Why Do You Stay? Why Don't You Move? After The Flood Of 2005, We hear This All The Time From Friends and Family. You May Find The Answer Here.
I hope you enjoy this Blog and all of the post below. Please disregard any errors in grammer, and give thanks to the greatest creation ever, Spell Check.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Banana and Chocolate What?

Banana-Chocolate Cream Pie sounds scrumptious, Banana Ice Cream with  Dark Chocolate Chucks would be absolutely delectable, and how yummy would fresh homemade Chocolate Chip Banana bread  be?

OK, so I am not really thinking about any of the delicious treats above, more likely I am thinking about my beautiful Banana-Chocolate California King Snake

I kid you not, this metamorphosis is referred to as a "Banana-Chocolate California King Snake", and I think she is prettier then any chuck of pie.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ms Tilley

She does not show any interest in leaving and everyday makes herself more and more at home.
She follows me around waiting for me to throw out some grain and loves to hang out on our arbor in my front garden.

She mingles with all the other critters here and she is not fazed by Kopper our 100 lb Labrador or Norman the pig.

She is very welcome to call our homestead home and is welcome to stay as long as she wants, but she will need a name.

 So with that said, We are pleased to introduce our friend,
 "Ms Tilley" our WILD Eastern Turkey.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Excellent Encounter

 When you know you have to do it, and you really don't want to do it, but you do it anyway, it must be the right thing.

It has been a long time since I have come across a North American Wood Turtle so I was thrilled when I came across this spectacular creature.

The Wood turtle is one of my all time favorite turtles. They are both beautiful and in my opinion extremely intelligent, and I wanted so much to keep her.
 Taking a healthy breeding age turtle from the wild is both criminally and morally wrong.

The following is from the Connecticut D.E.E.P.

Possession of any wood turtle is prohibited (Conn. Code Sec. 26-55-3-C) in Connecticut without regard to its origin, and collection within Connecticut is prohibited (Conn. Code Sec. 26-66-14-A). The wood turtle is a "Special Concern" species in Connecticut. International commerce in wood turtles posed such a threat that in 1992 this species was placed under international trade regulatory protection administered by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna). The wood turtle is of conservation concern throughout most of its range. Most states and provinces where it occurs afford it special status and/or some form of statutory protection.

She needs to stay wild and help to carry on the species, and I will be grateful for the pictures I was able to capture and appreciate the encounter.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blame It On Your Parents

Something New we can blame our parents for. Ok maybe not our parents, but how about the parents of our parent's, parent's-parent's-parent's-parent's  times many more.

It is so sad to think we would kill something out of fear, or to find it pleasing that a animal that never personally did us harm was killed only because it lived near us or passed by us.

I would allow the kids to walk up to a snake in the wild, before I would let them walk up to a strange dog anywhere.

I would never have a issue if someone wanted to kill billions and billions and maybe even trillions of ticks and mosquitoes, I can also accept the killing of invasive-non indigenous snakes, but lets leave our native snakes alone. After-all, our ancestors issue with snakes was more than a few years ago.

 From Psychology Today;

Why You Hate Snakes Presents the scientific theory that we are predisposed to acquire fears of critters that once threatened our ancestors' lives. 
'Evolutionary memories'; Psychologist Susan Mineka and psychologist Michael Cook; Putting the theory to the test; The search for evidence. By PT Staff, published on March 01, 1992 - last reviewed on June 20, 2012

 They hiss and they slither, but they pose less of a threat to our lives than cars or ovens. So why do snakes set off more clinical fears and phobias than knives and guns?

 Here's one scientific theory: Humans and other primates are predisposed to acquire fears of critters that once threatened our ancestors' lives. Psychologist Susan Mineka. of Northwestern University contends that we have a predisposition to such memories" because our ancestors once had to face snakes, certainly more so than, say, ovens.

 Because they survived, those who rapidly acquired the fear were most favored in nature.

