Friday, July 31, 2009

Deer Control

Where Was I ?

Yeah. Events have run over me and kept on where was I before the dog died?
Talking about this trailer I'm in :
It's a "Hunter" from the forties or fifties. Years ago, it was parked down near Long Point among the squatter shacks on the strip of land between the railroad track and and the water.

Eventually they built an addition onto the trailer ; and later on, while they were building an even larger addition onto the first addition, they gave the old trailer away to a passing hippy couple in a pick-up truck.
These kids towed the trailer up into the woods in back of a local farm where they already had a little off - grid homestead, and there they attached new aluminum cladding , built authentic looking doors, and put a skylight over the trailer galley..... but then they only used it to store craft materials, , while they continued living in their little house .
Sun, rain, snow...... many moons and years blew by...... the couple split, mice moved into the trailer, the roof began to fail, and the skylight to leak..

Around then, Brother Davey was in exile from Ithaca, and in ruin from his Bed and spectacular Edgewood Place Bed and Breakfast forclosure, Had stuffed himself and his too much of his stuff into Little Nose Johnson's small traveler trailer here on his daughter's property. She has a soft spot for terailers and for him, so she let him haul the old Hunter out of the woods and set it up behind her little house on the hill.
He tried,to stop the skylight from leaking, but couldn't, so he built a cupola right over the skylight. He wanted it to be big enough so he could at least sit up that's how high he made the walls.
But with the arched plexiglass roof over that, an average size adult can stand up in the center of it....and from the road, it looks like two trailers mating . It is nice up here at night though. When I was a kid, I thought the sky was a plastic dome; up here, it more or less is.

In the rear end of the trailer, Davey also built a bath-tub/bed combination....lid down it's a bed, lid up a tub. I have to give him credit for the tub bed. it suits me just fine. I always liked tubs for sleeping, and it's good to have the wet/dry option.. I said back a ways..... after he lived in the place for about a year , and, when his daughter and family moved out of the main house, he moved across the yard, leaving the trailer once again to insurgent mice and the weasels.

And now, after living for a year the Ark I made, then getting crowded out by rescue hens and living in the chicken house for a few months..... I find myself in the trailer.
But I didn't move myself in. I was moved in while unconscious.

The last thing I remembered., I'd been scything out in the orchard .

And then I was surfacing in the beforementioned bath tub which had been unused and empty of everything but mouse and weasel turds for several years.

My head was so heavy I could hardly lift it out of the water,
I looked up through the bath fog, not at clouds racing past the sun or moon, but at the blond birch paneling and a smoke detector with its mouth hanging open.

I gradually recognized where I was, but had no idea how I got there ......and who it was that I heard grinding coffee and the airy whistling on the other side of the sliding door.

And no, I didn't recognize her as she came through with the coffee.... what with the oak leaf tattooed on her cheek and blue ink maple leaves streaming down her arms .....
She knelt down by the tub and waved her chipped, maroon fingernail in front of my eyes. . Beyond the tattoos, that skin mostly big , pale freckles like shadows of floating leaves on the bottom of a stream. And that pumpkin - chanterelle hair..
She helped me sit up in the tub and she held the coffee mug to my lips.
A raft of fuzzy stuff floated on the coffee.
Rafts of the fuzzy berries in the bathtub too, Sumac berries. And the bath water was slightly pink, as if I had bled some. Maybe I had.
If I could have lifted one hand to feel my head, I would t have found the sharp lump there, but me and my hands were not yet communicating.
Then she says: You'n me........... born to be free."
That crazy rhyming habit. Makes her speech so halting, it drives me nuts.
I didn't smell he raw garlic she used to chew like gum to keep human predators off....but It had to be her, my poetry girl. I couldn't move, or hardly speak, but already I wanted to hug her and to wring her freakin frecklly neck.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Golden Pond Retriever

