Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

Random awesome factoid

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Did you know that the official scientific name for a Sabretoothed Cat is Smilodon Fatalis? That leads me to think that someone had a pretty awesome sense of humor.

New Adventures: 10 of 30 – Visit a new continent.

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I’m part homebody, part nomad. I get itchy, twitchy and bitchy and yearn to travel if I’m home for longer than 2 months. (And then I’m generally ready to be back home after 2 to 3 weeks.) A decent portion of my friends are pretty vocal about their hatred of modern air travel and they generally try to avoid it whenever possible, but honestly if I could get somewhere interesting by flying cargo with donkeys and chickens or whatever with 30 layovers, I’d totally do it, no ifs, ands or buts. Sometimes airplanes suck, but the amazing experiences that they make possible have always made up for a few hours of discomfort.

This year my parents totally spoiled us & decided to take us to South Africa for our family vacation as our Birthday and Christmas presents for the next 127 years.. . I guess the nomadic thing kinda runs in the family. My parents visited the country last year, had a totally amazing time and thought that we would love it as well. Luckily I’m related to these awesome generous people so I was in for the trip of a lifetime!

So in September (I know I’m WAY behind in updating this blog) after about 36 hours of air travel, layovers in multiple countries, and car travel, we ended up in a swanky guest house in Marloth Park on the Southern edge of Kruger National Park, and Northeast-ish region of the country.We stayed in an awesome house/lodge? called Kahya Umdami that was owned by some super friendly people from Cape Town. There was a ton of wildlife that roamed the area & could come around looking for handouts. Guinea fowl (who looked like they would make delicious hot wings!), kudu (only try to feed the young ones, fyi) ,warthogs (omg, so cute!!!), giraffes, bushbabies (the itty-bitty tweaked-out speed freaks of the animal kingdom), hoards of banded mongeese, and tons of crazy looking colorful birds were just some of our regular visitors.

Luckily we had brought a huge crate of fresh papaya or papaw, so the critters loved us, and we got to hand feed a ton of warthogs and kudu. I actually ended up with the nickname Angelina Jolie for threatening to smuggle/adopt half of the visiting warthogs.

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Emerging after a long frost.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011


IMG_1144

Originally uploaded by emmasart

The snow has melted, the earth has thawed and seedlings have started poking up all over. I’m finally able to start up my daily walks through the forest again. Today I went sans iPod and was kind of amazed by the peace & calm that came over me.

Just nature and myself. The sound of my breathing, the crunch of my feet on last year’s fallen leaves. Birds of all colors and sorts calling and singing. The rustle of brush that comes from chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits rooting around. The sound of a brook skipping over rocks as it empties into the pond. It smells intensely like spring.

I come to my favorite perch in the forest. An ancient fallen tree that rests half in the water, but that is still large enough to bear my weight when I walk out on it. I surprise about five turtles, who have been sunning themselves on the branches and they immediately hurl themselves into the safety of the pond. I sit down, straddling the horizontal tree. My feet floppily hang downwards, but are a bit short of touching the water. Staring out at the pond, the trees, the water lillies, absorbing the moment.

Grounding myself.

Via Flickr:
Wandering through the town forest.

Puerto Rico!

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

D & I went to Puerto Rico for our 4th anniversary & had a really relaxing & fantastic time.

We layed on the beach a TON. We also checked out El Murro in old San Juan, hiked through El Yunque to swim in La Mina waterfall, and I took a surf lesson in water warm enough so I didn’t have to wear a full wetsuit. :)

Click on the pic to check out the entire photo gallery.

Beluga saves diver.

Friday, July 31st, 2009
Picture from CEN/ Europics

Picture from CEN/ Europics

This morning, I came across this totally amazing story.

Lucky Yun said: “I began to choke and sank even lower and I thought that was it for me – I was dead. Until I felt this incredible force under me driving me to the surface.”

That incredible force was a “sensitive” beluga whale, named Mila, who realized that Yun was having problems, and took Yun’s leg in her mouth and pushed the free diver to the surface.

For the entire story and some more cool pictures: check out this article.

What a good whale! Although I think that Mila, the whale, should have saved her good deed for someone who isn’t likely to try to kill themselves again (by free diving w/ no equipment in arctic waters).

It was my 7th 20th birthday!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I know I’m a bit late on the mark, but last week I turned 27. Devon was super sweet and amazing and totally out did himself again. I think my favorite part of my birthday weekend extravaganza was that he arranged for me to be a trainer for the morning at the New England Aquarium! It was totally awesome. I got to help train their harbor seals, and fed their gigantic sea turtle, Myrtle.

Cute harbor seal

Cute harbor seal

View all of the pictures  here.

I had worked with a number of orphaned harbor seals at my wildlife rehab job in Seattle, but we were always very hands off with them, as we always had the intention of releasing them back into the wild. They were often sick and vocalized the most heart-wrenching noises. The seals at the NE Aquarium were fat and happy, and seemed quite content. Since they are permanently housed there, they need to be trained to do certain things that would help vets perform their exams, such as lifting flippers and opening their mouths. It was really cool to see a completely different side of harbor seals… I even got a smooch from one! I’ll be posting that video on youtube!

A wonderful day in the yard.

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Today I finished filling my raised garden bed. The snap peas, carrots, spotted mint and some cilantro are in the ground. I have other stuff to plant, but it’s too early to plant them.

Fifi also had a lovely day in the garden. She got out and romped around, eating as much clover as she possibly could. She even made a friend who had similar interests….

Fifi made a bunny buddy... Click on picture for larger view.

Fifi made a bunny buddy... Click on picture for larger view.

:) Cute no?

Talking shop.

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

One of the cool things about having worked at a wildlife rehab center is that I can talk shop with the Orkin guy. The Hanta virus, which rodent traps are more humane, good bees vs. nuisance bees, etc…
I did it in the middle of my lunch, while Devon dry heaved as I told him about it.