On Thursday I saw an animal eating fallen mulberries on the trail. The state park has an abundance of wildlife — every Iowa species is believed to live here. I didn’t recognize it and posted this photo on Twitter.
An abundance of responses identified it as a mink. I looked it up and it resembled a mink pictured on the internet. Most likely it is an American mink with more of them around the lake shore. Mostly minks are carnivores so the mulberry-eating was unexpected. Harrowing tales of chicken murdering ensued as the post got many engagements.
Every day we find something new is positive. When our curiosity wanes or we feel we’ve seen it all… that’s not good.
The newspaper reported another local theater troupe cancelled the rest of the season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Old Creamery Theatre sent termination letters to ten staff members Thursday night. The creative arts are really taking a hit during the pandemic. In addition to Old Creamery, Riverside Theatre had to give up its performing space, and bigger companies like Cirque du Soleil filed for bankruptcy. Live theater and concerts have been shut down with only a few productions testing a re-opening in the COVID-19 time.
Major theme parks like Walt Disney, where our daughter works, continue to furlough employees. As they begin to open up, the question is whether employees will be recalled, if the furloughs will continue, or will the endgame be being laid off. Live entertainment may never be the same if the coronavirus isn’t mitigated. As we know, that’s not going well in Iowa or in the United States.
I worry about independently-owned bookstores. There used to be many places to buy used books. Over the last couple of decades they consolidated, went on line, or went out of business. The selection has gotten worse. The main used bookstore in the county seat is Haunted Bookshop and I’m trying to support them as they continue to operate curbside pickup.
At first I bought a gift certificate to hold until they reopen. When it became clear re-opening was not in the near-term, I devised a poetry buying scheme. On Wednesday I wrote note saying, “Choose and mail me a book of poetry that I don’t already have once a month. Surprise me.”
I had criteria:
- Short works by living poets. Short = around 100 pages or less. Up to 200 pages okay. About the length to read in a couple of sittings.
- Less interested in comprehensive collections. For example, Crow by Ted Hughes but not Collected Poems of Ted Hughes.
- I recently read and enjoyed Mary Oliver, Amy Woolard, Lucia Perillo and W.S. Merwin.
- I’m looking to expand my reading and open to about anything. No Atticus or Rod McKuen.
- Iowa connection would be a bonus, but not necessary.
- Run the title by me before shipping so I can check to make sure I don’t have it.
- These are not strict rules but guidelines. (Except for the part about Atticus and Rod McKuen).
Last night I received a favorable response. We are going to try the arrangement out. I’d rather make a monthly trip to browse the store. Until they are ready, this will have to do. Hopefully I will discover new poets in the process and they will have another small source of revenue.
I watered the garden shortly after sunrise. Our yard is the only one in the neighborhood where clover is allowed to grow. I do this so rabbits have something to eat besides burrowing under the fencing into the garden, and to attract bees and other pollinators. Last time I mowed, I set the deck high enough so all of the flowers wouldn’t be cut. It’s time to mow again and that’s my plan for the weekend.