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Showing posts from May, 2009

In case you missed it. . .

Here's what I read at Trinity House Theatre this last weekend. An untitled essay, originally written for a memoir/travel writing grad class. Comments (critical especially) are welcome.

I killed my cat for $140. That’s what the Michigan Humane Society charges to “put down,” “dispose of,” or “put to sleep,” an animal; choose your least offensive euphemism.
Hermia suckered my wife, by meowing pitifully as only an orphaned kitten can, in our driveway three Mays earlier. I warned Anessa, “Are you really sure you want to take this cat in?” I’ve had cats in my life since the age of four, but I wasn’t sure my wife was ready for a sudden addition to our young marriage.
“Yes. What else are we going to do with him? Her? This little cat?”
We named the cat for the feisty, short lover in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, though some people thought the name came from Harry Potter, much to this English major’s chagrin. She was a good mouser, a good moler, also unfortunately a chipmunker and song…

What do six pounds of bees look like?

I'm glad you asked. Lookee here.
Also included in each cage is a can of sugar syrup that the bees feed on during travel. This can is probably 24 oz. or so, but I'm not sure if that's included in the weight. I believe 3 pounds of bees means somewhere between 10 and 15,000 bees.

Here the cage is opened, and the can is removed, just prior to shaking them all out. Yes, I wrote "shaking." You shake the bees out, but their bodies have been sprayed down with my own sugar water concoction to limit the flying around.
The queen cage is outside of the shipping cage sitting on top of the frames. It's the bee-covered shape with the white, plastic strap hanging off of it.

Here's what it looks like after about 1/2 of the bees have been shaken out onto the open super.

After a sweaty and nerve-wracking job (Crap! Are they going to be gentle or pissed when I shake them out?) here's the hive shut up tight with some grass plugging up the entrance to give them some …

Woods Walk

Last Saturday was the second session of this Master Naturalist class that I'm taking (I realize I may sound like a professional student--wasn't there a Charles Baxter story about someone like that--studied Folke Greville, his girlfriend dumped him and he was in a car accident? but I'm not, I DO teach, ya know). Well, I attempt to, anyway. Digress, I do.
I was falling asleep during the lecture, more from physical fatigue that boredom (there was a bit of that--SLIDES! actual slides on a manual projector!) Finally, we were walking through the woods to see what we could see.
Our guide, a Ms. Dockeray, an octogenarian who had the energy of a pentagenarian, would loudly--and I do mean LOUDLY--"Ooooh!" everytime she spotted something she found interesting.
Here are a few specimens that we saw at the Blandford Nature Center outside of Grand Rapids: First up, trout lily, a species I only discovered for myself last year.

I believe this is bloodroot. So named for the blood-…