Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Family is so important to pets and all living creatures as well as humans

This family of sandhill cranes was grazing in Florida this March or early April on a golf course... and demonstrates for me anyway, the way families often take care of their young.Thanks to Bob Fox for this wonderful photo.

One will often see creatures in the wild, early in spring with babies, hiding under feathers if they are birds, or in fur if they are mammals, and even some water creatures tend to stick together.

In my fish pond there is a large number of very small baby fish that must have all hatched during the earliest of thaws, or late last fall, and not grown...they hang about together. They are anywhere from half an inch long to perhaps an inch... and there are currently about 40 of them... The larger fish from two to nine or ten inches long tend to stay along the outskirts of the school of small ones, as if guarding them from prey - or perhaps since I haven't seen then all winter, shepherding the food supply. I have no idea whether goldfish are carnivorous or not...obviously.

This is a photo of a pond I created with the help of my children and neighbours'
kids as well,, taken several years ago. Many of my current fishes are adults
from that particular pond which we had a lot of fun creating.

Another water creature, but one that lives on land as well, is a turtle (photo from Mike O'Dell),

and then there is the alligator.... (video by Bob Fox)

They lay eggs of course, up to 90 in number according to "google," and cover them with vegetation... so I don't think they have much family feeling after the eggs are laid. However they are an important member of south and central American animal families. Many people are fascinated with them while of course there are many others who are repelled. But still, they too are part of this world, and a family member of the reptile clan.

And then there are pets.....these cats and kittens are no longer part of their immediate families, but have become part of a larger one, and are very fortunate to have been taken in and cared for by a kind human "mother - care-giver."

Wish I had access to my photos of the nine puppies that one of my labs presented to me many years ago... perhaps I will find it on a CD somewhere and do some follow up on pet families. Certainly nine little black puppies were a handful, but I learned a lot about family relationships in pets while watching and caring for them

And I have deliberately neglected my own children, as well as nieces, nephews and other family members, but I am truly blessed with a wonderful group of humans that cherishes the notion of family and participates in many celebrations together.

Which brings me to the upcoming celebration... Easter and Passover.... To all of those reading this little blog,  may your celebrations be gloriously happy, specially because they also bring the promise of spring and all families of the floral and vegetation families. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Stormy weather

Christopher and Moose have made their curling up together seem closer than ever. This afternoon when Christopher looked out the deck door and saw the snow he hurried back to bed after breakfast. Moose went out did what he had to do as quickly as a big dog could possibly accomplish anything and came rushing back for his breakfast then back to bed.

This afternoon when the ice pellets were biting both of our faces, he had to be really strongly encouraged to stay out and do what I wanted.... I do NOT want to get up in the middle of the night with potential rain... besides I need a new raincoat and was waiting till spring (will it ever come do you think or will we be blessed with this changeable stuff for six months till fall).

Both animals don't like cold, rain doesn't bother them but neither cat likes to go on the deck when it Mother Nature is having a hissy fit.

Here Eleia curls up on what was my favourite duvet for many years, (goose down - no wonder she loves it, I would never get something with goose down ever again.) She found it wrapped up in a closet along with my shawls (those fringed things she is hiding behind) and the vacuum. It has been her bedroom ever since. She is very warm and cozy and though she loves to go out on the deck, she too, took one glance outside this morning and bolted for her hiding place. She is either sticking her tongue out at me to say "Nyah nyah this is mine" or "When is lunch?" Given her size I think the latter is most likely.

The two buddies have grabbed blankets - beautiful ones that were made for me, not them, by my friend Anastasia... very gifted with her hands and very creative. Christopher is wearing what was meant to be a shawl for me  when reading. It is getting a bit care worn now. The beautiful violet and lavender blanket is usually kept away from these two... I must have forgotten to remove it that morning... but it does make a funny photo.

And when I am not taking photos of them or getting them food or writing I have been taking photos of the beautiful flowers that have surprised me this winter. This wonderful Amaryllis bulb looked like it had died until I put it near heat and under a window... suddenly it started to grow. If you look closely there is a very funny face in the bloom that is still a tight bud.

Three or so weeks later... WOW! There are three blooms today.

I am so blessed to have been able to adopt this huge mastiff/lab cross dog, who had been abandoned and was taken care of by a very kind and "skilled with animals" young woman called Adrian. Also to have had Eleia given to me by my niece and Christopher arriving at my neighbour's doorstep about 19 years ago  - a friend and neighbour who couldn't keep a nine month old starving kitten, so of course - he now sleeps on my bed with his big buddy - during the day.

Eleia has a great game with him. She hides under chairs in the house or on the deck. It's as if she is saying catch me if you can. Needless to say he has never done anything except touch noses with her.
Since he has been here he has learned what the Invisible Fence collar going "bing" means, and stays well away from the border of the property. I can let him out without me being there with or without a leash now and have for the past three weeks, and he knows how to open the side door with a push from that big nose. He walks to heel if I want and will wait, stopping where he is when told (no "stay") for my critters it is too confusing for me and them. And he stays in his crate all night without a whimper or a sound. He is gentle, friendly and mannerly - though he did race out across the fence line into the street when two little dogs came by, but before he reached them must have heard the "bing" or it must have registered because he came flying back to the front deck and sat down quivering until I told him it was okay.

I am so lucky and blessed. As time goes on you'll read more stories about this trio... they give me so much joy and pleasure. Hope you enjoyed this brief introduction to my four-legged family? Come spring, hopefully the pond will thaw, and you will meet the aquatic members... if they survived.

Appreciate all your comments by the way. Thank you for reading.  Hope your winter days are pleasant and not danger or cold filled.