Country Living

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by belleswell, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in a small town in northern MN, you get trained what to look for when it comes to critters and night driving when the bulk of the roads are two lane blacktop cut through a forest. My late father taught me well.

    We were up visiting my father in hospice February of last year as we all knew it'd be the last opportunity to see him before he passed. My better half and I had spent the week visiting and running errands for my mother so we decided to go to one of the larger towns nearby for dinner and a movie just the two of us.
    On the way back, well past midnight, about -25°F, one of only two cars for miles, that training I mentioned paid off. We were about a 1/2 mile or so back from the only other vehicle for miles ahead when we saw its brake lights fire and shimmy. I knew exactly what that meant and backed the rental minivan down to 10-15 mph. Creeping along, I spot a deer and bring the car just before it pops out about 3 car lengths ahead. Of course, being a "deer in the headlights" it freezes smack in the middle of the lane for a second and bounds off. Remembering years of night travel I knew better than to just go as a moment or two later a second deer bounded out after its buddy.
    There's a reason I do the driving when we're in MN, if it's not the wildlife, it's the ice and snow.
     
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  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    You were lucky to have a Ginny Pig in front of you.

    That is a mistake a lot of people do when they see a deer go in front of them. They follow it off the road with their eyes, while another one follows in its steps ... and BANG.
     
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  3. belleswell

    belleswell Active Member

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    A friend of mine was lamenting a car/deer accident that almost totaled his car. I was 52 at the time and had always prided myself on my ability to see their eyeballs glowing in the headlights, constantly scanning both sides of the road, and slow down to avoid an incident. I made the comment to him that I had never hit a deer. Mistake. I hit two in the next year and a half. Lesson learned.

    I was curious as to the number of car/deer accidents in Michigan by the county, and found some stats for a 4 year period from 2008 through 2012. Kent county,
    (Grand Rapids) had the highest number with 10,221. Montcalm county is one county south of me, came in 5th on the list at 7693. The county I'm in came in 21st on the list at 5361. That's a lot of dead dear, and a huge bill for the insurance companies. It's no wonder they would like to kill them all.

    As well, keep in mind that these are accidents that are reported, as these stats were compiled by the State police. The actual number is higher because some accidents are never reported. These stats also do not reflect the overall population of a given county where these high numbers occur. Montcalm county at number five, and the county I'm in which is 21th on the list have a much lower population than some counties that have large cities. Even though the population of these counties is low in comparison with more urban areas of the State, the implication is that these counties near the top of the list with low populations, have extremely high numbers of deer.
    I looked up the population of the highest number of deer accidents counties, and found that the number of people in Kent county was 602,622 for 10,221 total deer accidents over the 4 year mentioned period. Mecosta county has a population of 42,798, was 21st on the list of total accidents with 5361 accidents, (roughly half the number of Kent county), but with a population size approx 1/14 that of Kent county. One has to look at the numbers based on the total population of a county.

    J

    http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/10/database_see_where_in_michigan.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  4. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I get a lot of that. I just tell them it is not if, but when.
     
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  5. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    How on earth did I miss this thread? To the OP... great pics and looks like you have a wonderful retirement place. I am still years from retirement but we did move out of the city to a little country place to get a head start. We went with a different strategy of just having a couple acres at our main house which is in a small town but only about 30mins from a large city. Then we have a 2nd place way out in the country about 1/2 mile from a lake. I have to say jealous of your lovely pond! Our country place is west texas so large ponds are a challenge. We have dug a little pond but it is very small and only has a few channel cats and some minnows in it. Your pond looks great with all the birds and stocked with those wonderful hybrid bluegills! THey are not only a great fighting fish but tasty too :fingersx:

    Just thought I'd say hi and thanks for all the pics. Keep em coming as you and I seem to have very similar taste so love everything you are doing out there.
     
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  6. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing was, SWMBO spotted the deer in the incident above after I had, but missed the ones I spotted that had cleared the road a mile or so before. She went rather pale when I told her back at the house.......
     
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  7. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Not a problem here.

    Winter
    Panorama 4 étang novembre 2003.jpg
    Summer
    2005 Panorama étang juillet lo.jpg
     
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  8. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    Another great looking place! Love the pic with the reflection off the water. Our place looks nothing like that. The pond is only about 25x50'. We are thinking about expanding it this year but it is a hassle renting a backhoe. Would be awesome to have a large pond like that. I need to upload a few pics here and join in.
     
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  9. belleswell

    belleswell Active Member

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    Awesome pics DrBGood . Beautiful. Thanks for sharing those. How is the pond for fishing? That is my other great love in life,
    along with music of course.
    J
     
  10. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    here are some pics of our place out west in the country. We used a 40' storage container and converted it to a little 2 bedroom cabin.

