Picture Perfect - Three - Ice Road

It's a THREE mile walk one way (or drive, we walked) on ice across this part of Lake Superior on Hwy 2 from Bayfield Wisconsin to Madeline Island, the only one of of the 23 Apostle Islands that is inhabited. 
The Highway Department maintains this Ice Road (US 2, it's on the maps) after the Ferry can no longer operate, until the ice is unsafe again in the Spring.  Notice the discarded Christmas trees that mark the way every 1/10 mile...because the visibility can instantly become zero feet if a wind kicks up and there is blowing snow.  It can be a risky trip even on a clear day. People have gotten lost and driven into open water miles away, or stuck out in the middle when they drove off the plowed road into deep snow.

We bundled up warm, to shield us from the wind and took food and water with us.  On Madeline Island we went to a restaurant and had lunch. When we started to walk back across the ice road we discovered they had closed the road because of dangerous ice conditions. BUT we had no other way to return and it was getting dark, so we went anyway.  Then it was even more uncomfortable when a car passed (people drove anyway).  But we made it and it was a very pleasant days 6 mile walk.

When walking to the island... when a car approaches, you can see and feel a "wave" approaching the same as if it was unfrozen water. As you stand there you can hear the ice cracking under your feet and feel the Ice rise and fall about 6 inches and see the wave of ice leaving when the car passes...a very uncomfortable feeling standing over 300 feet deep water, miles from shore... even worse if it's a bus or truck.  You can easily see the huge cracks in the ice and occasionally ice ridges occur so they must sometimes re-route the road slightly.
In winter, the population of the 18 mile long island drops to about 200 people. During the period after the ferry can no longer plow thru the ice, but before the ice road is safe, children take the air-boat (Ice boat / ice sled) to and from school each day in the city of Bayfield (A "boat" with an airplane engine and propeller).


Only the walking-dead would approach the house.

The Little kids would not come up to the house...afraid, I had to go down the driveway to them. There were wolves howling and Bats flying around, and outside the house it was even scarier.
(Fog machines, firepots(fake), and red floodlights)

Some would not take the candy after my hand slipped out of my sleeve and fell into the bowl - HA Ha ha HO Ho ho.


Picture Perfect #4 - Tough as . . . a Chicken,. . .1st Place photo winner, Thanks everyone.

No, I’m not joking…. This is a picture of "Tough"…. It’s all a matter of attitude, and Bert has lots of that. (1st place Picture Perfect #4 - Tough)
Bert doesn’t seem to notice the size difference between himself and any other living creature. He is totally fearless, confident, persistent… and cannot be intimidated. His beak is like a hardened metal vice-grip pliers and can easily draw blood. He knows he has long spurs that are needle sharp and he is very willing to use them.

After getting pecked at… Ace decided "thats enough" and pushed Bert back in the coop. WOW did that light his fire. You don’t shove Bert! Just like a crazed fearless animal, Bert charged with a flying leap and dug his spurs into Ace’s arm. Ace tossed him back, but again he reared up and charged.. spurs into the arm, blood everywhere. Ace tossed him back yet again, this time he LEAPED right out of the coop at Ace , attacked on the arm again, Jab jab jab blood blood blood.
…..Now they're on the floor wrestling, jab jab jab, peck peck peck blood blood. Ace managed to reach up and grab him enough (Wings flapping.. peck peck squawk jab jab squawk) to throw him back into the coop and slam the door. Whew!!! After all the feathers had settled to the floor, Ace cracked open the door. WHAM Bert attacks again. That ain't no Chicken... kinda like alligator wrestling.

BUT... all the rest of the time, Bert is a gentleman and Ace and Bert are good buddies. When sitting outside on the bench, Bert and the other Chickens jump up on Ace’s lap and let him pet them.

