Monday, May 2, 2016

The fox, the Box, and the stand-up teeter-totter

The playground adjacent to their soccer field had the stand-up teeter totter. The girls enjoyed it after the game

Pretty lanterns on porch. I had dreams of entertaining my various guests outside but alas, cold and rain put an end to that
Both the male and female red bellied woodpecker kept coming back. The male entertained the Moms. This is a female. The rose breasted grosbeak came to visit as my work buddy was here. He never saw one before

My early morning run Saturday found me passing a bloated opossum carcass with a turkey vulture dining on it. Usually vultures take flight before I can get 50 feet of them but this one was holding its ground. It spread its wings over the prey to conceal it lest I be tempted to steal the rotting meat beneath it. It hissed. I kept approaching. Finally it ran right in front of me before barely flying off the ground. Its wingspan covered a good percentage of the road. According to the bird book, it is 6 feet. When they are flying overhead, it looks so much smaller but right in front of me, it was obvious. Around here, only the sandhill cranes and eagles have a bigger wingspan.
Sometimes I wish I would have a my 300 mm lens handy while running. About 5 minutes later, two yearling deer stopped dead in their tracks stared me down. Right in front of them was a lone tom turkey. This would have been a cool photo.  I haven't see turkey on this road though  know where there are flocks of them on other roads nearby. The deer are more common. I've seen at least 10 at once in a herd feeding nearby and this was their usual crossing point. The deer scattered but the turkey, like some cartoon character thinking in only one dimension ran in front of me. They are such pretty creatures.
As I was cooling down in front of my house, the former Mrs HOA stopped to tell me from her truck that there was a fox in my backyard along the tree line. She had just seen it. I rushed to get a glimpse but it was gone. The pesky squirrels live in those trees. As I didn't see them for a whole day, I assumed they were fox food but no such luck, one was back the next day. They have to cross a no man's land to reach the feeders risking mainly the red tail hawk who patrols our yard. We have a few spruces that they use as shelters during their dangerous journey.
Initially I thought the HOA lady said there was a box in our yard complaining about trash in our yard that we failed to pick up. I was about to explain that if there were a box, it was from that construction site and its overflowing dumpster but then she went on about the beautiful red fur. I am sensitive because her husband had sent us a letter last year about our yard being non-compliant with the association's standards as Steve had left piles of dead grass from mowing (he has since figured out how not to do that). What a welcome to the neighborhood! But now we have a different board of directors that seem to self nominate as I never been asked to vote and this woman will move shortly. She actually is very nice to me so I should stop whining.
As I was getting a ready to go to Maya's soccer game, I see a hummingbird flitting around where I used to have feeders. Argh I wasn't ready though last year he appeared (males come first) May 2nd. I quickly made some sort of syrup with cold water and made the good stuff to cool down later. I haven't seen him since I put out fresh feeders.
UM graduation was occurring just a mile from her soccer game. Luckily it had started already so the traffic had died down. This time, she actually participated in the game running behind the scrum of girls following the ball instead of standing catatonic sucking her thumb. She actually kicked it a few times, generally in the wrong direction. She was quite proud of herself and smily but is very clueless. Still she has potential as she is very co-ordinated and a fast runner. Her step-sister remains the only useful player on the team. Her grandma was at the game. She is probably 20 years younger than myself.
After the game, the girls played on the new to us, stand-up teeter totter. It is difficult to get on without someone holding it steady, but once on it, they had lots of fun. Then on to shopping. The fancy beer store was next to the field conveniently. My house guest, Rastaman was coming for the night and he appreciates good beer as do I. But when it is cold out, I prefer wine and reserve beer and gin and tonic drinking for the hot nights. Also since I was going to be spending time entertaining and hopefully bicycling, I wasn't going to have a lot of time to make dinner for the Moms the next day so on to Costco for inspiration. Maryland crab cakes! They were sort of pricey but very good. All I would need to do is prepare some sort of sauce, a rice pilaf and a vegetable which I was able to do in less than an hour the next day.
A quick bike ride before the rain started (and has yet to completely end 2 days later) and then Rastaman came. Years ago we shared an office and lab. Small world phenomenon : he had shared a lab with  my brother in Kansas even though one came from MI and the other from PA. We had some beers and then went out to downtown Plymouth (Ann Arbor would have been a zoo with all the graduates and their families) to The Box for dinner and more beer.
I had to cut my long bicycle ride short the next day due to lack of time and that a cold drizzle continually fell. Josh and Allie's usual visit was late and intersected with the Moms' arrival. They hadn't seen Allie since she was a baby though she definitely wanted the Moms to go away and if that wasn't happening, she wanted to go home..NOW! She really doesn't like meeting adults though runs up to strange children eager to engage them.
As usual, the Mom's group was very fun with lots of wine, food and gabbing though as it was a Sunday night, not as long as usual. We had all 5 Moms for a change. This won't happen again for a while because everyone will be off on their own adventures.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

Love, love, love your birds.
And the teeter-totter (which I think we still call see-saws) looks like fun.


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