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Today was a wonderful example of the kindness of nature with the birth of the new crane, and at the same time, the cruelty with the baby heron who must have fallen from that tall pine. Though at least I did see him make it to the water so I assume he at least had a drink of water and possibly ate some minnows. The baby heron remains quiet even when I hear one of the parents in the tree call out from the nest as I did tonight.  Though the mother still fished with me as if nothing was askew.  I noticed the baby heron both on the property where the tall pine is and hanging out next door, so he is sticking close to home, though I did not see him the whole time I was fishing.
Tonight for the third night he used his wings as arms climbing up the norfolk pine at the base. It pulls it self up to stay safe, at least it has good coping skills. Tomorrow I will fish and save a fish in a bucket for him. Ringo looked a bit too curious, but that heron is a lot taller than Ringo the cat!  The last I looked the heron looked tucked into the tree.
So here’s a good night from the babies of Loch Arbor in Sanford, Florida…
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good night from the baby heron…

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babycraneinnest32609cropb-1 Ya gotta look hard, but it’s out!!! happy birthday baby crane. I hope to see it here in a couple days! Will keep you updated, will go back later tonight. Sorry pics aren’t clearer but there’s too many weeds between me and the nest!

This morning Elvis and Carbs were yakking it up and then the Pekin twins swam over . They get so excited one or both of them layed an egg as there was one on shore and one in the water. dsc00681 I brought them both up to see what happens in 3 days, the candle test to see if they are fertile.
dsc00691 I doubt they are. Somehow, Carbs and Elvis seem to like each other more than they like the girls.
On my way to check out the crane progress, I noted one of the baby heron’s folks way up in the nest. (I had binoculars with me). I wondered if they had found the baby.  So I hurried to look at the crane, and Mama crane was sitting on the nest and indulged me as she stood and rolled the egg and sat back down.
resizenestingcrane Back home I went and walked into the backyard and who did I see peering over the seawall at the neighbors but the baby heron. He looks well, but still confused.
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Tonight I hope he is still there as his mother will come down and I hope she will spot him. You can see he wants to get down to the water, but there is a 4 foot drop to the shoreline. If only he would walk over to my yard it has a natural slope down to the waters edge.  The baby could catch minnows then like this small gray heron. resizesmallheron

This morning while I was watching for the new baby sandhill crane to hatch, the baby great heron decided to try his wings for the first time and came down to a camilla bush.

100_0561 The poor little guy stayed there from about 8am, until he figured out where the ground was at 5pm!

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He wandered around the ground, but didn’t have a clue how to get back up to his pine tree nest over 100 feet up! He has been trying to figure out his wings, how they took him down and yet, won’t lift him up.  dsc00452

The heron walked around for hours looking for the nest. It remained silent. Hasn’t made much noise. While I fished it was still looking and the funny thing was, his mother was down with me and never noticed her wandering bird.
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At 7:30pm, the baby heron climbed up into my norfolk pine. I suppose he knew it had to find a place to sleep.   dsc00511

I could hear a racket up in the nest when the parents noticed their baby gone. I saw one heron take off flying. I wish I could speak ‘heronese’ to tell them where the baby was. But last I saw tonight. He was in the safety of the norfolk pine. I know it will be a long scary night for it. It is old enough to fledge, but they also say being young and immature, have a 70% survivor rate. I hope this little one makes it!  I’ll let you know if I see it in the morning light. I hate thinking it is so very scared all alone….ahhhh

32409papaonegg-1 There he is, Papa crane
sitting on the egg. I have been
there twice this am to see
if there was any progress, but it’s still an egg.

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So I am still waiting like an anxious, expectant, overdue mother. Any day

now the colt will be hatching. It’s probably close.

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Here are the folks, mama is the rusty color on right, though Papa crane has also gotten a bit rusty too.

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And here’s a pretty flower on the ground

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The lake the cranes are nesting on this spring, how I wish they were still nesting
on my marsh like last year.

