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Fence Posts

Finding Traction on the Backroads

Nov 20, 2018 | Dan Needles

You made up your mind between one or the other when you turned 16 and you drove that make for the rest of your life. If you drove a Toyota into town, as I did, you would be watched …

The View from the Top

Sep 18, 2018 | Dan Needles

People seldom bother you when you are up 20 feet painting an eavestrough, just as they don’t come near you when you are beekeeping or forking steamy piles of manure.

Varmints at the Gate. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Varmints at the Gate

Jun 19, 2018 | Dan Needles

Coyotes are like hotel burglars. They won’t force a lock, but if a door is left open, they will slip in and strip the place to the walls.

Retreating from the Retreat

Mar 26, 2018 | Dan Needles

For most of the century before I arrived, this old house hosted a parade of smoker-drinker-carnivores who poured Paris green arsenic on their potato plants and thought cleansing of any kind was weakening.

The Case for Civility

Nov 22, 2017 | Dan Needles

That made me think – grumpy old middle-class white guys who live in the country?

Signs the Bubble May Burst

Sep 16, 2017 | Dan Needles

“Painted barns are a symptom of an overheated economy, just like the whiz kids driving around downtown Toronto in a BMW with two payments made on it.”

A frog is an amphibian. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Science Projects

Jun 21, 2017 | Dan Needles

If you’ve ever wondered why they have height, width and weight restrictions on science projects at your school, it’s because of cousin Eddie’s corn dryer.

Real change happens when a group of like-minded people get together on a Saturday morning to pull old tires and bedsprings out of a river. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Grounding Exercises

Mar 20, 2017 | Dan Needles

I discovered at an early age that people who work outside with their hands tend to be more grounded than the rest of the population.

Admit there’s a problem. You bought the horse years ago for a ten-year-old daughter who swore she would brush it every day and lavish it with affection. That was before she discovered boys, clothes, makeup and Facebook. Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Dr. Purvis’s 12 Steps to Getting Horse-Free

Nov 22, 2016 | Dan Needles | Departments

“Nothing lives longer than a horse with a health problem!” says the vet as he purrs out the lane in his limited edition Land Rover.

“You’re at 40 feet now. What’s your plan if you don’t hit water today?” Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

Hard Work for Hard Water

Sep 16, 2016 | Dan Needles | Departments

Will it last through the family reunion this weekend? Should I have it tested? How do I explain delicately to the guests that long showers are not an option?

I fought down the surge of adrenalin and said firmly, “You are not going to catch this fish. Just enjoy the moment and don’t do anything stupid.” Illustration by Shelagh Armstrong.

A Fish Story

Jun 20, 2016 | Dan Needles | Departments

Then the sun emerged and I saw a glint of gold rim on the gravel bottom.

A Puff of Straw

Mar 21, 2016 | Dan Needles

“I’ve had a little mishap here.”

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