Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A house is not a home without a mouse!

So I guess "the girls" are getting settled in. They no longer run around willy nilly like they're lost and they seem to be getting more use to being the foursome. I often find them sleeping in their hanging bed. They are so sweet. I even have Skunk eating from my hand!
Not to mention the interaction of the other furry family members. Zoey the BWD (that’s Big White Dog) doesn’t seem overly interested in them at all...And only occassionally does the almost 15 yr old cat, Scout, care either...but when she does show interest it doesn’t seem to bother them. Mice by rights like peace & quiet and nothing to stress them out. But they really don’t seem to care when she’s there.

And when she does sit there it’s one of laid-back leisure not in a predatory mode. She will however lay close by almost standing guard over them...no really, I kid you not! LOL Course I couldn’t help captioning this picture, “Dear Lord, please let one of the mice get out of their cage. I will not hurt it, I only want to play with it a little bit. I promise. Amen.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

When the cat's away you bring mice home.

After the couple weeks of watching the caterpillars grow into butterflies, I felt really empty inside once we'd set them free. I hadn't realized how much time I'd spent watching them...Oh it was just a minute here or minute there, but it still adds up. Then Stephen started a new job that had him traveling throughout the work week and I REALLY felt out of sorts and lost. It was very strange. I mean, believe me, I have plenty to keep me busy. I am never bored! I haven't even had the time to do any of my hobbies either. In a three week time I had a whole 2 hours devoted to refinishing a bookshelf..yes, that's my kind of fun!
So one day after helping a friend learn to manuever the internet, I was driving past the pet store. Ok, so we won't even discuss here how I normally feel about buying dogs & cats at petstores...
For many weeks my dear husband & I discussed whether or not we should add to our critter family. We have greatly missed our pet ratties & the antics of small rodents. I would never buy an animal without considering all the ramifications of it nor would I do it on a mere whim. But I had done my homework & had my hubby's blessings..So that day, July 1, in a weak and lonely moment (LOL) I stopped. The mouse cage was overcrowded and there were actually little pinkies being stepped on in the cage by the others. I decided it was a rescue mission of sorts!! They had 4 girl cow mice (white with black spots like a cow) that they checked over in hopes of eliminating any of them from 'my' group if they suspected they were pregnant.
I brought Chigger (the smallest),

Halo (the most psycho jumping off of things nearly becoming an 'angel'),

Moo (with markings most like a cow)

and Skunk (who looked like a miniature skunk) home with me.

For the first day I had the 10 gal. aquarium sitting on my sewing desk behind me as I sat at the computer..but then I found myself constantly turning around to look at them!! I wasn't going to get anything done that way, so I rearranged furniture and now have them sitting right beside the computer. That way as I do my computer work I can glance over, not missing a moment of whatever they are doing.
They have been so fun! It's actually taken me by surprise and I've had small rodents all my life. Watching them run on their wheel has been hysterical...Oh ya, to see Chigger holding on for dear life (not running) as Halo runs turning them 'round & 'round...and as Chigger comes round Halo jumps over her like a hurdle!! Apparantly they don't have any inner ear issues with spinning like that. Chigger even walks straight when she gets off the wheel!
I am still working at getting them tamer. I'm finding it's taking longer to gain their trust compared to when we had ratties. It's a process, but a really fun one!

Another great giveaway...

from Herbal Roots Zine. I LOVE having the opportunity at a chance of winning. I've won her Hawaiian snail giveway so now would like to win this praying mantis. Here's the link to check it out yourself. http://www.herbalrootszine.com/2010/07/giveaway-monday-wooden-praying-mantis/ Isn't he cute?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My daughter's give-a-way

My daughter has a new give-a-way on her blog for some great greeting cards. 50 in all and you can put your OWN picture on them AND they are FREE! Can't get better than free, right...so check it out to enter. You may just win...although I'm hoping I do!!! http://ourbrokenroad.blogspot.com/2010/07/i-told-you-i-had-good-give-way-coming.html

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Diary of a Butterfly~Day 14~The Release

I looked at our beautiful Painted Lady butterflies in the habitat as soon as I got up this morning. I'm still amazed at the amount of red stuff they drip..See? I wasn't kidding. But I digress...

Since they had just hatched the day before I had not decided when I might release them. But watching them fluttering around in there, as lovely as they were to watch, I just knew that I had to set them free. Their lifespan is only 2 to 4 weeks and I just couldn't take away their chance at a real butterfly life. Plus I was thinking about those 500 eggs they could lay & thought it'd be better for THAT to take place outside. So I took a couple last minute pictures of them in their habitat as if they were my kids going off to college.

It saddened me that there was going to be no one to share their release with me. (I remember the joy of letting ladybugs go in TX with my daughter & granddaughter.) But then providence stepped in...My dad called. And what do you think he was interested in? The first thing he asked me was "how are the butterflies doing" and "have you released them yet?" I said no, are you interested in being here when I do? and he said Yes! I was so delighted that he cared enough & was interested...So he and mom came over straight away

We went out onto the patio having no idea how long we'd have to wait once we opened the habitat door. But as soon as a rush of fresh air flowed through the mesh the first one started fluttering & headed for the door.

He and each subsequent one would do something similar usually perching on the door as if to be taking in all the fresh air. One even decided to refuel on sugar water before his flight.

Once perched they sat there ever so still then would start to slowly pump their wings.

It was so neat because during this time we were really able to get a close look at them. How often do butterflies EVER sit still long enough for you to get a good look, let alone a good picture?!

I love this picture. She looked so soft and furry that I wanted to pet her but knew I not dare!

Then my dad pointed out that the ends of the antennae looked like it had spotlights on it & seemed to glow! Well I don't know about that but it was pretty cool to get a good look. Hard to believe she has 10,000 eyes, huh?

Then within the span of 20 min. each one made their way to the door & fluttered out. It was a curious thing to see each one take a very similar flight plan over the house as if they'd orchestrated it beforehand. I tried my best to get pictures but these little gals were FAST! I was only able to capture one coming out of the shoot!

See her just at the front of the chair?

This was such a beautiful day for such a thing. The sun was shining, there was a nice warm summer breeze and we were getting to take part of their release & witnessing 5 Painted Lady butterflies enter the world. You'll probably laugh, but it was a very spiritual moment for lack of a better phrase. I got verklempt watching the last one fly off. I probably would've cried had I not been afraid my parents would laugh at me...but honestly, I think my dad felt that moment of awe too and like me, didn't quite know how to put it into words.