Yeah, I've been AWOL from this blog for far too long. No excuses as there are plenty of things to write about. Politics, economics, religion, environment, etc. I just haven't been able to focus on any one of those without getting really, really angry long enough to make coherent statements.
Let me start off with some personal stuff.
Jessica seems to have settled into live on the west coast pretty well. She and Jake (her cat) have made some friends and she's found a job to help pay her bills.
Terry's cousin Joe (my fishing buddy) and his wife (Pat) have become grandparents...again. Son David and his wife, Eliza have a baby added a baby girl, Eleanor Gray, to the clan. She's their first. This one is in Maine and is number four. Everyone is doing just fine.
Terry has done something to her knee. She’s tweaked it a few times this winter shoveling snow and hauling boxes and bags of Jessica’s stuff down the stairs at her mother’s but something she did the other day really did her in. Whether it was sliding on some ice, playing limbo to get under a garage door that likes to play games, or what, Terry’s definitely hurting. She went to the doctor’s yesterday and then for an X-ray. The doc speculated it might be arthritis (Welcome to my world!) but the X-rays showed nothing: no meniscus tear, not bone-on-bone, no ligament tears, no soft tissue issues, etc. They are booking an MRI to get a better look at the soft tissues.
Mitch Seavey has won the Iditarod on Tuesday night with a time of 9 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes, and 56 seconds. This is his second victory in The Last Great Race since he started racing in 1982. Seavey is 53 years of age and last won in 2004.
Aliy Zirkle came in second for the second consecutive year. She and her team were just about 24 minutes behind Seavey.
The race continues with only 36 of the remaining 54 teams having reached Nome. (Of the 66 teams slated to start the race, twelve have scratched or been withdrawn.) The current Red Lantern (last place) team belongs to Bob Chulpach, aged 63. Bob ran his first Iditarod in 1977 and, while he hasn’t raced every year since, he has managed to race in at least one race in each decade since. He’s run three in the ‘70s, four in the ‘80s, two in the ‘90s, one in the ‘00s (Exactly how do you say that, anyway?), and now two in the ‘10s. That’s five (5!) decades of racing. He’s finished all 11 races and has one Top Ten finish (1982). He left Unalakleet at 11:55 this morning Alaska time. That’s some 270 miles from the finish. I hope he can make it before they roll up the streets and pull him from the race.
We enjoyed a couple of days of near spring-like weather late last week and thought we might have turned the corner on winter. The bastard sped up, however, and has overtaken us again. Today we awoke to a dusting of snow that covered the newly exposed lawn and deck and a temperature of 16 degrees. While it never got above freezing today, we did get close enough and enough sunlight to get rid of nearly all that white stuff.
The warm weather we had brought some new-for-the-year birds. Aided by a southern wind we got some Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds in the yard. I also heard some Killdeer at the farm down the hill. I’m still waiting for the first Woodcock to show up. They may be here but the strong winds the last couple of evenings (out of the north) may have kept them hunkered down instead of doing their “peenting” and twittering mating flights.
We did have a solitary hen turkey visit the bird feeders four consecutive days. She picked at the seeds the squirrels spilled from the feeders for several hours each visit, but on her last visit two days ago one squirrel attacked her and drove her off. Either that attack or the cold temperatures have convinced her to look elsewhere for her morning chow.
Hen turkey scratches for seed.
Bronzed back and mottled wing feathers make good camo for a ground nester.
Even a drab hen turkey has some amazing color patterns on her wings and back. She may be lacking a beard, wattle, snood, spurs, and a blue-and-red head, but she's still gorgeous.
I'm still waiting for the first black bear to show up. Several couples at the photography club last Tuesday mentioned that their bird feeders have been hit by bears (probably males as they "wake up" earlier than females with cubs). We have had a raccoon come to visit. I didn't see it but it raided the suet feeder before coming up on the deck. It left muddy foot prints as it went to check the feeders on the rail.
Well that's about all for now. I'll be back soon with some thoughts on more serious topics. If I can keep my BP under control.