- - - - - - THANKS everyone, for making this Picture-Perfect 1st place... I'm so pleased (Ace) that others like this picture, because I really do love Bert and he loves me. He has taught me a lot. He's such a character, a gentleman, and such a pleasure to have around (the hens too).  He is quite macho, but he does love it when I hug him. He just won't admit it.
Note: check out BERTS 24/7 LIVE CHICKEN CAM (you control cam) OR For more info on Bert and the Hens, and Pigeons, and Doves, etc Click here then scroll down to "Tags" then click on tag=Bert (or tag=Chickens, or Spot or Dove, Velcro, Pigeon, etc)


Picture Perfect - Pleasantville - snoring

A Busy day in a small town.
In order for the above picture to make more sense... here's another picture of the same scene.
This is Bayfield Wisconsin on Lake Superior near my fruit farm and cabin. A quaint pleasant little fishing village which is now mostly a tourist town. It's a very picturesque setting so a lot of artists make their home here. The 22 uninhabited Apostle Islands are a good place to take a vacation or to just visit or to go boating... lots of sailboats and rental.

Thanks for visiting my site...
<b><a href="http://bertthemensachicken.multiply.com/journal/item/392/Picture_Perfect_-_Pleasantville_-_snoring">Picture Perfect - Pleasantville - Snoring</a></b>


Beer drinking & grape sucking Chickens.

This Chicken loves beer (It’s a Pre-marinated Chicken). All brands of beer, no preference. It’s really hard to tell when a Chicken is drunk.
The scene is A family BBQ at Ace’s daughter Katie’s house, they have exotic Chickens too (Notice beer poured from can).
(2nd video is Transylvanian Naked Neck grape sucking Chicken).

Watch the grape go down it's neck. Video of a grape-sucking Transylvania-Naked-Neck Chicken… Also a Chicken-soccer game. Chickens love grapes.  (Yes it’s a real breed)= Transylvanian Naked Neck

                                 Grandmother Larson was there too.  

A Black Silkie

This is EngleBird.

                     Pretty birds, eh?


The POLE EXCHANGE EFFORT - Where is North?

.......................................................... ..........................................................

PEE on the earth.....

If magnetic opposite poles attract, and like poles repel, how come the N needle of a compass points to the north pole? 
The North magnetic field pole is to our geographic South...
The South magnetic field pole is to our geographic North... 
The difference is between "Magnetic Pole" and "Magnetic FIELD Pole" (or geographic poles).

 I'm trying to start a  protest movement to rename the Earths poles so it will be technically accurate. PEE... Pole Exchange Effort.

 If my Pole Protest is successful, all compasses will instantly become obsolete. All N/S street names will need to be changed. All GPS's will need to redefine "North/South".  East and West can be left the way they are... otherwise the Earth would need to spin the other direction ??
Bert is hereby appointed Chairman of the PEE... (Pole Exchange Effort).
.......We can take a Poll to verify Pole exchange support. We'll attend any and all protests and rallys all over the country and make signs and wave our PEE around on top of long magnetic poles. We could have a PEE party and PEE contests. What a sight that would be. Who wouldn't want to join ?


NOW I have good proof. Bird rescues another bird.

Proof that animals think, love, worry, fear, plan, etc and behave like humans.
Link= Animal have emotions too
This just amazed me. One bird knowing what to do and going thru exceptional effort to rescue another bird.

Velcro (right) has never left the yard in her life until 3 days ago (10 months old) (except when nearly killed once (LINK=MISSING). Now that it’s warmer, Velcro and 2.5 (left) have started to take short flights around the area.
>Velcro's lover partner (both female) 2.5 is a homer pigeon, Velcro is not.
>2.5 is a fast and powerful long distance flyer (60mph), Velcro is not.
>2.5 can always find home, Velcro’s breed gets lost.
>These two are madly in love, a lot of hugging and kissing (French kissing) and they can also get a little kinky.
Here's a Flying Video.

