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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Mousing

Girlfriend, Outdoors

An ordinary person would ordinarily take their ordinary dog for a walk.

Not me.

If Girlfriend and I are out for a winter walk in the country it is an exercise in locating rodents.  That's the thing about the Labrador breed; it's all about the nose and what they can retrieve.  My veterinarian tells me that labs make better mousers than cats. 

She would be correct.

My dog has the technique down to a science.  She'll be charging about through the snow, will halt, tilt her head to zero-in on a prime location and plunge into the drift.  Only her hind quarters and wagging tail are visible.  We move-on and the process is repeated. Again and again.

I have this vision of a mouse or vole family all snug in their winter quarters.  Mr. Mouse is relaxing with Mrs. Mouse.  The Vole family has gathered around for an important lesson on how to avoid being eaten by an owl.  When all of a sudden, a big snuffling dog thrusts her nose into their pleasantly serene little world and ruins their day. The rodents run for their lives and the dog burrows after them.

What fun!

For the dog that is.

Here's something (aside from the mice) that we found today-

Illinois Bundleflower

Sometimes called Illinois Bundle Weed, it is not a weed but a native species.  It happens to be one of a couple members of the Mimosa family that occur in prairies.  This is a fun plant.  It has a fern-like foliage with leaves that close-up at night.  During the evening the leaves will actually re-orient themselves in the direction of the rising sun to maximize their exposure.

The plant's seeds are a winter food source for various upland game birds like pheasant, bobwhite quail and prairie chickens.

Rodents too.

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