Death in the Backyard

Moose 1
A moose as seen from the deck this past November

I received an email from a concerned party today that carried the title: “7 Things in Your Backyard that could Kill You”. I was touched by the concern, so I opened the email out of curiosity to find out just what was lurking in my backyard.

1) Pesticide-Infused Grass: Not really a concern.
I don’t have any grass. No lawn. No lawn mower. It’s pretty much just wild tundra out there, and it does what it does.

2)Dog poo: There is poo scattered all about. I currently do not have a dog, but the neighbor does, and the dogs are often over at my place, because I’m so damn friendly. The pack has been thinned out over the past winter, however, and the neighbor’s dogs now number two. When it was at the high end of five, I even found dog poop on my roof. True story.

3)Ticks & Lyme disease: Not a problem.
I don’t believe I have ever had a tick on me in Alaska, and I’m outdoors all the time. When I did have a dog, even he did not have to worry about lyme disease.

4)Bees: I can already tell this will be a Bee Year. The yellow jackets have been out in force.

5)Backyard Burning: Nice catch!
With as dry as it has been, backyard burning is a huge risk. I refused to let my neighbor burn two weeks ago, luckily the Borough backed me up with an emergency burn ban. Some idiot will no doubt start a wild fire, with the upcoming Memorial Weekend being a good time frame. As of two weeks ago, there had been 124 fires in Alaska this year, with 122 of them started by man.

6)The swimming pool, especially the hot tub:
This one actually gave me a case of the giggles. I do have a pond in the back yard though, complete with resident leeches. If anything, this is more of a danger in the winter, when we are out on the ice lighting the methane pockets with a propane torch.

7)Tanning: I’m not sure we really have to worry about this one a whole helluva lot either. With all the bug dope on, can the sun’s rays reach flesh?

I was disappointed that the list was so obviously incomplete. Where is the grizzly bear on this list? What about moose? I’ve had moose hanging around the cabin since breakup; one seems to walk right past my shop every morning. Once mamma moose drops her calf or calves, you can count on her being ornery more often than not. I’m not even getting into the fact that there is moose poop everywhere. The horror!

Is there actually a world out there where the greatest health threat is dog poo? Although, I admit, it really torques me when I find it on my roof. I am thankful that I’ve never found moose poop up there, however.

Fairbanks griz
Grizzly seen on Murphy Dome Road

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends. View all posts by icefogger

4 responses to “Death in the Backyard

  • Larry Janicsek

    In central Iowa at the guest home for wayward members of the Frozen Foursome one always has to be careful the spa temperature setting isn’t too high and the high dive board hasn’t been raised above ten feet..

  • Rebecca

    I liked your post a lot! I hope you don’t mind me asking a question of you. I lived in Alaska in the late 1990’s (Anchorage), and I had a friend who lived in Fairbanks. I realize this was a long time ago, but do you have any suggestions for finding someone who lives there? His name was Ray, he was a lineman and drove a pickup with a camper on the back. He owned a house there in Fairbanks. I can’t stop thinking about him and feel like maybe there’s a reason. Hopefully you don’t think I’m crazy, but I’m just curious if you have any suggestions. Thanks in advance!

    • icefogger

      Unfortunately, I don’t have too many suggestions. Fairbanks has grown a lot in the past 25-30 years. TESCO, the electrical supply house, is still around, and they may be worth a try, or possibly craigslist. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

      • Rebecca

        Thanks so much for your kindness and suggestions! I tell you, you live in an unforgettable place. Looking forward to reading more of your blog…have a great day!

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