I have just spent a half-hour trying to harass a yearling doe enough for her to leave the area.  She keeps coming back.  Young deer get fixated on eating a particular thing, and nothing can get them to leave it alone.  Back in 2007 the doe-of-the-year wanted a particular walnut tree out of a field of 400.  I swore, threw things, and eventually chased her with the Ranger, but she outlasted me and ate the leaves off the tree.  They promptly grew back, but still…

This one, I’ll call her Ivanka, ate the few surviving bean plants last night.  She also has developed a taste for beet greens — the beets I have been nurturing since the snow flew.  I chased her all over the property with the Kioti side-by-side, but she would just turn around and walk back to the garden each time I desisted.  It’s hard to scare a stubborn young doe.  Eventually I chased her to where another deer was hiding, her twin, perhaps.  It seemed genuinely frightened when I roared into the back field with all lights blazing.  Maybe the fright spread to Ivanka, but I doubt it.

It’s time to go bass fishing.  The tactic I used on the other deer was to deposit fish entrails where she most liked to eat my little trees.  Coyotes LOVE fish heads.  Coyotes are copious urinators.  Deer avoid Coyote urine.

So it’s time to go fishing to protect my beet crop.

The decal on the tiller cover reads 321665 and that must be the serial number.  That makes it an early Troy-Bilt Horse II, with a 6 hp Kohler engine, a single belt with two speeds and two ranges, built in mid-April, 1978.  The vendor, a Mr. Armstrong from Williamsburg, went to the factory in Troy N.Y. to buy it.  He assured me that his pride and joy had never spent a night out of doors, and I believe him.

Mr. Amstrong is a smart, interesting guy.  Following awkward elbow bumps in lieu of a handshake, he walked me around his bungalow to where the tiller was sitting just out from its shed, sparkling clean and ready to go.  I immediately reached for the envelope with cash in my pocket, but figured I’d better at least hear it running.  It started right up and idled down to a smooth, smoke-free idle.  The clutch engaged solidly.  This Horse means business.  I handed him the envelope.  He thanked me and put it into his pocket.  A gentleman does not count the cash in the presence of the buyer.
After a short conversation about our heart surgeries, we moved to my utility trailer at the front of the house.  I had to tell about getting the Porsche Cayenne by rail from Vancouver and the trailer from Quinte township.  He tolerated my narratives, but insisted on driving the tiller up the ramps into the trailer, which caused me some anxiety.  In fact it idled smoothly in low gear up the ramps and in.  Mr. Armstrong then supervised the securing of the top-heavy machine in the trailer by ratchet straps, and generally approved of my rigging.
He had worn out his shoulders handling bee hives, but kept four hives after selling the bulk of them to an American bee keeper.  He used to buy his cheese at the Forfar Cheese Factory even though Forfar is a 2 1/2 hour drive from Williamsburg.  He remembers attending the Plowing Match in 2007.
Needless to say I invited him to the farm for a tour of the Victory Garden, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned up.

There are 800,000 registered practitioners of homeopathy in India.  In the villages cow urine is the Covid-19 remedy most considered due to the lack of other stuff.  The Hindu nationalist culture ties strongly to a tradition of health care which goes back thousands of years.

To Tackle a Virus, Indian Officials Peddle Pseudoscience

I have a problem with the cultural assumptions of “pseudoscience.”  It echoes the cries of heresy and sacrilege of earlier eras, both of which were used to give a moral stance to outright economic competition.  For example, most medieval witches were midwives, and their accusers were doctors.

Since penicillin and anaesthetics gave rise to allopathic medicine (the use of pills or injections and painless surgery to cure or repress the symptoms of illness), a pharmaceutical orthodoxy has suppressed other systems of thought.  Only where allopathy could not find an alternative was traditional therapy still tolerated.  Smallpox vaccinations, a hollopathic treatment, continued, though.

In 1909 the Flexner Report funded by the Carnegie Foundation in the United States essentially wiped out a thousand years of medical knowledge as a condition of the funding of medical schools in North America.  Nelson Rockefeller’s oil gave rise to the lucrative pharmaceutical industry well before automobiles were a reliable consumer of his petroleum products.

The benefit that allopathy has brought to Western Civilization is extensive and obvious, but Covid-19 is mocking a set of beliefs which may no longer hold the answer.

What worries me is the rapid degeneration of the Trump Party into a death cult with its musings about the value of human sacrifice to restore the health of the stock market.

The basic value of liberalism holds that society has the duty of care for those least able to help themselves.  By and large Canada has elected leaders who extolled this value.

When I read about the immunity passport as a thing, I get worried.

