Archives for posts with tag: Nature

A new litter of squinnies patrolled my mother’s backyard this morning and teased the poodle as she looked out the windows. Every window she could reach. This little fella is the size of an unfurled golf ball and as mean as a middle school girl:

Someday we’ll live in a home where she can see this much nature every day. Then maybe she’ll enjoy the view out our windows instead of being stressed out. Maybe.


We went to the Fair! Damn, do I love the fair. Look at all those people!

The Grand Concourse

More than a million people come to the Iowa State Fair every year. There are only three million people in the entire state of Iowa. That’s some impressive math. But of course it’s popular. Fried food on a stick. The butter cow. Baby animals. Giant animals. Did I mention fried food on a stick?

Pickle Dawg = pickle, cream cheese and ham FRIED

I’ve missed the Iowa State Fair only once in my life. In 2002, I graduated Basic Training two days after the fair ended. Oops. Never again. On both of my deployments I was lucky enough to get leave to come back.  I’ve dragged the girlfriend down to Iowa for the fair three times already. Yeah, I’m serious about the fair.

It is awesome. See, here’s a kid giving the big pig some water:

And beautiful animals lounging in the barns…

More than the animals though, the people are fun to watch. Surly teenagers. Happy babies watching eggs hatch. Drunk country folk. City kids who’ve never smelled a barn. Oh goodness is the people watching fun.

Now my summer is complete.

Three little birds buzzed over my head as I mowed my mother’s lawn this afternoon. Bold little bastards. They kept fighting over the feeder when I came back outside to walk the dog.

Turns out these tiny little birds are a bit territorial – so says my neighbor, the “bird-guy”. Then again, maybe my mom just makes some badass bird food.

At the North Shore this week. So is this giant moth:


The dog has a minor panic attack each time someone leaves the room. If we could all just sit still, she would be fine. She swears. She’s an adaptable pup but she insists on making sure we know she does not like change. Not one bit. My writing, crossfit, running and blogging duties might falter a bit this week but hopefully I’ll eat through a couple of books.

Happy summer, my friends.

When I was five or six a bee stung me on the face. That’s the only time I can remember being stung. I ran home screaming and my mother called my grandmother, the WWII nurse. Our neighbor was a nurse, so was my great-aunt, but for some reason she called my grandmother. The advice? The cure she offered?

“Stick an onion on it,” she said. My family is built on old wives’ tales.

This little guy pollinating my flower boxes reminded me of that first sting:

Someday I want to gather together all the bits of silly counter-intuitive advice and life philosophies and superstitions. Is any of it true? Did that onion work? Did it work because I believed it would? Because my grandmother said it would? Some of it must be true. Otherwise, how would I know that lots of acorns in the fall means that the coming winter will be long and brutal?

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