Thursday, April 03, 2008

Barn Swallows are back

At first I thought Dan was pulling an April fools joke when he called the morning of April 1st to say the Barn Swallows were back. It seems early.

They are not all back. They send an early scouting team. The rest of the group will be here soon, I am sure.

They do tend to make a mess under their nests, but well worth it because of their love of mosquitoes.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sweet cars

I spotted the new Camaro on a blog tonight. Photos are starting to leak. Of course, everyone knows it was the hot car in the Transformers movie. I like it, but still prefer Doug's classic first generation.

About a month ago, we decided to get a different car. Our 1998 Oldsmobile is a sweet ride, still looks good and gets around 30 MPG on the road. It is high mileage, though. We decided it was time to get something a little newer.

We studied the materials, looked at Consumer Report, drove around car lots and finally made a decision to look for a Toyota Corolla. It appears this car gets the best mileage other than a hybrid. The hybrid mpg looks good, but we drive so many open roads. The big savings there is town driving. And, we didn’t want to put big bucks into this car.

No sooner than we decided what we wanted, we spotted a Corolla on Craig’s list. Isn’t it funny how quickly cars seem to materialize after making the decision to buy one.

I couldn’t stand it any longer, so we pulled into a gas station tonight.

The results: 305 miles/ 6.37 gallons of gas. That would be 47.9 mpg

NOTE: After thinking about my post, I should add that most of the road miles were 65 mph. We were trying to see how good we could do. It does show that slowing down is beneficial, though.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wildlife Count

Midway through my route Friday, I spotted something, or more specifically some things, on the road. I immediately slowed down because, as I moved closer, it obviously was a covey of quail.

I am excited as around this part of Kansas, we don’t see as many quail as in years past. Also, it was a particularly hard winter, with several severe ice storms. It is a good sign the birds are out on the road, perhaps enjoying bits of salt.

The quail prompted me to remember my early days as a rural carrier when we conducted wildlife counts twice a year. Management brought each carrier a list of animals with columns for each day of the week. The list included rabbits, squirrel, quail, and pheasant. Deer might have also been on the list. Let's see, were box turtles on the list? I don’t think so, I added them at the bottom just so I had more things to count.

The rural carrier wildlife count was an important measurement for the Kansas Wildlife and Parks (probably then Kansas Fish and Game). I wonder why we are no longer asked to do this task.

Probably someone thought it is not part of our job description or could be a safety hazard. It is too bad because I was conscientious and considered it a fun assignment.