Tar and Abby

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Squirrels will adopt another squirrel's baby if its parents die or are unable to care for it.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Eagle nest

Eagle Nest Richland 
Our town is clustered around the mouth of the Yakima River where it empties into the Columbia. It is full of nature. This eagle built its nest right along the drive that most of us take into town. Saw it yesterday. :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Obey The Black Lab

I think this was designed with Abby in mind.
Wonderfully creative site -  http://www.obeythepurebreed.com/
Abby demands that you go and look at it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ex-Parrot as a negative number

I may be a bit math-lexic.
I was also moved between countries a couple of times and missed out on big chunks of math education.

To our topic at hand - dead parrots.
Yesterday, in the Parade magazine that comes with a lot of Sunday papers 'Ask Marilyn' had a question about negative numbers. Why does -2 x -2 = 4 when 2 x 2 = 4. She tried to explain it.
It still didn't make sense. I read this before bed so my brain decided to take on the problem.

This ended up in a Monty Python dream about dead parrots. Four dead parrots.
Daughter says go back to memorizing the rule 'negative x negative = positive'. Why? It just does...

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Great Pond Remodel

We built this pond when Youngest learned to swim. Youngest is now 24.
It took us a long time to build and we had a big hole in the ground for a long time. Turned out to be the best playground ever. Lots of adventures happened in that hole.
The pond survived numerous dogs but not Tar and The Bullfrog. So much time was spent trying to catch the bullfrog that he degraded the sides and started falling in. The pond also filled up with plants, very healthy, but if Abby ever fell in she would not be able to get out.
So with Youngest home this week we've started the remodel.
The plan is to put together a pondless water feature with a short stream to give access to water to squirrels, birds and labradors.
I have alternate homes going in stock tanks for fish and frogs and all the aquatic insects (bar mosquitoes).
I expect it will take as long as it took to build the thing in the first place.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

gnomes celebrate spring!

The gnomes have started their garden. I was amazed how far along it is. The gnomes confessed they used fairy dust. Didn't ask where they got the fairy from...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Snake Incident

The Snake Incident

It all started as I was taking a basket of laundry downstairs. I glanced at the bottom of the stairs and there was a snake slithering by on its way to the family room. A. SNAKE! The snake had a spade shaped head and that isn't a good thing in snake-ville. It had all the markings of a rattlesnake. And it was a SNAKE! I screamed and threw the basket of laundry at it and ran back upstairs.

I grabbed my three young children and hustled them down to a neighbor's. I borrowed the neighbor's husband, we armed him with a golf club, and sent him forth. He investigated the family room. No snake.

I sent neighbor's husband home and called the police. They declined to come and rescue me. Snakes coming into yards is common around here, you can handle it Plucky Little Woman. NO! No, I can't! Okay, then call this snake fancier's club (there are such things?) and see what they suggest.
I called. They tried to tell me the snake probably wasn't a rattlesnake, it was probably (PROBABLY?!) a harmless bullsnake. I answered, "It. Is. A. SNAKE! I don't care what kind of snake it is. I want it OUT of my family room!"
"Okay, okay, calm down. Put out a piece of wet burlap on the floor overnight and the snake will crawl under it".
Crawl. Under. It.

I gave up the role of Plucky Wife and called my husband at work. "COME. HOME. NOW! SNAKE IN THE HOUSE!"
He came home. He's good like that.

First he re-searched the family room. He upturned sofas and chairs, pulled bookshelves out from the walls, emptied and searched all the toy containers, picked up and searched the laundry I threw down the stairs. No snake.

I gathered the children from my neighbor, loaded them up and off we went to the fabric store. Asked for and bought real burlap, soaked it in water and left it out all night on the floor of the family room. Early the next morning, earlier than he ever wanted to be up, husband checked under the burlap. No snake.

My husband thought that was the end of The Snake Incident. HA! We took the kids to the pet store. I bought a Sacrificial Gerbil. I put the poor gerbil into a glass fish tank. With a lid. Set the fish tank on the family room floor and trained the video camera on, pressed record and left it running all night.

Next morning the gerbil was still there. I watched 12 hours of video tape, fast forwarded. No snake slithering around trying to get the gerbil. No snake at all. Just one very bored gerbil.

I bought the gerbil $50 worth of gerbil toys and gerbil treats and a gerbil habitat and gave him to one of the kids who lived down the street.

We never did find the snake. I know he's down there someplace. He's about 20 feet long right now...

Monday, March 17, 2014

When you look at time and time looks back at you...

"This image released Monday by Harvard-led researchers shows the gravitational waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background in the microsecond after the Big Bang." Source

"For the first time, scientists have found direct evidence of the expansion of the universe, a previously theoretical event that took place a fraction of a second after the Big Bang explosion nearly 14 billion years ago.
We all know that the universe is big. Really big. But just how large is it?
The clue is encoded in the primordial cosmic microwave background radiation that continues to spread through space to this day." Source

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Are Gnomes related to Leprechauns?

And do we have to guard our gold? Can we buy beer with gold coins?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Force is Strong with this one.

"A large domestic guard dog that took a month-long romp on the wild side in Pend Oreille  (pronounced, locally, as Pond dah Ray) County forced Washington Fish and Wildlife officials to capture and spay an endangered pregnant female gray wolf on Saturday." 

"The unusual action came after biologists learned that an Akbosh sheep dog climbed a 7-foot-tall fence from its yard near Ione and disappeared with the two female wolves for more than a month during February when wolves go into heat."

full story here

Monday, March 10, 2014

mystery on the river

One of the dams, above us on the Columbia River, has developed a 65 foot crack. They've had to fiddle with the flow on some other dams to relieve the pressure and attempt to fix it. A whole bunch of area, that used to be underwater, is now shoreline. Those are freshwater mussels littering the area.
They also found.... a pile of human bones. At first inspection they seem to be very, very old. A friend for Kennewick Man perhaps? UPDATE: second set of bones found, seem to be as old as the first.

PS - The Engineer worked at this dam and says even if it completely goes it will be fine downstream.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

It is time for pats and loves now

Youngest Son home for the weekend. Doggies have lots of pats and loves to catch up on.

Attempting to thwart Abby

This winter Abby decided to nosh on fallen birdseed, seed shells and delicious birdy poop from underneath the feeders. Then she would come in the house and BLEAH all over the floor... this could not continue.
The green edged trampoline below the big feeder is one of our attempts to stop that. So far reaction is mixed. The big red-winged blackbirds, who show up this time of year, really got it swinging. We have also fenced off a huge expanse of lawn that the birdies litter. The big basin at the side is our new bird water and bath. Can be heated in the winter.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Way to go, rodeo!

From our paper - link included below
March 6, 2014 - Rodeo clown JJ Harrison rides his "horse" named Lightning on Wednesday during an anti-bullying program he and bull rider Derek Kolbaba, far right, 17, presented to students at Maya Angelou Elementary School in Pasco. Second-grader, wears Kolbaba’s protective bull riding equipment before participating at the mock rodeo event. The program is sponsored by the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo. Harrison and Kolbaba are from Walla Walla

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2014/03/06/2857075/week-in-photos-march-2-8-2014.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

We now have a state oyster!


Washington state legislature makes Ostrea lurida the state oyster. 94-4


Washington State ranks 8th. I never reported the two times I saw them. Do you suppose it would make difference??

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

winter gardening. kindof

I noticed clumps of moss growing in the grate of the storm water drain. I dug one out. Tucked into one of my growing collection of small bottles. Stuck it in the kitchen window. :-)