Threatened Chimney Swifts Make Nests in Old Places

A threatened bird, the chimney swift, only stops flying to land on vertical perches inside hollow trees, chimneys of old buildings, abandoned wells, grain silos, air shafts, barns, sheds and derelict houses.

The population is threatened due to habitat loss. Interesting as so much of their habitat has adapted to live alongside people. There are many animals living in urban environments but I hadn’t heard of the chimney swifts before.

Haunted House Scenarios in Games

People think of haunted houses because they want to think every abandoned house is haunted. But, really, I think the real danger of an abandoned house is the actual house itself. Has anyone ever thought to make a game where the house is falling apart and you are exploring in the wreckage? With the addition of possibly meeting other people (living, not ghosts) who would not be happy to see you. Then, lets not for get the animals: insects, rodents and birds in particular.

Or is it just easier to be afraid of something fictional, like a haunted house?

Having written all that… I’d love to play something like Ravenloft if I could play without needing a group of others and all that extra set up (dice, character sheets, kit, etc).  Best of all would be seeing the map, with the layout of the house and then exploring to see each room in all the architectural details. You can skip the ghosts and monsters for me. I’d just like to see the house, even a fictional house.

Source: Haunted Half-Dozen: Six Unforgettable Haunted House Scenarios for Tabletop RPGs – Geekcentricity

Feral Cats Remembered

I like seeing photos of feral cats. They live wild and survive but die forgotten. Like our own ancestors and all the creatures (human and animal) on the planet before us. They seldom get photographed. So, it is nice to have some evidence of their existence, a way to keep them remembered. 11999692_10153689665745337_5180215758202807884_o 12017431_10153689524010337_2033318244203532040_o

Source of quote and photos: Todd Tripp

I went back to look for the feral colony today. They were not there, and their bag of food was not there. I’m hoping they got into homes.

I did see this fella I call “Old Man” elsewhere. I was worried about him last time I saw him, as that left eye was in pretty bad shape. He looks scarred there now; I’m guessing it’s a duelling scar.

He had company today in this little queen. And three kittens. One hid under wooden steps. Another kept to the side. A third looked sickly.

Bare Brick Near Chesley (2007)

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Not much left but bricks. It looked like the ruins of an old castle still standing hundreds of years later. But, it was just a house. Likely destroyed by fire.

The cows were oddly intimidating. Or was it just because there were a couple of bulls there too. I don’t trust animals, or think of them as friendly pets at least. So I was careful exploring here. It took some daring for me to get into the area where the cows were kept.

House Along the Highway (2006)

These photos are from two different trips to see this house. The first time I could not cross the field, past the barn. So my photos were taken from far back. But I did get a few photos of the crumbled shed and the actual house peeking around the barn.

Later I went back and walked to the house. It had a wonderful front door. Odd, but there were doors on three sides of the house. Inside was a lot of storage, turned to junk from animals, weather, etc.

This house went down sometime early this year, 2015, or possibly late in 2014. A Car in the Field 277822619 Broken Panes 294964647 Farmhouse by Highway 400 277822603 Farmhouse in the Distance 277822517 Farmhouse near Cookstown 277822536

Porch at the Back 294965663 Shed on the Farm 277822688 Side view 294964007 The Backside 294964361 The Doorless Side 294963702 The Fancy Front Door 294965036 The Front 294965410 The Old Farmhouse off Hwy 400 277822495 Through the Window 294965976 Tumbled Shed 277822576 Wrecked Shed 277822646

Urban Exploration: Don’t Hurt the Spiders!

don't hurt the spidersIf you explore empty, forgotten and abandoned places you will be among spiders and other creatures. Just accept it as a fact. I do not understand spider hatred. What has any little spider ever done to you? People see a photo of a few spiders and start talking (ranting) about demolishing the building, setting it on fire, etc. Are they crazy?!

I like spiders. They eat other insects and in general they prefer to avoid larger animals (like people). Yes, there are some dangerous spiders. Not many here in Ontario. I have seen a black widow spider. I watched it for awhile and did not try to pick it up, set it on fire, stomp on it or in any other way bother it.

Take only photos and leave only footprints. Leave the spiders alone, don’t take their lives. Spiders and their web do add greatness to photographs when the light is right.

Should you Help Stray Animals Over Winter?

First the cold hard facts: There are roughly 70 million stray dogs and cats in the U.S. at any given time.

With cold weather and storms on the way, here’s what you can do to help homeless dogs and cats.

 

This post recommends catching the animal. I don’t think that is a good idea. A stray animal is likely scared or hurt and far more likely to bite people who attempt to get close. I`ve looked out for a few stray cats but I did not attempt to catch them.

Why cause the animal even more stress and then leave it to the chance of being adopted at the shelter. Instead it can live as any other animal outdoors and have a natural life just as the other animals do and have always done. If tiny birds can live through the winter then the stray predators will have to do the same. It`s the cycle of life and people should interfere less.

Images of Abused Pets Make me Angry for Different Reasons

Capture

I don’ think I post any but I do see them pop up from others. They make me angry for different reasons. I don’t like them being used to create emotion in people, to solicit donations. What also makes me quite angry about them is the fact that there are people in dire straits who don’t get the same sympathy which dogs and cats do. Still, both dogs, cats and people are heavily over populated so some logical and practical part of me cares a lot more about the wild animals, native animals, who have no habitat because there are too many people with their pets who hog it all and continue to do so. Making it seem the wild non-pet animals are the ones who are in the way. Rant over, go back to fawning over your pets.

Where Did “Piss Poor” Come From?

My Mother sent me this in email today. Keep reading, it gets more interesting as it goes along.

Where did “piss poor” come from?
If you’re young and hip, this is still interesting.

NOW THIS IS A REAL EDUCATION
Us older people need to learn something new every day…

Just to keep the grey matter tuned up.

Where did “Piss Poor” come from? Interesting history.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.

And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery…

If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…

They “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500’s

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,
Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.
Last of all the babies.
By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.
This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.
That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing..

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.
Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme:
“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.”
They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.
Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.
This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status..
Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,
And guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.
The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days..
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom; “holding a wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.
So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.
When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer.”

And that’s the truth.

Now, whoever said history was boring!!!

So get out there and educate someone!
Share these facts with a friend.
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering,
“What the heck happened?”
We’ll be friends until we are old and senile.
Then we’ll be new friends.