Friday, April 17, 2015

An Interesting Week

Sorry for being so absent on here, of late. I didn't mean for my blog to become completely reduced to wildflower posts, but life has been a little busier.

Last Saturday was the annual spring festival at the park, and I got to slip into my old Naturalist role....

.... the poor, neglected snakes also got some fresh air and sunshine.This is where their work year begins, as from now until the end of summer it will be a constant round of schools, libraries and park programs. These animals put up with a lot of traveling and handling, and have yet to ever act aggressive. I think they deserve a post all their own, one of these days.

After a brief taste of my working days, it was back to chasing this...

... and retrieving this...

... and standing by while this destroyed the one blooming iris in the whole park. Not to worry, it was the Ranger who took the picture. The state can bill me - destroying that iris kept him in one place for more than 30 seconds.

I also had the pleasure of teaching a course on herps (reptiles and amphibians) this past week for the TN Naturalist Program. This was a paying gig, so all the better! Didn't get any pictures of that experience, but it was a great day.

Ian had his first taste of poison ivy this week, too.

His face swelled up a lot worse than this the following day, but he is much better, now. He had rashes ALL OVER his little body, bless his heart. I watch him really closely when he's outside to make sure he avoids poison ivy, so I'm thinking it rubbed off his good friend, Mika.

She has pretty much become his dog. She follows him around everywhere, and is extremely tolerant of his abuse  antics. For that I can forgive her long list of faults (chewing up everything, peeing on the carpet, eating my rabbits, wiggling out of the fence and nearly causing accidents on the road). We seriously need to fix the fence so we can keep her contained. It's a miracle she hasn't been hit yet - the dog has zero road sense.

Speaking of roadway incidents, we did lose a chicken to the road this week.

One of the younger black sex-links bit the dust (or pavement, as it were). We weren't there when it happened, but whoever it was had the "decency" to toss the flat chicken into our driveway before leaving the scene. A "sorry about your chicken" note with a $5 bill would have been nice, but such is the world.

So that's going to leave us with 4 eggs a day, since the older black chicken hasn't been laying. That's alright. Chickens are easy to come by, and I'm sure we'll get more soon enough.

All the buns are doing well. The litters are coming up on 4 weeks, now and still enjoying their daily helping of greens.

I'm pretty sure Acer has already weaned hers, as they are really attacking the pellets and everything else I throw in there. I'm sure she's ready to retire to her own cage at this point.

Babette is due the 28th. 

Speaking of whom, right in the middle of writing this post, Mark called me outside to tell me she was running around the yard. In one of my many distracted moments (ahem - Ian) I left her cage door open. It's a pretty good drop to the ground, so hopefully she and all of her babies are okay. She was easy enough to catch, as she pretty well just stretched out on the ground panting from all the excitement.

I am so paranoid something will happen to this doe before I ever get a chance to build up my breeding stock.

I think I will re-breed Cardamom once more before the heat sets in.

In other news, the garlic I planted last fall is doing fantastic.

It should be ready to harvest by June or July. I kind of wish I had gone ahead and planted some early spring veggies, but oh well.

My posts may not be quite as numerous now that we've entered the busy season. I'll be volunteering my time whenever possible to help with the butterfly garden and park programming. Not to mention of course working on the house at every available opportunity.

I will certainly keep up with my weekly wildflower posts, so don't despair. :)

To conclude, as always, pictures...                     .....just in case you haven't had enough.

Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) in bloom. A rather toxic plant also known as Doll's Eyes.

The distinctive corms of Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis). Aptly named, no?

Midges gather on False Rue Anemone (Enemion biternatum)

Bent Trillium (Trillium flexipes). (Mark is holding it because otherwise you would have to lie on your back to get a good picture of the bloom.

A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird perched in our blooming Chestnut Oak.

The exotic blooms of the Paw Paw tree (Asomina triloba).

Prairie Trillium (Trillium recurvatum)

Unfurling oak  leaves

Looking up at the Chestnut Oak that towers next to our house.

Dwarf Larkspur blooming on the trail.


  1. Wow, Ian sure keeps you running, lol! Everything looks spectacular as it blooms, including your lovely critters. Sorry to hear about the chicken, but hopefully you will have a boatload of Cremes. Loving the herp stuff- I am a snake fan also. Wish I could have a corn snake, but I had to part with mine before I left Florida since the laws are different here. Glad to see Mika has fit right in with her human BFF. :)

  2. I enjoyed reading your updates! Such gorgeous photos!! We were just in TN this past week. No matter how many times I visit I never get my fill of the mountains!