Friday, July 30, 2010

Cats Here, Cats There

This was a pretty catty week. My wonderful vet, Lisa Lemke of Green Oak Vet Clinic, made an offer I couldn't resist: if I would take a wonderful big siamese cat named Boots to my farm, she would spay whatever cats I chose. I wanted to take my basic family of cats, but was only able to get Fluffy (Chickboy's mother) into a carrier, so I set the live trap near Raccoon (Fluffy's sister) and hoped she would walk in when I wasn't looking. Unfortunately, Raccoon didn't fall for the trap, but two other young cats did. One of the trapped was an unnamed mother, probably a yearling, and the other was probably her kitten. The mother was old enough to spay, so she went with Fluffy.

Doc did a wonderful new form of spaying that meant she entered from the side instead of the belly of the cat. The opening was smaller and closes up easier because the entry is through three layers of muscle that automatically want to close up. The black mother earned a name, if I can identify her amongst all of the other black cats, she will be called Shadow. Both Shadow and Fluffy recovered quickly after they returned to the farm. The little kitten that made the trip to the vet's with Shadow was gone the minute I opened the trap.

Sadly, Boots the Siamese also disappeared as soon as my back was turned. I was hoping to introduce him gently to the farm, but when he didn't jump right out of the carrier, I made the mistake of turning my back and poof! he was gone. I looked for him on and off until about midnight last night but didn't see him.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chick Boy and Tiger Boy and Fine

Both of the young male tiger cats were waiting at the gate tonight, so I guess they are feeling fine. Chick Boy walked with me to the feeding station, but Tiger Boy was gone a moment after I opened the gate. I put a lot of food down hoping there would be enough left after the large group was finished so the scared cats could slip in later and still find something to eat. There's one young black cat whose hip bones are sticking out. He waits with the group at the gate, but won't go near the feeding station. I've tried to put food in different places, but someone else always seems to find it. I think I'm going to have to set another feeding station.

I have some fittings for building some out-buildings. I've been planning to build a chicken house, but I won an eBay auction with fittings for three buildings. I may build a double size chicken house and then use the third kit to build a cat shelter - it might be fun to have a building to protect them in the winter and fill it with climbing things and little cat caves, etc. I'm thinking I could paint the buildings with plans for hooked rugs.

I was in the back hay field tonight, stacking hay bales on a trailer. The hay field is the prettiest place on the farm - surrounded by trees and high enough to look down on everything visible in all directions. Jim, from across the street, was driving the tractor and baling the hay; Becky, his wife, was driving the truck that was pulling the old car hauling trailer; and I was stacking hay bales on the trailer - we worked back there until the baler broke just before it was getting dark. Except for equipment break downs, that's a nice, relaxing way to work - even though it's exhausting. It's sort-of a very physical form of meditation, hard enough that your mind focuses on the labor and not on any distracting thoughts. Maybe this would be a better world if everyone baled hay.

Feral Cats

Technically, the cats at my farm are feral cats. They aren't exactly barn cats because most of them don't live in a barn - some of them may live in the hay loft, especially when they want to hide their kittens, but mostly they live elsewhere. Some live under my front porch, some live under my swimming pool room, and both of those groups can access the crawl space under one wing of my house - which is good in the winter time because there's a heat duct in the crawl space. Recently, I've realized that some of them are living rough out in the bushes and brush piles, as though the colony has split into lots of separate little family groups.

Two of my favorite kittens are now half-grown males. It's the time in their life when they might be driven away by the dominant male - and the dominant male has suddenly become a big black tyrant - a tough male with facial scars who appeared out of nowhere. Last year, the tomcat was a very sweet orange tiger, one who almost let me pet him and spent most of his time watching the farmyard from the roof of the boarder's lounge building. He seems to have disappeared and been replaced.

