#163 – Front Yard Jungle

Photo taken: September 11, 2012

I don’t have much of a front yard given the wedge shape of my property, but for about an hour or two six years ago, I literally had NO front yard.  The local power company Ameren, which had taken a ton of abuse over an unprecedented string of widespread weather related power outages in the St. Louis area from July 2006 to January 2007, embarked on a tree trimming campaign that would that would rival the destruction of the rain forests.  They made it to my neighborhood in September 2012, and buzzsawed any limb or branch that was even remotely a threat to falling on a power line.  My end of the street location gave the cutting crew a logical place to store its bounty before feeding it to the wood chipper.  But it sure is a good thing I didn’t have to actually go anywhere that day, because even Jason Voorhees’ machete would have never cleared through that thick jungle outside my front door…

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Betcha Can’t Eat Just One

Mmmmmm, I need to search the picnic grounds for some dip!

Last year when I showed off my photos of a squirrel delightfully licking the fake cheese product out of a discarded package of dipping sticks, it was noted in the comments that even our animal friends’ taste buds seem to be attracted by the non-natural makeup of our junk food.  This squirrel is happily gnawing on what appears to be some kind of potato chip he found in the park.  While I’m sure he finds chips just as delicious as humans do, I hope the generous coating of salt and Dog only knows what other chemicals that chip has been doused with don’t give him all kinds of health problems.  Squirrels appear stressed out enough… the last thing they need is a hypertension diagnosis on top of it.

Oh well, I’m sure a salty snack now and then won’t actually hurt him.  And it certainly helped get him in the Saturday Squirrel spotlight…

Have a great weekend everyone!

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#164 – Incoming!

Photo taken: August 24, 2017

Unlike children who usually have parents around to whip their behind put them in timeout for their bad behavior, there is nobody around to make squirrels play nice with each other.  This isn’t recess on the playground… it’s welcome to the jungle, and you’re gonna die.  You can’t turn you back for a minute to bury a nut without some bushy tailed bully charging up on you to throw his weight around.  It can be hard to capture a good squirrel chase/fight scene… but this is one of the better ones I’ve gotten.  Or at least, one of the better preludes to a furry fracas I’ve immortalized…

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The Gizzard Of Blahs – Part I

LEO THE FOX: ………………………………..

Our story begins in The Shelf, a Midwestern state buried somewhere in the middle of fucking nowhere.  It’s the late 1930’s, and a young girl named Mitzi Gale lives on the farm of her Aunt Sparklepony and Uncle Rainbow Donkey…

MITZI: Like, go on, horsies!  Eat up all your yummy horsie noms so you can grow up to be big, studly stallions who can, like, totally help Mitzi enjoy life on this borrrrring farm!

ULTRAVIOLET: This isn’t horsie food!  This is squirrel foo….

Mitzi zaps UV with the cattle prod, making him bury his muzzle in the trough of peanuts.

SPARKLEPONY: MITZI!!!  There you are!

MITZI: Oh, like, hai Auntie Ess!

SPARKLEPONY: Don’t you Auntie Ess me, little girl!  It’s already afternoon and you haven’t even started on your chores yet because you’ve been in here playing with these future gluesticks!

MITZI: But Auntie Ess, you know, I, like, totally lurve horsie worsies…

SPARKLEPONY: Get out to that pen right now and feed those pigs, or you won’t get any bacon for breakfast tomorrow!

MITZI: (Sighs) Yes, Auntie Ess…

Mitzi grabs the bucket filled with……. more peanuts, and heads out to the pig pen to fatten up tomorrow’s meal…

SPONKIE 1: Whatsa matter, Cousin Mitz?

SPONKIE 2: You’re not your usual perky self.

MITZI: Mitzi’s, like, never perky unless it gets really, really cold.

SPONKIE 2: Not like that!  I mean, you’re down in the dumps!

MITZI: Well, Auntie Ess has really been, like, totally riding me about not getting the chores done lately.  I mean, I thought that’s what we had hired help for.  Where are those three totally hunky farmhands anyway?

SPONKIE 1: Ma sent them to town.

SPONKIE 2: Yeah, something about not wanting to spoil future plot points in this episode.

MITZI: Oh, they’re probably, like, down at the titty bar again!  They love to sneak down there in the evening to stuff silver certificates and buffalo nickels in my overalls!


MITZI: Fleabag!!!  My widdow puppy wuppy!  Where have you been all day?


MITZI: Come give Mitzi a big ol’ slobbery wet doggy kiss!

MITZI: Oooooooh!  Mitzi even gets a little extra!  Your totally the bestest, Fleabag!


Knock knock!

SPARKLEPONY: Who can that be?  If it’s that pest Mr. Haney again…

Auntie Ess opens the door…

SPARKLEPONY: (visibly miffed) Oh, Miss Rainy Gulch.  To what do we owe the sarcastic pleasure of your visit today?

RAINY: It’s about your mangy, flea-bitten mongrel!

SPARKLEPONY: I’m sorry… I really do try to keep my husband locked in the stable at night…

RAINY: Not THAT mangy, flea-bitten mongrel!  It’s your niece’s dog!

SPARKLEPONY: Oh…. what about him?

RAINY: He dug up my prized dandelions, did his business in my precious rain gauge, got my cat pregnant, and then he had the nerve to bite me on the tail!

SPARKLEPONY: Oh…. well that’s too bad.  I guess you’ll…

RAINY: I’m taking the mutt with me!

SPARKLEPONY: Over my husband’s rainbow head you are!

RAINBOW DONKEY: Is there a problem here, dear?

SPARKLEPONY: Tell Miss Gulch here she can’t take Mitzi’s beloved dog with her!

