Mar. 12th, 2016 09:12 pm
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Went hiking yesterday in not-my-park, found some spring:

Spring under cut )
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Look what I found today! Cyber spider, close relative of the Arachnopod, most likely, despite having six legs instead of eight.
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Found this via one of my coworkers - song is great for meditative hula hooping! Which I have gotten out of the habit of, and I really need to get back into. I keep getting wibbly at the dragonfly ^^


Dec. 15th, 2013 07:43 pm
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Went to see the "Desolation of Smaug" Saturday with Mom - I spoilerized myself shamelessly beforehand, so it was about what I expected

Spoilers, and why they need a park naturalist on the movie props staff... )
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Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight/tomorrow morning for all of us northern hemisphere folks!  Sorry southern hemisphere :(   I used to do 2am-5am programs, which are the best hours for meteor watching, but almost no one came, I can't imagine why, lol.  Now I do it from 10pm-12am, which has fewer meteors, but early on is when the really long, bright ones tend to appear.  Every once in awhile I'll get a call from someone asking if I could possibly reschedule the program for a weekend, since they have to get up early to work during the week...entirely flattering that they think I have control over the workings of planetary/comet orbits like that (I also get this request for lunar eclipse programs XD).  I mean, I'm good, but I'm not that good :P 

Sky and Telescope article if you want more info


In other news - babble and picspam )


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It is a rule of the universe that the yearly surprise inspection for my USDA animal exhibitor's license (that I'm required to have in order to do educational programs with my skunks and opossums) will be on the day that the house is at maximum clutter and grunge >_>  At least I was dressed - I'd just gotten out of the shower!  The licensing procedures are really designed more for big commercial operations, not little one-gal shows like me, lol.  The kids were all acceptably clean, at any rate, all my critter health records were in order, and Kettle turned on her doggie charm and fawned all over the inspector - new guy, very nice fellow - and my license is good for another year.  
Fruits and veggies and 'possums and moths )

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Houston, we have a hatching!  Remember the teeny luna moth caterpillars?  Six gorgeous adult luna moths hatched out yesterday and today from their cocoons!!  :D  These are two of the females that I released on a big walnut tree.  The male flew away as soon as we went outside, we've got two more laddies that are still drying their wings and will be released tomorrow, and I'm keeping one female in a paper bag over night to see if she'll lay eggs, maybe raise a second generation.



Moths, pond, and possum )


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Feeling better, although apparently half a day of work and then coming home to vacuum and do a load of laundry requires a 5-hour nap to recover O_o  Good morning, world! ^_^ 

One of the really fun things about having my little pond is getting to actually recognize individual bugsand time to sit and observe them -- I see the same sorts of things at the park, but on a bigger scale, and usually no time to sit around watching.  For the past week or so I've had a male Blue Dasher dragonfly that has taken up residence, not sure if he's from one of the nymphs that hatched out, or if he discovered it on his own.  Here he is on his favorite perch - he usually buzzes up to inspect me when I go sit on the bench, and then carries about his business:

A bit more bug spam here )
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Pond is pretty much done - I love it so much!  The water is still a bit cloudy from the four rounds of thunderstorms we had that kept washing mud into the pond before I could get the edges landscaped, but it's starting to clear up nicely.


More pond babble, Smidge update )
playswithworms: (yay nature)

The annual firefly crop is in full blink in my backyard!  Maybe not a million, but certainly several hundred - gorgeous rapid-fire flash-orgy like whoa, whoo hoo!  :D 


playswithworms: (yay nature)

State Wild Animal Rehabilitation Permit:
renewal application - check!
2009 report - check!
list of subpermittees updated - check!

Six State Wild Animal Possession Permits:
New opossum added & fee paid - check!
renewal forms filled out - check!
Vet signatures - check!
Conservation officer facility inspection - check!

State Special Purpose Education Permit:
renewal application - check!
2009 report of wildlife programs involving birds of prey, mammals, or box turtles - check!
New staff added to assistant list - check!

