September 28, 2011

More carnage

Lest you think that I only kill animals I give you...

 Planticide

When I moved into this house in the spring I was so excited about the yard. It needed a lot of work (still does) and I attacked with gusto.

On the side of the house there was a bed with a huge peony plant and a large flowering bush of some sort, and some quakie shoots that I decided to let grow. There was also a big nasty weed coming up everywhere. It had a super thick stalk and big, rough, ugly leaves. And I was determined to eradicate it.  I put poison on the shoots a couple of times a week. I used a shovel, hoe and my hands to rip every one that I saw out. And I got most of them. Then about a month ago I noticed that a few had escaped and gotten big. I gave up and ignored them. They weren't going to last long, they looked like this:
I'm guessing that was the poison...just a guess.

 About a week later...two of them bloomed. Two.
 The hideous weeds that I spent hours killing...
 were hollyhocks. 
 Sob.
 The whole side of my house would've been covered in big beautiful hollyhocks. 
But no. I have this:
I love the star shape in the middle and how the petals overlap and change the opacity.
(The PW Colorized action turned out beautiful on these. I tried it on a few.)
Close ups of the baby octopus in the center ;-)
I love the little pollen drops on the petals.

Any of you know about hollyhocks? Will they come back next year?

Maybe if I ask really nicely... 

September 27, 2011

Kate - Goddess of The (accidental) Hunt

Yup. That's me. Except I've never actually gone hunting...

The thought of killing a critter makes me kinda sick.

Yes, I know where beef and chicken and fish come from.

Yes, I know that people all over the world have to hunt everyday for survival.

I'm just saying that I don't want to do it. And if the time ever comes that I need to hunt and kill an animal for food...well that'll be interesting. 

In spite of my dislike of killing critters...I've managed to kill a lot of critters.

On accident!!!!

The reason I am thinking about this odd phenomenon in my life today is this:
I was in the garage looking for something on the shelves when I happened to glance into an "empty" tote. There I spied 10 (yes 10) large dead spiders. 

A) Why do they go in the tote?
B) Why can't they get back out?
3) Why don't those dang spider traps I buy work this well?

Seriously. All I did was stick an empty tote on a shelf. Why did it turn into Spider Apocalypse 2011? 

I have a long history of accidental carnage. 

Long-time readers will know that I worked at a scout camp up in the Teton wilderness. There were a lot of mice up there. And there were usually a couple still there when I left. Poor little things.

Don't get me wrong. I really don't like mice. I've spent too many hours at camp cleaning up after them and finding them (and their poop) in my bed, the cupboards, the fridge, the oven...

This is the Deer Mouse. It's the most common one in these parts. 
 And I've killed...a countless number of them...on accident. 

 - Drowned in pots of  water left out to soak
- Drowned in large cans of pudding left out for the scouts to pick up
- Drowned in buckets of water used for shaving our legs in the teepee
- Smashed by #10 cans being stacked (okay one of these was on purpose)
- Falling in totes during the night and getting stuck (they were always dead in the morning...not sure why)
- Smashed in sleeping bags when we crawled in at night (yeah you heard right)
- Caught in oven when I didn't realize they were in there and turned it on

And here's the worst one: 
I was the camp cook. If I was in a good mood I would heat up the pancake syrup on the stove for breakfast. No electricity = no microwave = cold syrup most mornings

The syrup pot boiled over quite often. I would clean the syrup off of the stove top and not give it another thought. 

One day I was making breakfast at 4:30 AM (yeah you heard right). I could hear a faint squeaking but looked around and couldn't find the source.

I went about my business but could still hear that squeaking. After breakfast was over I started to look in earnest. That was a mistake.

I finally got down and looked under the stove. 

Unbeknownst to me a large puddle of syrup had been forming down there. (My stove was a massive propane run, cast iron beast with a griddle and 10 burners , not your typical home stove/oven)

Unbeknownst to be, mice like syrup.

Unbeknownst to me, between 10 and 15 mice had gotten themselves stuck in the puddle of sticky death. Think dinos in a tar pit. It was really horrible. All of their fur was coming off as they tried to pull free. I was crying so the guys helped me free the ones still alive. We only got two free and they looked a bit like this:
Only sadder and stickier.

We let them go outside but I'm guessing they didn't last long. 

I'm Sorry!!

Okay last example. I hope. 

I have "hit" deer three times in my car. I say "hit" because the deer actually ran into me. Really. Twice I was  at a complete stop and the third I was driving very slowly. And the evil deer slammed into my car. I dislike deer. 

So just FYI.

Highly effective killing machine here. 

It's a gift. I wish could return it... 

September 25, 2011

Give a kid a camera...

And this is what you'll get.

Same event, Sheepdog Classic.

I handed the camera to JB and EJ at different times, at their request.

It was pretty interesting to go through these and see things through their eyes.

Still life - My knee. JB's shoe. Ice cream sandwich.
I'm assuming that he is looking at the pretty bloodhound back there...we met her before the show...
but I could be wrong. 
 I like that he caught three stripes of color.
 Was he aiming at the casings on the ground?
Here we go. He got it:
 
I don't even remember this bag being near us...
 SUV
There are three officers and a dog attacking someone back there...but the camera decided to focus on the wire fence. Hmmm....
 Honeybuckets - by JB. I think van Gogh would've liked it.
 Legs. A perspective.
EJ took this one. I like it. I forget how low to the ground they are.
She took this one too. I was saying hi to a friend. Interesting angles and boundaries...
Hand your camera to  a kid sometime. It's really fun to see what they see. And you will be more grateful for your height :-)

September 24, 2011

A surprising lack of dogs...

A couple of weeks ago Jayne and I took the munchkins to the Sheepdog Classic up at Soldier Hollow. It's  a very cool event, these dogs are seriously smart. 
But we didn't see any of them :-)

Turns out that sitting on bleachers and watching a sheepdog herd sheep halfway up the mountainside is not so enthralling for kids. Who knew?

But they had a lot of fun activities for the little ones and we took full advantage.
They loved the dock diving dogs. These pups jump so high and far!
They had a wild animal show (rescued critters that can't go back to the wild) that the kids loved.
Wily coyote.
 Tiny the snake.
 Bearded Dragons.
 EJ was very brave.
 A big tortoise.
 Look at that sweet face. She was so patient and let all the kids pet her and poke her.
 They had one of her babies there and it was soooo tiny. I didn't get a good photo but it would've fit right on her head.
They also had a skunk, cockatoo and pygmy hedgehog. So cute. 

They had a petting zoo with lots of mini animals and babies.
Not sure what this is. I thought it was an alpaca but they said it wasn't...
 Mama pony and foal. 
She passed out and nothing would make her budge. Look at that little mouth.
 Cute Overload closeup. 

Pony ride. This girl is a born horsewoman. 
 
Giddy-up! 
They had a sweet K9 demo. The kids actually really liked it. I was worried that they would get bored but it was exciting and they had a ton of questions...which I may or may not of started making up answers for.

Crazy bad criminal trying to escape...yeah right. He wasn't going anywhere. 
 This beautiful pup was searching for drugs.
 Ripping the arm off of a convict ;-)
 This was actually a great demo right here. Look how the dog "hugs" the leg of the target. I didn't know they did that. And the Sheriff was showing that he had his hands on the dog and was safe. These dogs are not mean or vicious. It's a game, their job, and they love it!
 The newest member of the K9 team.
 Hi pretty girl.
If you are in the area next year I highly recommend heading to the Sheepdog Classic. Great time to be had by all!