RD: Miss Gulch, I….

RAINY: I have these papers allowing me to take him!

SPARKLEPONY: This paper only says “This page left intentionally blank,” which doesn’t even make any logical sense!

RD: Looks good to me.  (Turning over his shoulder) MITZI DEAR!

SPARKLEPONY: Why you coward!

MITZI: (Running into the room with Fleabag) Yes, Uncle Donkey?

RD: Please give Fleabag to Miss Gulch here.

MITZI: But Uncle Donkey!  Auntie Ess!  I….

RAINY: You don’t have a choice, dearie!  I have orders from the dog catcher to bring this troublemaker in to be DESTROYED!

MITZI: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo!!!  You can’t, like, do that to my BFF!  Look at his perty little face!

RAINY: You’re right…. I’m not sending him to the pound to be destroyed….. I’m taking him straight to the Chinese Buffet instead!!!

SPARKLEPONY: You wouldn’t!

RAINY: So if you want to say one last goodbye to your BFF, just order the dragon balls special sometime this weekend!

Rainbow Donkey takes Fleabag from the sobbing Mitzi’s arms and put him in Rainy’s basket.

RAINY: That’s more like it!

MITZI: You mean old BITCH!!!!!!!!


Mitzi runs out the backdoor and goes to find someplace to cry where nobody will see her makeup run…

SPARKLEPONY: Well, I hope you’re satisfied, Rainy Gulch!

RAINY: I am satisfied!  This vicious beast will never torment me again.  I’ve done the world a great service today.

SPAREKLPONY: I hope for your sake this Dust Bowl lasts all century!

RAINY: (Takes her pup filled basket and leaves) Goodbye!

With the sound of Rainbow Donkey getting flogged by a riding crop in the background, Rainy gets on her bicycle and………..

…..errrr…. race car?

RAINY: The props for this episode are going to be really bad, I’m warning you!

Meanwhile, behind a haystack…

Looks like for once, Mitzi won’t be up for a roll in that hay…

MITZI: (SNIFF!) My poor widdow Fweabag!  (SNIFF!) He’s gonna be, like, (SNIFF!) totally basted in wonton sauce and eaten with fiddlesticks!


MITZI: FLEABAG!!!!  You, like, totally got away and stuff!!!


MITZI: Oh, I’m so totally filled with the happies to have you back!  But…….. but she’ll come looking for you again!  We’ve got to run away!  Like, totally hit the road, Jack!

And so Mitzi and her canine companion took the dirt road out of town.  They walked and walked and walked….

MITZI: Like, OMG!  We must have walked a whole Nautica mile by now!  Mitzi’s, like, totally getting poopied out!

SHADOW: Greetings!

MITZI: OMG!  Like, who are you?

SHADOW: Me?  Why, you’ve never heard of the amazing Professor Marble?

MITZI: Ummmm, nope.

SHADOW: I am a teller of the future, a reader of fortunes, a seer of all that is to come…

MITZI: Coolsies!  Like, can you totally read my future with a deck of naughty tarot cards?

SHADOW: (Clearing his throat) I…. uh….. don’t use those anymore.  The High Priestess always gives me a strange sensation in my Pokeballs, and……. well, let’s just say that was one very awkward palm reading.  Shall we gaze inside my crystal ball instead?

MITZI: OMG!  I look so totally kyoooooooot in there!

SHADOW: Now, let’s see what the future holds….. hmmmmmmm, what’s this?  From The National Weather Service: A tornado warning has been issued for all of Shelf County until 4:20 this afternoon…. aw, poppycock!  Weathercritters can’t predict the future!  Now…. tell me, dear child.  What troubles are you running away from?

MITZI: It’s my Auntie Ess!  She don’t wuv me anymore!  She gave my doggy away to the mean old neighbor lady, and….

SHADOW: Yes, Auntie Ess.  I see……. oh dear.  Auntie Ess doesn’t appear to be well.

MITZI: What?  Oh noes!

SHADOW: Yes, she seems to be quite melancholy…. no wait, I’d dare say… brokenhearted!

MITZI: Broken… hearted?

SHADOW: She’s sitting on the sofa at home….. all alone….. with a paper towel to her eyes… crying out for her niece….

MITZI: Ack!!!  She is!!!! Mitzi, like, always watches Real Housewives Of Tittybong with Auntie Ess at this time, and she, like, totally has nobody to gossip about it with!  I have to get back home, like, AZAP!!!

Without even getting a complimentary horoscope, Mitzi and Fleabag reverse course and run back towards the farm…

SHADOW: Hmmmmm, how about that, Shadow?  You don’t actually have a black heart after all.  Such a nice girl, and she’ll be back home before her family can miss her…

Shadow’s monologue is interrupted by stiff breeze that blows his long ears inside out…

SHADOW: Well well well, miracles in meteorology never cease. I guess I better batten down my hatches…. whatever those are.  I hope the girl make it back in one piece….


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#165 – Joe Squirrel

Photo taken: May 26, 2017

You’ve probably heard the saying before, “Monkey see, monkey do.”  Just like children, animals watch us and sometimes like to imitate the so-called intelligent species.  Even our most disgusting habits like smoking.  This bad squirrel seems to have picked up the habit.  And unlike the people who crowd around in designated smoking areas in 87 degrees below zero to get their puff on…. I gotta say this squirrel actually looks pretty cool with his all natural ciggy in his mouth.  Or maybe that’s one of those fancy schmancy long cigarette holders the rich and famous like to use.  Then again, maybe this squirrel’s actually a health nut and going all Kojak on us.  Yeah, you’ve come a long way, baby!

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