 Mineka, along with University of Wisconsin psychologist Michael Cook, put the theory to a test in six rhesus monkeys. Reared in the lab, the animals had no prior exposure to snakes.

 The psychologists showed a videotape of wild-reared monkeys reacting with horror to snakes. Within 24 minutes, the lab monkeys acquired a fear of snakes. The psychologists then edited fake flowers, a toy snake, a toy rabbit, and a toy crocodile into the video.

 Tests later showed that after 40 to 60 seconds of exposure to each object, the monkeys feared only the toy snakes and crocodiles. Of the four objects, only snakes and crocodiles preyed on our ancestors.

 Coincidence? Meanwhile, the search for evidence continues. The next time snakes inhabit your nightmares, ask whether it's that viper horror you watched, or are you just connecting with the fears of your forefathers.

I must be missing some of my ancestral  DNA because not only do I not fear snakes, I have a deep passion for them.
Or maybe Jeanne is right, I am just weird

Friday, June 7, 2013

Something New, Something Beautiful

I think if I turned my attention to insects, I could probably spend the rest of my life seeing creatures that I have never seen before. I could probably do this without leaving our beloved 6 acres.

While working on our Screen porch, a project I started 6 years ago and sort of promised Jeanne she would have her porch finished this Summer, I came across this fascinating little creature.

I have never seen one before and when I dropped what I was doing to look it up, I was thinking leopard spots. so I Googled Leopard Moth and sure enough that is exactly what it is called.

I think the Leopard Moth's beauty rivals that of many butterflies and as always I am very excited that I have a new creature to add to my life list.

I also think if I spend to much time checking out insects before Jeanne's much desired porch is finished, she will be running around the yard with Bug Spray.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Confucius Says..."

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."
It is said That Kong Qui was born in 551 B.C. in China.
He was a politician, philosopher, writer, editor, author,  educator, a thinker, he taught others to live with integrity.
He was Confusius.

I am absolutely intrigued by snakes and one of my beauties is this very young Albino Checkered Garter Snake. 
This snake is so pretty I keep her on a stand on my side of the bed. 

Jeanne does not remotely see the beauty of my snakes, 
but she understands, "I do."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bob has another girlfriend

One creature that seldom visits us here, is the wild turkey. From time to time we may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a small flock traveling along the railroad tracks, but they have only stopped by a couple of times in the past 10 years.

This spring, the critters that live here found a new and beautiful friend when a wild turkey hen stopped by and decided to stay awhile. I believe she was mesmerized by Bob's stunning display and captivated with is romantic "Gobble Gobble Gobble.

She shows no sign of leaving and follows me around the property waiting for me to throw out some corn and  does not seem to be bothered by Kopper our giant Labrador retriever or Norman the pig when they meet in the yard.

Bob struts his stuff in a attempt to impress her and  Betty Lou at first was a bit jealous and tried to persuade
 her to leave, but now they can often be seen together hunting in the tall grass

She is welcome to stay as long as she wishes and we really do enjoy her beauty.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


 I have spent a lifetime paddling rivers, ponds, lakes, swamps, and just about any body of water that I could launch my canoe or kayak.
 For me, it has always been the wildlife spotted on each excursion, and I have been extremely blessed with what I have seen.

 Locally I have witnessed Wood Turtles, Snapping Turtles, Box Turtles, Spotted Turtles, and Painted Turtles, but in all my years on and in the water, I have never come across the beauteous Musk Turtle.
 This little guy also known as the Stink Pot Turtle, and if you ever picked one up you quickly realize they definitely deserve the name.

Some very good reasons that I have never witnessed one of these awesome creatures in the wild, This little 4" Turtle is mostly nocturnal and spends most of it's life submerged in the bodies of water they call home.

While many turtles need to come to the surface to breathe, and others breathe underwater through there skin, the Musk Turtle draws in oxygen from water through there tongue and may stay submerged for months at a time.

