Ground Foragers

With it being such a bright and sunny day, I decided to get some errands run before tomorrow’s storm hit.  Not realizing the time, I discovered I’d been away from the office for nearly three hours.  It would’ve been a very pleasant day had the northwest wind not been spewing more cold air on North Iowa.  I still go into a bit of shock every time I see tall mounds of snow piled around our City for this time of year.

I happened to read a local article today regarding the plight of our robins where they’re not getting enough to eat due to our snow cover. It appears the weaker ones are dying of starvation.  It’s no surprise it’s happening because I distinctly remember those days weeks ago where they were eating all the dried fruits from the flowering trees in our City.  I thought it was strange to see them arrive so early–especially considering how cold it was and the amount of snow remaining on the ground.

I know I’m sounding horrible by saying this, but perhaps the deer population won’t be increasing as rapidly as they have been year-over-year due to those pregnant females soon to be giving birth without the normal amount of green cover to hide their fauns, which will make them all the more visible to their natural predators.  Most don’t realize a doe can go into heat as early as six months after being born, and can birth from 1 – 3 fauns.  Now that’s a recipe for a population explosion in a very short period of time. It’s no wonder people have been seeing herds numbering upwards of 50 at the outskirts of our City.  On average, a single deer can eat around 2,000 lbs of forage a year.  If you do the math, you’ll see how much destruction a herd of say 10 – 12 can do in a given neighborhood.

I’ve been working with a buyer who’s planning on moving to Mason City from a Metro area. He mentioned that just over these past seven to ten years how greatly the quality of life has changed where he lives.  From the traffic jams, to the cost of housing, it sounds like some place I’d rather not live.  I was shocked when he mentioned his metro area reports on an average of 35,000 car break-ins a year.  He also said the thieves can easily spot rental cars belonging to tourists, which are prime targets because they keep their valuables in their cars instead of their hotel rooms while out sight-seeing.  Those vacation nightmares are likely being swept under the rug by their law enforcement so not to create bad impressions for future tourists.

You many think me sounding like a broken record, but it’s high time our City starts focusing more on attracting out-of-State retirees who’re actively seeking quieter and simpler lifestyles for their golden years.  When my client was telling me how it’s been just in these recent years that he’s despised driving on freeways, I couldn’t help but interject by saying, “I’ve always hated freeway driving–especially in large metro areas.”  Just watching some of those crazy drivers zig-zagging between lanes during rush hour, would be enough to make me want to head for the nearest exit ramp.

Several of the homes I showed today were exceptionally dirty to where I thought, “Didn’t anyone say something to the owners about them?”  Two of them had room colors I never would’ve chosen.  Blood red walls in a bedroom would be enough to give anyone raging nightmares.  I have no clue where owners get such crazy decorating ideas.

The above photo is one I took today of some little ground foragers feeding.

My one-liner for tonight is:  Children are the hope of the future.

Joe Chodur

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