Archived Story

Trail cams are making deer into celebrities

Published 10:44am Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“We haven’t had a single customer today.”

“That’s the way I like it.”

“How do you expect to pay the bills?”

“Who said that I expect to pay the bills?”

I’ve learned

1. I have to buy a ticket before I can win the lottery.

2. Not every restaurant serves food.

3. An alarm clock going off is better than one not going off.

Smile, you’re on a trail cam

Neal Batt of Hartland showed me some wonderful photos taken by his trail camera. A deer captured in the instrument’s eye licked the lens of the camera. Trail cams have become so popular that one might wonder if there is a deer in Minnesota that hasn’t had its photo taken. I’d like to have a hood cam — a camera that would take the place of a hood ornament and provide a snapshot of whatever that was that scurried across the road in front of my car.

The cafe chronicles

I could have inhaled a meal in this eatery. It was a restaurant where this discussion could have taken place: “This isn’t what I ordered.”

“You wouldn’t want what you ordered.”

“Well, I don’t want this either.”

“Then what difference does it make?”

I was sitting in a cafe having no need for a furnace. The customers brought their own hot air. It wasn’t a restaurant requiring a clean gimme cap. I was talking to an old friend and classmate who resides in a house made from tires. I resisted the impulse to ask him if he needed to rotate his walls. Someone asked him what color his earth-sheltered home was. It was a hard question to answer. The house is covered with vegetation, so it is green in summer, brown in fall, and white during the winter.

We talked briefly about school days when it was my job to talk our teachers in from the ledge and we struggled with word problems such as, “If train A leaves Minneapolis at 8 a.m. going 60 miles per hour and train B leaves Chicago at 9 a.m. going 75 miles per hour, how long will it take you to fail this test?”

Moving on up

I’d met the caller years ago when I’d told stories at a casino in Reno, Nev. He lived in a small town in Nevada that had grown from 225 to 176 during the years he had lived there. He called to tell me that he was moving to Minneapolis. I asked him why he was moving to a city with such a large population. He answered that with so many people, it should be easy for him to find one who is nice. He was moving in March and wondered if he should bring a jacket. I advised him to bring a fire.

Time management

I had a lot of work to do. I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t finish it as soon as possible. A loved one was playing in a basketball game at the same time as I should have been working. I decided to work later when I should be sleeping. I drove to Redwood Falls to watch her play. I had to. I knew that I would kick myself even harder if I didn’t.

Nature notes

Do birds have taste buds? Birds have taste buds, but not nearly as many as people do. Rabbits have about 17,000 taste buds, pigs 15,000, humans 9,000, mallards 375, starlings 200, pigeons 50, and chickens 24. The tastes perceptible to us are sweet, sour, bitter, salt, umami (characteristic of monosodium glutamate), and lutefisk.

BBRP Expo

The Bluebird Recovery Program Expo will be Saturday, April 14 at Byron Middle School. It will feature Minnesota Raptor Center birds, Tom Comfort speaking on the key factors in bluebird nest box locations, Keith Radel on fledgling rate improvement and safety, Mike Jersek on buffalo gnat control on baby bluebirds, Kelly Applegate on purple martins, Roger Strand on wood ducks, and heaps of hot air from this hick from Hartland.

Meeting adjourned

Being kind is the least we can do.


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