Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Turtles and Mosquitoes and July.

Mosquitoes. Damn. I am eaten up. I have a bite on my right calf that is the size of a nickel, sitting on a lump the size of a small egg. I have a neat little line of bites across my right ankle, lined up like little soldiers itching in unison. We are not as hot as the upper East Coast, which is freakish enough - we are enjoying highly humid temps hovering around 90, while MD north is over 100.

I'm on my last month of wildlife rescue volunteering - the woman who runs it has been winding down the summer babies, so she can break away for a few days in August for family reasons. I took this as my cue - I'll do 3 more weeks, and help as I can, but I've been thinking about how I need to refocus and this is a distraction excuse not to book other stuff. And of course in summer the influx of orphans drops off drastically, and there are other places that can take the birds and miscellaneous, so, good timing all around. I told her I'd be there the rest of July, and then I'll be focused on travel and job hunting and such.

I left with a turtle in a pet carrier, and released it in the lake near my house. As I pulled in to the parking area near the lake, a convoy of little boys on bicycles approached, and they stopped to ask what was in the carrier and watch the release of the turtle. I picked it up and put it at the water's edge, and it plunged in and vanished into the grassy, silty water. Turtles do not give fond backward glances of gratitude.

Unlike Blue Jays. While we were cleaning outdoor pens today, a Jay started hanging out, and even flew into one of the open, empty pens. It watched us intently, and when I held a hand out to it, it opened its mouth like a baby bird, waiting to be fed. This was one of the kids who keeps going back to the school to hang around with the teachers. We put out a pan of food, bird buffet style, but sorry honey, you are a big, healthy full-grown bird now, and you obviously can eat for yourself. You aren't allowed to hang out and make a mess and eat all the food and watch TV.

Possums vary - some are very independent, and others are happy to be carried around as babies and aren't so keen on living on their own, and there's one big baby now that I swear I would keep as a pet if I didn't have other plans. He's soft as a bunny rabbit and clings to my shirt and hands, and wants to be bottle fed forever, and this would be really cute and adorable to me if I hadn't smelled 'possum shit up close and personal on a hot day. Oh. My. God. That's a smell that gets into your sinuses and lingers. Next time you are cleaning a stinky cat box just repeat to yourself: "Thank you for not being a 'possum."

I ripped a sweater I'd abandoned years ago, recovering about 3 skeins of Patons Wool in olive green, and found two sweaters in nearly finished condition that I WILL still finish. Purple sweater is finished, save weaving in ends, and I'm not sure I love it. The dropped sleeves look odd. I mean, they look like drop sleeves, but I'm not sure I like them for anything but walking the dogs. I think a nice blocking will help, but blocking an oversized seamless sweater, in a humid climate? Sigh.

Things are moving along. Randomly and irregularly, but yes, moving along.


Anonymous said...

Do you guys in Florida have to worry about the West Nile virus? We had an outbreak of it here in Iowa-Illinois two or three summers ago, and it's about as dangerous as H1N1.

Watch out for those bites!


Anonymous said...

Bleah. Mosquitoes, heat, humidity. I need to remember the 72 freaking inches of snow we had 6 months ago and keep it all in perspective.
My dog can hardly walk on the pavement, and it's a good search to find a shady side of the street in downtown DC right now. We hit 102 degrees today. My balcony read 110. I look at Baton Rouge, where my family lives, and see that they are having a downright pleasant 78 degrees. Oh wait. With 90% humidity. Excuuuse me- that's a slap with a hot, wet blanket.
The temperature map for the entire US is red, pink and red. Only the tippy top of Alaska shows any moderation-what's up with that?
Can you tell I'm cranky too? At least I dont have a mosquito bite, at least not yet.

Catherine said...

Oh yeah, West Nile and encephalitis happen every so often. No reports of outbreaks yet this summer.

Linda said...

"Thank you for not being a 'possum."
SNORT! Oh thanks! LOL! I will remember that:)

Anonymous said...

Hope your bites are now fading.. and new ones haven't replaced them.

One year when I was working rescues, my daughters and I caught a mother possum with 10 little babies clinging to her fur, the cutest thing ever seen on earth. Anyway you catch them by throwing a blanket over the whole group, and wrapping quickly, and into a big box. Mother let loose inside that blanket and the smell would have repelled flies. It is, as you say, truly horrible.

Very cute story about the possums and the grown up "baby" blue jay.


Catherine said...

Actually possum shit is fly caviar, at least judging by the local fly palate, but yes, it is truly, truly, makes cat poop smell okay horrible.