Saturday, April 18, 2015

On A Bit of an Animal Adventure

As the title says....  And maybe more like a mother - young animal adventure.....

It started last Thursday when my class went on a field trip to a local dairy farmer's operation a few kilometres from the school.  We hit up the Angst Farm for a bit of an education on dairy farming and the process there-of.  It was very fun.  Peter and Denise are two great people.  They have quite an operation with 60 milkers, and a bunch of heifers, and some calves too obviously.  Their milking machine is robotic and the ladies get their udders empty as and when they want to or feel the need to do so.  The seminar was about 75 mins. long and we got to see a wide variety of the aspects of this way of life.

A calf was born about 10 minutes just before we got there.  Apparently mother and young are only together for about 12 hours - sometime less.  Just enough time to get it up and walking, licked clean, and a drink of milk...  Then it is off to a smaller pen.  Off without their mothers.  Forever.  It does not sound that right....  No other mammal really operates like that.  There are rare occasions like human adoption when quick separation like that occurs.  Maybe in the wild many mothers abandon their young if they sense disease, illness or some other threat.  But generally it is not the case.  However many people enjoy their dairy products and simply do mind or care this practice goes on.

On Friday it was off to Clinton to the Reach Centre to watch a Medieval Times presentation.  Lots of horses of course, but there was also a Falconer too.  He was pretty interesting.  He brought out a falcon or hawk or some sort that is quite the star in Hollywood - the guy was very pleased to tell everyone that it had been in a movie with Nicolas Cage (probably more like a scene for 2 seconds...) recently, he brought out a golden eagle which was 27 years old, and lastly, he brought out a turkey vulture.  That is where and when he lost my credibility.  Turkey vultures are all too common in southwestern Ontario.  Heck you can be driving in your car and they will be eating a dead skunk on the side of the road and not even move.  What was next a trained crow?  I wasn't too impressed with the turkey vulture.  And that actor falcon of his - it will also be the official mascot for that Toronto soccer team this summer so "watch for him on TSN".  Okay buddy.  I will.

So this falconer stood out because he was quite in love with his birds, and the only cast member without super long hair and a beard.

On Saturday we loaded up and went out to Port Albert where they had the fish ladder going.  It is a process of tagging, marking, and collecting fish roe and semen for the hatcheries in the area.  There were lots of good sized fish and the samples were satisfactory I suppose.  Lots of people generally go and watch the process.  Again, humans are odd in many ways.  I look at it as a type of  socially acceptable voyeurism.  I didn't take any pictures though - that'd be wrong!  But it was a beauty of a day and we ran into a few other pervs, I mean people I know.  Good on them fish.

We skidded east of Port Albert to check on the flock of lambs out at Larry's.  It looked as if everyone there had a great arrival into this world and they seemed happy to see us too. The horses were outside getting some sun, the casts were in the barn, and there were a few chickens there too picking away at this and that off the ground.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mid April

Halfway through the month - unbelievable.  These days in some regard seem to drag on.  The sleepless nights (Shelly + Wally) and the crying is growing old, but I fear there are a few more months of unsettled life. Wally fights and fights every step of the way.

We all had a terrific Easter weekend.  Lighthouse Street was opened up and the Johnston's came over and we were more than able to accommodate, space and feed the bunch.  It wouldn't have been possible on Quebec Street  - well not as possible.  Nothing is impossible I suppose.  There was maximum food and drink, and minimum squawking and complaining.

It was good having a huge breakfast scoff with the Beasley's and Coup's too on Easter weekend.  We got Molly this V-Tec kids digital camera.  We got it at a scratch and dent type store for $12 or something.  Well wouldn't you know it was full of pictures from the family who once owned it before it found its way to this liquidation store that we got it from...  And we had a great visit with the Guelph crew of Trista and the donkeys.

Over the past few weeks we have really went to town purging and cleaning up the backyard.  There was quite a lot of waste to get rid of, limbs to trim, trees to pull out or cut, and so on.  I explained to my neighbour that this is just like cutting hair - it will grow back.  But he is in his mid 70s and wasn't so confident of my analogy.  However for me and what I am used to, it will come back.

The motorbike is running fine.  It loves the cold air.  I have gone through a tank of gas anyway so far this year.  Not too much.  I had it in my mind to really give it a go last weekend because I had the time, but I got a bit cold.  Hopefully I will have more than enough warm weather and time coming over the next few months.

At school today we had a guest entertainer/assembly.  A country music talent named Ryan Laird.  He has an anti-bullying message, coupled with fantastic music.  I was asked to bring in my amp and whatnot for him to use.  I don't know exactly what it is called, but it is a Bose, and you can plug your guitar and microphone into it and it is really portable and good.....  We got it as a wedding gift and it really is quite the system.  At any rate I was a bit taken back that I had to bring it to school for this guy to use.  (Well, not exactly - it was just that he requested a system of some sort be available for him to have his sound travel through....)  He had a custom Cithara guitar [$3k ? at least..], he has professional videos, he was found/or has worked with Taylor Swift by the sounds of it, he has toured with serious country musicians, obviously has management and an agent representation, and the like....  So, ya, I figure an amp and microphone plug in thingy would be the least of his concerns...  To make this long story short he used my system = Well I'll tell you, sound has never ever been so clear out of that thing until he put it to use.  Now I am not saying it was cool that he used my gear, but it sort of was.  And it really does sound awesome.  It filled the entire gymnasium - and clearly.

2 of these 3 boys bought us the sound system - Thanks AJ and Lyndon..

And to finish the story - Ryan is an amazingly talented musician...  The message was well received by the students...  The assembly was great....  He is a songwriter and a musician....  I got chit-chatting with him and he was very nice....  That's it.  Oh, and also his guitar slipped out of its strap, fell to the ground, and broke the patch cord/cable end (the steel part which goes) to the amp = Roady Drew was to the rescue and I let him use mine!  To think what would have happened today if it wasn't for my equipment and me....  It was a good thing I was around.

Again - too much time in between postings.  A friend who reads this blog just said to me last night that she has checked it out a few times and nothing.  Well nothing new.  So Amy - thanks for reminding me and I will do a bit better.  *Tell Jeff that I really want to go see the new Mad Max too.....