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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  11. belleswell

    belleswell Active Member

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    I love the reflecting pics as well. Great pics as well
    OldRockFan. Is that a muley?


    Reflecting on the pond
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    The pond reflecting back
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    Golden Finch
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    Red Bellied Woodpecker
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    Downy Woodpecker
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    Turkey
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    Cardinals
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    Wood Ducks
    [​IMG]

    J
     
  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    No fish in this pond. Wife is a top biologist, working in conservation. She won't allow the 5 species of frogs and two of salamanders, to have their eggs devoured by fish.

    I'm with her on this, I like singing frogs at night. And love those little critters.

    17966790_10207261739656485_1839242933071491311_o.jpg
     
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  13. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    not a muley... just a fairly large whitetail. Most of our whitetails are the typical 8 pointers but that one... he was a brute. Love your wood ducks. Did you put up nesting boxes for them or are they just volunteers? I still think wood ducks are the best looking ducks around! Our little pond is too small to hold ducks but it does serve as a handy watering hole for the deer, turkeys, etc. I put some little 4" catfish in there along with 500 fathead minnows last fall. The catfish are only about 6-8" now so not growing very fast but still kinda fun to have something in there. I keep floating catfish chow out at our place so I can throw in a scoop of food every time I am there and see the fish go crazy over it.

    edited to add: bgood, we have a bunch of little frogs at our pond. I think the species is called summer peepers and man can you ever hear them at dusk. No salamanders our way but those you have are awesome! I love wildlife and can sit for hours just watching stuff at our place.
     
  14. belleswell

    belleswell Active Member

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    Beautiful salamanders. Amphibians are such a great indicator of the environment they reside. Their numbers are the first to decline when pollution encroaches on their domain, and plays a heavy toll in their declining numbers of frogs and salamanders. We have a large group of frogs here that are called spring peepers, and their chorus at dusk is loud. We also have some giant bullfrogs that have a very unique call when they are mating.

    That's a beautiful whitetail. The tall rack is why I thought it was a muley. That along with where your at.

    The wood ducks have two nests that we are aware of just inside the woods in some thick brush about 2 feet above the ground. These are nests that they built. There may be more as I had 5 males at once in the pond the other day with only one female in sight. They were either tag teaming her, or their mates were sitting on their nests, guarding their eggs.

    We have some bluebird houses designed for bluebirds that the prior owner of the home put up but, they have not occupied any of them yet. We have seen some though. We have 3 bird houses , and my wife hung some bird feeders by each one.


    One of my favorite lines from the tail end of the movie,
    "A River Runs Through It" , is "I am haunted by waters".
    So true, with me.
    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  15. oldrockfan

    oldrockfan Well-Known Member

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    Since we are showing some nature pics... thought I'd post up a few more from our main place. We are into natural gardening so keep a flower garden in the center of the backyard. No pesticides or fertilizers at all... just compost and water. We also make our own hummingbird food and feed them all the time. They are so tame they fly right up to the feeder on the porch with us watching. Sometimes... we have half a dozen all fighting over the feeder for their turn. If you look close in the back of the last pic... you can see our chicken coop. It is on wheels so I can move it around the back yard. Chickens love the fresh grass and we usually let them free range on the weekends.

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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  16. belleswell

    belleswell Active Member

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    Beautiful pics OldRockFan. Love the hummingbirds. My wife just made up a batch for the hummingbird feeder. My sister who lives about 20 miles south of us has not had any show up yet at her established feeders yet. They should show any time now as they migrate northward.

    We also have used organic composting for our veggies and will continue this with the new garden site. (new to us) . We brought two of our composting bins from our prior home to start the process again at the new home. I want to get a worm composting bin that has drawers for the composting material and a collection pan at the bottom for the "worm juice" that
    this proceedure gives and well as great composted fertilizer. I can also steal a few worms here and there for fishing trips as well.
    J
     
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  17. belleswell

    belleswell Active Member

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    Not a hummingbird
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    Rock n Turkey
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    Double and trouble. These two keep trying to get one of the hens in the big toms collection to
    come to them. They keep their distance from the big boy as he's easily a third bigger than these
    two which are probably just shy of 20 lbs. I watched the one that has to waddle when he walks,
    let alone when he's puffed up to impress his girls, from about 200 yds away and saw him
    take on numerous lesser toms to keep his harem. I would guess the big guy to be a 25 to 30 lb bird.
    [​IMG]

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    J


     

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