Spotted this critter, a rare Fuzzy Wuzzy Squirrel, during a brief visit to the park in Jonesboro last Friday morning.This spider web spotted last Saturday night was a little rough around the edges. Maybe the arachnid that wove the web had a bit too much of our wonderful heat and and humidity...

Wandering around in the dark...and other adventures...

Please read this...

 Wandering around in the dark, an encounter with an unexpected critter and a well-fed varmint highlighted your writer’s otherwise dull and relatively uneventful Journey Through Life during the past week...

Before we get to the “good stuff,” just a couple of thoughts about our late, great primary election...

Just before the primary election on Tuesday, we received at least one robo phone call from a candidate who was running for office somewhere in Chicago land. The candidate greeted us, more or less, as fellow Chicagoans. Guess the candidate’s campaign people didn’t know much about the 618 area code...

Then, on Tuesday, the day of the election, I received a very personal email message from a candidate who was running for office in Central Illinois. The candidate sent me a message, with my very own name on it, encouraging me to vote (which I had already done) and letting me know that it would be an honor if I would vote for this particular candidate. Never mind the fact that I don’t live anywhere near the place where the candidate was running... 

Can’t wait until the next round of voting starts. We probably started getting robo calls about the November election on Wednesday...  

Enough about politics... 

I went wandering around in the dark last Saturday night. My goal was to see if I could spot an astronomical event which the website declared was “not one to be missed.”

The event involved the alignment of the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and, on Friday morning, a crescent moon.

Apparently, this not-to-be-missed alignment last happened back in 2004, when the Rams were still in St. Louis, and won’t happen again until 2040, when the Rams might be back in St. Louis. Hey, stranger things have happened.

The heavenly bodies were said to have been lined up from left to right in the southeastern sky, throughout the month of June. I thought that maybe I could catch a glimpse of the unique event by taking a walk in the dark of the night last Saturday.

I guess the problem was that I took my walk at “night,” as in that time time of the day not long after the sun sets in the west. shared that according “to BBC Science Focus, the best time to see the 2022 alignment” was “between 3:30 a.m. and sunrise at 4:43 a.m. on the morning of 24 June 2022.” Got to love those British, with their date before month thing.

It’s my understanding that 3:30 a.m. is in the morning. Sunrise is in the morning, too. As a devoted not a morning person, 3:30 a.m., and sunrise, are not on my to do list. 

With that being said, I did not see the planetary alignment in the night sky last Saturday. I did see some street lights, which I probably saw back in 2004, and, hopefully, will see again in 2040. So, there was at least a bit of a connection.

I also saw a rather scraggly looking spider web on a street sign Saturday night. The web was gone 24 hours later, presumably as a result of the downpour which we experienced in our little corner of the world last Sunday morning. I can also tell you that it was uncomfortably humid last Saturday night.

While I was not able to witness the planetary alignment, I did catch a glimpse of a couple of critters here on Planet last Friday morning...the other last Sunday afternoon...

The critter I saw Friday morning can best be described as a Fuzzy Wuzzy Squirrel. Saw it during a visit to the Lincoln Memorial Picnic Grounds in Jonesboro. (I may be getting tired of reading about that place...) Even got a photo of the critter, for your viewing pleasure.

The critter was laying on the ground, next to some faux rocks at the picnic grounds, when I first spotted it. At first I could not tell what the critter was. It was laying quite still, perhaps playing possum, if a squirrel can actually do such a thing.

I approached the critter, which continued to lay still. I was able to pick it up and set it on one of the faux rocks. I took a couple of photographs and then let the critter be. I thought about leaving it something to eat, but I don’t think you’re supposed to feed wild animals. I’m guessing that includes Fuzzy Wuzzy Squirrels.

We’re guessing food was on the mind of a varmint we saw Sunday afternoon when we looked out the back door. An apparently well-fed groundhog was spending some time on the deck in front of the shed in our backyard. 

The groundhog appeared to be quite comfortable in its surroundings. We’re guessing that was because those surroundings included the goodies growing in The Other Half’s garden. Deer seem to like her garden, too.

We watched the groundhog for a few minutes...and then opened the back door. 

The groundhog watched us. We watched the groundhog. The groundhog turned tail and vanished under the deck in front of the shed.

So, there you have it. I didn’t get to see an alignment of five planets up in the sky. I did get to see a groundhog in the backyard. And I’m pretty sure we’ll get to see another groundhog in our backyard before the year 2040...







The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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