Friday, May 30, 2008

They Live

Robin rescueRowdy Roddy Piper would be proud.
The hearty
quartet are enjoying their spa vacation at Four Lakes Wildlife Center and doing well. I hardly recognized the little insectivores (teach me a word and I'll use it).

HatchlingsOkay, yeah, that's them.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Holy Worm Moat, Robin

Mouthy robinsYes, I know, this is a candy blog (allegedly), but these guys were out in the spot where I take pictures of candy, and speckled malted milk robin's eggs are one of my favorite Easter treats. Did you know that Hershey's introduced Mini Robin Eggs Whoppers in 1952? Yum.
Maybe not so much with the appetite after spending a few days trying to keep these evil, I mean adorable little creatures alive. I can't eat chicken anymore. At least I don't enjoy it.
Things I Learned This Week:
Mushed up worms from a cocktail straw make a fine hors d'Ĺ“uvre for an insectivore. Remember, feed them stuff they'd normally eat. Like worms. Yum.

Birds don't benefit from eating infant formula at room temperature from an eye dropper.

BirdfeedYou do not have to jump off your apartment balcony to teach a bird to fly (thanks for that, Phil.) (photo not available) They'll do it on their own. Actually, funny story, I once had to stop my nephew, Joey, from jumping off my apartment balcony.

If you see their cold, seemingly lifeless bodies on your porch after a storm and the mother won't come around and you flash back to the first time you read Helter Skelter, you should indeed pick them up and put them back in their nest. That's a myth about how if you touch them the mother won't come back. It's like how guys with steady girlfriends are better in bed. Or if you touch them their girlfriends won't come back. Maybe it's their mothers. At least in my case. I can't remember.

And the part about having to chew and regurgitate food (again, thanks, Phil) (photo not available), not true. I think these guys would have eaten a New York strip with A-1 sauce and a side of slaw. Don't try that. Robins are sturdy and the mother was feeding them wriggly beasts the size of sandworms before the storm broke up their happy home.

Keep them warm, but not extra crispy. A heating pad on the bottom of a box (just on half so they can move over if it's too warm) will work if you don't have a lamp on top (same deal, half in case it's too warm). A nice, wide one, like a desk lamp or one of those photo lamps with a 40 watt bulb is the ticket.

Keep things quiet, they're not little drama queens.
"Cheep."
"Don't think for a minute I didn't hear that, Bryce—is that what you're wearing?"

The best thing you can do for them in most cases: Keep calling until you find a place that will take them and do so ASAP because:

Butt ugly birdsHideous creatures that they are, they deserve a chance.
People are chock full of misinformation, but there's someone out there who knows.
Don't talk about bringing them in the house, because that would be illegal.
If the bird is learning to fly, aka, a fledgling, don't spaz out if it's fallen from its nest, the parents are nearby and waiting for you to leave. So go!
You can make a nest out of Tupperware if you can't find the original one, and always use as much of the nest as you can. Add some twigs if it needs it. A little tissue if you must. Put holes in the bottom and stick the nest or Tupperware as close to where it fell as possible—away from predators. Then wait and watch.
Hatchlings may not appreciate the worm moat you made for them.
Don't freak out when the godsend that is the Four Lakes Wildlife Center sticks them in a microwave, that thare is an incubator, son.
We have an emergency animal clinic that takes in wounded wild critters 24/7 free of charge. The birds usually end up with the good folks at Four Lakes. There's probably a wild life rescue in your area.
Don't be afraid to call back to double check numbers, hours, and extensions.
Good luck guys, I'll be eating a little less KFC thanks to you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What Lies Beneath (Inside The Milk Crates On My Porch)

shadow thingWhat is that thing?
Between taping movies like a fiend and trying to catch all the weather, I found something quite disturbing on my porch.
No fair James, you already know.
I bet Lisa Maire does too (thanks for giving me the idea you talented little photo hound).
Guess correctly and get a video.
Yes, whoopty friggin' do,
"What? Have we got a video?"
(Gimme a character, actor, series or episode name associated with that quote and get a video package.)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Moving Backwards

RR1 PopcornThis post brought to you by Rural Route 1 'ip Balm and Popcorn, The Popcorn I'm Eating Right Now

So this is what a horse camp looks like. I see, it's a plug and hitch. Is the outlet for Electric Horses, or possibly Electric Sheep? Which picnic table is for the gastrically challenged? Do horses picnic?

Horse campWhere is everyone?

Weather Vane
(Flashback)
The same creature which horse rumped me in Sparta, man handled (horse handled) my friend's smooth coated fox terrier. After a long weekend on the Sparta farm, his owner brought him in for canine acupuncture.
One of the funniest images I can picture which I haven't actually seen, is Chico the terrier, super snout and all, getting cranial acupuncture ("I've only had cranial acupuncture." Place the quote and win a postcard. Really, I'm on a pc hunt. You should like that, James, "Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting hippies." ).

This horse, picnicing somewhere near the campground, reminded me of those downtown squirrels. Bastards. It was all hooves and bad attitude. A neighbor and I had a theory that the squirrels which terrorized us outside of our Ingersoll apartment, had a stash of lost socks and laundry next to a pile of weed and government cheese. They stored it in the yellow garage next door which no one seemed to enter.
Or more significantly, leave.

