The varmint round-up

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I grew up listening to Tom Lehrer. My father was at MIT in the late fifties, and anyone who poked fun at Harvard was very popular with his crowd. When I was a kid, the regular record-player rotation seemed to be equal parts Weavers, Clancy Brothers, and Tom Lehrer.

Although I’ve always liked “National Brotherhood Week” and “The Elements,” my all-time favorite Tom Lehrer song has to be “Lobachevsky,” about the eponymous Russian mathematician suspected of stealing the concept of hyperbolic geometry from German mathematician Carl Gauss some 200 years ago:

Plagiarize,
Let no one else’s work evade your eyes,
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes,
So don’t shade your eyes,
But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize –
Only be sure always to call it please ‘research’.

Living out here on Cape Cod, though, I find that “The Hunting Song” is climbing the charts.

I always will remember,
’twas a year ago November,
I went out to hunt some deer
On a mornin’ bright and clear.
I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow,
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.

I should have kept that song in mind when we got our Moultrie game camera a couple of months ago.  I had visions of capturing compelling photographs of all our local wildlife and, while I did get some coyotes, I haven’t gotten a single raccoon, opossum, fox, or even skunk.

Lately, I’ve been leaving the camera pointed at the compost pile. Even though Kevin thinks that’s not sporting, I figure it’s my best chance at a decent wildlife picture, and all’s fair in love and photography. It had been out there for the better part of a week when I took the SD card out this morning to see what I’d gotten. Basically, it was two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.

A crow, a squirrel, and somebody’s dog.

Two game wardens

Two game wardens

Seven hunters

Seven hunters

And a pure-bred Guernsey cow

And a pure-bred Guernsey cow

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Comments

  1. I love it!! I need to get one of those. Most likely it will be a few foxes, lots of crows, and tons of neighborhood dogs (all taking a dump in our yard). Keep it going for a while. I can’t wait to see what else you capture. xo

  2. Back in those long-vanished fifties days there was a guy who came around every year to engrave your name on the inside bow of your eyeglasses or on your sliderule. We swiped one boy’s sliderule and had it engraved with, “Nickolai Ivanovitch Lobochevsky.” It cost double (about three bucks) because the name was so long, but it was worth every penny. Now you know why we deserved to be called “nerds.”

  3. I like the Greco-Roman urn next to your compost heap – very post-modern. Hilarious post, only you could make the mental leap between an obscure Russian mathemetician and your critter-cam.

    Do dogs just run wild in your neighborhood? Is that common in other places too?

  4. Jen — You could definitely identify the yard-pooper, and the evidence would stand up in any court of law!

    Dad — Ah, those were the days. Maybe some time I’ll write a post about the time you took that poor guy’s car apart and re-assembled it in his dorm room.

    Jen — That’s no urn, that’s a mortar! That’s what we use to grind our oyster shells. We just keep it there to be in convenient proximity to the shell pile. As for the dogs, they’re not supposed to run wild. I saw a pair of beagles here one day last year, but that (I thought) was our only dog visit to date. I love dogs, but I’m a little worried that this one could be a chicken-eater.