SATURDAY - - - - When we came home from out of town at dusk, 2.5 was in the aviary but Velcro was not…Velcro was missing and lost. Her chances of survival outside overnight are not that good. She is SO tame and trusting, so white, and lots of owls, hawks, cats, fox and coyote…and she was lost.
….....We think she and 2.5 went flying and Velcro just couldn’t keep up and wasn’t able to return….totally lost, at risk, with no chance of finding home by herself. I really didn’t expect to ever see her again… so sad. Her only chance would be if 2.5 searched for her.
SUNDAY - - - - At 6:30am, Velcro had not returned, still lost or dead. 2.5 saw me and very clearly told me she wanted to get out and search for Velcro. Normally she wouldn’t leave the nest until 10: or 11:am but she was very anxious and worried. I knew that was the only chance for Velcro, SO I opened the door and 2.5 immediately zoomed off (normally wouldn’t happen) and vanished over the rooftops to the west.
…..But… 1 hour passed, no birds. 2 hours, no birds, 3 hours passed, no birds, but then amazingly 2.5 found Velcro and they finally came back home together. It was very clear they were overjoyed at seeing each other (endless hugs and kisses).
Amazing - - - 2.5 actually went out, scouted the entire area for miles around for 3 hours and miraculously found Velcro and guided her back home. Not bad, eh?
- - - - - - - -
MONDAY - - - Again they went for a short flight and quickly returned. Then late in the day, another longer flight. It’s dusk and 2.5 has returned but again Velcro has not.  2.5 was breathing heavily, apparently a long fast flight home? Hopefully, 2.5 can go search and find her again tomorrow?? Another night of Velcro risking her life to predators. So worried again.
TODAY (Tuesday) - - Again at 6:30am I let 2.5 out and again she zoomed off to search for Velcro.
.......A little over an hour later they returned together.  For now they are both back safe, and the reunion was bliss for them. These are such very happy birds.

Hmmm, I’m trying to decide if I should close them in? or continue risking their lives. They are both quite vulnerable when flying around… so white, like a target to predators. There are many hawks and owls in the area and have been in our yard. (Hawk troubles.) I am hoping they learn to stay closer to home, like they always used to. ???
Should I restrain them or let them fly free?
UPDATE - now 2 months later. Velcro and 2.5 will rarely take very very short flights together (within sight of home) but occasionally 2.5 will still take long several hour flights by herself then returns while Velcro stays home with me. Velcro has not left the yard area ever since.  I hope they have figured out that Velcro cannot fly as fast and gets lost, and Velcro will always stay here at home.
UPDATE UPDATE - 7 months later... all is well. Velcro stays near home but 2.5 will occasionally take a short trip then returns home. These two birds are so madly in love with each other, they are inseparable. Sometimes I open the patio door and both will fly or walk inside and spend the day with me in my office.  
Yet another update 1-1/2 years later.  They still take neighborhood flights together but always return. Often, 2.5 will go on a longer flight by herself then she returns. Velcro never leaves the neighborhood, seems they have learned their lesson.
Update - Now they never leave the yard... still madly in love an happy birds.


Looks like Velcro is going to stick around

If you missed part 1, Velcro nearly died -
Part 1 - Missing or dead, My best friend gravely injured. But It was a happy day with Champagne in the water bowl with the reunion of Velcro and 2.5 after 9 days apart (short video). 2.5 was so sad the whole time but was overwhelmed with Joy when Velcro returned. They love each other so very much.
2.5 didn't know what to do.. jumped from perch to perch for a half hour, then they went into the nest where 2.5 moaned and moaned for hours and hours (Orgasm?) .... Interesting, because they're both female (Lesbian Pigeons?).
Velcro is doing very well, her limp is getting better and her feathers are already starting to grow back and part of her stitches have fallen off. She slept on my arm all day yesterday, she's happy and content.
Today Velcro and Spot-Dove went to visit the family and twin 8 yr old girls who rescued Velcro the night she almost died. We gave them Beanie Baby birds, like Velcro.


MISSING – worse odds than the lottery, but…

I just can’t believe it…I just can’t believe it.. I just can’t believe it. I had already said "Goodbye" to her. I was sure she was gone forever, gone 5 days, 2 days in a very nasty blizzard, -25 wind chill…I was sure I’d never see her again. She had died. 