I was brought into this family by a dog, and I have lived more with dogs than chickens , or even people, so I have known a lot of dogs, and Davey's old Deerdra was a gifted dog.
Her gifts were her sharp and sensitive nose, her great ears, and her blazing speed. A dog's dog; she was a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Greyhound, with a waist like a wasp, lungs like bellows and the ears, the coat..... and almost the speed, of a deer. Then, no more than six months ago, arthritis took her over all of a sudden, like an ant army. At the same time, her hearing went, eyes clouded, and her rear end seem to get disconnected. She hung on by her nose.
When I still slept in the Ark up by the house and Deerdra could still stand up and walk, but couldn't manage the porch steps any more, and she needed. more and more to go pee in the night........I would hear her whine from the top of the stair.
Davey sleeps very well, to put it mildly, especially after a beer or two and a Victory at Sea video attempt......... so I'd have to come out the Ark and carry Deerdra down.....and back up the stairs later.
After I moved out of the Ark and down into the chicken house so as to make room for the hens rescued from their abusive sisters, I was no longer available for doorman duty, and by then Deerdra could no longer get up without help, or lay down except by falling.... which happened whenever she tried to turn around or back out of a dead -end in the brambles. .
So when she whined in her bed, Davey had to carry her out...and down the stairs...though sometimes she would be whining not because she needed to go out and piss, but just because she was in pain.
Then, she would wander off , trying to find her way out of the dark , until she fell off the path. After a while, she would began to whine and later to yip like a even I heard her from the chicken house..
And since G. and I began sleeping up here in the trailer cupola, I can see most of the paths all around and through the high grass and dog bane vines .
I would listen in my sleep, but often enough I just get a feeling that sent me with the plastic sled and a flashlight out to some quarter of the place, where I would sweep the dark with the light until I caught her eyes, then put her in the sled and slide her over the grass back and under the house where the roosters shelter in rough weather . She would then sleep exhausted, sometimes till afternoon. She'd become virtually deaf, blind, and confused. The only blessing being that thunderstorms didn't make her crazy insane anymore, and she slept through the fourth of July fireworks. If Davey would do a better job of keeping the paths, it would help everything, because sometimes, walking the easiest route, she would go up and down the driveway until she accidentally walked right out the other end
.A few nights ago, something made me sit up in the Cupola all of a sudden, so I got the flash light , ran out to the end of the driveway and shined it up and down....and here she comes, forty yards off still, right down the middle of Rt. Ninety.

She escaped death by any texting salt truck driver at that time of night.
But then a few days ago, saying nothing to me, Davey left here with both dogs in the back of the truck, and came back after a couple of hours with Taino in the cab and Deerdra in the back, wrapped in a blanket , dead as a cold burrito.
He took her out into the orchard in a wheel barrow.

Two days later, Davey's old truck died in the driveway, and now Davey himself doesn't look all that good.
He's been quiet ....but soon enough, he'll be crowing at me about the rent again. Anyway, I better hang on here until he' s a little less fragile
. He won't be ready for another dog for a while yet. I ought to find a kitty and shove it into the house some night, but he isn't much of a cat person. Not much of a people person for that matter.
The place could use a whole litter of kittens, or a barn full of cats, so many mice and chipmunks , and baby rabbits around here. Clean em up. Especially if we are going to try and have a food service operation here. But I sense some resistance.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Glory Egg

Since my blog has been picked up by the Tiny Town Times internet tabloid , it seems like I ought to post more often so as to not disappoint frequent readers, and Dog knows, there's plenty going on here all the time that I usually let pass because of other priorities....but that doesn't mean they aren't frigging amazing.

Like Frinstance: We get a wide variety of egg colors and even vague patterns from the Dog's Plot hens. And then a week or two ago, we got the most amazing egg yet.
You see it here. It looks just like the Northern Lights. and at the same time, exactly like the flank markings of a male Brook trout in Rut.....and I say this as one who has seen the Aurora Borealis over the Alaska highway, and once over Aurora New York, and who has savaged many a vivid Brookie from the Oswegatchie.

I just hope that we can produce them as a regular thing.
All in all, and all in one, it is a stunning demonstration all over, of the Oneness of all things. From now on I'm going to treat ALL the hens with royal respect, at least until I find out which hen is responsible for what I call the Glory Egg. Basicly, this could be the greatest thing since Joseph Smith went up the hill a few miles from here and came down with seventeen hundred solid gold tablets, inscribed with
a four hundred thousand word, previously unpublished bible fiction, which would have weighed in at at sixteen tons, and would have taken him sixteen days with sixteen oxen to fetch, except that his tablets were only an ordinary half crock of shit, and this Glory Egg is the real fucking thing, pardon my Anglo Saxon. Like where are they now, the golden tablets?
I wanted to preserve the Glory Egg of course, so I dipped it in melted paraffin , put it in one of Davey's sweat socks. which I stuffed it into a yogurt container, and put way back in Davey/s fridge so it wouldn't dry out or go infertile ........especially in case there aren't others and we want to hatch and breed from this one. I checked it once every few days to make sure it's alright.... and when I looked just a few days ago, it was not wasn't even there.
Davey had cleaned the fridge, which he does like once every three years, and when he looked into the yogurt container , saw his sock....and took a whiff of it, he thought it was an advanced instance of yogurt rot. so he put the lid back on , and he shoved the thing into the kitchn trash he takes to the dump instead of into the compost, where even dog shit is good enough to go.
I suppose I should have used one of his clean socks, but he probably would have been pissed at me then too.
I'll not make a fucking religion about it..... just wait and watch the eggs fall.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

How I Got Here

Last night, I dreamed I was riding again in the cupola of that Alaska Rail Road caboose on the way to Moose Pass, firing my new-bought, pawn- shop .22 revolver out the window.
I saw the flashes out the leaky sides of the gun chamber, but couldnt hear the shots, because of the clackety clack of the railroad track. The train seemed to keep on rocking and rolling through most of the night........ until I smelled the coffee.

