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Author Topic: A Swarm in a Possum Box  (Read 10136 times)

Offline SlickMick

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A Swarm in a Possum Box
« on: May 02, 2009, 07:46:18 AM »
I had a call a while ago from a bloke who had a swarm in a possom box that he wanted removed. Because he lived close I thought I would go around and have a look at it straight away. The box was suspended in a tree about 6' off the ground and the entry hole was full of bees so I decided to go around after dark and remove the box, bring it home and empty it into a nuc the next morning. Apart from taking it down from the tree all I had to do was fix a bit of plywood over the entry hole and the job's done. :lol:

Well when I lifted the lid off the possum box it was jam packed with comb and bees so in some ways it was a bit more than removing a swarm, more like a mini cutout.



The comb was attached to both the top of the box and two sides so the comb separated when the lid was removed.



The girls were quite the proper ladies nice and docile and happy to have a bronzed Aussie male with them.



The outer comb was quite small but it still had brood in it. The inner comb was much larger and quite filled with brood and around the edges honey and pollen. Not a lot of stores so I may have to feed them this year. The queen came with the box and I have combined this hive with the bees from 2 smaller swarms such that they now fill out a 10 frame deep. Going into winter they are still bringing in nectar and pollen and working hard although I expect to see them slow down as the weather cools. Our lowest is around 46 so they should be flying all year. Fortunately we see quite a lot of blossom in the surrounding suburb and this usually keeps them going over the colder months.



So there you have it. The girls are happy, the queen is doing well, the SHB is under control and I’m happy too

Mick

PS I reconstructed the possom box and took it back to the donors in the knowledge that next season I may well have another swarm to deal with.  8-)

On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

Offline MustbeeNuts

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 08:14:03 AM »
Nice catch there, thats a ready made nuc. I do have a question tho, what do you do with a possum box. up here we don't really care for possums. in fact they get removed, , or terminated.
Each new day brings decisions,  these are  new branches on the tree of life.

Offline SlickMick

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2009, 08:23:08 AM »
Over here possums are protected wild life even though they inhabit the cities and use the overhead cables for highways. They used to be trapped for the fir trade. I dont think that they are endangered. People often put possum boxes up in trees to provide homes for them rather than have them build in your eaves or getting into the roof cavity. As you can see the boxes also make ideal homes for the occasional swarm. Going to build some for next spring and see if I can increase the number of girls working for me. :roll:
On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

Offline Shawn

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009, 02:26:49 PM »
Very nice catch. Wow, I never would have thoguht a possum would be a protected animal. I guess it depends where you live and how many you have there. Again nice photos.

Offline Natalie

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2009, 04:37:48 PM »
That was great luck getting all those bees and comb, definitely like a mini nuc.
Yuck, possums give me the heebie jeebies, they look like giant rats, and those teeth.. 

Offline asprince

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009, 05:02:32 PM »
I have know people to eat them! They say it DOES NOT taste like chicken. In fact I am told that it tastes like pork.

I will just have to take their word for it.

Steve
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Offline Natalie

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2009, 10:33:33 PM »
Eeww, I can't imagine anything that ugly tasting good.

Offline SlickMick

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2009, 11:20:26 PM »
Natalie,

In the early days of settlement it was good bush tucker along with 'roo stew and roast goanna. And its skin kept you warm at night.

We see them quite often around here and although I have no thoughts of eating one I can imagine that the old bushman of days gone by would have enjoyed possum pie  :shock: when there was nothing else to eat.

Mick
On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

Offline poka-bee

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2009, 01:38:05 AM »
I'm thinking the Aussie possum are different than the ones here?  Natalie, they smell awful & drool too, nasty critters. Their little ears are cute though.  I guess I would eat one if I was hungry enough, definately to feed the family. Wouldn't take much effort to catch or shoot & plenty of em around.  J
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Offline SlickMick

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2009, 03:29:10 AM »
I dont know what your possums look like in the US, but ours are quite endearing as you can see


On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

Offline Robo

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2009, 08:44:38 AM »
Two different buggers  Possum vs. Opossum




Opossum are actually very important and known as nature's little Sanitation Engineers as they are opportunistic eaters and help to maintain a clean and healthy environment. They eat all types of insects, including cockroaches, crickets, beetles, etcetera. They catch and eat rats, roof rats, mice, and they consume dead animals. They think snails and slugs are a delicacy.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline asprince

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2009, 09:45:16 AM »
I saw one crawl out of a dead cow once. Honest!