I love my little Stinkpot and really enjoy watching this fascinating little guy zoom around his fifty five gallon tank he shares with a little Painted Turtle that was recently given to me.

How can you not love that face?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I Want, I need Spring

A record setting blizzard, bone chilling cold, and 1 to many days of grey skys.

Saturday the temperatures hit a balmy 40 degrees and the outlook for the week ahead is more temps in the forty's.It truly feels like a heat wave.

Yesterday I took my chair to the river and sat, listened and watched. In a very short amount of time I watched a Coopers Hawk land in a nearby tree and scope the area looking for lunch. I watched a couple of Ring Neck Ducks floating close to the resident flock of Mallards that spend the winter here. This was my first time watching Ring Necked Ducks and I must say they lifted my spirits.

I watched a Mink while he patrolled the river bank and chuckled when he accidentally bumped into a Muskrat. I watched Robins, and was mesmerised by the magnified beauty of a small flock of Bluebirds.

I really need Spring and eagerly await the sound of spring peepers filling the air with their love songs on a warm spring night, but until then I will just take my chair down to the river and watch, and if no other creatures happen to pass by, I am sure Swamp the Swan will stop to say, "hey"..

Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!

Sitting Bull

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Recently widowed multi colored male in search of a lasting long term relationship. Looking for that special girl who enjoys her guy strutting his stuff. I am average weight and fully feathered and I love to show off. I am not into the bar scene or head games. I have managed to keep my head during the Thanksgiving holidays.

I am into the great outdoors, scratching though the leaves for insects, watching out for foxes and coyotes, chasing roosters around the yard and for a real fun time chasing the postal truck up the road. I am very good at stopping traffic.

I have my own luxurious heated coop with plenty of room on the perch for you. If you are interested in getting to know me and possibly starting a loving relationship and maybe a family, please stop by the homestead.

After loosing Bob's girlfriend, Hope, to a predator last spring, we are extremely pleased to announce that Bob has a new girl friend.

Betty Lou is a very pretty, young. vivacious Bourbon Red Turkey.

Like the Royal Palm Turkey, the Bourbon Red is a heritage breed turkey and the following is from The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

The Bourbon Red turkey is named for Bourbon County in Kentucky’s Bluegrass region where it originated in the late 1800’s. It was developed by J. F. Barbee from crosses between Buff, Bronze, and White Holland turkeys though the initial steps actually took place in Pennsylvania, where Buff turkeys of darker red hues – called Tuscarora or Tuscawara – were bred and then taken west with settlers bound for Ohio and Kentucky. These dark Buff turkeys would be the primary foundation for the new variety.

After some years of selection, Mr. Barbee was able to produce consistently good-sized dark red turkeys with white wing and main tail feathers. He christened these “Bourbon Butternuts.” For some reason, perhaps because the name did not appeal to the public, the birds did not attract attention. Barbee rechristened them “Bourbon Reds,” Bourbon for his home county and red for the rich, chestnut color of the plumage. The name change seemed to work, and better sales were reported.

I have had a deep fascination with the Bourbon Red ever since I saw my first one on a local homestead 35 years ago so I am very excited that Betty Lou now calls our homestead home, and hopefully she and Bob will produce some awesome looking youngsters.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Old Man Winter

I am not sure when it happened. It started not to many years ago. Winters started to get longer and longer and many times I cursed the snow.

So now and then I need to remind myself that I am a life long New Englander and there really is a lot of beauty after a fresh fallen snow along the river and through out the woods

A snow covered birdhouse, a lone Muscovy sitting out the storm in the middle of the river, a spectacular blue sky, or the wind swept snow clinging to everything in its path.Winter can really be a beautiful thing here

When the temperature drops to 7 or 10 degrees it is cold, but you know you are acclimating to Winter when 25 degrees suddenly feels like a heat wave.I just don't like the cold, but come summer I am sure I will complain about the heat.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Am Not Mr Brower

Over 150 hrs of training, finger prints and background checks, personalty testing, a physical, drug test, 3 or 4 written motor vehicle tests, waiting in lines for hours at The Dept Of Motor Vehicles, and a stressful skills and driving test with a horrible, rude, motor vehicle inspector, and after all this, I received my Commercial Drivers Licence with Air Brakes, School Bus, and Passenger Endorsements.

