I’m starting the massive project known as the back yard clean up. When I finish today I will have completed about 0.1% of the total work.

Okay, so maybe 0.01% is more accurate.

There is a tree in the woods somewhere that is swaying in the breeze and creaking very loudly. Are it’s days numbered? It can do whatever it wants just as long as it stays away from my house.

Power Outage

The thunderstorm that tore through town today took out a bunch of trees and power lines and for the first time in the 10 years since we moved here we have an extended power outage.

So we are sitting outside in the muggy evening air and it’s kinda wonderful.

Oh, and I filled the bird feeders for the first time in a week. Just thought you should know.

Patio Lunch

We all knew it would happen eventually. Welcome to the first working-from-home-lunch-break-on-the-patio of the quarantine.

I have a conference call in 25 minutes, and I have everything I need in order to join it out here with me. Do I take the call out here or do I go back to my desk?

Probably go back to my desk.

Woodland Adventures

My beloved wife ordered some groceries through instacart today.  In the spirit of social distance I like to wait 5-10 minutes after the delivery dude arrives just to make sure he’s not going to accidentally turn around and come back again.  Paranoid?  Hells yes, but who cares.

When I went out onto the steps to bring the bags in their was a little fluffy tailed rodent sitting on top of one of them.  Mammalia Sciuridae… I think… or is it Sciuridae Mammalia?  I don’t remember high school biology at all.  Whatever, it was a little bastard muthatruckin’ squirrel.  He was sitting on top of one of the grocery bags which was open at the top to expose a loaf of bread.  Squirrel bitch had his nose in a tiny little hole in the plastic bag the bread was in that he had gnawed out and he was munching on a teeny tiny morsel of bread.  I hate that little shit with every fibre of my being, but even I have to admit that it was super cool.

So that loaf of bread never came into the house and it somehow lead to a second story involving wilderness adventures.

I brought in the rest of the groceries, wiped everything down like a good quarantined doobee, washed my hands, and then went back out for the bread.  I took it into the back yard and threw it all over the place.  If the prick squirrel wants it, the prick squirrel and all his prick squirrel buddies can have it.  I took a picture because I am the undisputed king of all things nerd.


So there I was, out in the back yard admiring the view while the temperature slowly ticked it’s way up toward 60 degrees of Spring bliss.  As is often the case these days my eyes wandered over to the “tree incident”.  Last summer while we were in Florida a tree had tried to fall down but it hit a second tree.  The trunk of the second tree split dramatically, but managed to stay up.  Now the first tree is leaning against the second tree.  Someday they are going to come down.  Let’s just hope they both fall in the same direction and that our yard is in the other direction.

The underbrush hasn’t started growing in yet.  The weather was beautiful.  I could actually see a roundabout path to the “tree incident”.  Yeah, I’m going exploring.  I’ve wanted to do it with my camera but I just said screw it and went with just my iPhone.  Before we got there I had to look at this and ask what the hell is this?


And now we get to the tree itself.  I can’t really see this from the yard, but I could see enough to know it probably wasn’t as simple as tree A falling on tree B.  The fact of the matter is, tree A didn’t just fall, it snapped off about 6-7 feet from the ground.  It then hit the second tree and snapped again, with the lower half dropping to the ground and the upper half (I say half, but it’s really more like the upper 80%) dropped straight down so that it was standing up on the ground and then it fell over into tree B.  It looks pretty chaotic and it makes me kinda wish I had seen it happen.







Then there was the water.  I knew there was a small body of water somewhere behind the neighbor’s house.  I thought it was further away, but it was just beyond the first hill, and the “tree incident” sits on top of that first hill.



The question is, is this a pond?  Is it a lake?  Is it an ocean?  Is it just a puddle?  I’m guessing it’s just a big puddle.  I can’t see how far away this body of water goes.  That’s a woodland adventure for another day though.

And now at long last we come to the actual point of the story.

It’s Spring.  It’s the woods.  It is well known that there are ticks living out in them thar trees.  Deer ticks.  Lyme disease carrying little arachnid asshole ticks.  Every once in a while we’ll find one crawling on us after we went out in the yard.  It happens.  Once I found one buried in my gut.  I had to take a lot of antibiotics that day, let me tell you.

So ticks were on my mind, but I didn’t see anything when I got back to the house.  It is tough to look at your own ass though so who knows.  I got into the house, said hello to everyone, went to the office to check out the pictures on my phone and… about two minutes later… found a friggin’ deer tick crawling on my leg.  I grabbed it in a tissue, flushed it’s murderous, diseased ass down the toilet, and jumped in the shower.  My clothes are in the washing machine.

The moral of the story is thus:  Squirrels suck and ticks suck too.

Home Owner Moments

The date was August 9, 2010.  My beloved wife and I were house hunting.  Given that I am a total Masshole, we were looking at houses in towns that bordered New Hampshire, as the kids’ dad lived in Salem and we wanted the drive time between houses to be manageable.

We were looking at a house in Methuen that was out of the way and kind of in the woods, which is odd for a city like Methuen.  It had a nice little back yard that I was kind of taken with, and a little patio area that reminded me a little bit of the house I grew up in.  They had nice looking patio furniture, and a fire pit, and a gas grill.  I was really taken with the scene.

I took this picture with my phone during that first viewing.

Long story short, we moved in a couple months later.  Every year when the weather starts getting nice I announce to the family, This is the Year We Buy Patio Furniture… and every year we don’t do it.

Or do we?  I am not going to give out any spoilers or anything, but this might be the year.  No promises, of course… but this might be the year.

Cross your fingers and hope it happens.  Hopefully we’ll be having cookouts on the patio. I’ll let you all know when I get more information.

Wild Kingdom

Remember this date everyone.  September 20, 2015 at 6:45am.  We had our first deer sighting of the season.   A doe, a deer, a female deer in the yard at the tree line.  Just hanging out, doing what ever deer do.  The groundhog also made an appearance at about 7:55am, but he suddenly is less impressive.  Wild deer will do that to a rodent, you know?

I wonder what other exotic wild forest beasts will be visiting us today?


I filled the bird feeders yesterday while the weather outside was beautiful. Today is the first day of summer, and it’s father’s day… therefore mother nature is literally pissing on us. It’s been pouring rain like the end of the world all day.

That isn’t slowing the birds down one bit though. They are outside chowing down. I saw a cardinal, a woodpecker, and some black and white colored thing I’d never seen before, all out there at the same time. I grabbed my camera and they all split on me. Jerks. I hung around for a few minutes, always hoping to get a clear image of a bird in flight, but it was too dark out and the shutter speed was too fast and the ISO was too high and I was left with this ugly mess. I got a decent picture of a bunny though, so that’s a win.

This is the goal, of course this looks like cow shit.

This guy eats like a pig. Every minute or so he’d come back for more. Enjoy, little birdie friend.

I had just decided to close the window and pack it in when the cardinal came back. I think he had been hiding on the roof waiting for the camera to go away, but he just couldn’t hold out any longer.

Oh, here’s the bunny I mentioned.