Friday, April 30, 2010

Gorgeous day out. Petey and I decided to head up to Cascade Lake Park and go up to the beaver pond. It was the perfect weather for Petey to be comfortable hiking with his compromised heart. I am going to have to stick near water so he can dip in and keep his hikes to shorter less taxing distances. The beaver continues on in the pond, working on taking down a very large tree. All the leaves are unfurling, a bit early for those of us who warbler watch. Today's notables were deer, turkey, Red shoulder hawk, red tail hawk, red eye vireo, blue grey gnatcatcher. After we finished up on Cascade I stopped at the property and walked down by the water, two wood ducks are still hanging around! So hopeful they decide to nest in one of our boxes.

Another rehab in last night, a bunny. Don't think he should have been taken in, is just about ready to be on his own. Rabbits don't do well in rehab, they die of fright more often then we are able to save them. People need to leave them alone and let nature take it's course. The squirrels are doing fantastic, I went to see them last night. They are ready for soft release.

Took Petey to a 3rd Cardiologist on Tuesday. My gut was right, the other two wait for heart failure to treat DCM. Our new Doctor treats now, trying to keep the heart in better shape to give them more time. I felt so hopeless the last 4 months at the mercy of doctors I had no confidence in. Now at least I feel that I am doing all I can for Petey. He was put on 4 different medications. He is already to Moderate/Severe Occult stage, heart failure expected about 6 months to a year from now with out trying medication. With medication we might get another year or so. It was worth the 4 hour round trip to see Dr. Goodwin. He is a wonderful caring man. Petey and I are lucky to have found him.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I've spent the last 4 months consumed with my boy and his illness. Worrying about his potential shortened life, when he will leave me, how much will he suffer, will I give him a proper quality life and why ME being given another sick dog? Tonight as I entered my walk in closet to get ready for bed, I looked at a group of pictures of all my past dogs. I have a memorial set up on my dresser, weird? IDK...we have pictures of dead relatives all over the place, but our beloved dogs...most people don't. They all have meant so much to me. I even have the collar of my first dog buttons. Dogs make my world whole and right. Petey is no different then those that have come before him. I decided tonight that although I had hoped for more then a decade with my GORGEOUS boy...I have no control over how long his life will be. He will be with me for how ever long he is suppose to be, I need to stop torturing myself and thinking I can control his illness and stop the heart disease. Every moment with him is precious and he has given me the gift of not wasting any of it. I truly love Petey more then any dog I've ever had in my life. I hope we have many years together left but if we don't I know in my has been a quality life for the two of us, and I am so thankful that he was mine for what ever time we have! I love you Petey!

Sandhill Crane

Spring has sprung in full force here in Orange County NY. The scent of the flowers filling the air is intoxicating. Birds are starting to trickle in. Today I saw my first Water thrush singing his heart out. Petey and I had a fabulous walk up at Cascade Lake Park, it was about 60 degrees, brilliant sunshine and the sky was an amazing shade of azure blue. This was the sort of day you are so grateful to be alive. Later on I got a birder call from a good birding friend, a tip that there was a Sandhill Crane a mile from my house...we found him and got an excellent look. Now it is time for a Spring Supper of Sauteed Soft-shelled Crabs and Asparagus.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Letter to the Editor

Once again it is that time of year when wild animals give birth and hatch their young. Soon the young wild creatures will begin to venture out into the world on shaky legs and fragile wings. Every year the lives of many innocent wild babies are upset by people who only mean to help them. They take babies from the wild in a mistaken attempt to save them, thinking that they are abandoned or orphaned. When in fact the would-be rescuers are harming the young animals chance of ever becoming a normal adult. Those early unsteady steps and flights are part of normal development, helping young animals learn to take care of themselves. People assume that the young are abandoned when in fact the mother is usually close by keeping an eye on them. Please watch from a far and only help an animal if you are positive that the mother is dead. If you do end up taking a wild animal please contact a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator and give the animal a chance at someday being returned to the wild as is it's birth right. It is illegal to process wildlife in the state of New York with out a license. You can find a list of Rehabilitators on the NY State Wildlife Rehabilitation Councils site, they can answer your questions or take in animals that truly need our help.

One last word of advise, before you mow your lawn, walk around your property and check that there aren't any reptiles, baby animals, rabbit nests, fawns or baby birds hiding in your grass. If you see a baby animal or find a nest, maybe don't mow that section until they have moved on.

I thank you and so do the innocent young lives you help save and keep wild.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Florida again....

