January 31, 2018:


Today is the Super Duper Blue Red Full Eclipse Partial Eclipse Moon, depending on where you may be viewing from.

Three years ago this day was my last day of working and I retired after 46 years of full-time work. I've enjoyed every single moment of my retirement since then - three years and hoping for twenty more, we'll see how things go...

February and March can be cruel months in southeastern Wisconsin where I live. January itself was nutso here weather-wise, with two separate thaws. I don't ever remember getting two January thaws before, and many years none happened at all.

Before I know it I'll be headed to Las Vegas to visit my friends and celebrate some sunshine and warm weather, and see a show (I always try to squeeze one in). Meanwhile, I am continuing, slowly, to make this smaller retirement ranch into a home that makes me smile in every room. I still have lots to do, including major painting projects. I keep putting them off. Seems at 66 I'm not so keen on painting as I was at 36. Gee, I wonder why...


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ooks! Goofing Off Instead of Painting the Kitchen...

Geez, my backyard is really a mess!  It rained buckets last week Friday, was gloomy and soggy all last Saturday, and was nice -- too nice to do yard work -- last Sunday.  That same pattern is being repeated this weekend, except yesterday and today it's much colder, by some 30 degrees brrrrrrr, and we got a good inch of rain around here, so it's soggy again! Tomorrow, though, is promised to us by the weather people to be in the 70's and sunny.  We'll see.  At this moment, I'm finding it hard to believe as I've got the furnace turned on, it's cold and damp outside and inside, and I'm thinking about firing up the fireplace and moving to my workstation at the desk in the living room rather than continue here in the family room.

But I digress, darlings!  I shouldn't be doing this at all.  I should be busy up on my genuine antique ladder (I think it was made in 1340, around the time the Huns started invading Europe) putting painters tape all around the ceiling and trim where I'm going to paint my kitchen soffit and the area underneath the cabinets that lovely dark taupe color that will - eventually - be going into my family room, too.

I started out good, honest!  I got up before 7 a.m., fed the squirrels, had my coffee and croissant, checked the news, and I actually spent $1 yesterday and bought a Mega Millions ticket -- so I checked to see if I'd won.  Nope, did not win.  Can't hire painters.  Can't buy a house with a view on an island somewhere or way up on a mountain (but not a volcano). 

Then I started checking the blogs, and that's deadly to getting work done around here, oy!  Then I fed the squirrels again and that's when I noticed this little fellow - with a red (foxy red) tail!  Haven't seen him or her around before, and he or she sure is scared of me, and even of the other animals, so I know he or she isn't local.  Wonder where he/she came from?

I wasn't able to get close, and my camera, although it is a good Nikon, is a point and shoot from 2006 - practically an antique by now, darlings!  But I love it still.  It's only got 3x zoom on it and that does not give the best photos:

Squirrel is nearly centered in this pic - facing toward me, down below the slowy dissolving retaining wall.  Can you see the red in the tail?  Hmmm, no, this is not the best shot.  Also one big fat regular grey squirrel in the forefront!

There!  Now do you see that red tint?  It's not paint - at least, I'm fairly sure it's not paint; I mean, how could a squirrel possibly get just his tail painted red, but nothing else? 

Looks like the same photo, but it's not.  You can see the little flash of reddish tint in that tail.

He was down where I toss the bird food, no doubt nibbling away on the plentiful sunflower seeds.  Green stuff and my perrenials and volunteers coming up all over the place, and the wild honeysuckle shrubs that nothing can kill, not even my saw, are blooming out too, and I haven't cleaned out last year's detrius yet. 

He/she got really spooked by me and disappeared, finally, behind the picket fence on the west.  I'll keep my eye out to see if Red Tail returns.  I've had gimpy squirrels, aged squirrels, and squirrels with something like epilepsy (I call it the falling-down disease) hanging around in my yard for years, but I do not recall seeing a red-tailed squirrel before.  I have read that in Central Park in New York where generations of grey squirrels have bred in peace and relative security, some squirrels with red fur sometimes crop up.  I wonder if that is what happened here?  These aren't the English red squirrels, which are smaller and have differently shaped ears -- these are grey squirrels who have turned partially red because they don't need the grey-black-brown coloration to "hide" in their environment (trees).  Sometimes a squirrel can be right on the trunk of the big tree out back (you can see part of it in the first photo) but if it stays still the human eye doesn't readily pick it out because it blends in so well. 

Pleae see Part II...

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