Sunday, October 23, 2011

A good yarn

This is the best news story of last week. Sharing it with all my knitter friends. If you're outside the USA, you might not be able to see this clip. In that case, just Google "New Zealand penguin sweater oil spill" and you'll surely find the story somewhere.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let us pray

On the way back from the mailbox tonight, I caught a glimpse of an unusual movement on top of the potted mums. As I walked over to admire this mantis (and take pictures), it stopped "praying" and turned its head my way in an amusing pose. I'm pretty sure I could hear the faint strains of Madonna's "Vogue" playing somewhere in the background.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Warrior walk

Returned to McAlpine Creek Park today to do the Walk for Warriors with my coworker Angie. We did the 7.5 mile walk. I took these photos around 8:00AM as the fog was lifting off the lake. As you can see, the leaves are turning. (See this entry for what the park looked like just a few weeks ago!) It was a perfect-weather kind of day out there today!

Here's another photo that turned out to be interesting. As I clicked the button, the heron decided to fly away from his perch on the shelter. Usually, my iPhone doesn't do so well with "action shots" so I was surprised to see this when I uploaded to my laptop.

Until next time . . . ciao for now.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Playing 'possum

This is the CUTE face.
When we were at the farm a few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and heard scratching sounds coming from the back part of the house. At first I wondered if someone was trying to break in, but then I realized that something was crawling inside of the wall by the back door. (Wildlife in The House With The Crooked Floor is nothing new. For example, see Mysterious Noises in the Nighttime from January 2011.) This time, I knew it wasn't a bird, and it sounded too big to be a mouse. I figured it was either a cat, a raccoon, or an opossum -- or possum, as it's called in The South. :)

There was nothing I could do, so I went back to sleep. The next morning, I told my Dad. He set out two traps, but didn't catch anything . . . until Saturday morning. When I got up to take the dogs out, there was a regular old domestic housecat in one of the traps. I'm not sure whose cat it was, but it was very calm and sweet, and didn't even hiss when the dogs came over to check it out. We let it go (of course) and didn't think anything more about it.

Until this morning. 

"There's a POSSUM in the trap!" were the first words I heard when I woke up today. I ran outside, and sure enough, a cute little opossum was sitting there. I say 'cute' because it really was cute . . . that is, until it started snarling at me. Then it looked like a demon from Hell. But then I'd probably snarl like a demon, too, if I was trapped in a cage and had creatures twenty times my size looking at me up close and personal.

This is the SNARL face.
Dad asked me what I wanted to do with it. Bubba wanted to pop a cap, but I'm not into the death penalty. We decided to take it to a swamp several miles away and release it into the wild. So that's what we did. "Have a nice life!" I yelled as he/she/it ran off into the swamp.  He/She/It didn't look back.

I've always heard that when cornered, opossums will pretend to be asleep or dead. I didn't witness this today. If anything, I saw that given the opportunity, the little bugger would probably tear me all to pieces. It may have been 'cute' when it wasn't snarling, but make no mistake. A wild animal is a wild animal. I just hope this wild animal wasn't a mother, and that we don't have little ones still in the house somewhere. Maybe I should call Billy the Exterminator just in case?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunset kayaking

Not long ago, we returned to the US National Whitewater Center for one of their special events, a sunset kayak cruise. This was our view of the beautiful Catawba River from our tandem kayak. Kayaking tandem can be challenging. If you're not careful you can whip your kayak partner with your paddle. But it was also relaxing. We got up close and personal with a Great Blue Heron, and we were paddling in the same spots where the USA National Kayak and Canoe teams have been known to practice and compete. Way cool!