*THUNK* AAAAAH! Save the Birds

Today I was startled from working on Part 2 of my Woofstock post by a startling noise combination.

*Thunk*

AAAAAAHHHH!

And then general sounds of bustling around.

I had thought that perhaps someone in my family unfamiliar (like one of my parents, or Emma) with how to use our chuck-it (a ball flinger) had jokingly gestured with it towards our back deck, and, in the way luck usually goes, a ball was flung at one of our windows and the rebound nearly hit Lexy.

Maybe on the back of her head, maybe on her arm, but I was picturing it as it was nearly hitting her in the head.

No, not because I have secret wishes of violence towards Lexy, but because it is usually the worst possible (and most times most amusing) situation that runs through my head.

So I ran to the back door, expecting someone injured (possibly) and someone embarrassed (possibly), and likely someone laughing.

If no one was there to laugh, I feel a bit as if I would have been the one to laugh, after asking the needed “what’s wrong?”.

That was not the case.

No laughing.

No.

I looked out our screen door and saw Lexy pulling and excited looking Gwynn off of our back porch, and Mom and Dad looking worried.

It is at this point that I should tell you that my actual first thought about what the *THUNK* noise was, was that it was a bird, as many, many birds end up hitting into the window right next to the computer, and then fly away. occasionally a lesser *THIK* will hit the window, and it will turn out to be a rather large bug.

But this happens regularly, the *THUNK* fly away.

Less, now, that we have shadow stickers on our windows, but I’ll get more on that later.

But it was the following “AAH!” that threw me off, as well as a moment of poor directional hearing.

Here is a picture of the window by the computer in our living room.

To the left, if you could see below it, there would be the porch, and my sister sitting in a chair right below it...

The window that I thought the bird had hit was the one to the right. After I heard Lexy yell I thought that a ball had hit the window, not a bird, and that, as I said earlier, it hit Lexy (prompting the “Aah!”).

But back to the story. Lexy was pulling Gwynn away, and dad was not looking happy. In front of one of the chairs was a little yellow thing.

As you can see, this was no ball...

It was not a Ball.

And it was obvious why Gwynn was looking so excited.

He probably thought it was a chew toy that came from above.

Mom thought we should probably move it, but Dad was pretty stern in saying “NO.”

I remember last summer I was working up near Thunder Bay at a dock, cleaning off the underside of boats to prevent invasive species from spreading, and a woodpecker flew into a door. I was fairly far away at the time, and was pretty worried, but before I could get there, some people started crowding around.

One guy had the bright idea to try to pick it up.

The stunned woodpecker had enough energy to recognize that it was injured, and a large THING was touching it, so it did what any injured and confused animal would do.

It fled.

Flew a fair distance too, right into the edge of a dock, whereupon it sunk in the water.

So Mom did not move the bird. It was a good idea, at least in the mindset that Gwynn was still looking longingly at the bird, but we just took him inside for untill the bird left.

It did not move for a while either, but I could see its beak moving, probably from it freaking out.

We left it alone, making dinner (which had SOME mild interaction with it, since it was right in front of our bbq, and we needed it to make dinner), and I thought it had died from shock, since I couldn’t see its beak moving anymore.

It’s legs were pulled up tight to its body, and it’s beak wasn’t moving. I wasn’t about to feel and see if it’s chest was moving, so Dad suggested/Told us to leave it alone still.

I left for a while, and then, TADA! It wasn’t on its side anymore! It was just sitting on our porch!

HE LIVES! For now...

 It was very exciting, and dad was quick to point out that he was right in leaving it alone.

But it wasn’t moving after that.

What a great thing to happen on Father’s day, huh? And right in front of Dad too… But then again, it happened pretty much ON TOP of Lexy, so at least it isn’t as bad as it could have been.

I left again, after taking the picture, very happy that the little guy was living.

I have to admit that the reason why I decided to take pictures in the first place (besides the fact that I now have bloggeritis, a disease that says “take a picture, and write about it!”), was because if it didn’t live I was going to write a memorial Blog for it, and encourage people to put shadow stickers on their windows, but, it seems like the little guy had a will for life.

The next time I checked, he was still there, and even the time after that, and I was kind of worried about him possibly being dead even after standing up (“If I have to die be some strange bit of solid air, I’m gonna do it standing, dammit!”), but on the third check, he wasn’t there.

Now here’s where the crazy and sane parts of me kick in.

Sane: “YES! He LIVES! Fly Free and Alive Cute Yellow One!”

