The spectacular plunge
I’ve mentioned many times that living in the semi-wilds of the Kansas Flint Hills frequently brings me into unusual contact with wild critters. That proved true again this past week with a big wild bird.
The strange encounter wuz with a raptor seldom seen in the Flint Hills, a mature osprey. One afternoon, my fishing buddy, ol’ Kastin Bates, and I were fishing from the shady bank on a big, deep, clear, rocky watershed lake. We hadn’t been there very long until we spied a big bird soaring high in the sky. It was as big as a mature eagle or a turkey buzzard, but we could see it had a whiteish coloration on its bottom side which nixed eagle and buzzard.
The bird kept circling in the updrafts and slowly coming lower and lower. I finally said I thought it wuz an osprey. I had hardly gotten the words out of my mouth when the bird, from more than 100 feet in the air, tucked its wings close to its body and spectacularly dive-bomb plunged straight down into the water with a huge splash, It was about 70 yards from where we were sitting. After a few seconds, the osprey took flight from the water surface and had a nice fish in its talons.
It disappeared to the south and we never saw it again. Most likely, we figgered, the osprey wuz migrating south for the winter and stopped for a nice fish snack. I’ve fished that watershed dozens of times down through the years and never before seen an osprey. In fact, I can’t recall ever seeing an osprey around here.
Sometimes I’m surprised at how far away this column shows up. This time it’s from Saskatchewan province in Canada. Somehow a Canadian farmer, ol’ Frezyor Butzoff, saw fit to send me a list of ways you can tell if you’re a genuine farmer. Here’s his list.
You are a genuine farmer if ….
• Your dog rides in your pickup truck more than your wife does.
• You are able to convince your wife that an overnight trip for equipment parts is a vacation.
• You wear specific hats to farm sales, livestock auctions, customer appreciation suppers, organizational conventions and to church.
• You’ve never thrown away a 5-gallon bucket.
• You’ve used baling wire to attach a license plate.
• You’ve used a chain saw to remodel your house.
• You’ve fibbed to a mechanic about greasing your equipment.
•You’ve borrowed gravel from the country road to fill driveway potholes.
• You’ve buried a dog and shed tears.
• You’ve used the same knife on the same day to castrate calves and peel apples.
And, from southwest Missouri comes this poultry story from “Anonymous.”
A farmer bought a new young rooster to “supplement” his hens, since the flock wuz being “serviced” by only one old rooster.
The young rooster had scarcely hit the ground than he bristled up and told the old rooster, “Your days here are over. You’re not needed. I’m taking over.”
The old rooster played on the young rooster’s ego and said, “Tell you what. Let’s have a foot race to see if I stay or go. We’ll run around the henhouse three times and if you beat me, I’ll concede my place in the flock pecking order.
The young rooster wuz so confident in his physical shape that he replied, “Fine. And to make it more fair, I’ll even spot you 3 seconds.”
So, one of the hens counted to three and started the race.
After one lap around the henhouse, the young rooster wuz gaining, but still behind, but the race had caught the attention of the farmer. On the second lap, the old rooster’s lead had been cut in half.
But, on the third lap, the young rooster wuz within a feather’s breadth of catching the old rooster, when “kerblang,” a shotgun shot rang out. The young rooster had run his last race.
As the farmer blew the smoke from the barrel of his 12-gauge, he muttered, “That’s the third rooster I’ve had to shoot in the past month that won’t stick to business.”
Story moral? Old and experienced usually wins over youth and exuberance.
Thanks for the story, Anon.
In our downsizing and trying to simplify our elder-life, Nevah and I have some good, usable office furniture we need to see gone. We have a heavy-duty, L-shaped wooden office desk for sale. We also have a heavy wooden computer desk with removable above-desk shelving. The third piece is a wooden printer stand on rollers.
If anyone is interested, the desk price is $275, the computer desk price is $150, and the printer table is $75. If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at (620) 344-1350.
Serious question of the week: We don’t let athletes bet on games they have the ability to influence, so why do we allow congresspersons to invest in companies they regulate?
Have a good ‘un.
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