The Watering Hole, Thursday, March 22nd, 2012: Neighborhood Wildlife

Living in a rural area, with a pond down the yard and a swamp nearby, we do get some interesting visitors. The swampy area connects two sections of The Great Swamp, which stretches through several towns just west of Route 22. Canoeing and kayaking through the swamp are popular among local birders.

Mallards are common visitors to our own pond, but we don’t normally see them out walking the streets, like the female here:

Female Mallard out for a stroll


A more unusual visitor to our pond was this great egret:
great egret visiting pond

Great Egret Visiting Pond


A much more frightening-looking local denizen sometimes crosses through our yard to get from the pond to the swamp:
Snapping Turtle

Snapping Turtle crossing the road to get to the other side


But we also get some much cuter guests, such as these baby skunks, whose antics had us grinning with delight:
Litter of Skunks

Litter of Skunks

Ah, the joys of country living!

This is our daily open thread — so, what’s on your mind?

101 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Thursday, March 22nd, 2012: Neighborhood Wildlife

  1. The skunks were funny. There was a Mama skunk and four babies (maybe five?). Anyway, when she decided they had had enough and wanted to leave, she would pick one up by the scruff of the neck and start heading off the porch. Of course, her head isn’t as high off the ground as a cat’s, so the baby skunk was thunking along the ground as she went. The rest of the litter were all scrambling around her and darting this way and that. They reminded me of the Bugs Bunny cartoon with the pack of hunting dogs that was just a moving mass of bodies. At several points, she would drop the skunk and it would get up and scamper back toward the porch, and its litter mates would turn around and follow it back. Then Mama would chase after them, pick another one up by the scruff and start the process all over again. It took her a few tries before she was able to hold one long enough to take them wherever she took them.

    Luckily, none of them sprayed throughout this process, so it wasn’t so stinky after they left.

  2. When the skunks stop by, I stay inside. Last year, I had to put up a baby gate across my cat door because a young raccoon was small enough to squeeze through the door and come into my house.

  3. Breaking news!

    Mitt Rmoney has promised to not read from a teleprompter for the remainder of his campaign.
    A press release states: Teleprompters destroy the spontaneity of statements a candidate may give speaking to a large crowd.
    From now on Mr Rmoney will only read from an Etch a Sketch.

    • This should be fun. Scary to think that what he’s been saying thus far has been thought out (?) beforehand.
      Imagine what’s to come.
      Yesterday I heard he said that the Keystone pipeline is one of the best ideas to increase domestic oil production.
      Er, it’s Canadian oil, going to Gulf ports… am I missing something?

    • BWAAAAHAHAHAHAH!!! Expect more vacant stares, stammering attacks and other forms of RMoney amusement as his internal etchasketch gets shaken up by any question he hasn’t been programmed to respond to!

    • I guess people figure Mr. Speaker is better than:
      “Mr. FailedHumanBeing”, or “Your Most Eminent Prickishness”

    • To be fair, I don’t call him Mr. Gingrich either. I usually refer to him as Newter. If I happened to meet him at some point (although I never go to WalMart, so am unlikely to bump into him as a greeter) I guess I would call him “mister.”

    • I’ve been saying the same thing. The title belongs to the person holding the office, not the person who once held the office. Once you leave office, that’s it. The title is a has-been title. So it would be Mr. Has Been Speaker.

  4. Koch Brothers’ Attempted Takeover Of Cato Could Be Part Of Bold Plan

    Anyone wondering why the ultra-conservative billionaire industrialist Koch brothers are trying to seize control of the libertarian Cato Institute might want to look toward Wisconsin.

    The Cato Institute is a Washington think tank with a long history of rigorous scholarship in the name of championing individual liberty. It’s known for taking positions outside the conservative mainstream on issues like civil liberties, the war on drugs and U.S. militarism, regardless of the political consequences.

    Charles and David Koch, by contrast, are all about winning. Their massive underwriting of bellicose Tea Party groups and super PACs appears to have three main goals: ousting President Barack Obama, busting unions, and reducing the tax and regulatory burden on companies like their own.

    In Wisconsin, the two brothers have a 501(c)(3) educational organization that, just like Cato, is allowed to accept tax-deductible contributions. And just like Cato, it’s only allowed to do so on condition that it not intervene in political campaigns.

  5. In Prescott I would often see Javalena come through the housing section — sometimes one or two, other times a largish (7 — 8) herd. I would also have coyote stop outside the windows and yodel across the arroyo.

  6. Speaking of Mittens; Rachel really poured it on last night. It’s about damn time that someone calls these liars “liars”. I really, really, want to see her host a presidential debate. She’s about the only media figure with the will and the brains to stop a candidate in mid sentence to say “excuse me, that’s simply not true” and then provide the facts that demonstrate said candidate is lying.

    (NOTE: Cenk could pull it off too but might lose points for displaying his anger. Plus, Current has a ways to go.)

    http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/rachel-maddow-romneys-lies-should-disqualif

  7. An organization called Government Free VJJ is encouraging women to knit uteruses and send them to male members of Congress with the note, “Dear Men in Congress: If we knit you a uterus, will you stay out of ours?” Supporters can either send the knitted organs directly to their congressional representatives or to project organizers who will hand deliver them. And as debate continues in Arizona about a controversial bill that would allow employers to dictate if an employee’s insurance could cover contraception, one woman says she will begin sending a knitted uterus to Arizona legislators after she sends them to Arizona’s congressional delegation.