Insane: “Oh my GOD! Gwynn got out and ATE HIM!”

I happily told Mom and Dad about the fact that the bird was gone, since, the Sane part of me said that if Gwynn had gotten out, SOMEONE would have noticed, right?

Insane: “OhMyGOD! Hunter ATE HIM!!”

Sane went quiet.

For those of you who don’t know, Hunter is the stray black cat with green eyes that hunts around my back yard. He walks like a hunter, which is why I call him that, and he kills the pigeons in our backyard. Also, he walks like a villain in a children’s movie, like Edgar from Arisocats.

Mom calmed me down by saying that yeah, he few off a few minutes ago.

Sane breathed a sigh of relief, even as Insane muttered about how the Yellow One was safe, but the Pigeons probably weren’t.

I put off finishing off my Woofstock Pt 2 post to tell people about this struggle (?) for life, and about the hazards our windows pose for our feathered neighbors.

If you scroll up to the picture of the two windows by my computer, you will notice the shadowish looking bird shadow on the window to the right. That was put there so that it would show that there was something solid there, or at least something that the birds should avoid (hence the predator-bird shape, rather than a sparrow or something).

If you have window space that is clear , and have nothing in the way of it, please put up a sticker, or some other indication thing on your windows.

They do not damage your windows, and you don’t have to get them wet or sticky to put them on, though it is suggested to put them on the inside of your window rather than the outside.

Save your feathered friends the trauma of hitting a window.

It’s not a nice sound, and it is rather startling to see little poufs of feathers floating away, as once happened when a Bluejay hit the window.

That bird was well enough to fly away immediately (Insane muttered about the unfairness that none of the pretty feathers fell off, only the grey blah looking tiny ones), and this Yellow Finch today managed to fly away after about an hour of sitting in shock, but it is always a worry that some day Hunter will get a free snack, thanks to one of our windows.

Check out this site and this birding site  for some more ways to keep birds from hitting your windows.

Also, if you notice, hitting something when you are unaware of it is much more painful than if you notice it at the last second. Windows are always clear to birds, and it has the bad joke at the end in the fact that they still don’t know what hit them afterwards.

Not all birds are like Angry Bird, and can go through things like that.

He's angry because his brethren are being held up to his unrealistic standard! He will not stand for this!

 Save the Birds!

Buy a sticker!

Yard Work Help

This weekend is a Working Weekend, where my family and I Work In The Backyard, and Clean The House as needed. We regularly try to minimalize any actual Cleaning in house unless Lexy puts on her Lex Luthor persona and encourages (read: forces) us.

Today was mainly working on cleaning along the side of our garage, where there was copious amounts of rotting, punky, nail-ridden planks of useless wood. This is a No, because as soon as we realized a couple of weeks back that Gwynn (our overly curious dog) has been chasing the squirrels there.

Even mostly empty, it's still so messy...

This is all the stuff (or at least a good portion) that we took from the side of the garage

There was a lot of stuff there, most of which we really didn’t want him getting into… There were just too many situations where we would have to bring dog into the vet for, such as him stepping on a rusty nail, him trying to eat the pressure treated wood (which is BAD for dogs, like poison and grapes), trip over one of the beams and break something, get trapped or squished when, after knocking into one of the taller piles/vertically leaning planks, everything falls on him, and possibly a couple of other things too.

We had had everything blocked off; using an ingenious wall made up from garbage cans and not-nasty planks, but figured the best solution would be to actually clean it…

Lexy used this for a lot of the planks... Gwynn was not inpressed

So we started hauling out all of the planks of wood to throw out, some of the thicker pieces requiring Dad to use an axe on the pieces, but otherwise we used power tools to cut the pieces into smaller sections.

It all needed to be able to fit into our Garbage cans after all.

We ended up not being able to get all of the pieces in there though, so we have to wait till next garbage day to get rid of ALL of it. That’s not too much fun, but we got a lot done.

One of the things that we found while pulling things from the side was a large orange tarp.

My family is a big believer in the usefulness of a tarp, so we spread it out to dry off for a bit, and quickly found out that a gigantic slug had been hiding out in its folds. Mom even made the noise that she usually reserves for earwigs when she found it, but that’s understandable… the Beastly Slug was bigger than her thumb, sooo…

Yeah. Understandable.

Now look at your thumb, and imagine it's a large slug. Go ahead, do it. Yes, eww.

What was not understandable was why I was the one who had to get rid of it. I mean, Finders Keepers and all that jazz right?

