mountain musing

Our neighbor Dave told me he learned something from me. When I raised an eyebrow, he explained: "I didn't understand when you said you didn't clean your fencerows and windbreaks to provide cover for wildlife."

He added, "I do now."



Dave and Becky are relatively new neighbors, hard-working, always busy, tiring to watch. Just in the short time they've lived there, he put a new metal roof on their farmhouse, rewired his shop and storage shed, and constructed new corrals for new livestock.

Then Dave turned attention to their windbreaks and fences. He cut trees and ripped out willow and carigana brush until their place could be in the running for the cover of "Country Living" magazine, while their neighbors next door might well serve as "bad examples" in the same photo spread.

However, on February 9th, just five days ago, I stared out my office window at our seldom-used tennis court while mulling a blog problem. "There are two robins outside," I called to Jane.

"Ooh, that's early," she said coming to stand by my desk. "There's pine grosbeaks, too. And a house finch." Just then a cock pheasant strutted down the edge of of the windrow beyond.

"I wonder how many bird species we could identify in our yard," she murmured. In ten minutes, the lady was back. She had towhees, black cap chickadees, three magpies, a thrush, and a sapsucker woodpecker determined to peck a hole in the gable end of our house. (I've got news for that bird!)

Meanwhile Dave bemoans the fact that he seldom sees deer any more, and pheasants have largely abandone their farm as a travel route.

My question: Do Jane and I really enjoy wilderness living? Or am I merely lazy?






Roland Cheek is a gifted writer with a knack for clarifying reality
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February 14, 2013

Archives From the Mountain Muse


February 11, 2013

Don't Sweat the Pretty Things


February 7, 2013

"Trapped" Follow-Up


February 4, 2013

Trapped Schoolkids


January 28, 2013

The Chinese Wall


January 24, 2013

Tough Day At the Office


January 17, 2013

Experience Ain't Everything


January 14, 2013

The Termagant Strikes Back


January 10, 2013

The Termagant


January 7, 2013

Man of "Tinction"


January 3, 2013

The Best Kind of Learning


December 31, 2012

The Northern Flying Squirrel


December 27, 2012

Dance On the Wild Side


December 24, 2012

A Faux Pas Merry Christmas


December 20, 2012

Hog Calling Grammer


December 17, 2012

Angels Among Us


December 12, 2012

Cowboy Lit


December 10, 2012

(go directly to Jail, do not pass Go)


December 6, 2012

Audience & Storytellers


December 3, 2012

Creating By Committee


November 29, 2012



November 26, 2012

Music From Stars


November 22, 2012

Manicurist's Hangnails


November 19, 2012

Separation of Church and State


November 15, 2012

Tiny Kernels of Truth