Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Deer Struggling On

I’ve watched this deer for two years; very notable as the rear right leg has been broken and (apparently) healed. She gets around OK, but is never with the other deer — almost always on my side of the creek and alone.

Apparently the black spots are fibromatosis -- a type of common skin tumor, common in deer, called fibromas which are caused by a type of papilloma virus.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Covid-19 at the Mink Farms

From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Two Wisconsin mink farms under quarantine after more than 5,000 animals died from COVID-19

Two mink farms in Taylor County are under quarantine after animals in the facilities tested positive for ARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans.

Between the two farms, more than 5,400 mink have died, said Kevin Hoffman, the public information officer for the state Division of Animal Health. 

The virus was confirmed at the first farm in early October when a dead mink tested positive for the disease. The farm was quarantined at that point, meaning no animals or animal parts could leave the premises. It's believed the virus jumped from a human to the animals, Hoffman said, but an investigation into the transfer is still underway. 

The outbreak at the second farm was found more recently, Hoffman said. It is not believed that the virus jumped from the first farm to the second. 

More >> here  

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Lucky and the Heroic of World War II

Staff Sgt. Casimer A. Nastal of Detroit, Mich., was a waist gunner on the Memphis Belle. Here he’s flying “Virginia”.

On May 17th, 1943 the crew of the Memphis Belle were one of the first to complete 25 missions without being shot down. As heroes – congratulated by royalty, awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses, and immortalized on film – they were rewarded by crisscrossing America selling war bonds with Stuka, their Scottish terrier mascot.

This is Madness

Raccoons in the US can carry rabies, distemper, mange, and roundworms.

Do You Even Science?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Luke the Dog, Silent Screen Star


On this day in 1920, Buster Keaton released his third film, the 19-minute silent short called “The Scarecrow” which co-starred Luke the Dog (1913-1926) an American Staffordshire Terrier (Pitbull) who was a recurring character in American silent comedy shorts between 1914 and 1920. 

In real life, Luke was the personal pet of actress Minta Durfee and her husband, comedian and director Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, who did the actual training of the dog.

“The Scarecrow” was Luke the Dog’s last film due to the divorce of Roscoe and Minta. 

Luke died in 1926 in Los Angeles at age 13. 

Luke’s break out performance was in in “Fatty's Faithful Fido,” which can be seen below.


Willow Establishes a Routine

This is Willow, the Italian Greyhound X Boston Terrier cross we got from a rescue about a month ago.  She's 5 months old now, and just 7-8 pounds. The ears are ridiculous, but otherwise she's very much an Italian Greyhound in body shape -- very long legs and thin frame.  She potty-trained in a week and has been accident free since then. She was born in rescue from a dam who arrived pregnant.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

There Is More to Life Than Increasing Its Speed

Dogs Have the Largest Size Differential of Any Species in the World

Unnatural selection at the hand of man has pushed dog size both up and down. The result is that dogs have a potential size differential of 100 to 1; the largest of any species in the world. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

The Coming Wave is a Killer

Here in the US, the coronavirus pandemic is out of control.

Today states reported 144,000 new Covid-19 cases and 1,562 Americans died.

Hospitalizations are rising quickly, with more than 1,600 people admitted every day.

Texas has had more than 1 million infections, and has set up mobile morgues.

In North Dakota, the hospitals are at full capacity and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R), who has refused to issue a mask requirement, is now allowing infected health care workers to deliver care to those who are sick.

Here in Maryland, the number of Covid cases has doubled in the last 3 days, which means a spike in deaths around Thanksgiving.

In two weeks, Thanksgiving family gatherings will drive another spike in Covid cases, with deaths soaring around Christmas.

Total US Covid deaths are now at over 242,000.

We could see 100,000 deaths a month by January.

To be clear, most of the sickness and death that has occurred could have been prevented with political leadership requiring mask wearing in public spaces.

Today, 10 months into the pandemic, we still have no national Covid plan of any kind and no national mask requirement. Instead, we have a White House that has become a Covid hot spot holding “super spreader” events across the country.

News of a vaccine in development is promising, but likely a mirage as the vaccine requires refrigeration at -90 degree below zero.

In addition, setting aside all the massive replication, storage, and distribution logistics, huge swaths of America say they will take no vaccine offered, prefering to risk getting sick and killing their relatives to either: a) “own the libs”, or; b) show they are too smart to take a vaccine made with “chemicals” and “GMO”.

Universal mask wearing would actually be a cheaper, quicker, and more assured way of reducing infection and mortality than a vaccine, but without political leadership from the top, America must make do with body bags, burial plots, permanent lung damage, closed schools, bankrupt bars and restaurants, and health care liabilities that will stretch decades into the future.

Industrial and Farm Rust

Stopped at Luckett’s, Virginia to take pictures of industrial rust.

Wear a Mask

Taxidermy Groundhog with mask, 2020, Luckett's Virginia.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Monday, November 09, 2020

Spike Buck on the Towpath

Winter Wildlife Worshipping the Sun

A 75 degree day in November found all kinds of critters out sunning themselves, including this Blue Heron who had his wings folded out like a sun reflector.