Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wildlife Weekend: Thanksgiving Roadkill and a Rescue

We aren't into Black Friday shopping at all, but I did send Farmer B out on Thanksgiving morning to a local Walgreens to pick up a Christmas present for the boys that was on sale for 50% off. It was an odd place to find the present, but at that price it warranted a quick run to the store.

On the way home Farmer B called me quite excited that he was pulled over on the side of the road watching our national bird eating his very own Thanksgiving dinner. The eagle was about 3 feet away from his car window and was ripping apart some sort of roadkill. Farmer B took quite a few photos of it and even a short video and it was the hit our our Thanksgiving once he got home and shared it with the boys.

Bald eagles aren't unusual around here, but seeing one so close for so long isn't a daily occurance. I thought it was fitting that the turkey almost beat out the bald eagle as America's national bird and here was our up-close sighting on turkey day! Just think - if the turkey had been chosen as America's national bird, maybe we'd all be eating bald eagle and gravy for Thanksgiving dinner!

We've been on a bit of a wildlife kick recently. Right before Thanksgiving, Farmer B was soaking his legs in the swimming pool when he called for me to come over and see what the dogs were obsessing about. I walked over to the side of the pool and noticed an uninvited visitor stuck between the pool, the screen enclosure and the dogs. I'm not sure what it is about snakes, but we get an insane amount of them in and around our pool - luckily all the ones who have come in our pool area have been non-venomous.

This one was a little garter snake who happened to slither in to the right pool enclosure since I have a firm policy of never killing a non-venomous snake. I put the dogs outside and got a bucket and the boys plastic golf club to begin my rescue attempt.

After a few unsuccessful attempts and some awesome dancing on my part, I flicked the snake into the bucket and brought him inside to show to the boys. The snake was less than grateful for his rescue and spent the entire time striking at the air in the general direction of my hand.

I took him outside and released him under a bush by the front door. I think the whole experience was traumatic enough for him that he won't be back.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

If you've read my blog a time or two you might recall that I have two sons. One's an outgoing sports-loving chatterbox and the other one is a quieter kid who enjoys imaginative play and doing the opposite of his big brother. I love that they're so different because I get the best of both worlds and being an only child myself I get to experience the weirdness of siblings.

Here's what my little one wore to play outside today. This is what he has been wearing pretty much solid for a few weeks now. He prefers to be called Luke (as in Luke Skywalker) and oftentimes he won't even respond to his given name.

This is the same kid that only let us call him Nigel for about a year when he changed into his alter-ego, Nigel Marvin, the British naturalist.

Whenever I point out the eccentricites of this child to my family, they come back with the apple/tree analogy.

I wonder what are they trying to say?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The $10 dog

Remember this post?

And those adorable pictures of that sweet little puppy devouring my money?

Ah yes...way back in March of this year when I caught Saffron eating a $5 bill. Back when I was naïve enough to think that I could take that $5 to the bank and they'd give me a new one, but later discovered none of our local banks will trade out damaged currency.

It's true what they say about puppyhood. Sometimes you can barely remember the fat, fluffy little blob you could hold in your arms and sometimes their antics make it feel like it all happened yesterday.


Oh wait - it did happen yesterday.

Early yesterday morning I saw Saffie hiding under the sofa table looking especially guilty. That IS her normal look so I don't always give it a second thought. But yesterday I saw something hanging out of her mouth and again I had the "phew - it's just a kleenex/paper towel/piece of paper" thought before noticing the familiar color and shape of it.

DAMMIT - She ate ANOTHER $5 bill.

She is now officially worth $10. Although on mornings like that, it's highly debatable.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Horrors

It's no secret I'm in a "bit" of a gardening and blogging lull. I know it's not forever, but it's the longest gardening and blogging dry spell I've had since I started this gig a couple of years ago. I'm allowing myself to do it guilt-free with the promise of coming back to both full-time when the time is right. That being said, the time was just perfect for this post.

We love to go overboard decorating for Halloween. We have tons of great Halloween decorations to entice trick-or-treaters and their parents, from a graveyard, to full-size skeletons, a fog machine, strobe lights, orange lights, talking decorations and masses of big stretchy spiderwebs.

It's these spiderwebs that caused the problem that led to this blog post. Poor little Saffron was having a hard time adjusting to all the weird decorations and was exceedingly spooked by the new scenery in the front yard. She was in one of her mad tail-tucked running fast "episodes" when she darted through one of the big spiderwebs and got stuck - fast.

She flopped around a bit looking pathetic while we all doubled over with laughter. I then wandered inside to get the camera and came back outside to find...

...that she hadn't moved an inch.

I'm just a puppy. Help me. Please?

Her back legs were wound up like you'd string up a steer.

The more she wiggled the worse it got.

She flopped around and we laughed hysterically. It was great.

The best part was that after we freed her - and it took two of us, by the way - she jumped up and went straight back to flying around the yard at full speed and shot straight back into the exact same spiderwebs and got stuck again.

Puppies. Not the brightest bulbs in the ole' Christmas tree, are they?
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