Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday, March 2 - Wildcats fail, cows escape

Temps got up to 65 and the wind was down, so Barry decided that today was the perfect day to begin planting. First up was the rose he bought his mother back in 1998 -- "Mother's Rose". It has been moved from Waterford, to Waterville, to Butchertown, and now has a permanent home in Alum Springs, right outside Barry's bedroom window, where she can truly be enjoyed.

Next up was the hydrangea that came from Dad's house in Westbrook. It was pretty much growing wild in back of his house, so I rescued a piece a few years ago. Again, the plant went from Westbrook, to Waterville, to Butchertown, to Alum Springs, where it is now planted on the northwest side of the back deck, facing the May Cemetery. Hopefully "Dad's Hydrangea" will blossom profusely here in the Bluegrass.
We also had our share of visitors today. Our first Robin of the season showed up with about 100 of his friends on the front lawn, grubbing for worms. Since our move to Alum Springs, we've seen, if I can remember them all, house finches, tufted titmice, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, northern flickers, cardinals, bluebirds, cooper's or sharp-shinned hawks, crows, dark-eyed vireos, and almost beginning to turn yellow goldfinches -- they're actually olive-colored in the winter, and turn yellow in the spring. But...

And these little furry critters are actually "Fox Squirrels." They are about the size of a small dog, and have habits more like prairie dogs than squirrels. Squirrel hunting season is in June, and that month the stomachs of many Kentuckians turn to fried squirrel with gravy, so much so apparently that one doctor here warned people not to eat squirrel brains -- they can carry a virus similar to "mad cow disease." With the size of these things, I can see how early settlers survived quite well on squirrel meat. Quite like a modern-day roasting chicken I'd say.

"Lady," the old, lame, blind-in-one-eyed beagle that lives in the house in front of us, regularly chases the car/truck at her "slow" speed, then comes up to greet us almost every time we come home. I don't think her hind legs work independently, as she always hops where she goes -- funny watching her "chase" a rabbit last week -- not a chance that she would EVER catch it but can't blame the old girl for trying. She lost sight in her left eye when she was run over years ago, as she was running alongside a car and then ran in front of it. We're VERY careful to know where she is at ALL times! She's a delight, and if we can't have a dog of our own, she almost makes up for it.

And almost last but not least, I was working at the computer when I looked out the window. I forget what I said, but I must have left a little pile of brown in the seat, because galloping across the back lawn, through the garden, came this HUGE BLACK COW. The cat must have been at the sliding glass door watching, because by the time we figured out what was going on, we found him hiding under the futon in the living room! The cow had escaped, run toward the house, around the side, and off toward the sunset. Luckily, the neighbors managed to corner the "hamburg on the lam." By the time I got the camera, this was the best shot I could get...ain't every day in Maine you see a cow literally in your back yard.

And finally, the University of Kentucky basketball team lost to the University of Tennessee, the number 1 team in the country, but only by 3 points. UK beat UT earlier, the only team to do so, and today they almost did it without their star player, so it was actually a really good game.

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