Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Animals’

Our Thanksgiving dinner spread the length of a couple of tables near a stand of moss covered oaks and cypress. The thought of not sitting at a table with china and silverware at first seemed odd, but then I thought back to the first Thanksgiving. Our setting was much more in tune with the Pilgrims and Indians. This arrangement had an unexpected bonus, too, the chance to meet new people.

The camper in the next site saw the bald eagle as I was moving closer to get a photo. When it flew back into the trees he thought he saw where it landed, so we moved farther into the grove as he told me he had never seen a bald eagle in Florida. He was in his thirties, olive skinned, and his dark eyes lit up at such a sighting. Unfortunately we didn’t see the eagle again. The only birds above us were a flock of buzzards. They didn’t mind having their picture taken.

Do you have any idea how much you can learn about a person in a few minutes while you walk back to camp?

“See that small tent?” he said, pointing to a dark green, small pup tent by the larger one. I’m working on a design for a bear proof tent. That one is much stronger than our large, commercial one, but not strong enough.

“My next one will be made from high tensile strength airplane cloth.” This is where he got really excited. “With that cloth you can make a hole only if you really hammer something into it, and then to rip it takes 600 pounds of tensile strength.”

I took it word for it that that was really strong.

I asked what he did when not designing bear-proof tents. He had been a pilot for a cargo company before the economy went down. Now he buys and sells cars. That led to a discussion of the economy and presidents’ effect on it. We were on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but discussed the influence of Obama, the Bushes, Clinton and Reagan, agreeing on some points while remaining a chasm apart on others.

As we neared our camps I wondered about his wife, still sitting in her camp chair. Did she have these conversations with him—or with strange men she wandered into the woods with? And was she hot sitting there wrapped from head to foot in a long garment with a scarf around her head? So yes, you can learn a lot in a short walk in a campground, but you can also end up with a lot more questions than answers.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Note: I have added a link to Sherry’s Salon web page in the last paragraph. I think you’ll find it is not your typical salon page.

Are we becoming England? I mean that in the best way. I think of the English as animal lovers, almost to obsession. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I am seeing the U.S. moving even more in that direction. Take one simple hour in my life today.

My hairdresser is located at a marina. Beautiful views of the harbor and the St. Johns River are right out the window. Even better is waiting for your appointment on the deck overlooking the river. But water ways with fish are magnets for stray animals. One poor pregnant cat showed up one day and gave birth in the shop (but that’s a secret). The kittens were quickly placed with customers from the shop and the diner next door. Mama kitty was spayed and was snoozing on the deck today.

Her pictures are displayed all over the shop. Today there was another picture, a digital frame flashing photos of a tiny squirrel and another cat. The shop owner took me through the story of his life beginning with the day her cat brought the tiny newborn through the cat door. That was over a year ago. The frame chronicles his move to the screened porch and finally to the outdoors, where today he has tiki bar, porch swing, picnic table with corn to share with his friends. There is even a whirligig to shoo away the hawks.

I had hardly begun my personal beautification when a guy walked in with his two-month old shitz shu puppy. We oo-ed and aw-ed over him, then talked of spiders and bats we have known in Florida.

I used to avoid going to “beauty parlors” because I felt so uneasy with the gossip and one-upmanship going on around me. You won’t find that at Sherry’s in Sanford, Florida http://www.sherryturnersalon.com/ , but you had better love animals.

Read Full Post »

Cat Call

I saw myself today. The little, blonde girl about four sat with her mother in the “dog reception room” of the veterinarian’s office, but she kept glancing into the cat area where I sat with my cat, Emma. There was another woman with two cats beside me. The little blonde skipped over and asked to see the kitties. She bent and peered into the cat carriers one by one, then skipped back over and kissed her beagle on the nose. Shortly she was back again looking at the cats, a little longer this time. This went on until they were called to the examining room. Her eyes were cast toward the cat room all the way.

I am sad for the little girl. I know she loves her dog, but she is a cat person through and through. I would bet she has never had a cat. Perhaps her parents don’t care for them, as mine didn’t. Perhaps she’ll grow up, have her own home one day and always—always have at least one cat to cuddle with. I certainly wish that for her.

Read Full Post »

Each visit to Savannah I explore a little bit more, but will never be done with Savannah.  It is a city  shaded by history and centuries-old oaks.  Our first day on the trolley tour we got a good overview and picked up interesting facts from two separate drivers.

Forest Gump

Forest Gump boarded our trolley at the Chippawa Square, apologized for having eaten all the chocolates, said he was looking for Capt. Dan. When he thought he spotted him, he jumped off and ran down the street with arms flailing. Nice touch.

Square (Wright, I think)

This square is know as the wedding square for all the weddings performed there. Savannah is the only city in the U.S. with unchanged original plans. Thank God. They were brilliant –green space everwhere.

I must give kudos to SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) for a city more beautiful than when I last saw it about fifteen years ago. Their campuses are historic buildings they have restored, but they didn’t stop there. They lend expertise to private restorations. I may not be exact, but close when I say SCAD is responsible for restoration of between 75-95 buildings in the city. Imagine what that means!

Statue in squareI hope you’ll excuse me for not remembering the names of all the squares. Oh, to live in a city with so many beautiful open space that such a thing could happen.

It was worth taking the trolley tour the first day. They even picked us up at the Azalea Inn &  Gardens http://www.azaleainn.com/index.html://door, so a vehicle was totally unnecessary. Having done my homework, though, there were places I wanted to see that weren’t on the trolley agenda, so the second day we called a pedicab. Great decision. Brett, fabulous young SCAD student with calves like cantalopes, pedaled us from the B&B to the Pirate House, where we would eat and photograph ghosts. The orbs I was promised by my granddaughter and hairdresser didn’t appear on mine, unfortunately, but we had a great seafood meal, then cruised the Riverfront before calling Brett to take us to my “must see,” the Flannery O’Conner home. It was four blocks from our B&B and an easy walk “home.”