Today my good friend Sonja picked me up because she does monthly articles for the Sanford Herald. She is researching a piece about Sanford Florida’s produce heritage.
Sanford Florida was the first place to pack produce on ice and ship it north.  But I will leave the story for her to tell and you can buy a copy of the Sanford Herald in a couple of weeks.
Personally, I was trying to pull off taking a photo to accompany the article. Actually it was just fun taking produce pics.  After checking out the old Farmers Market, we stopped at a small produce market on 17/92 right next to the newer Farmers market.  100_0435 It had no name, but when you walked in, there was beautiful produce that looked well selected.   There were walls and bins full of interesting packaged spices an many other food stuffs. It was all so colorful and happy looking. Some veggies and fruits were swaddled as sweetly as if baby Jesus were a mango in the manger.      The cukes looked green and they had tiny potatoes and lovely persimmons. (look for my pictures later at   http://offshoot2.wordpress.com 100_0425

After all that produce and of course buying some fruit for later, Sonja and I went to one of her Mexican favorites,   100_0445 Tortilleria La Mexicana.
We roamed the aisles in the grocery side looking at all their produce,
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they had a wide variety of peppers and fresh quesa cheese and there was also a meat counter.  We ventured over to the restaurant and had a very filling lunch for $5.95 each. I had two quesadillas filled with cheese and veggies with rice on the side, YUM! They were so fresh. Sonja had tacos with cactus and other things I could not think about eating, I have no sense of adventure for spicy food. We both agreed it was a piece of Mexico in Sanford!  100_0449We wandered further and landed up at the old Sanford Amtrack station that now looks like a crack house. 100_0441 100_0442 .  The new station has a shuttle service that offers people the option of going into downtown Sanford if they have a long layover time.
the new station is now only basically an auto-train depot. 100_04431

We looked around Goldsboro and side streets, the Bettye D. Smith Cultural Arts Center where I would like to see if I can organize an art showing.
All and all I encourage you to get in your car and go explore your city, or one near you. It is amazing what you learn and our little Sanford is full of history. Plus Sonja and I love to talk ‘smack’ about our own old history being as we are close in age and have many common denominators. We aren’t quite the ‘Golden girls’, let’s just say we can remember the days of college in the 60’s:  riots, Tricky Dick, war, love, Woodstock  and peace and the good old days. We worshipped at the altar of Led Zep, and Jim Morrison. Loved Bob Dylan before his electric guitar.  Sonja married her man who graduated Harvard and played in a band with the Allman Brothers. We were the hippie generation. Sonja stayed in school and went on to get her Masters  and I dropped out of college after hurricane Camille blew it away.
How’s this for a photo out of 1969? Abbe and the father of her kids captured in time.
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Okay, I think I told you I found two duck eggs the other day near the bank of the lake. One was already broken into, but the other was okay so I brought it in and padded it with a paper towel and put it on the porch. I found out that it can be “candled” on the third day and you will be able to see a beating heart or if it is clear, then it is not fertile. Tomorrow night I will let you know the results. And if it is fertile, then what? Do I raise a Pekin duck? Another duck? Am I quackers? I read that you are supposed to keep the egg warm and place under a ‘broody’ hen or muscovy if one is convenient. But since it’s mother is one of the Pekin ducks and neither has any interest in this egg, I guess this psuedo nest will have to do with the fake chicken sitting on top.  eggchurch

Maybe I can trick one of the old cats around here to share the warmth, they are old and sleep a lot and probably would not notice a lump beneath them, well Church, the one on my computer printer might, he’s a poor sleeper. And you can’t trust Ringo, we all know that!
As for the cranes, they seem to only have one egg now. (maybe I could sneak this Peking duck egg somehow under the crane and she could raise it?)  I looked back at the archives and saw that last year the ‘colt’ , sandhill crane baby was born on March 23, 2008.  Wow, that’s almost a year to the date of when this one should be born, (the 25th I am thinking). Those birds are quite the mathematicians! Who says all these birds are birdbrained???

frankie-egg As for cats being ‘broody’ surrogates, I’ll let you know ‘eggs-actly’ how long it took Frankie to notice she had an egg attached. From the looks of her, she’s ‘egg-statically’ asleep….

