and I didn’t have to tell anyone.

As I’m writing this I just remembered another single vehicle incident where the bus hit something on a different bridge and tore back some of the quarter panel. We had to wait and get on another bus and it was super crowded and I got home late.

But no one was hurt which is always the best outcome.

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This Bucket is Frozen – Manager!

It’s been so long since I posted a video, I forgot how to do it. I had to click around a bit until I remembered.

The strap on the camera broke so I’ve been propping it up and whatever I am doing is not conducive to good clips. Or even clips at all. Some foggy ones and sometimes a raccoon tail. I haven’t seen bunny, skunky, opossum, or, thankfully, any deer. I had some apple peels the other day and almost tossed them on the garden rather than tromp all the way to the compost bin but I remember what happened last time (deer came over) and put them in the bin.

It has been a long week. We finally were both recovered from Covid at the same time and then it snowed and then it iced. I worked from home all week which is not my favorite. We’re grateful we didn’t have any weather related problems, but we are happy that things are melting and we can get out. Lots of rain in the forecast so who knows what’s next. Sinkholes?

YIKES! This is not too far from us. As far as I’ve heard, no one was hurt. Photo used without permission, sorry! Screenshot from social media. Bob drove by after church to check it out and he said you couldn’t tell anything happened. Not even an orange cone.

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Free Bird

I thought I could take a picture of the snow except it’s cold and I don’t feel like going out there so I just took a picture through the window. Enjoy!

The bird feeder has been crazy-busy and a joy to watch.

In previous years I have never had luck with the suet feeder (that square one in the middle.) More than once I’ve ended up chipping moldy suet out of the thing. I put it away for a long time and used that hanger for the hummingbird feeder (that I haven’t had luck with.)

But last time I picked up bird food I decided to try again and picked a suet block with peanuts.

Maybe that was the magic?

On weekdays I leave when it’s dark and when I get home when it’s dark-ish, so I rarely fill the feeders during the week. When I finally got around to filling them the suet feeder was stripped clean.

I have had Northern Flicker in the yard, mostly on the suet feeder. Not a regular so I was happy to see that. And then yesterday I spotted a Varied Thrush which I have never seen before. It’s been hanging out eating the nuts and seeds with the rest of the gang.

I’m not good at identifying birds but I have a little backyard bird guide that helps me.

I can recognize the starlings which are not my favorite. Earlier today there were so many crammed in the fly-through feeder you couldn’t imagine how they fit. Later when I went to add more food there was poop on the feeder — they pooped in their free food. Not my favorite bird.

Tuesday forecast says freezing rain likely with rain/freezing rain likely later so I bet we don’t leave the house.

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