Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little Boozers

If lost at sea in a life raft or trapped in some way by other dire circumstances, I'd always heard one should never resort to drinking urine.  This evidently doesn't apply to barn mice.  This rather indelicate subject comes up because of my small morning companions.  Just outside the milking room, especially at this time of year, there is lush grass heavily laden with dew, so water is plentifully available.  Yet the mice will sit at the edge of a pee puddle, lapping with gusto, so intent that they won't scurry away as I come closer.  Without any scientific data, I conjecture that the grain the goats eat is fermented in its process through the four chambers of the stomach.  Could it be that these little creatures are getting a breakfast buzz on from goat vodka?  Am I guilty of contributing to the delinquency of mice?  Do I have too much time on my hands?

The quail who calls so plaintively for her lost love, Rod-RI-go, has added another query...a staccato, "Where'd you GO?  Where'd you GO?"  (I wish these two would get back together.)  I can't find what I call the Margalo bird in my Guide, but this previously silent bird has started a guttural ratcheting sound to claim her/his territory in the barn.  I've seen more flickers, a larger cousin of the woodpeckers, this year than ever before.  The oriole has come back a few times; I hope he is accompanied by a mate so we can see more of these colorful birds in the future.  Hummingbirds are returning in greater numbers each day and are slurping up "juice" from the feeders.  The clean-up crew, the vultures, are once again basking in the morning sun, dozens of them with their wings raised.  Who said I live alone?

3 comments:

Kathryn said...

You had me wondering about too much time on your hands, what with bathroom mirrors and chin whiskers yesterday and pee puddles today...I was gonna tell you to get out of the loo...but ya pulled it out with all the pretty birdie talk!! And that is fascinating about the mice and their drinking habits - you may be on to something about the nature of the urine, but I bet it has never been studied or analyzed, unless some curious scientist has been in a barn, because lab rats are usually in little glass boxes, and how many labs have peeing goats and drinking mice running around together???

You have lived up to my expectations once again - you have started my morning off with a smile! Cheers, "White Woman Wearing Bibbies!"

Jennie Bolen said...

Hahaha, You crack me up! Seriously, I do believe you are on to something there and you have alcholic mice. I wonder if the AA meetings would allow them in there...Although, the mice are probably in denial that they even have a problem. ;) No, you absolutely do not live alone, that's for sure. Have a good day, thanks for the great morning reading material.

btzone said...

Funny, I've been watching some survival shows lately (Man vs Wild) and the host has drank his own urine but only if there are no other sources of moisture, or building a little contraption to collect the moisture of urine dew, if you will. I think this is ok to do to extend your survival by 1 or 2 days if you're not already dehyrdrated, otherwise, stay away from the pee.

For drunk wildlife, the tui bird in New Zealand can be found flying inebriated. It feeds off of the nectar from the flax plant, which ferments. One Kiwi told me that he's seen a drunk tui crash into a glass window and fall down cartoon style, sliding down. For birdwatchers, New Zealand is great. I didn't pay attention to flora and fauna until I was there. Then I realized the things I noticed for the first time are right in my backyard. (darn you Norfolk pine)