But no, it was me who had to roll it onto a leaf and put it in our compost bins…

Everyone else was happy (including the Slug Beast I bet, since we have a lot of good compost material in our bins, and that’s good slug food I bet), and I dealt with the slug.

Blegh.

So we spread out the Orange tarp, and I started to shake it out to loosen the dirt…

Dog helped.

And then ran away… and then helped again…

He seemed to really like playing with the tarp, but he kept on trying to chew on it, so that part wasn’t fun.

But, after the hose was turned on, I started spraying it down…

He also seemed to really like the hose, so that part was fun, and it was interesting seeing him slowly deflate as his hair got weighed down by water.

 Fun times with this, eh?

But hosing it down wasn’t going to do much, I have to admit… so Lexy helped out by bringing out a scrubby brush…

It was apparently a particularily ferocious looking scrubby brush, since Gwynn attacked it in our defense…

the entire thing was pretty hilarious, and it took up a good amount of time, so by that time Lexy suggested (reda: decided) that it would be a good time to start cleaning up inside.

We did a good general clean inside on the main floor, and then headed to the basement to get it looking like less of a war zone.

Our basement used to be an apartment, and up untill a little mor ethan a year ago, we had a tenant  who lived there. She was nice, and a bit of a shop-a-holic, and ended up giving up a LOT of her clothing to us. We never really had to go shopping…

Aah, those were the days…

Bou, since she’s moved out, we’ve been using it as a sort-of storage area, so even cleaning it up menat that there were some boxes along the walls, and things hung up around the room.

My primary job was to move all of my hockey stuff back into my hockey bag, since my parents had emptied it out to hold suits while they went to Florida for a week. Mom’s school participates in something called DECA, and regularily goes on trips. It’s a sort-of business club, and at these events they get prizes and the like, and Mom usually enlists Dad’s help in acting as a Judge/supervisor at these things.

They didn’t exactly ask if they could use my bag, but with the season being over, I figured that they were taking their own rishs with the suits that they were bringing up smelling of hockey equiptment, and got a good laugh at picturing my mom hauling around my hockey bag in front of her students.

But I still needed to clean out my hockey bag, and them removing everything from it gave me encouragement to get it over with already.

I had a couple of pairs of socks that were too small, and at least two jerseys that I wasn’t likely to use, as well as a number of tape wads that were just taking up space.

I narrowed it down to having four pairs of socks (I make them holy regularily, so spares are understandable), and three different coloured jerseys. The rest were going to be thrown in the garbage.

And it was–save one jersey.

Lexy suggested using one of my old jerseys and maybe stufing i with something, since Gwynn has always shown an interest in my equiptment, so I saved one for him. Perhaps we will make it into a large pillow or something… if anyone can think of anything else that could possibly be done by two amateur-ish crafters, feel free to mention.

But before we did that…

Yeah, put  yo paws in the ay-yer, a-a-yer, a-yer!

lol, ignore or accept my dorkishness, it’s still there.

Here are some more pictures inspired by my dorkishnes.

And he submerged his head, only to find that it was only dirty water, not beer, within the bucket. Alas...

We played for a bit before drying him off some more (minus the jersey)

 

He stands tall in his pride as a Hockey Supporter and Fan...

Lexy used her Boss charms to get him to consent to the Towel…
Quick explanation to Boss:
You know the dog owners who go overboard with the whole “Yes, look at mummy mupsy-wupsy! Oooooh, what a good girl/boy! Now give mummy kisses, etc, etc, etc…”?
 
Well, Lexy didn;t wnat to be one of those people…
 
Close quote: “I am not the dog’s mother, and will never be the dog’s mother. Gwynn’s relationship to me shouold be more like an employee to a bos… yes, I am the dog’s Boss. Bwahaha! Hear me roar!”
or something like that…
 

yes, Lexy can be entirely too cutsy with Dog, but still a powerful, almost Jedi force keeps Gwynn frrom fidgeting and attempting escape when she towels him... strange...

So we got a lot done this weekend, Lexy got the rest of the basement cleaned with my help, she had friends over to go to the bars for a belated birthday bash, the basement now clean enough for a few of them to stay the night, and oh!

Almost forgot to mention that I fixed up a small problem that we’ve been having with the mesh doors. Dog keeps running into the mesh doorways, and looking thoroughly disgruntled when he ouldn’t get past the invisible force-field, so I fixed it.

from left: star, swirl, X, flower... reflective and protective (TM) 😀

STICKERS! Yes, I cut out pictures from some shiny tape (not unlike duct tape), and put them on the screen door at the appropriate height for dog.  

