The percentage of U.S. farms with high speed Internet access varies wildly from state to state and county to county, according to the recently released federal Census of Agriculture. Nearly 6 out of 10 farms in Connecticut had a high speed Internet connection in 2007, when the Census was taken. In Mississippi, only 2 out of 10 farms had a quick connection to the World Wide Web.
Of the 44 pheasants released last fall, about a dozen were released near the cabin and over the winter, I would often see them, sometimes in groups of 2 or 3, sometimes solo, and every so often in a cluster of 10 or more.
As warmer air has moved in, a group of 5 hens has formed a harem, led by a very well fed rooster who I’ve nicknamed “King Louie” – from the Jungle Book character. I refer to the hens in the harem, collectively, as “the girls”.
Two other roosters are not attached to the harem, I gave the name “Scout” to one of them, as he was usually the first one out of the tall grass in the early morning, and the others would follow a few minutes later.
The other rooster, who I’ll call “Ace” will often fight or dance with Scout to establish pecking order, and the two will patrol the yard and borders of the tall grass all day, scratching for food.
The night before last, when I arrived home around sunset, Scout and Ace were on opposite sides of the highway, standing proud in the gravel. As I parked the car, and walked past the pen, King Louie and “the girls” were eating at the feeder and ran off to hide.
Once I got inside the cabin, after a few minutes, I heard a Kaw ACK outside the cabin and when I looked out, Ace was standing and as I walked out, rather than run off, he led me to the barn and waited for me to throw out more corn on the ground. The next day, he repeated his performance, this time, walking on the deck and waiting for me.
While earlier this week, I shared Murphy and Bishop’s reporting on job losses affecting urban more than rural areas, their posting this week shows that in December, things got worse in rural America:
In the last 13 months, the number of unemployed people living in rural America has increased by 297,000. All but 15,000 of those jobs were lost in one month, December 2008.