C.C. Winkle cornMy Rural Route 1 caramel corn and cashews dipped in creamy fudge, originally meant for my parents, would have been squirrel jacked before I reached the stoop. The little freaks would have snatched the bag, then taunted me like I was sitting in the back of the Park St. bus (childhood trauma).
My mother has been more critical than usual since she's been sick, and I didn't want her slamming my C.C. Winkle. Somewhere between Montfort and Verona I'd become protective of the fudge corn, and decided to keep it for myself. They got the Rainbow, which she didn't like.
Sigh.
Let me put that first statement in perspective, saying my mother is more critical than usual is like saying Cub's fans have been less tolerable than usual. No? Okay, the tornado was breezier than usual. Darth Vader seemed in a worse mood of late.

Me and GabeSo I kept the C.C. Winkle and am still eating it a week after my birthday (two days after my Steven's birthday party). God I'm fat. Chomp, mmffph. Use the fork, Luke.
The popcorn itself is smooth coated, only with fudge, not fur. There's a sunny crunch of thin caramel just a breath after the lavish first bite of cashew and fudge. The fudge compliments, not over powers, the brittle layer of caramel, and the soft nuts (ha) only make the experience more decadent. I got two large bags of RR1 corn (and a post card) for something like four bucks, and the cashier seemed to apologize for the price.
Still sampling their wares during the bagging of the corn, the swiping of the plastic, and the heading for the door, I was like Beatrix Kiddo in the back of Buck's Pussy Wagon willing my big toe to leave the store.

WyalusingConsidering I spent the day tromping around the likes of this, I guess I deserved a little sugar.
Now, "Wiggle your big toe."
Photo of Gabe and me by Tammi

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Horse Dancing

Soft Now and LatersThis post brought to you by the Disappointing Flavor of Now and Later Soft Taffy Candy,
The Soft Candy That's Hard To Eat


Before stumbling across Eunice's, the Crawford County GOP, and emergency vehicle traffic, I followed this sign

Men On HorsesHorse Dancing NEXT 2 MILES.
I was bleary eyed, road weary, trail tired, and knew it was time to turn around. But I couldn't. Even when I saw what my Sox visor had done to my hair.

Very bad hairFrightening, no?
While in search of the six legged mambo (does that sound dirty or is it just me?), I remembered a few equestrian moments from my past.
There was the time that even though the "tamest horse we got" ran away with me on its back as I screamed "Whoa, please, whoa," it was better than getting stuck with the "farting horse" like my grade school chum Kim Hocking.
Everyone was too busy laughing to help me. Including the horse. Apparently unfamiliar with the term rein it in, it tried to bite me when I attempted to do so.

Horse campingAlmost every road sign intrigued me. Did the horses dance with neckless bald men, then camp? Were scorched cans of beans eaten with giant sporks around the campfire? Were there farting horses, banned from the ranch due to excessive bean-eating flatulence like the scene in Blazing Saddles?

I was getting closer to an answer. Wait, did this mean horses park there, or is it a park for horses? Did they have horsie swings? Oh no, they were banned in '95 (bastards) and I was regressing.
Then there was the time I was horse rumped against a stall in Sparta like I was in the trash compactor scene from Star Wars. Talk about buns of steel. A horse has more power in its ass than Mariusz Pudzianowsk on PCP.
You da man, Mariusz.
The Tootsie Fruit Rolls were out of reach as a defensive move, and all I had were these lousy Now and Laters I'd brought along for a photo op. One which could have turned a cloudy frigid day into a hot steaming nightmare. Less on that now, more later.
I say lousy, because the fine people at Now and Later struck out this time.
Struck out looking.

Now and Later squaresThey're too soft to be considered chewy. The Banana ones are on the point of disintegration, and almost impossible to remove from the wrapper. Although I was initially eating the Banana Softs like Jeff Goldblum eats sugar. My body must have been craving Yellow 5.
The Apple and Cherry squares come closer to classic Now and Laters, but STILL.
Maybe I saw horses camping, maybe I didn't. I never saw the itinerant chocolate lab again, but I followed him until I ran into this

Water color road

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

And Across The Street

From Eunice's was this fine example of the state of the union. It explained a lot.
TootsiesTootsie Fruit Rolls were the candy of choice for my birthday sojourn. Lovely, but not enough sugar to prevent me from heading down a busy one way street against traffic just as an ambulance was speeding toward me.
It was going in the right direction.
I was chasing a dog that was crossing the streets of Prairie du Chien like it had an agenda, and I was afraid he'd head into the even busier main drag.
Maybe he was looking for the Crawford County GOP headquarters. Yes, I'm assuming the dog was both male, and Republican.

Rep Party of Crawford Co.I had to drive up a steep green lawn, still facing the wrong way, to avoid becoming a headline in the local bi-weekly news shopper. Never found the damn dog. But I was elated to find the Republican Party living the high life across the street from Eunice's.

Sunday, May 04, 2008