I want the little half-grown males to stick-around, so I captured them last night in a live trap and took them to the vet this morning. Their surgery was uneventful and all is well, I left them sleeping off their drugs in the open cat carrier, in a shady spot near the feeding station. I hope their testosterone will disappear asap so the black tom doesn't hurt them - or, at least, doesn't hurt them anymore. One of them, Tiger Boy, has already been pretty well beaten up. He had been gone for a couple days and then was hiding at the end of the driveway when I decided it was time for the trip to the vet. I have my fingers crossed for both of them, especially Chick Boy who is the little gray tiger in photographs earlier in this blog who grew up with the chickens. He greets me at the driveway gate every time I arrive at the farm - which is where I'm going to go now (Gotta spend some time with Gibby!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good Ol' George


I've been thinking about the story of "Old Drum" recently. I saw the movie a long time ago and thought I remembered something about a faithful dog - I found the movie and watched it, using an instant download through my Wii from Netflix. The story in the movie reaches its climax with a speech by a famous attorney. Turns out the story is basically true - except the dog that is shot in the movie survives. The reason I've been thinking about the faithfulness of dogs is my dog George's behavior since my mother passed away. George was very close to my mother, and vice versa. My mother saved his life a couple times when she knew he was not well and I hadn't noticed anything was wrong. The first time, I hesitated because I hadn't noticed he was sick, and barely got him to the vet in time. The second time, I loaded him in the car the minute my mother said something was wrong - I think they were able to read each other's minds. Anyway, Ol' George has always spent his sleeping time on the cold wooden floor of the downstairs bathroom or on the cold wooden floor of the kitchen where anyone using the back door had to step over him. Since my mother died, he's been sleeping on the carpeted floor next to her couch. After she turned 95 she spent most of her not-in-bed time resting or sleeping on that couch. That's where George is right now, stretched out on the floor, leaning his back against the couch.

Here is part of the speech, spoken in the real Old Drum trial in the Supreme Court of Missouri. It's the only part of the speech that was saved.


George Graham Vest speaking:

"Gentlemen of the jury, the best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter whom he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us -- those whom we trust with our happiness and good name -- may become traitors in their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world -- the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous -- is his dog.

"Gentlemen of the jury, a man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow, and the snow drives fiercely, if only he can be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

"If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace, and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death..."


This is one of those situations where the English language falters. Back when I was in grade school (we didn't ever call it elementary school) I asked a teacher why all of the speeches and poems we studied always said, "he", and I was told that "he" stood for everyone: men, women, and children. Well, I don't think Lawyer Vest meant it that way back in 1880, but I'll accept that the master he in this speech stands for my mother - and the watchful, faithful and true dog is our Ol' George, my mother's dog.

Monday, April 12, 2010

video video

The videos on this page are just a few seconds each. I wanted to show Gibby living inside his four bedroom dog house - using my cellphone camera that I thought was set for still photos. Anyway, Gibby is a happy dog - although he runs for the library, the room that leads to his doggy door, the minute I pick up my BB gun. I've been shooting at rats. Rats in Gibby's house. I've tried live traps and sticky traps, now the BB gun. Truth is, I'm sure the only solution is to set out poison and I can't do that without endangering cats and dogs.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Friend is Gone

I attended a very sad funeral today. It was particularly sad because most of my departed friend's friends thought he was already gone. He was my dearly beloved veterinarian, Buck Lindquist. Buck was a truly amazing animal man - I think he spoke the language of every animal he ever met. He was also the most intelligent man I ever knew. He was a sort of combination Dr. Doolittle and Albert Einstein. The sad end to his life lasted for ten years. He fell down a long flight of stairs onto a cement floor and had a closed head injury. He was just starting to get over it, and came to help me with a dying horse. He overstressed himself walking out to my pasture, laying on top of the horse to hold her down, and then hiking back to my farmyard. He drove home and had a stroke. He was in a nursing home for the last ten years. Ten years of an extremely bright mind closed up by brain damage and drugs.

One time, Buck saved my favorite horse. He walked into our riding arena, heard a sound no one else heard, ran to the far end of the arena, and found my Morgan stallion, Tara, choking on an apple that was lodged halfway down his throat. Buck massaged his throat and moved that apple up and out! It popped out like a ping-pong ball. Buck was like that, he could just look at a horse and make a completely accurate diagnosis. He treated 45 horses at my farm for about 25 years and I never knew him to be wrong - even when vets at Michigan State gave second opinions, they used all their high tech stuff and just confirmed Buck's seat-of-the-pants diagnosis.

