Guess What? Chicken Butt!

Raising chickens means dealing with keeping the chickens healthy. Once common problem that chicks face is called “Pasty Butt.” I don’t know if this is a legit term, or if this is just something my husband made up, but it is a real problem. Pasty butt is when the chick’s poop clings to its feathers around the vent, ultimately blocking the vent, which can kill the bird.

We noticed that some of our chicks had pasty butt, so chick washing was called for this morning.

It turns out that though chicks aren’t terribly fond of being washed, they do seem to enjoy blow-drying.

Chick bath.

Chick bath.

Continue reading

Paying it Forward

Twenty-mumble years ago, when I was an undergraduate at Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colorado, taking my first paleontology class, something happened that was humorous, but also touching, and has stuck with me ever since.

The instructor for the class was Dr. Doug Brew. He was a paleontologist that specialized in brachiopods. I loved this class, naturally because it was paleontology, but also because Dr. Brew was one of the most ‘human’ professors I had ever had.

The class was first thing in the morning. I typically arrived for class a little early, giving myself enough time to stop at the little cart near the door to pick up a cup of coffee before going in. On this morning I was running late, so I passed on the coffee and entered the classroom a little late. I sat down and scrambled to open my notebook to get started. Continue reading

Comet’s New Clothes

It’s hard to believe how quickly Comet has grown. He’s only about four and a half months old, but he’s already getting close to full grown. He’s certainly proportioned more like an adult dog than like a puppy any more.

The other day I was looking at him and it occurred to me: He actually looks a lot like a coyote. And he’s about the right size too. If a person wasn’t paying attention, they could easily mistake this pup for what is viewed as a dangerous pest.

Looking quite coyote-y

Looking quite coyote-y

This wouldn’t trouble me too much, except that we live rurally, in an area that has lots of coyotes. And everyone has a gun. Continue reading

Plagiarism and Copyright – Know the Rules

Plagiarism and Copyright

I prepared this text for my students to help them understand the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement as they work on videos as a class project. There is always confusion about what’s legal and what isn’t and what exactly constitutes plagiarism. I hope this is helpful for all.

How to avoid plagiarism in your work:
Plagiarism applies to ideas. If something is not your own original thought, then you cite the person or paper from which you got the idea. The complete reference for that paper or person must fo into the references cited.

How to avoid copyright infringement in your work:
Copyright applies to whole documents, images, and video. If you did not take the photo, draw the drawing, make the video etc., then it’s not yours to use unless you have permission. A CITATION IS NOT ENOUGH! Continue reading

My Autistic Son Called Me From His School, and It Was Sweet

Any parent knows that horror you feel when the phone rings and it’s from your child’s school, especially when it’s during school hours. This is even worse when your child is autistic and prone to violent meltdowns. What horrible thing has happened, and how quickly must I pack up and head there?

This afternoon as I was in the classroom getting ready to teach when my phone rang. It was the school. I braced myself for the worst and answered the phone. I expected to hear the voice of the principal, or of my son’s teacher.

Instead, I hear, “Hi Mom.” Continue reading