State Salvage Permit:
renewal application - check!
2009 report of all dead birds donated for taxidermy - check! (after finding, sorting, and labelling approximately 90 "mystery birds" in three different freezers where staff had FAILED TO TAG OR RECORD WHERE THEY CAME FROM *scowls*)
Create foolproof data entry and tagging system for three separate facilities for dead birds, nests, eggs, donated taxidermy mounts, etc., put it all in three nice pretty binders complete with toe tags for dead birds, blank copies of original sheets, neatly organized entries for 2009 all in place.  They're AWESOME.  :D
New staff added to subpermittees - check!

State Special Purpose Turtle Possession Permit:
double check - we're good for another two years - check!

Federal Bird Rehabilitation Permit:
2009 report - check!

Federal Migratory Bird Salvage Permit:
2009 report -check!
Three year renewal form - check!

Federal Eagle Permit:
2009 report - check!

USDA Class C Exhibitor's License:
Vet facility visit and signatures - check!
Renewal request form - check!
Fees paid - check!
USDA inspection and signature - check!

Make copies of everything - check!
Mail everything - check!


Yay Fall!

Oct. 19th, 2009 08:17 pm
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 The main drawback to working in a beautiful park is that the crazy busy times just so happen to coincide with the most beautiful times of the year - it's hard to find time to get out and enjoy.  I did manage to squeeze in a quick hike yesterday, and got a few pictures of the TREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!   OMG.  Even though I've lived here all my life, every year I still wander around with my eyes all like this:  O_O and my face all like this :D.  The pictures are always such a disappointment though - they never even begin to capture the wow, but I'll put 'em up anyway.     


Picture spam )


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Errg - big event tomorrow.  I'm depending on 40 presenters and volunteers to show up on time and know what they're doing, and 150 kids to dress for the weather:  40's F, rain in the morning, winds 20-30mph.  I've been watching the weather radar like Red Alert with his monitors.  As long as there's no thunder or lightening or TORNADOES, we don't have to cancel.  In case of massive torrential downpours, I have back up plans.  And back up plans for my back up plans.  A pack of giant garbage bags to give out as rainjackets to kids that forgot to bring them.  Filled 16 empty milk jugs with sand to tie to the tents so they don't blow away.  As long as I don't forget to order the pizza for lunch...I think we're in good shape! 

What else I've been up to this week: )
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So it was one of those 911 kind of days, gorgeous, sunny, park packed to the brim, and sure enough!  Happily it turned out to be a false alarm, but the fire truck and ambulance came anyway just to be safe.  But!  After they left one of the park visitors came in and said something about one of the firefighters finding a deer skeleton and jumping out of the truck to pick it up.  This deer skeleton, as a matter of fact:

Click here for Exhibit A )
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After the deep freeze, we've thawed out again big time!  Near 70's F and rainy, which means FROGS!  LOTS OF FROGS!!!  The little western chorus frogs were singing full tilt in the pond today - totally awesome and I may have suffered some hearing loss while video taping, but it was worth it!  Just look at this handsome little guy EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Pondward we go... )
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Temperatures in the 50'sF this afternoon, bright and sunny so I went searching for frogs.  Didn't even need a coat!  The ponds were still frozen, all I heard was one very sleepy chorus frog cree-ee-eeking, but one of the little spring ponds had melted on the edge where the sun was shining and I found FAIRY SHRIMP!!!  SPRING REALLY IS COMING!!!  It shouldn't surprise me because of course it does, every year, but when there is confirmation like sunshine that feels warm and fairy shrimp swimming and sandhill cranes migrating and male salamanders leaving their offerings of sperm-on-jelly in the ponds (which will probably happen on Thursday, when it's supposed to rain) I'M ALWAYS SURPRISED! 

For the weekend:  temperatures in the 20'sF and snow, and even I, lover of precipitation in whatever form it cares to assume, sigh at that forecast.  Just a little.  Because spring IS coming, I believe it now *frolics about* 

Click here to watch the shrimplets swim )
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Warning: Naturalist Nerd Alert

It graupeled!  Last night, little styrofoam-looking pellets of snow, also known as GRAUPEL!  My favorite kind of snow (although not so good if you live in avalanche country), created when regular six-sided snow crystals get coated with supercooled water droplets known as rime.  You can recognize them even when they are falling because they bounce when they hit the ground, like little teeny ping pong balls.  Aren't they just the coolest *glees*  ^_^


A few more graupels and some random soda )


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