That’s Valentines Day for all you kuckleheads who have tuned in to see something related to a health issue! Actually on the radio yesterday I heard it called SAD Day, Singles Awareness Day. But it was awonderful day! The sun was high in the sky. I went to Mennelo’s Folk art festival with Pam and saw the booth of our mutual friend Madeleine  100_5016 who makes these adorable “nicchos”, small hand painted, Mexican tin boxes with adorable things inside them. Then on to Winter Park for lunch at Chef Justin’s, (excellent salads and great french fries topped with parmasan cheese.)  Thank you Pam! We went back to her home so I could see all  the work she has prepared for her in-frared and manipulated  photography for her exhibit in downtown Orlando at The Office on Robinson Street March 16th.  It will be a stunner of a show!
Then rushed out to pick up wine and candy and hurried home to catch a forty-five minute fishing session with the usual crew and off to Valentine’s Day dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend at his very swank home.  AND WOW – did they threw out a bang of a VD dinner! There was shrimp, lobster tails, chicken and crab legs, vd-1

Also salad, fettachini alfredo, garlic bread, fruit, chocolate mousse, cheesecake and a huge personalized frosted sugar cookie. And after that I felt like I had died and gone to heaven! It was the bomb! Then we had asti-spumonte to drink with lots of strawberries and vd2 then we watched a movie and I went home at 11pm. My younger son had come home with a huge bouquet of flowers waiting for me! dsc05408

What more can a mother ask for! I even had leftovers so I didn’t have to cook at all today! JT, my daughter’s guy sent  me home with a big solid chocolate shaped fish and a heart shaped waffle maker, so this morning you can imagine what I had for breakfast! Waffles with chunks of melted chocolate and some with blueberries too. When I have stroked out, you won’t be seeing anym0re blogs! As for my other son, I will go and make him reciprocate this week when I go to visit him in Tampa,  I know I will get treated like a queen there too. How lucky am I?!!!!!!!!!!

13109gatewayjudy-1 The beautiful Gateway Center for the Arts was officially sanctioned yesterday with dignitaries and a ribbon cutting. Sandra Wilson, whose vision brought this dream to life should be so very proud of all the work that she and many other volunteers put into this, it certainly showed!

I arrived at about three hours after the big ribbon cutting and the place was packed. 13109gatewayartist

In every room something was going on. The children’s art room was full of projects that had been worked on earlier.  Oil painters and quilters and a ‘miniature’ maker were all demonstrating their work. The artists at  Gateway offer lessons for sewing, painting and even has a Spanish speaking class. They are also the home to a choir and orchestra and I joined for the photography group.
I am proud to say I had 3 pieces of work in the exhibit and that is exciting to be among the very first artists to show it off .13109gatewayartwork-11

I was lucky enough to have a few really supportive friends show up to see my work and much more than that, to be impressed by the Gateway. And they were very impressed by the whole story, how it took ten years for Sandra Wilson to cook up an idea and follow through with complete dedication to her heart and her vision so that it ends up with the state donating the land and enough donations and funding through corporations and grants to actually have such an exquisite working art gallery that is only nine miles from my house. The people I have met have all been so enthusiastic and of course artists and their supporters are always an appreciative group because they all know that funding for the arts sometimes is one of the first cuts in the state and city budgets. 13109gatewaygiftshop-1

The gift shop has so many fun and unique pieces. If you need something different for someone, this is a good place to find it as there are lots of things for sale including the majority of art on the walls.
They had fun entertainment also: singing, a dance troupe and a man who played weird instruments from all over the globe. 13109gatewaymusic

He had a bag full of very strange looking implements that made equally strange sounds.
So anytime you are passing through Debary and have time, stop by the Gateway Center for the Arts at the intersection of 17/92 and Saxon Blvd in Debary. The site is www.gatewaycenterforthearts.org

And thanks so much to Judy Segall, Dee and Jim, Sonja, Pam and Chuck for coming. And especially thanks to Sandra Wilson who had a bee in her bonnet and built it a grandiose beehive!