I feel as though this would have been less of an issue had Dog not been very suspicious of his ability to get through doorways after his interactions with the screen door…
It’s not fun when You have to cajole and go outside yourself to get your pet to go outside to take a leak…
 
Yeah, not nearly as convenient as just letting him out…
 
So that was the weekend, and all of it’s productiveness!
 
Ciao~
 
~Doodled93~

NEARLY HIT HIM!

Okay, i pretty much JUST posted something today, but I figured that I’d better mentio this before my freak-out feeling goes away.

I’m taking a driving course, and have already done the inclass portion, but am now doing the in-car lessons… well, I was GOING to go on a walk with Lexy, you know, bring Gwynn (aussie-shepherd poodle mix that is my profile pic thingy) on a good hourish long walk for a cople of blocks, but because of the scheduled time of my lesson, I couldn’t. Well, we (the driving instructr and I) drove around the neighborhood, doing turns, pulling up to curbs, generally screwing up with the hand-over-hand method for a little more than half the time, when up ahead I noticed a very familiar pooch bouncing/playing and wrestling with a not-as-fluffy black dog, along with my almost-twin (+6 years) sister {Lexy}, and  my other older sister, Emma.

On a side note, I went upstairs to ask her what she wanted her code name to be, since it seemed kind of rediculous (and kinda mean) to call her my ‘other sister’ all the time, when I call Lexy Lexy. So I asked her, and she responded with Smith002, HER ffn.net penname, but I convinced her out of it… Sounded a bit too Star Wars…. “These are not the droids you’re looking for… Come along Lexy, Smith002, we have some super bit of machinery to blow up, mwahahaha”… So i talked to her for a bit, and we decided through debate to call her Emma, or Emmy for code.

Ayway, I saw them on the side of the road, Gwynn bouncing around and acting all playful, and generally making me more and more parainoid that he’d jump in front of the car ANY MINUTE NOW as I got closer, and seriously! I nearly hit him!

I mean, what kind of a situation is that??? Lexy would never have forgiven me if I had REALLY run him over, and I’m oretty sure that even if I didn’t end up killing the poor boy, it would be little reconciliation to say “well, he’s not dead… have fun with the vet bills!”

Also, what a way to put someone off even getting NEAR a car! second in-car official driving lesson, and I HIT MY DOG. I mean, FUDGE! Freaked me out!!!

Lexy has told me taht I am freaking out too much, and I realise it’s a bit rediculous, but what if I HAD hit him?

She is now reminding me that, by ‘almost hit the dog’ I actually mean ‘drove on the same street’, I must point out that there was a parked car on the one side, so I was like, a whole car door away from hitting them!

Of course, now that I actually think about it, I probably would have stopped it, and it wasn’t likely that the driving instructor would have opened her door to hit anyone (what a way to lose your job, eh?), and I’m mainly freaking out about the possibility more than the reality…

But yeah, driving instructions were pretty fun, even if I have found a new hatred for people walking their pets–or even walking on their own or even worse, in GROUPS–when I am on the road. I can understand the people walking their pets, but I have to encourage anyone who is reading this to keep your animal OFF the road. Drivers are not always able to avoid hitting animals when they dart in front of the car, as shown by any number of roadkill that you can see on highways, freeways, as well as regular streets.

J-walkers are stupid, the people who walk on the road next to the sidewalk are dumbbums (how much swearing is allowed on here?), the people who walk on the road in the middle of a lane are suicidal (very much like squirrels), the people who walk when the red hand is up are spiteful, rebellious morons without a cause, people with strollers, ON THE ROAD (IT’S A BABY YOU MORON! DO YOU WANT ME TO BE A POTENTIAL BABY-KILLER??), and, especially now that there is no longer snow on the ground for longer than a few minutes (what’s up with that fellow canadians? I’m getting snow in April! What’s with that?), bikers who ride on the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!

I didn’t notice them before I started driving, but when you’re trying to turn a corner and a cyclist swerves around your car, it’s really freaking scary! I wasn’t even the one who was driving the last three times.

So yeah, anyone else have freakouts on pedestrians? any other pet-peeves?

Oh, and I realize that I sound like a bit of a spaz right now, but driving in my neighborhood is a bit of a minefield for a new driver in any car, let alone a borrowed one. There are death hedges that block your sight, stupid telephone poles, more gigantic hedges, trees, parked cars, more than just a dozen of stray cats (P.S Cult of Otis people, i’m trying to help but they’re quick!), and morons on the road.

Fun times, huh?