Month: December 2008

Here come da’ truck…. Here come da’ truck!!

leaf rake_2

Yes…it’s true that excitement abounds and ears perk up when one gets ear of the loud and long awaited leaf collection truck as it enters the neighborhood. Sucking and grinding as it slowly makes it way along the streets devouring millions upon millions of withered brown leaves. Some neighbors scurry for their leaf blowers, others their rakes and start the ritual of blowing and raking the leaves they have been procastinating over for weeks to the curb. It is for many such as myself a religious experience since I often refer to the long awaited and talked about event as the “Leaf Rapture”. Soon they will be sucked up into leaf heaven, never to be heard from again for those of us ‘left behind’. It is truly a blessed event!

Leaf Truck & Vacuum - 01

Of what, pray tell, do I speak of you may ask if you do not experience this same “Rapture” in your neighborhood? Well our City Services has a small fleet of trucks outfitted with a mechanical device that sucks leaves into a large mulcher and then delivers them into the back of a large truck. The mulch is then used by the city as it deems fit for its various landscaping chores and other designated projects.

But wait! Let’s start at the beginning. First comes the leaves in all their brownish glory blowing and tumbling to the ground.

Front Yard Leaves - 01

Then comes the highly anticipated chore of raking and blowing the leaves to the curb. Just you, the rake or leaf blower and nature in all its glory striving to get the leaves in a nice pile in anticipation of the infamous leaf collection day…..and who knows when the hell that will be!

Front Yard Leaves - 02

And then after days, weeks, who knows how long there comes a cry through out the neighborhood that cannot be denied…..“Here come da’ truck!……Here come da’ truck!”

And so life goes on after the long awaited visit from the leaf collection truck. Only time will tell when we will have our next encounter with this elusive giant. Just as Charlie Brown has to deal with the Great Pumpkin…..so it is here that in our neighborhood we must deal with the Giant Leaf Eater!

For now I will seek solice in a simple but true little rubaiyat…..

The trees with their leaves bring coolness to summer.
And the beauty of autumn to their credit we owe.
But when from raking my old back is aching,
Of strong explicative’s I’ll never be lacking!

The Eastern Towee….

Eastern Towhee 01

I just happened to walk by the patio door the other day and noticed a number of field sparrows foraging under one of my bird feeders. While I was looking, almost right below me on the other side of the patio door window came hopping what seemed to be a small Robin at first glance. But then I noticed it was somewhat smaller than a Robin with a smaller, slimmer tail. Finally it hit me that I was looking at a bird that I had never observed before. Almost at that very moment they all took flight.

I had been only some ten feet away from my camera during the encounter but it was one of those moments when you’re caught up in what you’re looking at and don’t think about the obvious – documenting the experience. So I spent the next ten minutes or so kicking myself for not getting a photo because I did not have a clue as to what kind of bird it was that I had just seen.

A few minutes later I looked out again and low and behold there it was foraging along my fence near the patio and this time was all by itself. I immediately got the camera and was fortunately able to get a short video along with a few still shots. Not the best in the world, but surely good enough to get an identification. After downloading the images from my camera, I logged into my favorite bird forum and it didn’t take long to get an ID on the little critter.

Although our local game and fish notes these birds to be common residents of the State, of all my years of observing birds and spending time in the woods, I have never seen one.

Below is the very,, very short video clip I took of the bird which does seem to show the little critter pretty well. It does appear to be a female by the way since the males are much darker, almost black in lieu of the brown color.

I should note that after seeing the bird that last time and taking the photographs, I have never seen it again. This all occurred about a couple of weeks ago the morning after a very strong cold front had come through the State bringing with it strong winds and freezing rain. Whether that had anything to do with the encounter, I have not a clue.

It’s a gotcha!

Computer - 001

I continue to organize and adjust the features of the new blog which includes adding links and organizing the “Pages” section. Unfortunately, however, in these little projects my “FREE” blog has ended up as a ‘not so free’ blog as it turns out. I have found out that to be able to post audio, video or ‘pdf’ files you must upgrade your blog to a higher level which in my case would cost twenty bucks a year. So…..we are upgraded.

I suppose now that to maintain my “blogging legacy” after I die, I will probably have to set up some sort of trust in my Will that sends WordPress twenty bucks every year after I croak.

See…..just when you think you’ve beat the system…..Bang! They get you again!

To Blog…. or not to Blog!

Computer - 019

Spring has sprung!
Fall has fell!
Winter’s here…..so I needed to find something to do!!

I have actually reincarnated here today what was an old blog of mine from days gone by. I seem to migrate from having a website to having a blog on about a semi-annual basis. Sometimes even having a blog (I referred to them as journals) and a website.

But as of today I have finally concluded that getting out of the website business and just sticking to a simple blog is best for me. It’s certainly the least complicated and hassle free choice. And I have also chosen a “FREE” blog host as compared to finding a host and purchasing server space. After all, if I ‘croak’ then no one is going to pay the hosting bill so my website or blog would go into a Cyberspace black hole and disappear forever. On the other hand, if I have a free one it won’t get black-holed and will be around for years, leaving behind for the generations a ‘blogging legacy’ of immense proportions. Ha….yea right….and about that land I have for sale down in Florida!!