I Am A School Bus Driver and proud to say, I work with, and for some really good people and "I love my job!"

Some misguided people hear School Bus Driver and think, Meaningless Job, or Couldn't you find a "REAL" job?

I drive a vehicle that is 37 feet long and 38000 lbs and everyday I drive this vehicle along the most  narrow, winding sometimes dark, rain slick, icy, or snow covered roads in town with the most precious, sacred  passengers. Children!

After I was laid off along with a few hundred other coworkers, I decided I really needed a job that at the end of the day, My Day Mattered, that in some small way my day was important to someone.

After a recent snow event that the National Weather Service said would not amount to any accumulation, I found myself driving my Elementary Kids home in some horrible horrible conditions and was greeted at each stop by understandably very concerned parents. Some of these parents thanked me for bringing their children home safely, and  it was a note that followed that told me I found my place.

In part it went,
Many thanks for getting Spencer and Grace home safely during the storm.
We know you must have been very calm because the kids thought nothing of the ride home.

The idea that someone would be so considerate to take the time to write a thank you note for doing my job told me, "This is it, this is the job for me.

It is hard to put into words this past Friday, the last day before the Christmas break. I received from some parents and kids some unexpected treasures and moments. Like the fresh baked breads and jam, cookies, the peanut brittle along with a family photo Christmas card that you send to people you consider friends and family.

I once mentioned on the bus that i love root beer and Grace and Spencer along with a Christmas card they both signed gave me 2 bottles of root beer. That was the best rootbeer ever and will save one of the bottles to put on my shelf.

The homemade letter and M&Ms I received from Knox.

Thanks for driving miles and miles with me to school.
Love Knox

I made some great M&M pancakes.

It was Annie a forth grader who after the snow storm said to me, "Steve You Rock" (I looked that up and it is like being Far-Out and Groovy at the same time.) it was Annie that made my eyes water up a bit.

Parents and kids were wishing me a happy holiday and presenting me with some really awesome delicacies when Annie went into her lunch and pulled out 3 Holiday cookies in a zip lock bag and gave them to me. That huge gesture on her part melted me.

After 40 years or so, I remember my School Bus driver. But what I remember is that Mr Brower was a very mean person that at any time at any location if he didn't like you or something you did or said, he would pull the bus over and make you walk to school. I ended up walking alot!
I will never be a mean old Mr Brower.

Someone once said. "Every child's day has the ability to be made or broken based on every adult they come in contact with".

These kids make my day and I hope I do the same for them. I am a School Bus Driver and I love my job.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Son Of BOB, or When Good Turkeys Go Bad

It was about a year and a half or more ago, when we hatched some eggs from our beloved Turkeys, Bob and Hope.

 Being satisfied with one pair of Royal Palm Turkeys entertaining us while they wander the homestead, we decided to share our enjoyment with our neighbors and gave them some baby turkey poults.

Thankfully they are still talking to us, their male turkey grew up to be a extremely aggressive turkey with a horrible attitude. Kind of thing horror movies are made of.

The Sweeney family named their male turkey "Tom the Turkey" and maybe at first they were able to see some humor with the behavior of Tom The Turkey, but realized it was only a matter of time before friends, family, neighbors, horses, cattle, dogs, and cats would fall victim to this aggressive killer turkey.

So on a recent cool fall day, six foot four Steve Sweeney hid out in the barn with beer in hand peeking out while Leslie his petite wife and her girlfriend took matters into her own hands, and executed the blood thirsty Tom The Turkey.

