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Wiser’s Wramblings-Shiftless at the Fountain of Youth or in the Pool


Whitetail deer tales, ranting about e-bikes, and backyard pools

By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

As I gathered my thoughts and notes preparing to Wramble into this week’s writings I decided on a topic at the last minute and decided to start with that. Having decided that, an old phrase came to mind, and I contemplated its true meaning. In a way it didn’t seem logical for what I was preparing to do. My intention was to start writing first, about what I thought of last, and thus the old phrase: “Last in first out.” Ever one to learn, I searched for that phrase and after a couple of false starts the following statement appeared on my screen. In this context it makes much more sense than in that, which I first had contemplated. The copy/paste of the phrase meaning is: 

The phrase “last in, first out” refers to a policy or practice in which the employees who were hired most recently will be the first to be laid off1. It is also used to describe a method used to account for inventory that records the most recently produced items as sold first2. In accounting, it refers to a method of valuing inventories by which items from the last lot received are assumed to be sold first and all requisitions are priced at the cost per item of the lot last stocked3.

Multiple sightings of this guy, and quite accidentally, this picture showing what I was thinking about, is what triggered my thoughts. If you’ve ever had the honor or privilege of up-close observation of our deer population you may not have noticed, but when the deer are walking or grazing their tail is constantly flicking back and forth. If you observe other larger animals such as cows or horses, you will likely notice the same thing. Why are they flicking their tails? Well, it would seem obvious that it is to shoo the flies away. Without getting too graphic, the flies seem to be drawn to an anatomical area that is a source of the flies’ typical roosting and feeding habits.

Have you ever thought about, or wondered why you have a “tail bone?” My instincts tell me that it is an evolutionary thing going back to our earliest developmental days. You likely don’t have any reason to be conscious of your tailbone, but I do. The “back story” starts in Friendship, NY where teenagers often would congregate on the steps of the old Compton and Heary furniture store. On the sidewalk in front of the store was an old water fountain. I don’t recall it being functional back then in the early 60’s but it still had its water spigot coming up out of the top on one side. Not being operational anyway someone would often use the fountain as a seat. While attempting to hop up on it one night as we congregated around it, I attempted to “Jump up on it” in a sitting position. My aim and trajectory were off, and I landed off center, on the spigot, hitting my tail bone. I had never, nor to my recollection since, felt pain like that. I hobbled for several days following that “accident”. Making matters worse, one of my friends, Ron Hess, had purchased a motorcycle somewhere around Jamestown, NY. A day or two after my “failed landing,” he asked if I could drive him over to pick up his motorcycle. Being a friend, I said “sure!” At the time I was driving my prized black ‘61 Chevy convertible with “Four on the floor.” That necessitated using a clutch “to shift.” Given my episode with the drinking fountain it was the longest drive, and most painful experience of my life. Lifting my foot to shift and change gears caused excruciating pain.

The stories of our deer visits need to go on as this has been a banner year for visits to our back yard. Technically, the visits have been to a neighbor’s yard. The “field” was formerly known to us affectionately as “Charlies Field.” While Charlie Young still lived and farmed the property, now owned by his daughter, it was a hay field. Charlie let me put a garden in his field and every year would plow it up for me. In return, I would mow the field for him but had to wait until after his first cutting, used to feed his livestock. I also was allowed to mow an area adjacent to his house and across from my house but with the same stipulation that I not mow until after the “first cutting.” Charlie’s philosophy on mowing was that you “shouldn’t cut it if you couldn’t eat it or feed it to others.”

I guess this writing has gone off track a little from the intended, but I must add one more accolade to my former neighbor. While I never had any relationship with a biological father, Charlie, in many ways, filled that role for me in the early days of my young married life. He also filled the role as a surrogate grandfather to my children, often giving them pony rides, or in one case helping one of my sons skin his first deer. Ironically, he had also done the same for me several years prior to that. One last story about Charlie. One day after he, or another farm neighbor, had spread manure on their field my daughter Kristin asked Charlie “what is that smell?” Charlie answered back: “That is the smell of money Krissy.” RIP Charlie Young.