Another amazing Florida nature time. I love the wildlife and birds that call that state home. We spent the weekend on Lovers Key at Fort Myers Beach. We were there for a 80th Birthday party for a beloved Aunt of my hubbies. We had two wonderful hikes through the Mangroves in Lovers Key Park.

The first Day we caught two Manatees doing what we think was a courtship swim. They were swimming very fast up and down the mangrove, rolling over each other and lots of splashing, just amazing...something I'm sure not too many other people have ever seen. We also found a Yellow Rat Snake.

The next day we set out in the rain, and after having spoken to a Park attendant I found out how to find the Gopher tortoises that are all over the park. It took only a short time to locate one! I saw a habitat that looked good, and sure enough...there was one right on top of his den entrance. We were able to get a good look at him, amazed at the shell adaptations he has that enable him to live in burrows underground. Birds abound in the sky, trees and on the beach. One notable sighting was a Peregrine Falcon near the beach, I had seen him the night before land on the condo where we were staying and spend the night. I assume he was migrating. At the end of our hike on Sunday we walked along the beach and were delighted to come upon a family of dolphins swimming near shore, we were able to watch them for quite a long time. The final bridge before the condo was over an estuary that was teaming with fish. A large flock of Willets hung out in the shallows near a Reddish Egret that was doing his wild dance across the water and catching small fish.

That night after we check out and started for our overnight near the airport, we ate dinner in a restaurant that had the most amazing expansive view of the gulf of Mexico. It was still cloudy and raining a little, but that didn't stop the nature show we were able to witness as we dined and discussed our short but wonderful Florida adventure. A Osprey fished and caught two right in front of us. Many Brown Pelicans were also joined with terns all fishing directly in front of us. Nature is always there for the taking.

We arrived home today....WOW...Spring has hit the North East! I hope to get out tomorrow, despite having a horrible head cold. I don't want to miss the beauty of this week.

Bird and Animal List Fl 4/16-4/19
Wild Boar

Yellow Rat Snake
Gopher Tortoise

Bald Eagle
Red Shouldered Hawk
Magnificent Frigit Bird
Brown Pelican
Great Egret
GB Heron
Reddish Egret
White Ibis
Wood Stork
Mocking Bird
Boat Tailed Grackle
Peregrine Falcon
Laughing Gull
Palm Warbler
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Downy Woodpecker

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wood Turtle & Garter Snake

On Saturday we had some more friends and family visiting and we decided to go over to our property. All the plants are coming up, and the leaves on the trees are popping. Everyone is simply amazed at the diversity of habitat. So many species live there because of it. It is so beautiful and peaceful, the moment I park my car and walk onto the land I completely decompress and smile. I've waited 50 years to find a place that I feel at home. Everything has lead up to us buying it. I can't wait until we can live there full time. The Wood Turtle and Garter snake were on the other side of the river, both were catching a little sun, family friend Robin caught the stunning photos of them with her new camera.

Today we went over to the land after work, hung another Bluebird box, that makes a total of 5. We also hung 2 Wood duck Boxes across the river. There was a GB Heron and a pair of Mallards. I saw a Pileated fly into the neighbors yard.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Snapping Turtle &Toads

Today after work I decided to let my Rehab snapping turtle go up at Cascade Lake. It was nice to see him go free. He had no problem swimming and looked very happy to be free again. I can't wait to return the Red bellied to the same lake. I'm waiting just a bit longer to let her go as I don't want her to get the respiratory infection back and end up sick again. There were toads everywhere, singing,mating and lots of egg laying. I could have sat there for hours watching the activity. It is always much more fun to watch nature in action then to sit home and read about it. It is the best activity and it's completely free.

Already picked up another rehab, a 5 week old baby squirrel. He is having a little trouble, very dehydrated and lethargic. I'm giving him pedialite every hour, and will feed formula when he gets more lively. He is going to be raised by me for the next three months.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Babies went home...

The 3 baby squirrels turned into 7 with in a day. The Humane Society called me and asked that I take 4 more that were turned in after someone found their mom dead. After I got them home, I fed them and discovered that all were boys...what are the odds? I always end up with male animals. If I wasn't heading to Florida two more times this month I would have kept the four here and finished raising them. Having 7 to take care of was so much fun. I truly enjoyed every moment they were here. I had to syringe feed them 4x each day.

Today up at Cascade Lake the toads were singing, mating and should be laying eggs tonight. At 180 Cascade we hung Bluebird houses along the river bed. There was a Kingfisher across the river. Trout Lily leaves are up. Hubby is making wood duck boxes and a couple more wood duck boxes. I am loving our property, it is amazing to go there and check out what is happening each day.