photo credit below belongs to Allen Whitson, head of the photography group…

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dsc02012dsc01971 Rain since yesterday! This is a big relief, we have been soooo dry. The birds are out flying all over the place. All I have to do is look out and see them winging from bush to tree to stump to feeders and off again. Somehow it feels like Saturday, don’t ask me why, maybe it’s just so gloomy that it feels like a day that you would sleep in or take a long nap.
The cold front sitting on top of us is keeping the temperature high at about 60 today – UGH! But at least we have electric unlike some cities up north.  Carbs the duck is still hanging around and the white twins come every day to spend time with him. I cannot figure out why this poor duck has no group it’s attached to. Is it his ugliness? The duck has huge, red cysts looking knobby things on his face and on the back of it’s neck. It’s funny feet have shades of yellow marbling. It is a very funny looking duck, but Muscovy’s are like that.
I’d light a fire, but there is nesting material up there that has not been cleaned out and I’m not getting up on the roof today – no falling off a slippery roof for me! Last night I was moving a stack of pictures in frames for an upcoming exhibit and I did not see the hassock in front of me and went flying over it. I luckily didn’t break anything or even the pictures. But talk about black and blue, yep, my legs hitting the hassock and my left arm that took the main blunt force looks like I was a victim of some type of  gnarley altercation. I think if anyone asks, I’ll just say I was trying to photograph a Florida black bear and got mauled, at least it sounds more exciting than falling over a stupid hassock from T.J. Maxx – (Well, I was the stupid one for not looking down)…

cys

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For every day I wake to these wonderful images, I find it hard to read the top stories in the news. In my small ‘kingdom’ on Lake Deforrest where the sun shines and nature is plentiful, (even if the money isn’t), there is still peace and freedom and plenty of nature to enjoy.
This morning I came across the story about the Taliban in Pakistan bombing over 200 schools since before July. They are fighting to eliminate educated minds so children will not know there is freedom of thought and “critical thinking” .  dsc05172 The Taliban seems to be targeting girls so the females can stay ignorant and keep breeding more uneducated masses that think the same depressed way the Taliban do. The terrorists have suspended school  for anyone above the age of 7, (seven). If there  is an attempt to broaden the mind, then this is how the school ends up… dsc05173

How do we reach them? How do we not let children under the Taliban stagnate and waste their formative years being told that education is just a western waste of time and sinful? How do you stop the Taliban from telling girls to stay home or risked being lashed or killed publicly? The Pakistani army seems unwilling to go against the Taliban. How is it we can reach the minds so needing to be shaped into peaceful and informed citizens? It is so hard to know the world is in so much turmoil. Watching violence and radical religion used as a harness.
The reality that surrounds these children is one of suppression and despair. One of learning a way of life that only perpetuates hate and violence.  One more generation that we will have to fight and why? But with our own resources badly exploited, and even as our presence inspires more hatred in some parts, how many wars can we wage on how many fronts? There is a need for  a world police that sets a standard for education and at least enforces it, something way more engaging than the soft United Nations.  We should set a world standard where teachers from around the world are pooled and paid well to do a years work somewhere around the globe under safety and protection. Encouraging children and teaching them religious tolerance, basic math, reading, language and computer skills so there is a chance for the next generation to rise above the domination of despair. In America we finally rose above slavery, an embarrassing time of kidnapping and tearing families apart while keeping the slaves uneducated to be at the disposal of the plantation and farm owners. Somehow there must be pockets of resistance created where children under the Taliban and other dominant ‘juntas’ can learn how to rise above this era of being held as chattel and pawns.
I long to read the headlines where things are right with the world, to not hear of all the repercussions of a village full of people being bombed, or hear of the thousands being brutally maimed and murdered because of government militias vying to hold all the power because of  big egos.
I guess that is far too much to ask. How naive to wish that children should go to bed at night secure enough to dream the dreams of the innocent. To be able to wake up and even be to complain about school is such a luxury we take for granted. I want for us all to live in peace, to live in harmony, to live the life that happily exists in Abbe’s world, is that too much to ask?