Pat with Brett in Pedicab, the way to go

I got a chill walking in one of my favorite author’s childhood home. O’Conner lived there until age thirteen. I took gobs of pictures, but will post only the most startling one, the “cage” Mary Flanner (her given name) was placed in as an infant to protect her from malaria. Some have wondered if that early experience gave rise to the dark themes in her writings.

Wood and screening "crib"Pat and I scheduled time for both our interests. Art overlapped, and we spent a lot of time in galleries. At City Market we bought birthday and Christmas gifts from unique shops (Pat’s favorite sport). I called O’Conners’s house and E. Shaver’s book store, a twelve-room, charming place for bibliophiles . When you have a friend like Pat everything goes smoothly. I enjoyed her choices and I think she enjoyed mine.

Paula Deen's

It was in the cards for Pat to eat at Paula Deen’s Lady & Sons. We were five minutes past cut off time to show up for reservations, yet were given a table right away. Collards, sweet potato, fried chicken, blackeyed peas, green beans, biscuits, etc. all cooked Southern. We were in heaven.

Joey

In the wee hours of Sunday morning we said goodbye to Azalea Inn & Gardens to catch an early train. We said our goodbyes to the B&B greeter the night before, because Joey, an adorable Yorkie, had not yet come to work. Oh yes, he is deposited in the door in the morning and picked up when his workday is finished after wine and nibbles time.

I didn’t mean this to be so long, but as you might expect, left out so much. If you are thinking of a relaxing, Southern vacation, don’t overlook Savannah. It is a jewel of a city.

Read Full Post »

Continuing my year of new things in the new year in lieu of resolutions, I give you Buddy the gecko, native to New Caledonia. Though I am partial to reptiles, having lizards crawl on me has been a long standing no-no. But this is a new year and Buddy, the neighbor kids’ pet molted yesterday was so soft.  He did  not appear threatening.  With instructions worthy of Jack Hannah the oldest put the gecko on back of my hand.

Later we let him play on a tree truck (which they assured me he loved). Buddy is hand raised and doesn’t care too much for grass, though. Once he touched the lawn he just stared at me as I sat cross legged, then inched closer.

“He’s going to jump on me, ” I said.

He moved forward again and then leaped onto my knee, all the time staring at me with his unblinking eyes. To be fair, he has no eyelids.

“He likes you,” the kids assured me, “We’ve never seen him do that with anyone.”

Considering I had brushed with mint toothpaste to encourage nose kisses from the cats, it didn’t seem a good idea to get in Buddy’s face.  So we let him play on the tree trunk a while and then his outing was over. Let’s hope he enjoyed it as much as the kids and I.

Buddy, Gold Crested Gecko (dalmatian harlequin)

Read Full Post »

When the freeze warnings hit Florida I knew the location of two Monarch chrysalises, which created a dilemma. The last time this situation came up the freeze was shortlived, and most important, I had my husband and granddaughters in the house that night. That was important because, as some of you know, I would be scared silly (yes, silly) with butterflies flitting around in my house. No worry as long as I had someone to take the Monarch out if it hatched overnight. It did. The broken branch was in a vase in my closed office so the cats would not harm it. That morning I opened to door to find him hanging onto the opened chrysalis. I quickly woke H-1 and she grabbed the branch and ran it outside to finish drying and fly away. We did not know where it was in this process. It was not far from flight as it turned out.

So back to the present. Not only did I not have aid, the freeze was to last almost two weeks. Releasing a fresh hatchling into that kind of temperature would probably have been sure death anyway. That fact salved my conscience as I covered the plants and reconciled the butterflies’ plight with nature.

Over the course of a week, I peeked at the one bright green womb with the brilliant gold crown. It had darkened and continued to darken long past it’s due date. Nature had taken care of the situation. Or so I thought. . .

This morning I spot a bright flutter in the driveway. It couldn’t be. It was. The Monarch was still wet from birth and the rain that had just stopped, but was trying to dry out. He looked fully formed and perfect. I was shocked. The sun was shining and wind blowing strong, so he would do just fine.

And now to check the freeze browned plant for signs of life in the leaves. There were a few green ones left at the bottom, but the real sign of life was another chrysalis, darkened and ready to soon release another butterfly. This is long past their normal gestation. I can only surmise that nature held onto the little creatures until the weather was hospitable. Now the challenge is for them to find a proper plant to live on. That is going to be a challenge for sure, but they have gotten this far so I have to think they’ll make it.

Read Full Post »

What do you do when a strange cat dies in your backyard? The big gray, furry thing lay at the edge of the fern all day, shifting positions only slightly when one of my cats came to the window or when I talked to him. And then late in the day he ceased all movement.. So I tapped on a window. Nothing. Then a closer window. Nothing. That’s when I began to wonder what a person does with a dead cat. I’ve buried many animals in that yard, including a 100+ pound lab, but it’s been a long week and I did not feel like digging though the vine filled yard. How about the county? No, he’s not on county property; he’s on MY property. He’s my problem.

My cats perched  in the windows watching, even talking cat talk, and still he lay there. So I went out the front door to circle around, and grabbed a large stick at the last moment in case a rabid cat suddenly attacked. The spot where he curled motionless could not be seen until I was three feet from it. I took a deep breath and stepped into the opening, not believing what I saw—a perfect circle of crushed fern, an empty circle. There would be no need for the shovel tonight. Thank God!

Unless he just crawled farther back in the fern to finish his exit. Oh, please, let it not be.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »