Tag Archives: animals

Keep Off the Ice!

Our city had a stretch of cold weather this winter — longer and harder than recent years. It was tempting to walk on a pond. And dangerous.

Warm days have visited since. Ice no longer clings to the shore of the still water. So the temptation for humans is less. And other creatures — well, geese are designed to swim so they should be fine.

The photo today is of another creature. One which I seldom think of in relation to ice and ponds and lakes and such. Yes, I know they are there. And when I do stop to think — I know they go deep, to where the water is liquid and food available.

Can you find them in this photo?

Goldfish under ice.


He wants to be a Star

My final blog for 2017. It’s been one of those years where one month will zip past at light speed and another dawdle like a kid walking to the dentist.

It has been filled with words. Lots and lots of words. In case you wonder, an author does not write a book, or a chapter, or even a page only once. No, it is written. Then re-written. Then edited. It may even end up deleted. And brought back. Or not. But expect it to be edited even then. Even after you are brave enough to let another person read it, the polishing does not stop.

My writing time in 2017 included much of this procedure with a story I once thought was finished. It was not. It needed to be changed and improved. I have great hopes for 2018. The distant relative of this fellow wants to find his name on the page.

Browsing Reindeer

My knowledge of real reindeer is slim. The whitetail deer which populates much of the American Midwest and Northeast — that is more familiar.

And whitetail deer are browsers. They love to nibble on bushes and trees. Perhaps they can stay more alert for enemies than when grazing on grasses.

My decorative deer appears to enjoy boxwood. No problem. It’s after hunting season in this area and he’s safe. And still. This year I was allowed to add a festive ribbon to his chest.

Non-flying variety of deer.

Whooooo Designed This?

A wreath on the front door welcomes guests. And at this time of year more doors than usual wear them.

Some are simple — a swirl of pine boughs. Or perhaps holly.

Others get rather elaborate.

On my most recent visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden, they had a display – available via silent auction – of some beautiful door decor. They were too large for my door and the bids were too high for my wallet, but a person can enjoy for free.

These white owls wisely welcome you to the holiday season.

Thankful Tom

My friend Tom is thankful you did not invite him to your Thanksgiving feast!

Wishing all Americans a wonderful day today. Whether you are shopping, avoiding the crowds, or working — may the season of thanks continue.

Guard Duty

Farm animals. Working animals. Some of them take their jobs serious.

Say the phrase “working animal” and several things may come to mind.

Dogs – they guard the house, assist the handicapped, and sniff out the criminal and the explosive.

Horses – strength and training combine to have them pull all sorts of useful and entertaining vehicles. Buggies. Wagons. Farm implements. Parade floats. And many of them hold their head taking pride in their work.

Cats – urban residents may not want to admit it — but felines (when allowed to roam) cut down on the rodent population. Often they are aided in this task by large birds. Yum, yum, mouse supper.

And then we have today’s featured guest. Definitely guard duty. And a creature I don’t want to anger or do battle with.

GOOSE – with attitude.

Kid’s Game

Me! Mine turn! Let me do it!

We’ve all either shouted or listened to others call out the above.

A little competition can be good. It will make you strive for your best. And at times you may even surprise yourself — and to something better or faster than you were aware of.

It’s best to keep it friendly. Words or gestures for a job well done often encourage people of all ages and sizes to put in an even better effort next time.

These kids – some are adults – love to play “king of the rock”.

Extremely distant relative of “Rocky – The Great Northern Goat”.                          Do you remember what he advertised?

Mud Bath

The mention of this farm animal is an insult to some. And yes, it can be used in that manner. Like many words — English has given it many connotations through the years.

Our neighbor called them “mortgage lifters” for their ability in a good year to bring the farmer cash in a relatively short amount of time.

The market is strong for them. Americans do love their bacon, ham, and pork chops. Six months from birth to market at 200 pounds is what my father aimed for. Yes, the cash was welcome. And paid bills — for farmers have plenty of those.

On a hot September day, a nice roll in the mud helps prevent sunburn.


A Flock of Many Colors

And types. Rather like going to a farmer’s market in a large city.

The clothing, language, and favorite perfumes may vary. At times they may cause much head shaking and mumbling. But under the feathers, they’re all poultry.

Don’t worry. These birds will not be going to market. Their task in life is to entertain and educate young humans.


October. Autumn. Fall.

The season of harvest. And giving thanks for the harvest.

This little fellow appeared to be hard at work feasting and harvesting.

When I spied him at the local botanical garden, he impressed as a creature come to life from the pages of a children’s story book. And in case you can’t tell from the photo — he’s agile with a good sense of balance. The flowers he’s among vary in height from one to two feet. And they are on the edge of a lily pond.

One false step and he’s swimming next to a taro plant.

Nibble. Nibble. Stuff. Stuff. He samples the new flower fruits and pushes them into cheek pouches for transport to his burrow.