Sunday, April 4, 2021

Poop, mowers, miracles and lilacs


Golden Dung Beetles (Scathophaga stercoraria), literally Poop-eating decomposer. These flies show up in great abundance in the spring and their availability may be one of the toggles that limit the migration of bird species that are primarily insectivores.

Rumor has it that the meme "Do you have any grey poupon?" originated with them.


The black object in the upper-left quadrant of the image is the gas tank

I was mowing with my "new" push mower with the larger wheels. I noticed the engine speed surged when I hit a bump. Looking more closely, I saw that the gas tank was bobbing when I hit a bump.

Closer examination revealed that one of the cast aluminum bosses that supported the gas tank had snapped. The throttle linkage was holding up one end of the gas tank.

I lashed the tank back into position with orange, baling twine and continued mowing.


I cut down a tree today. I had planted the tree even before we moved into the house.

The tree had been hammered by an ice-storm about three years ago.

I leaned a 12' ladder against the tree and cut the remaining limbs.

Unbeknownst to me, Mrs ERJ was watching from her chair in the living room.

One of the limbs fought back. The end hit the ground, bowed and then the butt end of the branch hit the ladder and tried to knock it off the tree.

I simultaneously dropped the saw, said a naughty word and grabbed the trunk of the tree.

The tree must have forgiven me as my hug was enough to arrest the arc of the ladder. After that, I scurried down the ladder like a squirrel.

Mrs ERJ was not amused. She prefers that her Easter miracles remain Biblical.

Trees planted

Two tiny lilac bushes went into the ground today: Congo and Monge. The trees were extremely pot bound.

Next weeks installments

The installments during the coming week will have some technical errors. Some of it is accidental. Usually, when I have content that is this technical I have a team of consultants I bounce installments off-of. They point out errors and suggest improvements.

Even though the story is FICTION it may be enough to get me banned. If so, I don't want to implicate my technical advisors.

The other errors, if there are any, are there to avoid giving terrorists any usable script. So, if you are experienced enough to say "Hell no, that wouldn't work" please do not post corrections in comments.


  1. About 25 years ago, i placed a ladder against a tree limb. The end of the limb had broken and i was going to saw it off. I didn't think about the weight of the broken part keeping the limb down and i had only placed the ladder with about 12 inches above the limb. I dropped the broken part and lo and behold now that the extra weight was gone the unbroken limb tried to rise above the height of the ladder. I grabbed it and was able to hold it in place until my daughter came out to see what i was yelling about. Quite an experience.

  2. And that is why I use a harness and a rope. I watched my dad fall off a ladder on a tree job. He tore his arm up and never climbed again. I fell off a ladder and narrowly missed a rebar stake.
    Yesterday I was going to use my truck as a ladder platform. I promptly got very stuck.
    Ladders are not my friend.


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