Horses weren't afraid of Buck. Other vets might walk into a barn and every horse would suddenly be on the alert, but not with Buck. Horses, even breeding stallions, were so relaxed around him that he could give them shots or stitch up wounds and they wouldn't even wiggle. I helped him do a surgery one time. He had fingers the size of sausages, yet he removed the tiniest little bone chip from the hock of an Appaloosa race horse. He stitched up that surgical site so years later there was no sign of a scar.

I feel very fortunate to have known Buck and I'm so sorry he never got out of the nursing home.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gibby Stays Home

Gibby is staying home. I haven't heard from Kate and now it doesn't matter. If she doesn't care enough to call me, she obviously doesn't have what it takes to care enough for my Gibby.

I think I'll give Gibby a new assignment. I have to get some exercise. His new assignment is to make me take him for walks. We'll start out with walks in the pasture, then gradually get back to the woods. I'd like to be back there during the spring wildflower season. I haven't seen the trout lillies or trillium for years - my woods used to be carpeted with them. I'd like to see how cutting trees out of the woods changed the spring flowers - I hope not much. We won't start our new plan today, it's pouring rain outside and the lower pasture will be underwater.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Maybe not...

Today is Saturday and no call from Gibby's possible new family. Kate thought they might come out Friday, but she didn't call. She said she'd like to get Gibby early in the weekend so he could be with them for a full couple days before they would have to leave him alone to go to work - but, that hasn't happened.

I'm beginning to think the whole idea was a mistake - the right people would have called to let me know what was going on.

I stopped at the vet clinic to see if they had heard anything from Kate, so Shelly called to see if they were still interested in Gibby. That should have triggered a call to me, but it didn't, so...

I'm thinking it was a mistake. I am really fond of Gibby and giving him away was going to be hard, maybe I'm not going to do it. He is one hundred pounds of loving dog (having gained 30+ pounds since he came to the farm - one-third of his weight!) I was looking forward to moving some cats into the farmhouse, maybe I'll have to figure out a way to still do that with Gibby in the house. He didn't chase the cats when Kate came to see him and he didn't chase the cats at the vet clinic... I'm trading a sock knitting machine (CSM) for some cat spaying and I need to have them in the house during the recovering time. I guess I'll go buy a baby gate so I can put the cats in the kitchen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gibby Has a Forever Home, I Think

Gibby has been a wonderful guard dog - his deep bellow of a bark is quite enough to warn the bad guys that he is there and on duty. He has done his job for almost two years now, so it's time for him to have an end to this lonely duty - and that may happen this weekend. Two days ago he met Kate. Met her and liked her. She took him for a walk out in the pasture and they both came back happy. This weekend, he will meet the other member of Kate's family - if they hit it off, away he'll go - to a real family where he can be a real member of the family.

Last night, I told Gibby he could go live with Kate, and I think he understood. He's never been so obnoxious before about wanting to be petted and held - I was trying to work on a rug and he kept bumping my arm with his big head. If I sat back in the chair, I suddenly had the upper half of a hundred pound dog in my lap. If I didn't pay attention, he showered my face with kisses - something he's never done before. He couldn't have been more lovable.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tammy is Gone, Kiva helps me through

Sad time at the farm. I've been working on the farmhouse, doing some paint-up, clean-up. When the new furnace was installed last year, all of the dust and dirt in the system blew out into the house, and now I have time to do something about it. The dust in some places is inches deep and permeated into fabrics. I've done some painting in the kitchen that I've thought about for years - I painted everything white. It's a small room that always seemed smaller because the maple colored cabinets seemed to hog all the room - the room seems twice as big now. I got rid of the refrigerator, mostly because I just didn't want to clean it. The seal was broken on the freezer and lots of mice droppings were on it. Now I'm looking for a new refrigerator small enough to come through my 28" doors.