Wrambling on: Approaching a local business establishment the other day I saw several pieces of paper carried on the wind blowing across the parking lot. Picking one up, it turned out to be a receipt. Our house must be located “one Big Mac and a small fry” away from McDonalds as we often end up with discarded garbage in the form of wrappers or bags, with the receipt still in the bag. Apparently, people don’t save their receipts, and aren’t considerate enough to save their trash until it can be disposed of in a more conscientious place or manner. I would suggest that when a business establishment prints out a receipt that the receipt includes the purchaser’s name. I know, you are likely shaking your head thinking the idea is ludicrous. It may be but if a person’s name was on the receipt, they might think twice about discarding it so readily. Having your contact information readily available to law enforcement would facilitate ticketing for a littering violation.

The migratory birds, sadly, now seem to have departed. Our last sightings of Grosbeaks and Orioles were just prior to last weekend. Fortunately for us and our viewing pleasure from our “Sun-Bird Room,” the deer activity seems to have grown exponentially and replaces the aviary visits. Several years ago, we were blessed with a doe and her twin fawns. I think we are now seeing the descendants on an annual basis as we now, every year, have a pair of twin fawns, along with an evolution of said offspring.

The visits of Odocoileus virginianus, aka “deer” have seemingly multiplied in frequency and number. Based on antler development and progression we may have at least 5 generations of deer visiting us. At one time we may witness visits from twin spotted fawns, solo first or 2nd year juveniles, Spike bucks, 4 pointers, 6 pointers and even one disputedly either a 9- or 10-point buck. The photo above shows a 6-pointer standing on hind legs nibbling leaves as a 4 pointer observes.

In years past the deer would come from a wooded area to our west, cross the road up past a neighboring barn, and go down into an area of abundant vegetation between our property and Knights Creek and the Genesee River. This year I believe that some of these lovely creatures are living in that area, as we don’t see them crossing the road early in the morning or as dusk nears. We see them feeding contentedly in “Charlies Field,” or under our apple tree, early in the morning or late in the day until it is too dark to distinguish them anymore.

Today’s rant is aimed at those people that have adapted to motorized bikes, (not motorcycles), and scooters. They negligently and carelessly weave their way through, and in front of, motorized traffic. Unlike bicycles, which I have mentioned as a hazard previously, these devices can move more quickly, and they can sneak up on you from behind more suddenly than when you can look in your rear-view mirror. They have also been observed “motoring” on the sidewalks periling pedestrians. Just like bicycles, these vehicles are subject to the same road rules as motor vehicles. Just because you can squeeze your bike in between or beside other vehicles, doesn’t mean that you should. Law enforcement personnel apparently are too busy responding to the recent spate of “domestic disturbances” called into Emergency Dispatch to be able to concern themselves with unresponsible or inconsiderate “bike” riders.

I think I may have snuck two or more rants together in that last topic.

The following topic(s) are related to climatological issues even as the swimming pool season is approaching its end. It seems that my pool water level and cleanliness of the pool, discussed as follows, are both climatologically related. Pool water level seems to be related to a “mild winter” causing partial thawing, and smoke from Canadian wildfires seems to be the culprit in the other.  At the beginning of this summer, I was prepared to dismantle and sell our above ground pool as the pump-filter needed replacing and the pool was getting limited use anyway. The pool seemed to have lost a considerable amount of water over the winter and I suspected that the liner, new last year, had a leak. Additionally, the filter-pump assembly components had previously been patched with Flex Seal and needed replacing.Discussions with our pool retailer Jacques Pools out of Coudersport, who advised that many people had problems with their pools over the winter, and, in discussions following my expression of that intent, led to a decision to go ahead and get a new pump-filter and reopen the pool again this year. Since re-opening the pool with the new components, cleaning the pool has been a challenge. The normal doses of chemicals haven’t seemed to be as effective in keeping the side walls and bottom clear of the algae that tends to build up. Further discussions with our “pool guy” regarding our use of chemicals and the cleaning problems, also resulted in the advice that we are not the only ones having this problem. The theory is that the “smoke” from the wildfires has introduced chemicals into our atmosphere that are deposited into the pool water affecting the effectiveness of normal cleaning and purifying materials and methods. When and if I get the pool cleaned up, I will avail myself of the promised warm spell in the coming days and get my pool moneys worth of enjoyment while I can.

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