Feathered Guests

A good Saturday morning to all! Today, the sun shines with only a few wispy clouds dotting the sky. I want to tell you about a little adventure we had on our yard last week. The tale proves that your feet don’t need to carry you past the gatepost to create lifelong memories.

The COVID Pandemic has slowed the world, and though not a pleasant experience, it has taught us to appreciate the simpler pleasures. Like the little duck, we named Griffin, that wandered onto our lawn last week.

At first, we were surprised by the proximity to which we could approach Griffin. We reasoned he must belong to a local. Tanya put a shout out on social media, but no owner came forward.

There were some guesses as to what type of duck, and the gender. Know-it-All Google had the answer. A comparison of photos led to the conclusion that our guest was a Muscovy.  No one had the stomach to physically check for gender, so we relied on an online list of observed behaviors that indicated it was a dude.

Now, Muscovy ducks dine on mice, snakes, and other vermin, so in my books that makes Griffin a hero. We all agreed Griffin was welcome to stay.

Griffin chose the area under the treehouse and our kids happily tended to his needs.

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Just make yourself comfortable, Griffin. Need anything?

 

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Um . . . I’m no expert on drinking from a frisbee, but wouldn’t the water stay in better if you leave your feet out?

 

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How about a bucket, is that better?

Homemade duck bath, equals one happy fowl.

 

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Meanwhile, in the front yard, this poor baby needed saving. Reuntited with a chirping Mother Robin moments after this was taken.

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That night we camped in the wilds of our backyard, and when I awoke and exited the tent, Griffin was under the treehouse, standing guard.

Well, for us older folks, and perhaps just us Canucks, the whole story ended like an episode of the Littlest Hobo.  The next day we woke to find Griffen had moved on. Perhaps to brighten the day for another COVID weary family.

 

Life “Truths”

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So, last night I spotted a leprechaun running towards the end of this rainbow! I must emphasize, meeting a leprechaun had been my life’s dream! I’d kept every depiction of these creatures that I’d come across. 
 Engaged in physical yard work, I’d decided to leave my glasses indoors for safe keeping. Naturally, I gave chase. 
As I sit here, in my tomato juice bath, praying this laptop remains on the edge of the tub, I would like to alert the local school, newspaper, and television station to the fact that I’m about to sue for spreading false and injurious information. I’m tearing down every crayon drawing of a leprechaun published by this “rag of lies,” that has been taped to my fridge since Saint Paddy’s Day.
Unfortunately, someone told me that including the entire kindergarten through grade three classes, in my suit was not feasible, so I urge all parents to educate your young about the truths of these vile creatures. 
* They are not friendly!
* If they TURN their backs towards you and STAMP their feet, RUN! What you get next is NOT gold, NOR does it taste like Skittles!
NO Tommy! This is just plain wrong!

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A Haircut Too Far!

Okay, so let’s find a large cardboard box to climb into and imagine it’s the DeLorean from Back To The Future. Those of you with artistic tendencies may opt for detailing the exterior to mimic the real thing. That’s fine with me.

Now, we’ll set the dial for the not-so-distant date of yesterday! Twenty-four hours ago, my COVID19 hairstyle resembled a shave brush. Yes, it grows straight up and out.

Enough was enough and on a recent trip to town, I had Tanya pick up hair clippers.

About an hour later, seated on a lawn chair on the back deck, with pedestal mirror in hand, I commenced my first-ever self-propelled haircut. Now, this skull rug is no stranger to the clippers, but they’re usually handled by a professional.

I shrugged off the clipper guides and went bare blade. Who cares in this new reality? It could be two moons before my next shearing.

I dug in deep and soon clumps of hair, with far too much gray, tumble weeded across the deck, entangling any unfortunate insect that crossed its path.

Our youngest daughter came out to observe and uttered the words every father “wants” to hear. “Dad, you look creepy!”

A courageous youngster, she pushed her disgust aside and offered to help, which I took gratefully. She worked the back, but eventually proclaimed it hopeless and suggested Tanya finish the job.

I must say the pruning was most liberating! I swear I’ve developed a sixth sense; I mean, I can feel everything! The last time I was this bald, my behind was wrapped in diapers.

My head is now an organic weather satellite, at one with the jet streams. I’m certain that no butterfly can pass above without my detection.

Proud of the newly acquired ability, I went to peacock my new look to our oldest. If I’d entered her room with my nose cut off, her face would have betrayed less horror.

Humbled, I exited quickly, but not before I heard her whisper these words to her classmates on Zoom. “My Dad just cut his hair and it’s frightening!”

Oh well, hair grows back and I’m saving on shampoo.

In the meantime, I’m grateful to the professional folks at North Shore Construction for gifting me with the perfect shame saver.

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Creepy!

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The remedy!

Saving the world, one coffee cup at a time!

So, we’re into another week of COVID craziness here and the kiddos are looking at extended time off. It’s a fortunate thing that our wonderful school had the foresight to create some online learning videos, paired with the opportunity for messaging their teachers with questions, during certain times of the day. That being said, by the end of last week, cabin fever had set in and the isolation of social distancing was beginning to wear on this family.

The recent thaw of winter revealed humanity’s “best” behavior in the form of trash in the ditches. If you’d read my previous post, you’re aware that we don’t live in town and that we get some strange items dumped close to our doorsteps.

Wheelchairs aren’t the only thing that turn up on our beautiful countryside. In my nearly sixteen years here, I’ve seen countless beer bottles, coffee cups, flooring, an air conditioner, tires, televisions, a FULL- sized refrigerator, and once, a large, black plastic garbage bag that every crime show said I should NOT touch. Of course, I opened it. The contents, hold your breath, was potting soil. No, buddy just couldn’t dump out that “toxic” stuff and keep the bag. It’s a sad statement that people feel the need to use our neighborhood as a garbage dump.

This is not a rant, well, not all of it anyways, this is a post about teaching my kids social and environmental responsibility. Yes, this past weekend I took my offspring on a mission to clean up those ditches, I bought them each a ‘grabby-thing’ and they cheerfully went to town bagging recycling and garbage alike. When we were through, and after getting several compliments and thumbs up from neighbors and strangers driving by, there was a sense of pride and accomplishment among our trio.

My youngest, surprised and concerned, commented on just how much some people litter. I’m hoping that this experience has left an indelible impression on the value of good stewardship on their young minds. Here’s hoping for a more environmentally responsible generation. Below are just a few pics from our day.

 

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Saving the world, one coffee cup at a time!

 

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Braving the “fast flowing” depths of ‘Ditch Canyon’ to get that piece of plastic and check out the baby minnows.

 

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Man Verses Nature, a discarded tire next to a beaver dam.

 

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Hey folks, shingles belong on the roof, not in a marshland.

I’m sure that all of my readers are environmentally conscious, but if you know of anyone who considers the countryside as their personal landfill, please remind them that this world is ‘Borrowed from our children.’