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My job today was doing a favor for a friend who belongs to an animal rights group. She asked that I go down to take a photo of an abused dog to document injuries in case they can prosecute the owner. I went to a vets office, Dr. Hill who had this sweet, defeated little girl in a clean cage while she continued to heal. The poor animal was found chained to a fence and the “owner” claimed a friend of hers left the dog and never came back. In the meantime, the dog was chained and not fed or cared for! The dog was left to the mercy of other dogs who came and ripped into her viciously, tearing the flesh and puncturing her all over. They said a man tried to blind her by hitting her repeatedly in the face.  The ankles and feet were quite swollen, also the ribcage was distended and her ribs visible through her wounded flesh. She also was suffering from a type of demodectic mange, non-contagious.  Yet with all her afflictions, she trusted my hand when I placed it on her wounded head and she ate a dog biscuit quite happily.
Despite all that, since no one says they actually “own” the dog, no one will probably  be prosecuted.  That’s the worst part. That and wondering how people out there think it is fine to starve a dog to death or beat it until it’s blind, or just do something malicious to an animal because it’s an animal and to some humans it means lower life with no soul.
Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” In that case, we are might be in big trouble! More and more animals are being abandoned at an alarming rate, some shelters can’t even take them anymore, they are overwhelmed. Below is the site for the Humane Society of the US who can give you help if you are having economic woes and need help feeding your animals. The HSUS has an email address for you to communicate your needs and they will try and help. Also, check out  Pet-abuse.com they keep abreast of court cases, though I am not familiar with that site, it sure has a lot of info you can get locally. Animals should be protected too. No one likes hearing these stories of people burying puppies alive, setting an animal on fire, fighting dogs, or violence perpetrated against an animal just for the fun of it. Do something! Be a voice for the animals, they need us more than ever! Donate to local animal groups when you can, help out, volunteer if you can, but don’t walk by and ignore those who need us. This dog has been abused and neglected, but through the efforts of caring individuals, animals like this can have another chance at life.
It will take months for this little girl to heal, but the fact is, she has the luxury to relax and let the immune system kick in with the help of medicine and people’s kindness. She will go from being chained to a fence and left to starve to becoming someones love. Hopefully in a few months I can take a picture of her with her new owner, I can see her happily running and licking the face of someone who will love caring for her. Look into her face, could that new owner be you?

P/S — since this was written, “Savannah” is doing much better and healing nicely I am told, but could use donations for her continued care.To make donations for her and others contact:  Gail Nagan

The Animal Welfare Alliance of Central Florida
P.O. Box 181176
Casselberry, FL 32718-1176
407-
462-2320

http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/trouble_affording_your_pet.html
#image-details-27302488 /* HSUS Image Details CSS Document */ .imagePhotocredit { font-family: Verdana, Arial; font-size: 9px; color: #666666; } #image-details-27302488 .imageCopyright { font-family: Verdana, Arial; font-size: 9px; color: #666666; } #image-details-27302488 .imageCaption { font-family: Verdana, Arial; font-size: 10px; }
© iStock.com

Below is a comprehensive list of pet financial aid-related organizations, listed alphabetically by state. top of page

If your organization is offering assistance (such as pet food, discounted veterinary services including spay/neuter, temporary foster care etc) to individuals who are facing financial difficulties due to the current economic situation, please let us know about your lifesaving programs by emailing foreclosurepets@humanesociety.org.

group that is helping the rescued dog is Animal Alliance

Central Florida groups

http://www.petrescuebyjudy.com

A NEW BEGINNING PET CARE & RESCUE, INC. is a non-profit,
501(c)3 rescue group.