Pretty tough bird. Now I know what happened to her. Now I believe in miracles.
At night, 3/7/09 around 8:00pm, she was attacked IN the aviary by an animal (Cat I presume). She managed to escape and flew two blocks in the dark and spotted an open garage door with the lights on inside…she flew inside and landed up on a shelf. The Husband came out to close the door for the night and spotted her.
He chased her out but she flew right back in and back on the shelf again. His wife and twin 8 yr old girls came out and again they chased her out and she flew back in again. Then they realized she was bleeding and badly injured. The Husband simply reached up and put his hands around her and she didn’t resist. They took her in and cared for her then took her to an all-night Animal Emergency Hospital about 10pm (about 2 miles away).
The animal hospital stitched up a half inch puncture wound in her chest and shaved all the feathers off her back and under her wings and on her chest, then stitched up two long gashes in her back. She was x-rayed and limping but had no broken bones. Today 3/12/09 she is still limping badly, but in time I’m sure she’ll be fine.

Three days later the animal hospital brought her to the Humane Society where, to my amazement,  I found her Yesterday.
The entire staff of 6 and a few customers huddled around and we were all misty eyed and sniffling as I thanked them and took her home.
All her life she had never flown out of the back yard. She and 2.5 are the best of friends and they always stay in the yard.
This video is one of the reasons I love her. 

For years I didn’t close the aviary door at night but then a year ago I started to have some trouble. Over a few weeks, 4 pigeons killed or missing. Then I saw a cat lurking around and tried to trap it..no luck. So that’s when I began to close the aviary door every night. Now, for nearly a year, that cat has not been around. Since no cats were around and it was still cold, I decided to leave the door open like I always used to. The next day, Velcro was missing. I was hoping she had just gotten lost and would return but for days, she didn’t, I waited and waited. I tried to find her body in the yard. I began to put up posters. The Humane Society is many many miles from us so I didn’t check there until yesterday… and I was still hoping she’d return.
But she is now home and I’m typing this with one hand because she is sleeping on my arm. It’s nice to have the family back together again.
And now (a few days later) I have more good news. I have the sweetest video of Velcro... and related events... will post soon.
Update - Part 2, the reunion
= = = = = =
Doctors (Vet) report below:
Emergency clinic report (excerpts).
Pigeon with ID on Left foot MFRG 2008 785
Physical exam
Stable, alert, tame and interested in eating. Ambulatory with pain on left leg, not fully weight bearing. Physical Exam does not reveal source of pain, but could be related to the two large sores on her body: Dorsal gaping 2cm wound with necrotic tissue, and latero-ventral left side – scar. Suspect animal bite injury, Radiograph did not reveal shot in body. Affected leg can grip finger, She can perch and walk around cage, is flighted but not flying around room area. VERY GENTLE.
Q/A – Stray pigeon with skin injuries and left leg grade 1-2/4 lamb.
P – Clean wounds, provide warmth, food and analgesia/abx.
Enrogloxacin 3.24 mg BID IM – 22.7mg/ml" 3.24mg (0.14cc)Imkx
Meloxicam .0.0325 mg PO QID
Isofluane mask – Primary wound on left body wall and secondary V shaped flap right body – makes bite wound suspect. Debrided skin edges and removed contaminated/discolored tissue. Flushed well. Closed skin with a 4-0 vicryl in interrupted fashion and cut tags short as they will fall out with time.
Pigeon doing well, Will bring to Humane Society.
= = = = =


Bert’s famous "STRING THEORY", quite useful for Valentines day.

Back when Bert was on the loose (dating) and was more or less clueless on strategy…Bert very quickly made an observation.
After doing some serious scientific research, and accumulating massive quantities of data and statistics and endless time-consuming extensive interactive field research studies (dating, . . such a chore), Bert wrote a comprehensive computer program to massage all the accumulated statistics and data specifically to determine the interaction of activities, events, techniques,..  vs results and success…… and thereby reached a conclusion.
The result was Bert’s famous "STRING THEORY". 

Works like this….. If you see a beautiful sexy bird in your yard and you’d like to make friends with it… every time you approach it, it will fly away even if you have a special treat for the bird (Chocolate, cash, six pack, fancy car, etc?). No matter what you have to offer and no matter how you try you will never get close to it if you approach it. Conclusion – You can rarely go "TO" the bird, it will fly away.

