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Posts Tagged ‘animals’

We live way out in the “sticks”, and our decision to move to this area was for several reasons, the quiet solitude, the clean air (or at least it seems clean), and the wildlife. We used to live in a subdivision, where the homes were so close you could hear the neighbors argue. When we had a neighbor across the street who kept running into peoples yards, and vehicles, because she was high on drugs or alcohol….we had had enough of living in such close proximity to the neighbors.

So now we live in an “acreage” neighborhood, and the smallest lots are two acres. This gives you plenty of room to be loud, or walk around the back of the house in your underwear, etc. The freedom is limitless!

We also love the wildlife, there are herds of deer that live in “the neighborhood”, there are hawks, roadrunners….literally running around (love those), and rabbits. Of course there are other critters that we don’t care for so much, as they are pesky and mean.   I’m talking about possums, armadillos, coyotes, snakes, and raccoons.

I am going to elaborate on the raccoons, don’t let their cuteness fool you, they can be mean. They tend to come around looking for cat food, as many people here have food for their pets outside on the patio.

"Uh oh!"

Our garage is next to the master bedroom, and sometimes someone forgets to shut the garage door at night. Well the little critters love this, they are just like cats….curious and cant help themselves.

"If I don't move...you won't see me"

So, one morning, I’m awake, but laying in bed, and I hear some noises in the garage. I think to myself, “great”, what could that be? I better get up and check it out. I get up, put my robe on and my flip-flops and shuffle out to the garage. I open the side door, and look around. At first I don’t see anything because I’m looking down around the floor. Then I look up, and voila! The varmint is dangling from some rafters in the ceiling. I think to myself, “What are you doing you crazy raccoon?” And I laugh out-loud, as he looks at me with an expression of, “uh oh”.

When I was going out to the garage, I thought the critter would be on the floor, and I could easily “shoo” it away. But when I discovered it was hanging from the ceiling, I knew this would not be an easy task. Especially since he scampered up onto some shelves, this little guy didn’t want to go anywhere.

So, he utilizes the tactic of, “I can’t see you, therefore you can’t see me”. I’m laughing…as the raccoon is being as still as possible, like if he doesn’t move, I won’t see him.

"I can't see you....so you can't see me"

I decide that this is a job for the man of the house, and I go back into the house to wake him up, for this manly task. Besides, I know he will really enjoy getting the raccoon out of the garage….secretly, all men like doing these things.

Of course I grab the camera, as this is just too funny.

I explain to my husband that there is a raccoon wedged in between the shelves, and he should take care of getting it out. Of course I laugh and tell him first it was dangling from the roof (I still can’t figure out what he was trying to do or get to).

So, I didn’t want to be in the way, and when it was all over and the raccoon was gone, I asked my husband how he got it out. He used the broom to chase it down, and it did take awhile, as well, that raccoon just did not want to leave his cozy shelf.

It is always just a matter of time before we have another “critter episode”.  I have to admit, it makes living here interesting and exciting…. in fact, it sure beats finding your drunk neighbor stuck in your hedges.

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A pilot program in Tanzania, is currently using trained giant rats to sniff human sputum samples to detect Tuberculosis (TB). This is a contagious and potentially fatal disease that can affect almost any part of the body but manifests mainly as an infection of the lungs.

Photo by: Boston Globe

These giant rats are said to have improved disease detection by 44 percent, as they find TB that is not detected by conventional testing.

According to the World Health Organization, TB can be difficult to detect under the microscope, and estimates are that 2 billion people around the world are infected with it.

Rat sniffing out landmines photo from boingboing.net


Besides being able to detect TB, these rodents are also good at detecting land mines. In the full article, it is stated that, “Whatever dogs can detect, rats can detect equally well, a rat can be trained for one-fifth the cost. They’re more calm than most small animals, very intelligent and social, and they love humans.”

To find out more about the research utilizing rats: Apopo

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I’m fortunate to have a lot of wildlife around me, even though I live on the outskirts of a large city.  There are several herds of deer that live in my neighborhood, and one morning, I looked out my window and was delighted to see not one, but three little fawns (feasting on my plants…lol, oh well, how can I have a grudge against these little babies?).  I hope you enjoy the photos!

FAWN

Fleeting

Always timid

Wanders

Navigator

Oh dainty doe

You are so graceful

Quietly wandering to and fro

Sometimes you rest under the trees, finding a dry spot from the rain

Waiting out the storm, so that you may continue your plight

The constant quest for food

You are so pleasant to gaze upon

A reminder of all that is ephemeral

One should delight in your presence

And never take for granted

The innocence you bring to the world.

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