Surprise at Goose Lake

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I witnessed something I’ve read about but never seen before: crows at play.
I was sitting at my keyboard when a clatter on the roof sent me hurrying to the entrance hall, looking up at the skylight there.

Two crows were up there. One had found a small piece of wood, probably part of a shingle, about 3×5 inches. It carried it in its beak to the top of the skylight, set it down, perched on it, and slid down the slope to the bottom. The second crow watch this, reached out and took the “skateboard,” and did the same thing.

Amazed, I ran for my phone, but by the time I returned, the crows had become aware of me. All I got was this one ghostly image as the second bird flapped away. Playtime was over. What a way to start the year at Goose Lake.

My most unique Christmas gift ever

Hi everyone,

The most unique gift I received for Christmas is an ink painting about ME! It was done by gifted artist, Olga Shute, whom we know as Josie, soulmate of our grandson, Tyler Williams. The name of the painting is STORY TELLER.

Josie says she consulted my blog, scanned Internet postings, and asked Robin and Jeff about my habits and preferences. Her goal was to show me, the story teller, lover of nature, reporter about what I see to entertain and inform young readers. I could not have been more surprised or honored when she presented the painting on Christmas Eve.

I keep finding something new each time I look. The first discovery was Sandy-the-pixie, seated on a stack of books, positioned to whisper in my ear. There are the books, of course. A turtle. A giraffe with a cookie. A snake, apparently a bit blotto after finding my vodka stash. Lots and lots of butterflies and other insects. The more you look, the more you find. At the bottom I discovered my recent Laura Ingalls Wilder award. I see grass, roots, stars, the moon, water, a magic kingdom in the distance. And cake. I just found the piece of cake, chocolate no doubt.

For Christmas this year I had a hard time thinking of anything to ask for. And then I got this. There really is a Santa Claus.

Thanks, Dan Burr!

Hi everyone,

I’ve told you about the enormous grass carp that prowl the shallows of Goose Lake and crowd out native fish vying for the same vegetation. My thanks to Dan Burr for showing off the one he recently caught on one of his own outings in Idaho.13133276_10206660510574815_2495610837047975723_n I’m guessing that ours are approximately the same size. One afternoon I stood on our bank and counted thirteen of them within fifty yards of us, some a few feet away.

If you aren’t familiar with Dan Burr’s work, check out PIRATES PIRATESand COWBOYS,Cowboys cover, 4-9-12 which we did together. PIRATES went on to be chosen by Missouri Center for the Book to represent Missouri at the National Book Fair in Washington D.C. Dan and I want to do other books together but haven’t come up with the right idea yet.