The coffee ....I smelled it before I opened my eyes .
Gradually, I noticed G.'s airy whistling from the galley below, and remembered where I was: up in the cupola of the trailer Davey set up and lived in only a year or so before Mnetha and family moved into town and he relocated across the yard, leaving the trailer to the mice and weasels.
It took a major blitz-surge to get the inside under control, and the weasels still chase the mice between the walls at night.
I can hardly believe that, after all we have done to get this abandoned trailer into shape, Davey's asking us to pay rent. To pay him rent, now that I am doing just about all the work of the place outside of writing his memoir....... and it looks like even that won't get done unless I do it.

Propped up on my elbows in the cupola , looking out through the condensation on the plexi like from inside a cloud, I saw the reddish-blond blob of a deer grazing just a few yards off and below, near one of Davey's caged fruit trees .

So many deer. Last night after our mushroom feed and before sleep, looking straight up at the traveling moon, we heard the yippity- yipping of a dozen coyote cubs out back, probably celebrating over another fawn they'd torn apart .
The open state land around us produces as much weight per acre in mice and deer as an acre in Idaho produces potatoes. The lusher the season and milder the winters become, the more fawns are born. And this year is junglly lush, with trees breaking in a moderate wind because of so much leafery, squirlly grape vines crossing the highway on telephone wires, fawns in sandboxes and flowerbeds. It's crazy.

The coyotes don't do much damage to the deer numbers...can't keep up with them, but the deer themselves do a lot of mischief in the orchard....worse even that the roosters.
So wouldn't you know, in late May, about when the pregnant does were tramping out of the woods to do their damage, Davey went up to Lake Bonaparte to fart around and do some dock work, leaving me in charge of everything here at Dog's Plot.
When I walked out back on the trails he had scythed from grafted pear tree to grafted pear tree, I saw that the deer had already been sampling some of the grafted shoots, so I took a lot of the buck thorn brush Davey had cut and leaned it around the most exposed of the clone trees . But I saw that really, the best thing would be to expand the mowing and fudge the trails some so they don't just lead the deer right to the trees.

The machete is my preferred tool for just about everything except driving nails, but it's mostly a one at a blow tool, so I would need to use Davey's scythe.......and since the scythe itself is longer than I am, I had to get out my dry wall stilts too .
In the shed, there was a robin's nest on one stilt, so I moved it to a snow shoe. I don't use the stilts much here at Dog's Plot...mostly just for when I go to town.
I'm pretty good on the t someone passing me on the sidewalk might take me for a slightly arthritic but spry person of normal proportions, rather than a the guy with the partially descended legs....... but the scythe was a totally new thing for me.

I got up and going alright though. And the scythe is such a powerful multiplier of effort , that I was soon moving through the grass like a hover craft. Carried away by the tool. Not really the way to mow.

Out by the Black Berry patch, I heard the twittering of what I assumed to be the mocking bird that flits around here doing imitations of crows, finches, and the squeaky wheel on Davey's wheelbarrow......... when suddenly it stopped and a human voice shrilled out "Careful you don't take my head off with that fugging thing." I stumbled, tottered, and fell.
I managed to throw the scythe aside, but I hit my head on something.....I think on on one of Davey;s Buckthorn stumps.

When I came too, I had a pulsing bump on my forehead like a horn about to come through. I was soaking in the bathtub Davey had built into the back of the trailer. From the galley, came the sliding notes of that free-bird whistling and the sound of the manual coffee grinder.
My clothes and stilts were piled in the orange tobbogan sled on the floor beside the tub.
Never mind the horn of pain on my forehead, I was more comfortable than I remember being for years.....too comfortable to move .

Within a few minutes, that coffee scent came snaking under the partition door.
Then the door slid aside, and she walked in with a tray.
With that hair color somewhere between pumpkin and chanterell, With the tattoo of an oak leaf on one cheek, and a fall of maple leaves down her arms.
" it''s me,!" she said, but at first I didn't recognize her.