Steve
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

Offline SlickMick

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2009, 09:57:08 AM »
At least ours are vegetarians  :-D

Mick
On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

Offline Shawn

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2009, 04:24:04 PM »
I like the looks of theirs over ours!

Offline poka-bee

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2009, 05:52:08 PM »
Aussie's are cuter.  EEWWW, dead cow...I don't like em cause they are part of the life cycle & help spread  Equine protozoal meliencephilitis,(I don't remember how to spell it exactly) or "possum poop disease".  If your horse gets it it's awful.  Now I don't have a horse so can cut em some slack I guess! J
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Offline Natalie

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2009, 10:02:56 PM »
Mick yours are much different than ours. Big eyes and ears, longer tail and a smooth coat.
I see the ones around here scurry across the street sometimes and they just creep me out, its their pale faces with the pink skin and razor looking teeth.
Yours look a little like baby kangaroos.

Offline asprince

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2009, 10:14:52 PM »
Natalie,

Baby possums make good pets. (or play things) Then they grow up.

Steve
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

Offline SlickMick

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2009, 10:20:39 PM »
Mick yours are much different than ours. Big eyes and ears, longer tail and a smooth coat.
I see the ones around here scurry across the street sometimes and they just creep me out, its their pale faces with the pink skin and razor looking teeth.
Yours look a little like baby kangaroos.

Interestingly, Natalie, they are marsupials like the kangaroo and carry their young in a pouch or when they are a little older on their backs. It is lovely to watch mum and offspring running up and down the cable wires as they wander the neighbourhood
On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

Offline Natalie

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2009, 10:28:39 PM »
Yeah Steve I keep finding the same thing happens with kids too.
They are so good and sweet when they are little and then they grow into teenagers. :-D

Mick that is cute! I hadn't realized there were other animals that carried their young in pouches.
I could definitely enjoy seeing those around.
I usually enjoy all our wildlife and I don't even mind the bats that fly around the yard at night when we are sitting by the campfire but those possums just bother me.
Its just the way they scurry across the street and when you stop the car for them they stop and look at you for a couple of seconds and they have that pasty skin and pointy teeth.
Ferrets make me uncomfortable too even though most people find them so cute.
My sister has them for pets and they sneak up on you, thats probably what really bothers me is the way they just appear out of nowhere.
Like if you are sitting on the couch the next thing you know this thing is hanging over your shoulder.
One time I left her house and got to my car and felt my totebag moving.
I peered inside and one of her ferrets had crawled into my bag.
If I had ever been driving home and that thing had crawled out of my bag ............

Offline asprince

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2009, 10:34:39 PM »
I think our possums are marsupials as well. They also carry their young in a pouch. Must be cousins.

Steve
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

Offline Natalie

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2009, 10:37:37 PM »
See I didn't know that either. I just never thought about it because you always hear about kangaroo pouches. They get all the publicity :-D

Offline asprince

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2009, 10:43:55 PM »
Some of us may be ugly, but we are all somebody's baby.

Steve
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

Offline SlickMick

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2009, 11:08:06 PM »
I guess that we come from the good looking side of the family tree  8-)

Mick
On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

Offline asprince

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2009, 11:10:32 PM »
And I guess you would be correct! :) :)

Steve
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

Offline 1reb

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2009, 12:59:39 AM »
Nice catch,SlickMick


Johnny

Offline Dane Bramage

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2009, 02:29:56 AM »
They used to be trapped for the fir trade.

I lol'd!!  Before I kept reading and learned of the different variety I was picturing an opossum coat!   :shock: :-X :-P
It'd be one hardcore trapper to make a coat out of these!!!



Mangy looking and smells of dead rat ~ all the fashionable frontiersman are wearing 'em! 

hahaha!  (apologies for my ill humor!)