Solution = "STRING THEORY". 

You have to draw the bird TO YOU as if you were pulling it toward you on a very very fragile string. Of course there is no "Real" string, but the bird must WANT to be close to you… you must gently tug on the fragile string so gentle that they are unaware you are pulling. …That means you MUST have something to offer that it desires (That’s the REAL string). Sometimes it may be food, safety, comfort, warmth, affection, kindness, humor, wit, charm, love, security, a six pack, or just good company. One must be careful though…. The bird is always wary and may break the string, it must slowly gain confidence in you.  If the bird thinks you are approaching IT instead of visa versa… it will often fly away. . Sometimes it takes patience, perseverance, and dedication. Oh yeah, you should be wary of previously-wounded birds, they are sometimes too easy to catch and usually only have their own interests in mind, not a true two-way relationship.
…….Birds seem to be VERY attracted to happy cheerful confident content people who are truly happy with themselves.. and don’t need anybody else to make them happy. 
Laughter seems to be similar to a mating call which is often responded to.
Thereafter, Bert never approached the bird of his dreams. Very soon the "String Theory" began to work with great success. One must be careful when "casting" the string so it won’t be intimidating... it must be from the heart.  It wasn’t long before Bert had many beautiful birds around his feeder. So many feathers, so little time.
      People would often want to accompany Bert to observe this strategy and to seek Bert’s advice on the care and handling of birds that flocked to the feeder. Soon there were many others, casting strings all over the place.

ANYway… Bert has been fortunate enough to have his very favorite beautiful bird at his feeder for a several decades now, no more strings needed. No strings attached.

We built our little nest together.


Are you getting older? Wait as long as you can.

Does this remind you of anyone?  It's a shame that the reality of day to day life interferes with living.  Days, weeks, and years pass so quickly and soon we realize that it's all getting away from us and can never be recovered.
Try not to cry when you listen. This is such a touching song that we can all relate to. The Old Folks, By Laurika Rauch. 

 Do it all now while you can. It never gets any easier. We should not waste a moment of our lives. Projects and Adventures that were so effortless at one time almost seem like (gasp) "work" later on. Somehow comfort becomes more important than it used to. But... it's still a great life.


Do animals have an opinion?

 Do animals have an opinion about God? They say that Chimpanzees, dolphins, crows, elephants, and many other intelligent animals think, reason, plan ahead and have self-awareness and emotions just like humans. 


Do animals believe there is a God or do they not question their own existence?

If not, why are they exempt?

(Please limit the length of your response to less than a page)


061011 - - "Bert's Urban Camouflage Inc."

Can YOU spot   Bert  sitting at the Bar in plain sight ??

Using the latest scientific breakthroughs, Bert has designed a complete line of High Tech Urban Camouflage outfits for clandestine operations. Using various fiber optics and laser adjusted enhancement scattering and refraction of time/space continuum light bending techniques, Berts Urban Camouflage (BUC) can blend in with almost any urban environment.

Does your wife insist that you follow her around with the grocery cart?? Now you can hide amongst the lettuce and produce departments and avoid this degrading behavior .

Berts Urban Camouflage can automatically adapt to a variety
of backgrounds.

Berts Urban Camouflage even works well outdoors. You can now walk the streets undetected.

Berts Urban Camouflage is popular amongst clandestine agencies, such as the CIA, CSA, and FBI

Caution:   Once removed,   Berts Urban Camouflage outfits may be very difficult to locate.   
Check with your local authorities to see if Berts Urban Camouflage may be used legally in public rest rooms, locker rooms, and Hotels.

Remember what Bert says - With Berts Urban Camouflage (Buc) you get the most bang for your Buc Buc Buc.


It’s amazing what a piece of metal can do for you.