A New Beginning Pet Care and Rescue
P O Box 536113
Orlando, FL 32853
Phone: 407-251-5458

Best Friends Animal Society http://www.bestfriends.org

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Cardinals everywhere lately, they come early, stay late. I hear their sweet-talk most of the day.When I came out this morning, Ringo was waiting by the stump, pretending to be invisible to see if he could fool some birds, but he didn’t,  they would fly right over him and laugh on their way to the bird feeders in my trees. One little sparrow was on the stump as Ringo was looking straight ahead, (click on pic and it should enlarge.)  I brought Ringo in for breakfast and once his belly was full, he was asleep for hours on a chair on the porch. While he slept the cardinals, woodpeckers, mockingbirds, sparrows, doves and others flew around looking for seed.
On the news New York looked so cold and about to get worse with all kinds of snow. There were power outages in the northeast and some airports had to delay flights by 5 hours because of the snow. It looked so crazy out on the roads where the flakes had even packed Las Vegas. I’m glad there is not any snow and cold like that down here! Right now the citrus is ripe and loaded on the trees and the doors and windows are wide open. If it’s a white X-mas you want, feel free to stay up north, you can keep it,  I’ll take the mild, sunny winter of Florida anytime, (this coming from an Ohioan transplant)!  Right now the trees are humming with birdsong, the ducks are swimming and quacking on the lake, the flowers and oranges blooming, our roads are teeming with snowbirds and Ringo is snoring – it’s in the upper 70’s,  Ho Ho Ho…

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Weather radio cocked and ready, so where is the big squally storm? The other day we were on alert too and nothing came, a few drops. We need rain badly and there is a very nice soft rain falling now, so only hope that will last for a few hours. My lawn is parched, many dry spots.

The birds are out there, I hear them, but the only thing visible are the cranes. They always make my day happy. The photos are the baby, he will be gone soon. He has learned well from his parents, he is very alert, a great groomer and digs furiously in the dirt for bugs and worms. I will miss this baby, but know he is well able to defend and care for himself.  Too bad he can’t fly me over to the end of the rainbow to get a pot of gold, then to the Mall to holiday shop…
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Here’s the rest of story, my chrysalis as you can see from last night was looking really cool. I could see inside of it and that was amazing.
This morning at 8:30am I came out to find it had just emerged from the shell and was trying to right itself and I could not resist having a butterfly on my wrist. The wings as you can see started a bit rumply, but they relaxed as you can see in comparison with the  poor crippled butterfly from yesterday who still has sad, wrinkled wings. I can only hope the poor thing can still remain viable. It is on my milkweed plant so I can watch it’s progress or decline for as long as it remains.
As for ‘my’ butterfly, it is still in the bushes waiting as the sun dries off it’s wings. It looks very healthy and seems to be waiting for it’s moment to glide with the wind.  It will probably be gone soon, just the way it’s supposed too, I raise them right you know…ha ha

P/S  – the healthy butterfly is flying all over the garden in complete joy – the other is gone, don’t see it anywhere, let’s hope for the best…
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This morning at 8am I grabbed my rod and walked through the yard to fish. I spotted the cranes flying across. They stopped at the neighbors and foraged through the backyards and finally came to my stump to grab some birdseed.
There is still nothing biting at the lake so I came back. I noticed Frankie the cat watching from her angle of what those 3 giant creatures were doing. I wondered what she thought when they all look back at her… Is she thinking, “bring it on you feathered birdbrains”, or “Oh man, I better act really cool then turn and go inside the porch.” She might have been thinking the first thought, but she followed through on the second…

Monday and the thunder boomers are already sounding their alarms for more rain this afternoon. The lightening is intense! It’s very close. 
    I still have not been fishing in the upgraded lake yet. The level was at 3.09 this am, down a bit from yesterday. Flooding is everywhere around here. How can we handle thinking that this next tropical storm headed for Haiti now might become a tropical storm, then hurricane? It’s too much to think about. We Floridians are in big trouble if that dumps on us like Fay!
   But nature around is booming, the birds enjoy their baths and butterflies are very busy in the overgrown and weed packed garden. The sky is dark, the turtle shell is art, and I have many things to do…

    Today they kept saying would be wet. It threatened a lot with thunder and lightening off and on, but
I am still waiting for the big rain. In the meantime, because of bolts of electric zapping across the sky, I didn’t think it a good idea to take my fishing rod and go fish. The sky looked very convincing with it’s mean intention.
   The sky this morning at 6:00am was wonderfully rich with color, and the birds were active all day, as they seem to be when rain is coming. I would look outside and see beautiful flurries of blue and red and gray crossing paths to eat bird seed.
   The winds carried the songs of birds wrapped inside, what a gift for a quiet Friday…

