Saturday, July 2, 2022

Morning garden update

Nighthawks are very cool. This one is sitting on a nest atop a rocky hill on the ranch.

"Nest" is a bit of an exaggeration.


Old man yelling at Pronghorn. What's that all about?

Somewhere in the last several months I've seen a meme or heard someone remarking about old men yelling at clouds. I haven't tried to look the phrase up and I'm not going to because it seems to be self evidently about grumpy old dudes whining and complaining.

I try pretty hard to keep a sense of appreciation and gratitude running in the background. My moment-to-moment life is always better when those concepts are close to the surface. However, I do have my moments.

The other day as I was walking a fence line, replacing staples and clips and mending the occasional break, I came across several areas where three or four wires had been popped loose from the fence posts and twisted together. This kind of thing is caused by Pronghorn and their unique method of getting from one side of a fence to the other.

Unlike deer, which bound right over a fence, Pronghorn can't (or won't) jump. If you look at them and think about what they do it makes sense. They are runners; the fastest land animals in North America. They are built to race across the prairie at 60 mph, and that optimization of body form leaves no capacity to jump. So they go through the fence, just as they go through shrubs and sagebrush.

When I'm fixing fence, particularly on a hot, buggy day, I really dislike having to untwist and reattach wires. It's a pain. I often think (yelling in my mind) unkind thoughts about Pronghorn.

But of late, the "old man yelling at clouds" meme pops into my mind as soon as I start getting a proper mad on. I realize I'm an old man yelling at Pronghorn, which is a particularly useless thing to do. I also remember how much joy and wonder they bring me, and think about how much a prairie without Pronghorn would suck. Especially if the cause of their disappearance was some grumpy old man who couldn't be bothered to untwist and reattach a little bit of wire.

And that, is what that is about!


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. It certainly is a beautiful morning in Nebraska.

    I find myself bitching about inconsequential things all the time, it's the curmudgeon in me, I guess. But I do take time, every now and then, to stop and smell the roses. There is much beauty in the world, which we often miss.

    That young pronghorn being a prime example, little fella is all knees and elbows right now, give him (or her) a week or so and he'll move like the wind.

    Great post, thanks!

    1. Regarding the whole bitching at stuff thing, as the great Walt Garrison said, "People are funny critters." I'm so very blessed to exist in a place and time where my daily thing includes visiting nature's wonders and beauty, and I still find myself getting all poor-me-grumpy about stuff. And, we're back to Walt. As to the little pronghorn, let's see boston dynamic do that! Thanks for stopping by and commenting Chris!

  2. OMG, TWO post in two days. Enjoyed the antelope, even if you did not holler at it. Thanks for the update on other topics. Extra happy about the back progress. Your manful stoicism enduring and overcoming the limitations of back pain were impressive, but something others certainly don't want to deal with. Most of us would have been whimpering in the corner chugging pain pills the whole time, while you were out hiking and running stairs.

    Given the oil prices now, are your wells getting you any payments? Fuel prices must really be clobbering the crop farmers, but probably a lot less impact on ranchers.
    Best to the kids and Tommy.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Thanks John. I wish I could say I have some personal special sauce that gets me through hard stuff but I don't. God does for me what I can't do for myself, but requires me to do the stuff I can. Exactly how that translates into positive action I have no idea.
      Perhaps unsurprisingly the oil payout we get, which is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction, has skyrocketed. Unfortunately the pay comes in 2022 usd, which is akin to what Richard Pryor called "yang money" in one of his great bits back in the 1970's. Money that isn't worth anything, but it's all you can get, so you take it. In an ironic twist the big producer well fractured a wrist pin just as the prices went up and was out of service waiting parts for six weeks. I don't care who ya are, that's funny right there.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!