Well, as I mentioned in one of the Comments sections, the fire danger is HIGH due to the early spring & snow melt. The search plane has been going over Swamp River Ridge twice a day for a week or so now. If the humidity is high and the clouds are heavy, they might miss a day here and there, but it's a sure bet that I'll hear the droning buzz as they approach on a sunny, windy day.
As you can imagine, the worst conditions are when we have thunder and lightning with no precip, but, knock on wood, we haven't had any lightning strikes lately.
The dad of Baby Girl (above & a little grumpy during our walk last weekend) is a highly trained USFS hotshot (you can Google that) who gets sent all over the country . . . at least he did before he was married and had a family, and he was the one who did the hand-off to me last Saturday when I nannied. He'd gotten a call right before I arrived of a fire at the end of the Trail, but it sounded small . . . and, since I haven't heard anything more about it, it must have been.
Photo Courtesy of MN DNR
As you can see from this map, most of Minnesota is in a state of fire awareness. The circle represents the area I'm in.
Here's a link to another good map that shows what & where fires are currently burning. Let's hope that this particular county in Minnesota isn't displayed there anytime soon!
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I am a horrible (cat) mother. Geez. I can't believe I did that. Last night, Tom came out to pick up the kayak that he's trying to sell and a few other things. (I can't remember if I've posted that here or not - anyone interested? It's a beautiful, custom-made sea kayak used fewer than 10 times.) He bought some supplies that I needed for this weekend's "Chickens 101" class from the lumber yard, too, and I made us dinner. (Yummy, yummy saute of fresh garlic, marinated mock duck, and fresh veggies over basmati rice!) Anyway, Annie Blue . . . .
Her hair is so long and fine (we thought we were picking out a SHORT-haired cat, ah-hem!) that she gets dreadlocks around her neck and along her belly, and they rat themselves right up to her skin. I asked Tom to bring the hair trimmer that he uses to keep his hair short so that we could try to shave her up a bit. Well, her hair is SO fine that it just kept moving thru the clipper blades and wasn't really getting removed. So, I figure I would trim it up short with scissors, first. (Are you cringing yet?)
While Tom held the oh-so-happy cat (not!) by the armpits so that I could access her soft underbelly (cringe again!), I started cutting (aaaghh!). She gave a good yowl once, but it wasn't that bad. Not enough for either of us to think to stop. Later, after we'd removed a huge pile of the finest fur imaginable and Annie Blue definitely looked the worse for wear (even tho we didn't really make much progress on the knots of hair), Tom was loving on her when I saw something . . . raw . . . on her belly. Oh. My. God. That yelp that she'd given was for a reason.
I NEVER would have guessed that an animal's (like that) skin would be so thin. She had a clean little, 1/4" long (coulda been 2", I felt so bad) V-cut in her belly. Geez, geez, geez, I am a HORRIBLE mother! I ran to grab some ointment and liberally dabbed. I haven't dared look at it today (I don't want the reminder), but she's just fine . . . as she was last night, too. But, gawd, I feel awful.
Well, I have written long enough that the sun is starting to peek through, and the clouds are moving out! Yayyy! The two-day class I'm teaching this weekend needs a good deal of prep, so guess what I'll be doing today?
Make it a good day, wherever you are!