 

     My daughter loves her persians. They all came to her from hard times, hard situations. The black one was a stray on the streets and was being held at the Orange County Humane Society. When we went to see him, he was way back in a corner and completely aloof, he would make no eye contact – not even when picked up. Somehow my daughter knew this guy was for her. Mussa is now like a dog that follows her everywhere. He is very picky about her boyfriends and won’t warm up to them until they have been dating for a long time. If he gets mad at my daughter, he will go up to her and sit with his back to her in protest. It’s funny to see his personality come out.
      The second cat, black head, white body came from a lady who had fallen on hard times and had to sell her cat because she needed money.  The lady cried as she gave her up – We could not even see the cat until after the transaction. The poor cat was so sickly, but once again my daughter knew this bundle was for her. Lola and Mussa got along fine.
       Then came Coco, my daughter said it was the right time for number three. Coco was on a website for animals that had been rescued. Coco had been badly abused. She is a beautiful owl-eyed persian. She was  burned on her side. It’s sad how people can abuse animals, makes no sense to me, but I know what I would like to do to such creepy morans and waterboarding would be too nice. Luckily there are wonderful people who take abused pets in as foster parents and rehabilitate them like “A New Beginning Pet Care and Rescue” of Orlando.  The lady who rescued Coco thinks nothing of taking in animals that might otherwise be put to sleep. It’s so wonderful to know there are such genuinely concerned animals groups around, especially in these hard times.  
  My daughter thinks these cats are her children and speaks to them like they are.  They are spoiled ‘children’ having every new toy that comes out. The other day my daughter bought this battery operated mechanical, extended arm thing that has tips with feathers and things to entice the cats into playing with it. It also has variable speeds so the arm can go fast or slow. The cats seem to enjoy the slow speed a lot, this is one toy that has been getting a good work out. 
  As with children, sometimes the cats must get their hair trimmed. It was time for summer shave. Once a year, the cats get a nice cat-cut, they are shaved. Mussa and Coco got their cat cuts, Lola didn’t need one. An animal grooming service pulls up to the door and takes the pets out in their van and works their magic, the cats didn’t seem to mind. They were just glad to get back into the house. What is really funny is how the cat who did not get shaved became quite dominant and bullied the other two, ridiculing their cat cuts. The other two cats looked as if they felt very self conscious about how they looked, like they were naked now. They become so small without fur, but they feel like soft little chinchillas.
   I am so happy my daughter found three perfect pets for her. And even though they look like freak aliens with big puffy heads and tiny bodies from some farway cat planet, they still love to be loved and they love to give love…Hair or no hair…

    All but one of the pictures show a crane and cat encounter. Since the sandhills come and go throughout the neighborhood, they know how to navigate through the ‘locals’ without having a problem. The cats want nothing to do with the cranes, it would be like looking up in the eyes of Goliath for a challenge and none of the cats even risk it. It’s actually funny to watch the cranes chase the cats off. They don’t even bat an eye or raise their wings anymore, cats are just bigger rats to them.
  The baby crane’s face is changing color, he is beginning to lose the beige and start the gray and white phase. Underneath is a hint of the red that is to come. It is a wonderful metamorphose to watch over time. He’s still very baby like, and whines alot. He has a very lovely high pitched sound
that’s almost musical to hear, so different from his parents deep voices. His parents still are very protective and keep the cat’s and other animals and humans they don’t know at bay, that’s exactly the way it is supposed to work.
   The cats usually avoid confrontations, but once in a while the birds will just fly over and plunk down close by. And while cats are fairly bold, (and Ringo will go after the heron),  when those cranes come in for a full frontal attack and the cats see a beak that’s longer than their whole body coming after them, they do scatter like rats!

 P/S, click on the pictures a few times to magnify if you don’t see a cat, they are in all but one photo

 

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