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DayCreek Journal

July 13 , 2005

Birds of a Feather

To see a few more photographs, click here.

As the saying goes "Birds of a feather often flock together" and to my surprise four Sandhill Cranes (two adults and two offspring) leisurely strolled down a county road not too far from our house the other morning. A year ago if this would have happened, I would have been cursing that I didn't have my camera. But now I take my camera just about everywhere I go hoping to catch such an event. I also have learned to use the car as a bird blind and this works with some success. Birds are still rather leery of a car that stops instead of whizzing by them, but I have been able to take some pretty good photographs this way. My plans are to build up enough of an inventory of bird photographs to sell prints as a side business. So who knows...maybe by next year I'll have prints for sale on-line.

Since we're on the subject of animals, I sadly have to report that one of mom's kittens was killed last weekend by an unknown animal. If I had to bet what that animal was, I'd guess it was one of the tom cats in the area. It was one of the male kittens that were killed leading me to believe it was a territorial thing. I have to keep remembering that these are feral cats that pretty much follow the rules of nature and not man.

If I had to do this whole experience over again, I never would have fed the cats that appeared at my doorstep late last winter. Although they have solved the mouse eating vehicles problem, they have caused many other problems and I now feel responsible for them. UGH!

And of course, leaving cat food out at night started attracting more and more raccoons. This led to more pooping on the deck and so far I have relocated eight (yes, eight) raccoons.

Learning my lesson, I am looking for good homes for the cats and kittens. So far two of the kittens have found homes, but I still have two adult females and one male kitten that need homes. (If you know of anyone in the LaCrosse area who needs a pet, please let me know.)

CoCoCo 2005
The Continental Cordwood Conference is almost here and I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Last weekend I finished compiling the 21st Power Point presentation and burned/labeled 200 CDs. After the conference, the cordwood papers will be available in print and electronic version. Personally, I'd rather have the electronic version as it contains not only the unabridged copy of the papers (complete with full color photographs), but also the Power Point presentations.

This is the third conference and will be the largest yet with close to 200 attendees. Richard Flatau has done an excellent job managing all the activities prior to the event and it should be a fun time in Merrill, WI in just a few short weeks. Hope to see you there.

The House
I do plan to get back on track with construction soon, but first there needs to be a few repairs. March's heavy snow event bent some the gutters a bit and broke a few seams, so I will either get up there and fix them myself or hire someone to do it. I don't like roof work very much, so we'll see.

Besides the roof, the cistern pump wasn't working up to snuff and needed to be replaced and last week my analog to digital converter that interfaces with the temperature sensors for the house decided to die. As of yesterday, this whole apparatus has been replaced with a new digital sensor array and interface. In doing so, I have enhanced the system to include readings from inside of the cordwood wall and relocated the floor sensor to be in the sand bed itself. (See temperature readings in the upper left-hand box of this page.)

That's about it for now...hope to see you at the conference!


A green heron makes a brief appearance on a tree branch.