Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It was a very good year...

I found this fellow sleeping in the mulch pile:  He's a Marbled Salamander and apparently an Eastern U.S. resident -  I'd never seen one before, as the much more plentiful Chameleons and Five-lined Skinks are less shy. 
Marbled Salamander 3 1/2 - 5"

And very recently, on an extremely warm evening, this little guy was clinging to the glass on my storm door.  It's a Tree Frog - A "Barking" Tree Frog, I think.  These are the guys we refer to as Spring Peepers.  Just a bit early, that's all.  Sorry for the blur.  He was so tiny and it was dark, thus my camera wouldn't focus properly.
Love his little sucker toes.... 2 - 2 1/4" actual size

If I hadn't become an artist, I might have been an entomologist or a naturalist by profession.  If you've never read Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, find a copy.  That book made me feel "normal" in my fascination with the small, strange (to human perception) and mysterious creatures who are all around us - and yet often unseen.

My critter household has been both diminished and expanded.  I lost both of my old horses Lilly and Bogo, and adopted a rescue gelding whom I call Chester, for obvious reasons if you are of a certain age, and remember Gunsmoke with Marshall Dillon and Chester.   Apparently he suffered an untreated broken shoulder - a devastating injury - and I'm surprised he survived.  He walks by  criss-crossing his front legs, but he is able to trot, canter, and to lie down and get up! 

I also lost both of my Pyrenees within a few months of one another - one to gone cancer, and the other to old age.  When Colbert Veterinary Rescue  had an adult female Great Dane for adoption, I couldn't resist.  Now Stella at just over 100 #s is adjusting to life on the farm.
Stella - don't you just love her ears!!

Chester - doing his favorite thing: EATING!!!  He's a big boy - but not only had his shoulder gone untreated, he had also been starved.  He'll be allowed to put on some weight, but due to his injury I'll need to keep him from gaining too much.
Nest time: Emily the beach kitten...

Hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday and/or Christmas.  I'm heading home to Southern Illinois for a week.


  1. Well, there you are! I wondered where you were. Welcome back to the bloggyhood.

    1. I know - I've been a terrible blog host and guest. I resolve to do better in 2014!! Thanks for remembering me!

  2. Thank you for the critter update !

    Sorry for those who have passed , but happy for the lucky newbies !

    but he is able to trot, canter, and to lie down and get up!

    Pretty dang good if you ask me!

    1. Hi Anne. Yeah, a tough year, but not unexpected. And Chester's worst gait is his walk! Today I even saw him do a little jumpy thing just for the heck of it! I have bute (horse painkiller) for him if and when he needs some, but so far he's doing ok drug free.

  3. I enjoyed reading your post. My husband has Annie Dillard’s books – I need to find the one you mention (he worked for years at the Wildlife Federation.) I’m sorry about the loss of your pets and pleased you have found some beautiful animals to live with you. I see you live in the NorthEast Mountains – it must be lovely there. I live on the same road as Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (Ga.)

  4. Delighted to see you back here, even with all your losses.
    Here's to Chester!
    And a happy new year to you, Patrice!