While I was working the other night, the dogs all started barking. It wasn't their arguing with each other bark, it sounded like they wanted me to see to something. I looked out the window, didn't see anyone in the driveway, finally went outside and looked around but didn't see or hear anything, and then the dogs stopped barking. It was really cold and windy, icey rain and snow blowing almost straight across the ground, so all four of the dogs came inside and found warm places to lay down. What I didn't know was that one of my horses, Tam Burn, had somehow crashed into two fences and died. I hope the fact that the dogs stopped their barking so soon means that she died quickly and didn't suffer. Tammy was 25 years old, by Big Burn TB out of Chi Chi Deck, AQHA, a beautiful buckskin who took over leadership of the herd when her mother died.

Tonight, when I was spreading hay in the indoor arena, Manly, Tammy's close friend, couldn't eat. He'd take a bite and then turn and watch the back door, walk a few steps, and stand at alert watching. He doesn't understand she's gone. That makes me think she did die quickly because he didn't hear her calling. I will never know why she was so far away from the herd. Manly broke my heart, I had to leave.

Trying to not be too upset, I checked out some reports on my funding on Kiva. Kiva.org is an internet microfinancing non-profit where I can make small loans to farmers in poverty areas around the world - well, I don't always loan to farmers, sometimes I make other kinds of loans. One current loan is to a weaver in Guatamala, and one past loan was to a group of 12 women who were starting home businesses in the Phillipines. I've been making loans for a couple years, using the same money over and over again. I'm not even sure how much money I have rolling around in different Kiva loans, but so far all of my money has been returned and reloaned - the borrowers pay back a couple dollars each month and when all of my paybacks add up to $25, I make another loan. I always look for women farmers first, but usually can't find women. There have been times when Kiva loans were going out so fast that I couldn't take much time looking into the borrowers, but there is always a lot of information available about the borrower and about the bank that has partnered with Kiva to make the loan. I made two new loans recently, so the funds in my account aren't enough to make a new loan, but I'm going to check out borrowers anyway, maybe I'll find one I can't resist, then I'll add some new money.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gibby Likes to Have His Belly Rubbed

I've been spending a good chunk of each day working on Gibby's house - that is, my house at the farm. I've painted the walls and cupboards in the kitchen white and removed the old vinyl floor tile. I'm in the process of replacing the floor tiles with some that look like wood. My neighbor, the sheep/border collie man, is a carpenter, so I'm going to have him help me with some of the work - like building a doorway and hanging a door where the former opening to the pantry was.

I had 1800GotJunk? remove the refrigerator and huge old microwave.from the kitchen I was shocked when they lifted the refrigerator and a skeleton rolled out. The wonderful little cat that disappeared when Gibby arrived must have hidden inside the bottom of the frig next to the motor and died there. I never thought to look there for him. I had the GotJunk people take two other refrigerators that had been left outdoors by my last renter - one of them was still full of old food. I am sooooo glad I had the GotJunk people deal with that mess.

Gibby has been a little confused - kept outside longer than usual, and then brought inside while I work. He wants so much attention! He's getting close to understanding that I won't pet him while I'm working in the kitchen, but as soon as I sit in a chair in the dining room I'm ready to give him my full attention. He throws himself down on the floor - so hard the floor shakes - and I get to rub his tummy. No matter how much time I have, I can never rub his tummy long enough. As soon as I quit, he jumps up and then throws himself down again.

Blue and Patches will go into the house, but George won't. I guess he remembers that I left him there when I went away the last time and he must not remember that its our real home. He lived there when he was a puppy, but he spent a lot more of his youth in my studio above the store than he ever did in the house. Patches is pretty silly when she comes into the house - she comes inside and then immediately goes out through the doggy door into the dog kennel, where she starts barking non-stop because she can't figure out how to come back inside. I have to crawl part way through the doggy door and pull her inside.

I've been trying to leave the interior of the kitchen cupboards alone, but late one night I started cleaning out the bottom shelf in one cupboard. I probably haven't opened that cupboard for ten years or longer. I used a broom to reach way to the back and pull the junk stored there to the front and in the process I found a lost treasure - my grandmother's gold pocket watch, engraved with her initials and the date 1904. My mother gave the watch to me and I lost it about 25 years ago. I regretted losing it so much that I used to dream about it. I had pretty much convinced myself that a troubled teenager, daughter of a good friend, had taken it. I couldn't believe I found it and have no idea how it got into the back of that cupboard.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gibby Has Visitors

My mother has been quite ill, so I've been rushing back and forth to the hospital and not having much time for the dogs. One recent day, I decided it would be easier to have all of the dogs in one place, so I took George and "the girls" to spend the day with Gibby at the farm. I don't know whether or not they rested all day, they were really anxious when I got to them in the evening. The "house dogs" were all out in the kennel and Gibby was in his usual place in the kitchen. I couldn't tell if the dogs were stuck in the kennel or just didn't want to return through the doggy door, but I had to call all three of them by putting my hands and voice through the doggy door. They acted like I'd left them for days. Blue, especially, told me off by diving at me full speed several times.