The good news is, a heritage breed turkey is said to be a extremely tasty bird, and is nothing like the genetically produced birds you find in the super markets.
I also can't help thinking, What if instead of Turkeys I had a pair of Emus and gave them a baby Emu that grew up with a attitude?

So for this Thanksgiving I am thankful that the Sweeney family survived the wraith of Tom The Turkey.

My first encounter with the Royal Palm Turkey came when Jeanne and I went on a school field trip with Tommy to Bakerwoods in nearby Ashford Ct.

Along with many other farm animals they had a beautiful male Royal Palm Turkey that would walk up to visitors and strut his stuff and say, "I am the most handsome thing you ever saw?"

That day I told Jeanne I  have got to get one for our place. I found someone local who bred Royal Palms and brought 2 home. Bob our male, and Hope was our female.
We lost hope to a predator this past spring and Bob has been a loney boy ever since, I hope to find him a female and it does not need to be a Royal Palm. I was thinking maybe a Bourbon Red girlfriend for him would be interesting.

I may not understand the psychology of a lonely turkey, but I am thinking that maybe if I had a female that would sleep in the chicken house, maybe Bob would join her.

For now Bob has decided that sleeping up on our front porch, six feet from our bedroom window is a fine place to roost for the night.
The problem with this roosting spot is, when ever a car goes by, or almost any other nighttime disturbance including the 6 roosters we suddenly have, Bob lets out with a very loud "GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE", and this is honestly only 6 feet from the pillow my head is on.

Bob is very lucky we love him!
I think there is a positive possibility, Jeanne may earn Sainthood living we me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Little Sunshine

When we are well into November  and the temperature hits near 70, it is a great opportunity to bring the herd outside for some beneficial sunshine and grazing.

This is the time of year that most free time is spent hauling firewood and physically and mentally preparing for the long winter ahead. So when the thermometer hit near 70, Custard, Pudding, The Dude, J-lo, and the newest member of the herd, Dr Doolittle enjoyed some time outside soaking up some sun.

To a tortoise and turtle lover, it is a painful time when you must take away the freedom they enjoyed all summer, roaming their large spacious pens doing what a tortoise should do.

Below is a little cutie named Dr Doolittle. She was much loved by her owners and I told them in 5 or 10 years when your kids are older and you want her back, she will be here waiting. I look forward to next Summer and allowing her to roam a pen she could get lost in.
Below is J-LO. A young man who rescued him, thought he was a she and that she or he was a Sulcata that was not growing and that something was wrong with him. I informed him that the only thing wrong was, she was a he and he was a full grown Russian Tortoise and looked to be in really good health. He asked me to keep him anyway and because I have been having a not so secret love affair with J-LO (Jennifer Lopez) we will keep the name J-LO.

PS. sorry I have not written in a while.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

No Hope For Bob's Hope

"Bob" our beautiful male Royal Palm turkey is now a widower.

"Hope" our female Royal Palm Turkey went missing early this summer and we gave up any belief that there might be a positive outcome.

It has been many, many weeks since we last saw Hope. She wondered off in search of a nest site and at first she would come home every few days or so to fill her belly on corn and grain. She did this for a couple of weeks and suddenly stopped coming back.
A neighbor down the road a piece, told us he heard a commotion one night and when he went outside to investigate, he found nothing but feathers, and we believe this was all that remained of our sweet Hope.

Hope was a great Momma when she hatched out some chicken eggs that ended up in her nest, and we really were looking forward to see her bring her newly hatched turkey poults home.

So now we have a lonely Bob on our hands, and I do hope to find him a mate or two. Bob has his own local fan club here with people driving by and yelling "Hi Bob" out thier car windows, or folks bringing thier grandkids down the road to visit with Bob. He almost always responds to the attention by strutting his stuff and answers their "HI Bob" with a gooble gooble gooble.

