July 17th, 2010


Tired today, I blame the heat.

First off OMG BISON. In one of the pastures I past today there were a large number of dark brown humps (the grass was pretty high, it seems) that definitely weren't cows or horses. Had to be bison.

In a lot of ways the Census job right now is a series of long, rambling drives in the countryside and I am enjoying that. Not so much, perhaps, the getting-out-of-the-car-into-the-heat parts, but some things can't be helped.

I am seeing so many different kinds of houses, falling-down shacks, old and new mobile homes, modern houses in many styles, McMansions (seriously, it was so big I would have thought it was an apartment complex except it was way the heck out in the middle of nowhere. Near the bison, in fact.) old four-square farm houses with wrap-around porches. But my favorites are the old stone houses. I don't even know why I like them so much, since they are inevitably boxes-with-windows, which I usually despise in modern architecture. I guess I am willing to forgive that in stone construction.

Speaking of stone, there are so many old dry-stone fences in Osage county. Granted, most are backed up by barbed wire nowadays, but large stretches are still in good repair. How anyone could get random shaped rocks to create a visually flat plane on the outer face is simply beyond me. I find them facinating.

Can't believe I forgot this.

Or, maybe I can. I was so intent on putting a Notice of Visit on a locked gate I failed to notice what I was standing on. When I stepped back, I put my foot between the rails of a cattle guard* and the trench underneath was at least as deep as my knee. My left hand flailed out trying to catch myself and I ended up breaking the nails of my first and middle fingers. The middle finger was ripped all the way to the quick and bled a bit. It should be nice and sore tomorrow. At least it's not my writing hand.

But seriously, I didn't even notice I had stepped onto pipes, for heaven's sake!

*These are interesting contraptions. They are a trench dug at the gate with ~5 inch dia. pipes laid lengthwise at ground level with ~5 inch gaps between. Livestock will not try to cross them, as they cant' get purchase on the pipes (unlike a human that is paying attention) and they won't step in the holes. 'Cause they aren't stupid - they would get stuck.