Cheers,
Dane

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2009, 02:58:34 AM »
I guess that we come from the good looking side of the family tree  8-)

Mick

Ours are a bit on the red neck side, not a digger like yours.   :-D
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Offline Natalie

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2009, 09:58:13 AM »
Thanks Dane, now I can rest my case. They are not cute little things are they?

Offline JP

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2009, 10:08:29 AM »
Thanks Dane, now I can rest my case. They are not cute little things are they?

a face only a mother could love http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ckBlasgNSzg/SD3hoE26KHI/AAAAAAAAEnI/4kQ-R3LdMfc/s400/possum%2BBabies.jpg





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Offline eri

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2009, 10:24:04 AM »
Just so you know, when they have their mouths open like that, they are usually hissing and growling like mad cats :-)
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Offline Natalie

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2009, 12:23:59 PM »
Those babies look like they want to eat your face off!

Offline Dane Bramage

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2009, 01:05:10 PM »
Thanks Dane, now I can rest my case. They are not cute little things are they?

Almost as cute as a rat!   :-X  & they don't smell nice either precious.   I shot one at night once out in the wetlands (mistake actually, thought it was a skunk that'd been harassing us else I'd just have let it go on it's way) and nothing would touch it.  My cats, dog (who eat near anything) turned their noses up.  Not even any wild animals would touch it.  & if you think they smell bad alive - whew - opossum corpse is tres horribles!  I had to throw it on the bonfire.   :-P



Offline SlickMick

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2009, 06:03:22 PM »
Sounds that they have absolutely nothing going for them :-\

Mick
On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

Offline annette

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2009, 12:46:21 AM »
I had one come around eating my cats food many years ago.  I thought it was very cute and my cat would just sit and watch it.


Offline poka-bee

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2009, 07:36:11 PM »
They are especially gross when drowned in your pond...UNDER the fairy moss & duckweed..didn't pay much attention to the "lump" till I saw flies galore...Koi will eat em, at least the parts under the water the can reach....was like an egg without a shell on the shovel..ICK ICK ICK! :-P  I very seldom even see crows eating the possum frisbees & they eat everything! J
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Offline G3farms

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2009, 07:48:03 PM »
yeah I don't think a swarm would go near an oppossum trap.

Good luck with that.

G3
those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!

Offline SlickMick

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2009, 09:11:10 AM »
Bet that you all thought this thread had run its race

But No!

There's More!

This evening there was a heap of noise outside our front windows which are at least 12' above the ground. You may recall my mentioning that we get possums using the cables as their highways to navigate the community? Well one decided that it would like to investigate our roof and came down the electricity wire and climbed onto our awning over the front window but try as it would it could not get up onto the top of the awning and was stuck upside down. So I thought some of those beeks in USA land think I'm joking when I say how pretty ours are so I got out the camera and took some pics.





Pretty little thing isn't it?

It was well and truely stuck in that position and it didn't like the thought of a long drop to the ground so I had time to go and get a broom, poke it out the window and encourage it to latch on. I then handed the end of the broom onto the handrail of the front stairs and it climbed over and down the handrail and up a tree.

Save the world rescue done!

By the way it is a brush tail possum (furry tail like a brush) which we do not often see here, more often, the ring tailed possum which has a rat like tail that it curls the end of and uses to hang off branches and of course cables.

Mick

PS and of course my dog wanted to eat it  :evil:
On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html

Offline Scadsobees

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2009, 09:56:03 AM »
Possum?  Looks more like a drugged out squirrel to me  :-D

They're all marsupials...kangaroos are just bouncy 'possums, right?
Rick

Offline JP

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2009, 10:23:28 AM »
Wow, he/she is awesome, beautiful animal!


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Offline G3farms

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2009, 10:31:27 AM »
still ugly looking thing

G3
those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!

Offline Natalie

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2009, 11:03:46 AM »
I think its adorable!! How cute is that just sitting there all stuck waiting for some help to come along.
If we had those around here people would be keeping them as pets. :-D

Offline Cindi

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Re: a Swarm in a Possum Box
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2009, 11:58:55 AM »
Mick, oooooh so ding dang cool!!  Beautiful days in our wonderful lives, health.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

 

anything