The next day, I had planned to repeat the same doggy day care plan, but I was too rushed in the morning to stop at the farm, so the dogs spent the day in the car. I got to walk and water them every couple hours, which was good for them and great for me - a little break from mother's bedside was energizing. It was a really beautiful day, the autumn leaves were a bright yellow with intermittent flashes of red, the temperature was almost balmy, and we had a little wooded walking spot next to the nursing home where my mother has been transferred. I even gathered a few mushrooms to investigate for dyeing - they're shaggy manes, which I used to love chopped and mixed with Italian dressing and served on crackers - haven't had that treat for a long time. I think the dogs were much happier. I know they were a lot calmer.

Today, I did the same thing, but they were only in the car for a few hours, then we went to the farm (Mother's guardian is requiring that I leave the nursing home by 2:00 in case my brother who hasn't spoken to Mother in three years wants to visit). The dogs had quite an adventure at the farm. I had to do some small chores in the house while Gibby was on his cable in the yard and the girls were on their leashes (George is the only one who can safely be loose). Somehow, while I was in the house, Gibby's cable went through all of the leash clips on the girls collars and harnesses. The girls were loose and Gibby's cable was held tight at both ends when I went outside. Amazingly, both girls came running to me, Patches in the lead. I guess after all these years, finally, Patches has decided she belongs with us. In the past, whenever she got loose, she would run as fast as her legs could go toward her old stomping grounds where she lived on her own after she was abandoned. Also, it looked like they had run over to check out the new sheep pasture next door instead of chasing the cats, so that was another relief. I just wanted to hug both of them, but they were more interested in getting into the car. I think I'll continue to take them with me as long as the weather holds. I have to gradually make Gibby part of the pack in case we move back to the farm soon - the other dogs all seem to like him, but he isn't part of their pack.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dog Training and Boating on My Afternoon Off

While an aide was caring for my mother, I went to the farm this afternoon to meet a dog trainer. He wants to train his dogs in a space where he can shoot out some kind of thing for the dog to retrieve and it turns out my newly brush-hogged hay field will work perfectly.
The horses were in the front pasture, eating between the weeds in the paths we've created with the brush hog.

They're all looking pretty fat and sassy, but they weren't sassy - we drove two trucks through the pastures to the hay field and the horses paid no attention at all. Only Weaver even looked up.
Weaver and Manly look like stuffed sausages almost ready to burst. I think Manly is right up at the top of my list of the most beautiful horses ever born. I'm really sorry my loss of physical adeptness has kept me from ever enjoying riding him. His back looks so broad it would be like sitting on a big couch.
After the dog training use of the hay field was arranged, I took my (second) new rowboat over to the public access point on Whitmore Lake. I bought this boat with the idea I could handle it better by myself than the first boat that required a trailer and is just too heavy for me. There were other people at the access point, taking pontoon boats out of the water. I waited while one beautiful boat was loaded on a trailer and hauled out of the lake, then backed my truck up to one side of the dock while another pontoon trailer was backed in on the other side. Somehow, while I was getting my truck in a good spot, the men with the second pontoon boat lost it. There was a pretty good wind and by the time I saw what was happening, their boat was heading toward the center of the lake. I got my boat out quick and let one of them take it out to catch the boat.

The little boat moved pretty fast and the guy caught the pontoon boat right away, but that didn't end the trouble. The wind was a little stronger than the rowboat and the pontoon boat was headed for shore, or at least for shallow water where the sand would have ruined the motor.

