Halvor, Effie’s foster bro, likes sometimes to man my husband’s tractor while hanging out in the shop.
Category Archives: Action & Being
After five weeks, we returned to the Snake River upstream of Asotin to fish for bass. I caught an 11-1/2 incher on my first cast, and after about an hour and a half, neither of us caught any more, though I lost two lures to hungry rocks.
The day was spectacularly beautiful: sunny, with contour and light accenting the basalt hills across the water.
My husband took all the photos.
I hope most of my readers recall with admiration and gratitude Mlle. Hermis Moutardier. Mlle. Moutardier, a senior flight attendant, led crew and passengers in disarming Richard Reid, aka the Shoe Bomber, on an American Airlines Paris-Miami flight in 2001.
I have admired Mlle. Moutardier for the past 16 years since the incident. The hapless, thankfully thwarted Reid is serving 10 consecutive life sentences plus 110 years (the rationale of Federal corrections formulas gets a little arcane for me).
I wrote a post in 2015 celebrating once again the admirable Mlle. Moutardier’s actions. Yesterday, Mlle. Moutardier herself submitted a comment to my two-year-old post! I was teary that she would thank me for honoring her; I felt she was honoring me, for which there was no reason at all. She was the hero; I was a mere reporter, years after the fact.
I have always thought of Hermis Moutardier as an inspiration. This is the crew member who led the capture of The Shoe Bomber! She poured a pitcher of ice water on his head and backup arrived from all over the plane. I believe one of the three captains in the cockpit even came out to help secure the inept Reid.
Hermis Moutardier’s comment is posted on my 2015 article at the above link. It is very brief. Her humility is stunning. I believe she must have simply been doing a search for her own name, as many people do, and come upon my blog. And wow! She thanked me for writing about her. How many people thank people they don’t know for anything?
Hermis Moutardier remains a heroine to me, as well as an example of humility. I am grateful our paths have crossed in space.
It seems sometimes that space is where real people are.
Image is from Time.com
Nine young female mule deer formed a troupe and congregated on our property this morning, and Effie was not welcoming. She gathered a look like thunder in grey clouds. She stuck a menacing paw through the fence surrounding Effieland.
She has done this to Cat Halvor, who is close to twice her weight, and this morning she deployed The Look and The Paw and sent nine does hightailing it away and out of sight in a few seconds.
Good for Effie, defender of our grapes she understands are important! The grapes were well out of reach for the deer, but they turned tail and ran when Effie’s power paw came through the fence. The deer evidently had no sense that a fence kept them apart from Effie, as well as keeping them from the grapes.
This all happened as I watched through the window, and the deer were gone before I could fetch my camera. I have these photos from previous occasions.
Warning yowl directed at Halvor. . .
The Paw says she means it. “Does this look like Halvorland to you?”
I mean it. Any further questions?
Effie has never killed a bird, but her chasing of birds has resulted in a few avian injuries. She has injured them but backed off and let them recover and fly off. This morning was different. Looking out the window, I saw her tossing a tiny bird in the air, batting it, and catching it with her paws and her teeth. When the little creature hit the ground without getting up, I intervened.
Effie lay down on her haunches next to me while I examined the little bird, a tiny female goldfinch. Her eyes were closed, but she was breathing. One wing looked disjointed. She flexed her feet continuously, and I thought it could be rigor mortis.
The birds who have hit the ground of Effieland stunned have been ones who entered through the fence and eventually crashed into the outside of our house and simply landed there, stunned for a while. Effie always left them alone to recover, and eventually they regained the strength to return through the wire fencing and depart. Invariably these birds were mourning doves. They were large and strong and canny, and Effie only chased them when they were flying and her attempts to snag them were thwarted.
The goldfinch was very small, and I was furious to see Effie playing a catch-and-launch game with it. When the little bird hit the ground and didn’t get up, the game was over. I gave Effie to understand that I was her prey’s protector. She yowled to return to her garden, but I stood fast. She was grounded whether she understood the reason or not. She is napping peaceably in her chair.
I went out to the spot where the bird had been after about an hour, grim at the thought of Effie’s first bird kill. But the little finch was gone! She had left her spot and I could not find her anywhere in Effieland, though it would be almost impossible to see her among all the vegetation. In any case, Effie is not there for now, and no other predators can get in.
Thanks to God’s preserving grace, this tiny female goldfinch is a true survivor!
AFTERWORD: Confident that the little goldfinch escaped, I relented and let Effie out to resume her proper role as sovereign of Effieland. She played cat and bird too roughly, but the bird evidently survived and will likely select gentler play companions in the future.
My name is Euphemia, Effie for short. My people have a garden named Effieland, and it is a place where I love to prowl, hunt, and nap, and eat a variety of delicious grasses. In summer and early fall, my Mom picks a few fresh catnip leaves for me every day from a flower pot of catnip my Dad planted. I also hunt bugs and run and jump a lot here, so I get lots of healthy exercise, in sunshine, rain, and snow.
My Mom is paranoid about foxtails, which are sharp little spears of brome growing in Effieland. She is afraid the foxtails will penetrate my skin and cause an abscess. This happened to a dog she had a long time ago, and the vet had to operate to remove the sharp little projectile. So she combs me every time I come indoors! But foxtails are very bad, so I let her comb me and I only leave a few teeth marks in her hands if I get playful or just bored.
I love Effieland because I am the Effielander, and Effieland is my dominion–but I do let my Mom and Dad pick grapes, berries, and tomatoes from the vines they planted. I just don’t understand why they don’t like to eat bugs! Bugs are so delicious!
My husband took a recuperative day off today, and we took an easy walk along a Snake River trail. We were a little disheartened that the river’s flooding this year caused the grassy trail to be displaced by cockle burrs, but we coped with the narrow trail and dodged the burrs.
The day started out cloudy, but our walk seemed to invite the sun out and join us. I took a couple of photos of the scenery.