My very life was often in the hands of this 8 pound piece of metal. I spent many sleepless nights hoping I could depend on it. Sometimes it would appear to fail, but it never did.
…..When I boated a lot on Lake Superior, mostly in the Apostle Islands and Isle Royale, anchoring out was the only way you could stay on the Islands overnight, there were very few docks. We'd take week long trips and there were no "safe" places to be. I rigged up alarms to detect anchor dragging but with wind shifts it was unreliable.
My boat was not big, but my main anchor was rated for a 36 foot boat and my backup anchor was rated for a 24 foot boat, and I usually used them both. I didn’t feel they were any too large. They held fast (usually) thru some violent weather and big waves. It's hard to visualize how powerful and violent huge waves can be. I still have and use those anchors and I look at them with great respect. Someday I may frame one and hang it on the wall.

"Everyone needs a good anchor to depend on" - Bert . . . . . . The anchors are "Benson" Danforth type anchors, cast alloy... a great anchor.

Here’s an example - Lucky rescue, 16 foot waves, 85mph winds.



Bert Remembers the Future Again...Brain structure.

Dreams, thoughts, and memories.

We are but computers that control a machine. Our eye's, ears, touch, nose, tongue....are the peripheral input devices (like keyboard, scanner, cams, microphone, etc) to our operating system (Brain). The inputs cause our operating system to process and appropriately fetch old memories and put them together as cohesive thoughts, and to search for additional input, and cause our machine (body) to react and then perform physical tasks in response to the original input (or to store the new conclusion in memory).

Our brain memory device is similar to and more like a multi-dimensional hologram with theoretical infinite storage. But the less intense memories engraved on our hologram memory eventually get overwritten because of the more intense or more recent memories and therefore older or smaller memories diminish in resolution and clarity and eventually are obliterated and forgotten. Our memories are similar to craters on the moon... the smaller or older craters eventually get obliterated by the bigger or more recent ones and therefore old ones are lost forever (forgotten).  The bigger or newer ones are more clear.
Sometimes when our inputs (eyes, ears, etc) sense something specific, our operating system creates a template from that information then does a search thru our memory to find approximately matching similar data (remembers).. then retrieves and processes the matching data (memories) and from that information creates a logical response to the original input (by speaking, looking, moving, etc).
.....The results of our reaction to the initial input are noted and processed by our operating system and duly recorded in our hologram memory for assessment by future input from our senses (they are the newest memories).
Sometimes when there is little outside input is being processed, our brains have little to do so it goes into an "Idle Loop" and performs tasks based on interruptions from all the thousands of peripherals. Some of these interruptions inadvertently cause our perpetually running operating system to retrieve and process old information from memory and create new "Thoughts"........ or cause us to day-dream or night-dream.
Dreams ......When there is no outside input (while sleeping, etc) , our perpetually running operating system somewhat randomly retrieves items from our main memory bank and tries to make sense of the randomly selected memory items and attempts to put the random mismatched pieces together to create a logical "dream" that is not likely based on current outside input... mostly from items in our memory, new and old. Some of the randomly retrieved memories have faded so sometimes inaccurate or incomplete data is inserted into the dreams which often makes them even more illogical.
When we die it's just like a computer... when you turn off the computer, all the data in volatile main memory (but not static external storage) is lost forever... all the thoughts, ideas, feelings, morals, memories, images, knowledge, etc, (the things that make up our personality) just vanish and quickly and completely disappear forever.  Re-applying power will not restore the contents.  Just like a computer main memory, our memory items only exist as long as power (fresh blood/oxygen) is applied, or else it vanishes. It's like when you pull the plug on a TV, there is nothing left on the screen, it only has a message when powered.. Without power (fresh blood) to our main memory, only our external memory storage is left behind.....i.e. papers and blogs we've written, physical items we've created, anything created by our output devices (hands, voice recordings, etc) and eventually, even our external memory storage will eventually go back to nature.
Kinda bleak eh? It's amazing we can think at all.  See Bert's Jan 8th comment below (the longest one, response to Swag) for a bit more discussion.
Disclaimer - The above is solely the viewpoint of the Chicken and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of our sponsor.

READ THE COMMENTS - More significant questions and thoughts about how it all works.