Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Work

On Friday morning we had 12 tons of "clean fill dirt" delivered so we could do some home maintenance.

We had to put some all around the base of the house in the back courtyard, and also the two back porches, creating a slope so the rain that flows off the roof and the porch overhangs would flow away from the house instead of toward it, which would damage the foundation.

So we spent a few hours on Saturday and a couple of hours on Sunday doing just that.

And we're almost done; we still need to finish up a little bit next weekend. And we'll still have plenty of dirt left over for future projects.

Today while we were working, the next door neighbors had two of their horses in their yard keep us company. One of the horses is the loudest, most talkative horse I've heard since the horses in the movie "Young Frankenstein."

Except the neighbor horse was MUCH louder.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Black and White and Dead All Over

I understand that magpies eat roadkill. But around here, it's usually prairie dogs. When I see magpies pecking at the remains of a skunk, I keep thinking that either they're really desperate (really hungry) or they have absolutely no sense of smell.

For the uninitiated, magpies look kind of like crows wearing tuxedos.

When I lived back east and came out west on vacation, I saw a black and white bird flying against a deep blue sky. I remember thinking, "Oh, how exotic! How beautiful!" Then at the first opportunity (a National Park bookstore) I looked in a bird guidebook and found out it was a magpie and part of the crow family and considered filthy.

They're extremely common here, so I don't think of them as exotic anymore, but they are still beautiful. Except maybe when they're picking at the carcass of a skunk. And for some reason this time of year we always have an abundance of dead skunks ("in the middle of the road, stinking to high heaven" to quote that old song).