May. 25th, 2016

restoman: (Little Jimmy)
I love my dog, Lily, but there are definitely times when I do not like her. Today she killed a squirrel in the back yard. A few days ago she killed a young bird. Apparently, several young Starlings either fell out of their nest or were trying to fly at too young an age. I did not see Lily kill the bird, all I saw from the kitchen door was Lily standing in the lawn, where she was picking something up out of the grass and tossing it into the air repeatedly. I went out to see what she was doing and discovered she was playing with a dead bird. Two adult starlings were swooping down, dive-bombing her, but she just ignored them. I took it away from her, bagged it and put it in the outdoor trash can.

A few minutes later, I heard a commotion on the back porch. Lily had cornered another young Starling and was pouncing on it and pestering it. I brought her inside and then rescued the young bird in a plastic container. I moved it to a safer spot under a big Forsythia bush in the side yard (outside of the fenced-in back yard) where Lily could not get to it. I left it alone there, hoping that the parents would find it and take care of it. The next day I saw that the young bird had hopped up into the top of the bush, and 2 adults were busy bringing it food.

I know that it is just part of a dog's nature to hunt, but I am not happy with it.

My friend, Bob, lives in a house across the street from mine. Ever since he got out of the hospital 6 weeks ago, he has been coming to my house for dinner almost every night. I enjoy having someone to cook for and share dinners with. Because I am not just cooking for myself, I have been making healthier, more balanced dinners, which is better for both of us.

Friday evening, after dinner, I drove downtown, looking for Mark, who was being chased by 2 drug dealers to whom he owed money. I brought Bob with me. We didn't find Mark (or his bloodied body), but as we headed back to my house we saw a huge column of heavy black smoke rising up east of the city. Bob is usually game for a little adventure, so I asked him if he wanted to come with me to track down the fire. Based on the volume of smoke we first guessed that maybe a factory was on fire out in East Syracuse or maybe a large store in Dewitt. By the time we got to East Syracuse, it was clear that the fire was even farther away than we thought. The traffic started getting heavier as we got to Minoa, and the police were diverting traffic off of some roads going toward the fire. We speculated that maybe a freight train of oil-tanker cars had derailed and caught fire. From Minoa we could see the glow of the flames and could tell that the smoke was coming from a wide area. Out past Minoa, there is little development, there is some farmland, but most of the area is covered with marshland and woods. As we drove, pieces of ash were drifting down into the road. With some careful maneuvering we got all the way to the little village of Kirkville. We could go no further. Fire trucks blocked one route into the village, police blocked the other route, and all we could do was take a side road away from the fire. I got a few pictures, and then turned on the local news when I got home. It wasn't a factory, or oil-tanker cars, it was just a huge brush-fire. No buildings were damaged, and the fire never got close to any roads, which made it very difficult to fight. It burned over a hundred acres of marsh and woodland just outside Kirkville. We very rarely have brush or forest fires around here, but the past month has seen little rain, and the conditions were ripe for a fire in last-year's dead marsh grass. It was dark by the time we came home, but we had a good adventure.

1.
The smoke, as seen from Minoa.
Two More Pictures )

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