Images of grandparents on ice floes rapidly blur into Covid-19 outbreaks on cruise ships denied permission to dock.  And then comes the spectre of patients abandoned in nursing homes.

What if the end of the world comes not with a flash, but with a long, uncontrolled slide down a slope?

The more TV exposure Donald Trump gets during the Covid-19 crisis, the more obvious his mental deterioration becomes.  Yesterday’s on-camera speculation on ways to inject ultra violet light and disinfectants into the body will no doubt become enshrined in history along with Nero’s fiddling and Catherine of Russia’s fondness for horses.  At the moment the larger media outlets are apparently trying to avoid coverage of the gaffe, though one alphabet soup network (MSNBC?) is giving it full play.

If this intellectual prostration of the President doesn’t affect the stock market today, it is because Donald Trump is President in name only;  his ship’s wheel is no longer connected to the rudder.

Canada is reeling today in reaction to the killing spree an individual undertook yesterday in Nova Scotia.  Today in an address to the people of Canada Justin Trudeau pursed his lips, looked directly at the journalists, and asked them not to use the name of the individual who killed nineteen people, but rather to do their reporting about the victims.

I agree entirely with this ask.  Please see below my 2018 blog post on the subject:

How do we prevent the next loner terrorist?

First and foremost, stop using the names of those who have committed acts of destruction. It is critically important that the media cease and desist from glorifying the actions and the names of these misfits. That photo of the jerk with the old deer rifle on Parliament Hill has probably done more to promote this brand of nihilism in Canada than any ISIS propaganda.

It’s up to you, Canadian journalists, all of you, to shut down that impulse you all have to make stars of these isolated failures.

I suggest that from this point on we use Orwell’s unperson to identify each wannabe terrorist, providing a simple identifier such as “Parliament Hill unperson” or “London unperson” to distinguish among them.

We must no longer provide the significance of remembering their names.  That tribute is for veterans who gave their lives in service of Canada.

Legislation has required a number of changes in the diction of journalism, particularly in the areas of race relations and gay rights.  Would it be too great an effort for Peter Mansbridge to refrain from rolling the name of the latest miscreant off his tongue and reconfigure his script to avoid saying it?

Quora keeps refusing to publish my answer to a question about whether one really needs to wear a mask in an open area, or while walking the dog.  I choose to stand by my answer, even if it ruffles feathers.

So here it is:

Look at it from the point of view of a gun owner. The primary social rule in gun ownership is muzzle control. Never, under any circumstances, allow the muzzle of your gun to point at another human. Always control the muzzle of your gun as if it were loaded. Distrust and social rejection among hunters are immediate if they encounter someone who fails this basic socialization test. Point your muzzle at someone, loaded or not, by accident or not, and he doesn’t want to have anything to do with you.

Your nose is now as potentially deadly as a 12 gauge Remington. People you encounter don’t know if your nose is loaded or not, or whether or not it might go off. You wear the mask for their reassurance, far more than for your own protection. It’s a mutual thing, though, the basis of trust in a post-covid society.

Tick season is upon us.

April 7, 2020

Yesterday was a full day of yard cleanup at the farm with the usual mix of brush removal, leaf hauling and general fussing around with small machines.

This morning on my way into a shower I noticed a 1″ pink area on my chest with a tick inside it.  Turned out to be a black legged tick of Lyme disease fame.  My wife had at it with a pair of medical tweezers (extremely fine points) which I had ordered from China a couple of years ago in anticipation of this moment.  Out came the tick, except for the head.  A certain level of consternation ensued.


Sorry about the bad photo.  The background is a white facial tissue.  My Android phone pulled out all of the stops to get an image of the tiny black-legged tick.  Its head was already missing and this gives an idea of their colouring at this time of year.

It’s time to check everybody for ticks.

A call to the Medical Centre produced a phone consult with a nurse and a script for Doxycycline, two, 100 mg tablets taken as prophylaxis against possible infection.


I have just discovered this fine, one-hour video which traces a fall expedition through the canal from Kingston to Ottawa by kayak.  The production values are superb and the narrative and music soothe the insomniac.

February 22, 2020



By most standards Rod Croskery remains healthy and happy.  This site has been largely abandoned because he has self-plagiarized enough (cutting and pasting Walnut Diary posts into other Internet pages) that Google’s algorithms strictly limit traffic to this site.

The current time-waster of choice is Quora.com, where Rod’s readership surpassed one million views sometime in December of 2019.  He has received over 1000 questions on rather specialized topics including hybrid vehicles, Porsches, coyotes, hummingbirds, squirrels and skunks, and to a greatly limited extent, Canadian politics and English grammar.