Not Everything has Changed

Let me try to find something other than the ever present pandemic to write about. While we spend a lot more time working on house, yard, and car projects, and sidewalk supervising neighborhood changes, there are some things, that couldn’t care less about any virus.

We have several deer visiting our yard and nibbling on whatever tastes good to them. We have a nice buck that comes through about every other day and we are watching his rack develop. It is currently still in velvet and looks like he will be a 9 pointer. One side has an extra point, but it’s still growing so we will keep watching to see if it gets symmetrical. Sometimes three fawns show up and race around in a wild game of chase like young puppies will do. Their moms just watch, and like us parents, are probably glad to see them burn up some youthful energy.

The birds have all raised their families and are now “empty nesters” (can we relate). Most of the youngsters are learning, but many are still expecting mom or dad to feed them. My wife is quite busy keeping the bird feeders filled as the larger families are now showing up for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The humming birds are usually quite territorial, but now they will allow up the three on the feeder together, so it must be a family unit.

We have a chipmunk with a hole right outside our window. I put a golf ball in the hole to see when he/she was active in that entrance. Sometimes the golf ball is pushed aside. Now he is using it as a door, sometimes it’s pushed aside, other days he actually puts it back in the entrance and even hides it with a few wood chips. I would not have guessed I could affect their habits with a golf ball.

We regularly hear chainsaws and wood chippers in the neighborhood. It’s mostly the demise of everyone’s ash trees that are being infested by the emerald ash borer. That infestation is keeping all of the tree service companies busy. You can really see the difference between the true professionals, the low budget rookies, and the do it yourself home owners that barely know which end of a chainsaw to hold on to, let alone drop a tree.

A decent sized puddle of oil (transmission fluid) under my Ford explorer told me I had a problem. The transmission pan had rusted through. You might be surprised how much transmission fluid can come through a rusty pinhole. A dealer quoted $840 to fix it. It should be equivalent to a fluid and filter change except putting a new ($45) pan on instead of the rust one, so this stubborn engineer says I can do it – for $125. But once you get under an older vehicle it’s like starting on a plumbing project. Four trips to the parts stores later it now also has new front brakes and rotors, sway bar links, and a front wheel bearing.

As I write this on a crystal clear August night, the Perseid meteor showers are in the northeast sky. I saw a few from my driveway. No virus up there either.

There are six non- virus happenings in today’s stay at home world. Thankfully, not the problems of working parents with kids trying to go to school. We’re using a lot less gas for the vehicles, but I have worn out 2 pairs of shoes since March. How about you?