We do have some good turkey news, a friend Dave Brennan dropped off some turkey eggs and we hatched out 8 of what I believe might be wild turkeys. I lost one of the babies, so we are down to seven.

We hope to keep a couple and it would be great if they turn out to be hens.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

New Sheriff in Town

We don't know where he came from, but when he waddled into town, the dynamics of the web footed flock changed dramatically.

I received a call while back at work from the boy, and he asked me-"do you know we have a new Muscovy in the back yard?"
The fact that he knew it was a Muscovy thrilled me, but no I knew nothing about it and "NO" I did not bring him home.

A friends, friend recently had dropped off 3 white and black Muscovies at our homestead and when I asked about this fourth mostly black duck, no one knew anything about him.

The timing was perfect, Swamp our beloved Swan had become somewhat of a bully and was on the verge of becoming a major nuisance.
Swamp had become insanely territorial, and it was very disturbing when he spent the entire day patrolling the river that flows by our homestead.

A family of Canada Geese, which I believe was our friend Venture the goose and his family, came for a visit to show off his new goslings.

Venture never got the chance because Swamp drove them from the area. Hopefully Venture will be back this fall to introduce his newest family members.

Part of Swamps self proclaimed territory included our yard and he would chase all geese, ducks, and Wilbur our hand raised White Embden goose who did not even know he was a goose was absolutely terrified and would hid behind me.

This all changed when the little homeless black Muscovy with the face only a mother Muscovy could love wanted to call this place home. Swamp decided he would turn his aggressive attitude toward this much smaller new arrival, but he was in for a surprise when this little guy came to the conclusion that maybe Swamp was in need of a little attitude adjustment.

I could not believe my eyes when I watched the Sheriff chase Swamp across the back yard, and another time Jeanne had to stop her car and get out because the little duck had the much larger Swan pinned to the ground on the side of the road.

Harmony has been restored and things are different. Swamp has a much sweeter attitude toward his web footed friends and Wilbur now knows he is a goose.
The flock of geese has accepted Wilbur into the flock and Wilbur now swims and travels on the river with them.

We don't know where the Sheriff came from, but he is welcome to stay if he wants.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oliver's Visit

I can only think how proud and excited Jane and Albert would be, if they could have met Oliver, their first Great Grand-Child.

Grampa Willie introduces Oliver to Custard the Tortoise.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Muscle Eating Duck

First let me say that the baby Sweeney Ducks that hatched on the river this spring are doing wonderful. They are growing and return to the homestead a couple times a day, and so far all 12 babies are accounted for.

Jordan and I encountered something that I had never witnessed before, when we spotted one of the babies limping across the ground trying so hard to keep up with Momma Duck and it's eleven siblings.

I was able to scoop the baby up with a net before she could reach the river and found a Fresh Water Muscle clamped down tight on her foot.

I have no clue how long this muscle wound have remained attached to this little babe, but I would venture to guess it very well could have slowed her down enough that she would have become easy pickings for a Hawk, Owl, or almost anything else that might be looking for a easy meal.

So I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside when I can say, that with Jordan's help we were able to pry the clam off the little duckings foot and she promptly rejoined her Momma, and her brothers and sisters on the river.

And hopefully lives happily ever after.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

To Bee Or Not To Bee

OK if you have not been convinced that maybe, just maybe I might have a few missing marbles, this might do it.

I was putting up a small section of siding on the house, and noticed a small hole that once was a water faucet, was now the entrance point for a very peaceful family of bumblebees.
This was located on our front porch and I would watch these little buzzing creatures come and go and no matter how much I disturbed them, they did not declare war on me and just flew around me to get to their home in the little hole that leads to the rafters in the basement.

Not wanting to displace our little black and yellow co inhabitants, I carefully marked the spot, and once the siding was up, I drilled a little hole in the siding and now they are free to come and go as they please.

Its not like they are mean, nasty Yellow Jackets.