    Heh. I li

      • I noticeed the big red ‘A’ on the back of Doonesbury’s medical form holder as the ‘accused’ filled out her form in his recent series on the subject.

        “By the authority vested in me by the State of Virgina, I thee rape”

  8. LibertyLover
    on March 22, 2012 at 11:27 am said:
    Heh… never seen a javelina car before…

    Well, I would tend to think of Romney as an odd looking pig, rather than a Camaro knock-off from that other car company.

    • Romney’s not the car he’s the greasy, plaid jacketed smarm bucket *selling* the car.

      “What’s it going to take for you to get me into the presidency today?”

      • Reminds me a software commercial from a few years ago, where the salesman is not even real, he’s just a cardboard cutout. And he slides himself under your door to be standing there asking you how much software you’d like to buy.

        • Precisely! Friend of mine *is* a software saleman and *gave* one his favourite clients a 1 ft tall card board cut out of himself with that speech bubble attached….

      • That’s a pretty good analogy. Romney also reminds me a of sleazy first date that tries to do everything that he can to worm his way into one’s bed. Finally, he has to resort to a roofie so that you have no recollection of the whole thing.

      • There’s still a lingering doubt that Willard is not only a rat but a weasel instead. (With abject apologies to vermin everywhere).
        But, some of his best friends are NASCAR owners…!

    • Or perhaps the guy on Ebay who advertises a mint condition Gibson Flying V, but when it arrives, it’s a cheap North Asian knock off with a broken neck. Then, when you file the freight claim, the jackass keeps the claim money as well.

  9. Breaking news:

    The police chief of Sanford Florida has announced that he will “temporarily” step down because he doesn’t want to be a “distraction”. It sounds more likely to me that he’s an abject coward in addition to, if not being a racist himself, allowing obvious racism in his department’s handling of the Trayvon Martin murder. it seems to me that a brave man would have suspended every cop involved and arrested the shooter.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/03/22/450300/breaking-embattled-sanford-police-chief-steps-down-says-he-has-become-a-distraction/

    • My advice to the ‘chief’.

      Take a long, long vacation. Say, in the delightful nation of Mali! …for a couple of decades.
      They welcome lawless asshats daily!

  10. Police chief in Trayvon Martin case to step down | The Lookout – Yahoo! News

    Sanford, Fla., Police Chief Bill Lee is “temporarily” resigning amid widespread criticism of his department’s handling of the Trayvon Martin case, he announced moments ago.

    So how does this work? Any time you screw up, or don’t want to accept responsibility for what you did, you can just “temporarily resign.” So when the dust settles you can come back to your cushy job?

    No. I don’t think so. You either do your job. Or you resign and give up your job for good. You can’t have it both ways.

    • Indeed. I think the FBI should arrest everyone involved and let the federal courts take care of it. From what I’ve heard I would have no problem deciding, at the very least, that none of the cops should ever be employed in law enforcement again.

      • Hell, a mall cop caught stealing from the mall he patrolled would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and fired immediately. Do these people really not value lives of people they are supposed to protect? Shameful.

        • Mike Malloy might have summed it up best. (I paraphrase)

          “In Florida, if one shoots and kills a dog? One goes to jail. If one shoots and kills a person, especially a black person? One isn’t even arrested.”

          I would also like to think that there aren’t many police departments in the country that wouldn’t investigate the shooter at least to the point of a sobriety test and a quick search of said shooter’s criminal record before turning him loose.

  11. Note to readers…
    Don’t pet the snapping turtles! Unless you’ve got an extra finger or two you don’t need…!

  12. lol – I just got called a racist by another commenter over on Annie’s blog for saying Bush was a war criminal. I think we’ve figured out the problem. Righties really don’t know what racism is. As Annie pointed out in her article, when they use code words like “fascist” for Obama they’re really making a thinly veiled comment about race. The rightie commenter wanted to know what we were saying about Bush when we called him a fascist. Annie, of course, had the obvious answer. We were calling him a fascist. I suggested, however, that calling Bush a Fascist was really code for calling him a War Criminal. The rigtie then called me a racist. So clearly they don’t understand how racism works.

  13. Meanwhile…..done in by an Etch-A-Sketch:

    “I’m very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay,” – Mitt Romney, 2006.

    “Gov. Romney believes the best way to help lower gas prices is for long-term structural reform, which is why he supports aggressive action to expand domestic production and guarantee the American people a reliable, affordable supply of energy for the future,” – Romney spokesperson Andrea Spaul, today.

    Shake, shake.

  14. Inadvertently posted this on yesterday’s thread a little while ago…

    Santorum suggests that re-electing Obama would be better than a Romney presidency | The Ticket – Yahoo! News

    Rick Santorum suggested Thursday that re-electing President Barack Obama would be better than electing Republican rival Mitt Romney, a statement that is arguably his toughest criticism of Romney to date.
    “You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there,” Santorum told supporters in San Antonio. “If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future.”

      • You could have ended that sentence after sense. I have to keep reminding myself not to become complacent and fail to work to reelect our current president. Perhaps the GOP is even more nefarious than I imagined. Their plan is to get everyone to stay home this November because rational human beings cannot believe that anyone is stupid enough to vote for the whackjobs and empty suits they have to offer.

        • Well hopefully Trayvon Martin’s untimely murder will keep Jeb Bush from assuming the crown of the GOP at their convention…

    • I see an Obama ad where Sanitation endorses Obama and then an Rmoney ad where Sanitation endorses Rmoney in our futures….

      Rick Sanitation – invented the sleeveless sweater when he escaped from the straight jacket he was in….

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