The other fellow had to run over and get into the rowboat so he could get on the pontoon boat and start up the engine. They brought the pontoon over to the dock, then helped me a lot by pulling my boat up on the dock and emptying the rainwater out. They even held the boat for me while I got in (and getting into this boat wasn't scary like it was when I was getting into the first boat, somehow I wasn't too stiff today to swing my legs over and turn around on the seat). I rowed out to the point of land that was blocking the wind, making the access point into a sort of cove, and found that the wind was pretty strong and it was going to be a lot of work holding my boat against it. I figured I'd done as much rowing as I should for the first time in half a century, so I rowed back to the dock. One of those nice men had fixed the tailgate on my truck (I had just jammed it on and he put it on the right way) and then they helped me load the boat. I now know that I could handle it all by myself, but it was very nice not having to do so. I'm not sure what is happening, maybe I look old and decrepit, but I have had more people do nice things for me this year. Every time I'm really in over my head, it seems someone steps up and helps me - there's Jim who plowed my driveway all last winter and brush hogged the hay field all summer, there's Bobby who has helped me for years and over last weekend mowed the yard at the farm where the grass was knee high and fixed my lawnmower. When I bought my brush hog, the husband of the woman who delivered it took it home and filled the oil and got it ready to run - and I've never even met him. At the grocery store, I've had perfect strangers offer to help me load my groceries into the car, I've had people offer to load the fifty pound bags of dog food.
Now, sure, those boat men would have been in big trouble if my little 12' boat hadn't been there, but they were offering to help me and giving me suggestions before their big ol' 22' boat drifted off. In fact, they probably missed seeing their boat getting loose because they were guiding my truck back to the right spot to unload my boat. Maybe the economic downturn has made people kinder.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sheepdog Trials Today


Once a year, my across the road neighbor, Jim, puts on a sheepdog trial. Border Collies come from all over to herd sheep around a course in a cow pasture. The dogs are amazing - they make those sheep 250 yards from the top of a hill down to the bottom, then back halfway up and through a gate, then back again and into a little pen. All of this while being directed with whistles and calls from their shepherd who has to stand at a post at the bottom of the hill.

The dogs move at lightning speed, down low and close to the ground. I guess any sheep that sees a dog coming at them like that is going to want to get away.


The dogs seem to really love this sport. Even when it's not their turn they sit on the sidelines like avid fans and their eyes closely follow the action.


Border Collies are very individualistic - they are all of a type, but their looks vary tremendously. As do the shepherds - there are men and women, young and less young, and all having fun.

Watching them is a really nice way to spend part of a day. I wish I could have stayed there all week-end. Of course, after just a short visit, I was wishing for a trained Border Collie of my own.










Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hunters - hate 'em


Hunting season is striking early at Pirate's Place Farm. For the last twenty years, hunting season has meant Trespassing and Poaching season on my property. It's not even official hunting season yet and a ten point buck has already been poached and my friend and his grandson have been unpleasantly confronted in my woods. I've spent the afternoon on the phone trying to find the supervisor of the man who yelled at them. He claims to be a conservation officer but none of the supervisors will claim him because he doesn't wear a uniform. His conversation with my friend proved he is the trespasser who has been causing me a lot of grief for the last couple months - leaving my road gate open, leaving barn doors open, leaving barn lights on - all of those things that leave a message that someone without permission has been there.

The story is that Mr Gooding, whose property is next to mine, called this morning because there was a strange truck parked in his driveway early this morning. He apparently foolishly gave some men permission to take "nature walks" in his woods - and it turned out they are really poachers. Allegedly Jason Smith responded to the call and caught two men with a ten point buck, but one of the men escaped and ran across my property. So, just like the trespasser/poachers who always say they are only on my property because they wounded a deer and it ran onto my property, Jason Smith ran onto my property and confronted my friend and his grandson. No escaped poacher seemed to be anywhere around. What he did today was annoying, but add up what he's been doing to me for weeks and I think it's criminal.

Someday with all of the crazies who illegally hunt in woods there is going to be a terrible accident. The area just isn't big enough for a bunch of armed men to shoot at everything that moves and never hit each other, and, at the moment, I wouldn't feel bad if the man who has been scaring me for weeks was an accidental target.