We’re planning a family day tomorrow because, for once, Frankie and Laura have the same day off. According to the girls I’m always a little off but……Anyway, with gasoline up to $2.65 a gallon locally (up 20¢ in the past two days) Sam and I decided to stay home and save the $8 – $10 worth of fuel one of our normal rides in the country would consume and save it for tomorrow.
Bear in mind that, while very smooth riding and equipped to go just about anywhere on or off road, Godzilla weighs in at 3.5 tons empty and averages 10-12 miles per gallon in town/15 MPG highway. While we dearly love to roam far and wide there are time when my meager disability pension, not to mention my physical problems, demand that we practice a little thrift.
Today’s photo shoot involved staking out the “sucker” maple tree in our yard, home to Frankie’s collection of bird feeders, Sam and I refer to this tree as Burd Town. Rather than the standard tree with a trunk and branches, this tree has at least a dozen trunks growing in a loose cluster. It also produces shoots growing out of the ground that, if not cut back on a regular basis, will produce an astounding number of new trunks in a remarkably short period. Since I have no desire to discover just how soon this monstrosity will take over the entire yard I prune it regularly with hand clippers, telescoping pruning saw, and, on occasion, my battery powered reciprocating saw.
From dusk til dawn Burd Town is home to a large herd of flying gluttons who think nothing of disturbing my morning slumber by screaming their fool heads off if I have neglected to restock the food bar…..or if one or more of the neighborhood cats are staking the place out. Sam enjoys keeping the cat herd under control but there are at least 3 dozens felines roaming this end of the ridge at any given time so he has his hands……or paws full. I don’t mind people having cats for pets a long as they don’t use our flower beds for toilets, sharpen their claws on my grill and mower covers, track mud all over the hood of my truck, fight under our bedroom window or breed like crazy, especially under our house!
“Look at me, Daddy, I’m a pointer!”
Despite having to be butchered……I mean pruned on a ridiculously frequent basis Burd Town does produce some gorgeous golden leaves in the fall. The fact that it does this in layers, rather than all the leaves falling off at the same time with a huge thud, means that we have an ever varying pile of leaves on our lawn from late September through early November. With my bad back raking leaves is out of the question (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
At times I will fire up the Dandelion Destroyer and run over the leaves with the deck set on “mulch” but I usually just let the wind blow them across the street into Walter’s yard so that idiot has to rake them up. Walter is a jerk and I’m willing to do anything to make his life miserable. About a dozen of those cats I mentioned are his. This fact has a lot to do with why I stopped shooting coyotes when they wander out of the woods behind the house. Coyotes gotta eat, too!
This time of year about the only species you can depend on finding in Burd Town, no matter when you walk outdoors, are sparrows. There are always dozens of them mobbing the feeders, scattering seed all over the place and chasing the occasional titmouse, goldfinch or chickadee away. That’s okay….most of the sparrow species (we have at least 4) will soon migrate and the other species still have plenty of wild food available. Besides, the birds that winter over are more colorful and really stand out when there’s snow on branches and the ground.
When the snow flies and the mercury drops we always make certain the bedroom window facing Burd Town is spotless. I can, and do, spend hours at that window, camera on a tripod, shooting through the glass.
Tomorrow we’re off to Independence for the Festival of leaves and the outhouse Olympics. This ought to be a hoot and we’re all taking cameras!