TUESDAY TAIL TALE: MAYA’S SNOWFLAKES

MAYA SNOW 2017 BARLEY DARTS

Snow.  Snow.  Yummy, snow!  I just love catching snowflakes.  Little ones, big ones, fluffy ones, and cold ones- they’re all tasty.  And I’ve been doing it since I was a puppy.  Now that I’m older, I don’t run around trying to catch them anymore.  I just stand still and let them come to me.

 

TUESDAY TAIL TALE: NATASHA & BORIS

BORIS AND NATASHA 2 2017 BARLEY DARTS

 

Darlings, it’s Natasha again!  Remember, the last time you and I talked, I’d been upset about my profile picture?  And I was so nervous about my arranged marriage, too.  Well, that day came and went and it’s all over now.  Honestly, it was no big deal.  I worried for nothing.  And now I’m thrilled to introduce you to this stud-muffin on the left.  This is Boris.  But, don’t mind him.  He doesn’t say much.  He’s the strong, silent type.  Boris is also a good guy.  We get along fabulously.  Oh, and don’t you just love my new profile picture?  I’m simply radiant!  But, let’s just keep this our little secret for now.  Until next time, X’S & O’s.

TUESDAY TAIL TALE: TOM

TURKEY FANNING 2017 BARLEY DARTS

 

You may call me, Tom.  No, it doesn’t bother me.  Besides, you’re more likely to remember my name.  In a couple of days, you’ll be seeing many of my relatives.  Only, you’re unlikely to see even one turkey, in all its finery.  Hence, I’ve been asked to model for you.

My head is well decorated with caruncles.  They are wart-like bumps.  And like a mood ring, my face changes colors between red, white, and blue.  Under my chin, I have a wattle.  On top of my beak, I have a snood.  Depending on my mood, it changes from short and compact to extra-long and floppy.  I also sport a beard.  But, it’s not on my face.  It’s on my chest.

TURKEY FAN SIDEVIEW 2017 BARLEY DARTS

 

As for the rest of my body, it is adorned in feathers.  In fact, I have about 5500 in different sizes, shapes, and colors.  For centuries, they have been used for writing instruments (pens), hunting tools (arrow fletchings), medical purposes, and for decoration.

 

QUILL TURKEY BARLEY DARTS

 

And if you want to liven up your Thanksgiving conversations, tell everyone I can hiss, purr, and bark.  But, if you want to blow their minds, tell them I’m not a vegetarian.  It’s true.  I’m an omnivore and like my meat raw.  Speaking of which, anyone care to join me for sushi or steak tartare?

 

TRACKS TURKEY OCT 2017 BARLEY DARTS

TUESDAY TAIL TALE: TIMBER’S TRAINING

TIMBER HOCKEY 2016 BARLEY DARTS

Timber here.  Yep, it’s hockey season.  And I’m busy coaching the boss.  Good thing I can work him into my busy schedule.  I started by testing his puck handling skills.  Since ice time wasn’t available, we opted for dry land training and used a ball.  I could tell the boss has played the game before.  So, we quickly moved on to endurance conditioning.  But man, I tell you, the burpees are killing him!

TUESDAY TAIL TALE: DOE TRIO

DOE TRIO 2017 BARLEY DARTS

On opening day, these fine does danced behind Keith in his tree stand, east of the shack where I was stationed.  I had a front row seat to their performance.  Eventually, they tip-toed their way into the river bottom, to the south.

About half an hour later, the trio reemerged stage right, on the west side of the shack.  They sashayed north at a cautious pace for their grand finale.  Suddenly, they all froze at precisely the same time.  Then they did a synchronized and abrupt about-face.  Together, they leaped, almost arm-in-arm, back into the river bottom.

It left me begging for more and I gave them a standing ovation.  Alas, there was no encore.  However, I plan to go back to watch them, again and again.  Nature’s shows are never boring and often breath taking.

TUESDAY TAIL TALE: TALE SPIN

SPIDER WEB

 

I’m a spider and I have a tale to spin.  At the tail end of my abdomen are my spinnerets.  I have at least two and some of my relatives have as many as eight.  These spinnerets use silk to form my webs.  I’m a skilled weaver and have all the tools I need.  The only measuring device I use is my own body.  I also make my own silk.  It requires a great deal of protein.  And I often recycle it by eating my used webs.

My silk is both flexible and strong.  In fact, it’s stronger than man-made steel (tensile strength).  So, humans have always been fascinated by my work.  Meanwhile, they’ve tried to use my silk, too.  Sure, it’s been used as artwork.  Humans also use it for telescopes and rifle scopes.  My silk becomes the extra-fine cross-hairs.  But, did you know that my webs have saved lives?  They can stop bleeding because they are loaded in vitamin K.  Spider webs were some of man’s first gauze pads.

TUESDAY TAIL TALE: HORSING AROUND

HORSES

Hello there.  I’m Rusty, the Paint.  This here’s Speedy on my left.  And Miss Daisy’s on my right.  We’re the only horses on the homestead, but there are lots of other critters.  So long as they keep to themselves, we don’t mind them.  Besides, the three of us have the big pasture, all to ourselves.  It gives us plenty of room to stretch our legs and kick up our heels.  I’ve heard it’s exciting to watch us run.  And if you’re standing close by, you may even feel us thunder past, too!

We really enjoy this time of year.  It’s cooler, the biting bugs are gone, and there are still greens to nibble.  But, it won’t be long before everything will be covered with lots of snow.  And if you don’t mind me saying, I think we’re in for a really cold winter, too.  It’s okay.  We’re used it.  Our winter coats are already growing.  They’ll become quite dense and thick.  For added warmth, we’ll eat extra hay and huddle together.  We’ll also use our windbreaks and shelter.  Even though winters here can be 20-40 below zero, we’re hearty animals.  Just think about our wild ancestors, on the wide-open prairies.