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Hello and still alive! Got the batch of 13 teeniest baby opossums drinking from a dish yesterday (instead of having to be tube-fed one-by-one three times a day), and the 12 medium baby opossums have been dishing it since last week, which means I have more than 30 minutes of non-wildlife time again. I have showered! I have eaten vegetables! I may even (le gasp) vacuum!

And check out this harmonious snuggling with three raccoon babies!

Biggest raccoonlet I've had since she was only a day or two old, and the other two arrived a few weeks later, very small for their age and with mycoplasma infections (swollen joints and hands, pus-filled lesions, fun times) - generally fixable with antibiotics, but also a 4 to 8 week quarantine period. I broke quarantine a week or so early because the little kids at least looked pretty healed up from everything, and because the big girl went into complete terrified baby raccoon snarl-attack mode when I did a test introduction and I was pretty sure I'd waited too long and now had an emotionally stunted raccoon baby who would never be able to co-exist with her own species. I resorted to taking everyone on the front porch where it was Outside and Very Scary, so they were more scared of that than each other (because little kids were understandably unhappy about being growled and snapped at).

Finally got to the point where no one was growling, but big girl wanted nothing to do with the other two and hid out on the far side of their crate. Until last night, when they were all out rambling around, and went at each other ears flattened and I was all ready to separate them when...Puppy Tussle Play-Mode, activated! :D And since then big girl has started actively seeking out the little kids and tonight they were all sleeping together in the same crate! Big girl is now on antibiotics too, for a few weeks, as a precaution, but I figured learning to be a raccoon was worth the trade off :)
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Twenty-six tiny baby opossums right now that need to be tube fed (about 40 minutes, three times a day, should be four or more times a day but this is all I can swing), plus ten more bigger babies that can drink from a dish, and three baby raccoons. If I'm a little sporadic online that's why!

Experimenting with Flickr photo hosting instead of using LJ, let's see if this works:
Ok, attempt number two with DW's own photo hosting thingy, since Flickr didn't work:

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Forced terms acceptance with no heads up, sheesh. I've crossposted and imported to DW, but all my photos are hosted on LJ, so I won't be deleting anything for now.

On a less sad note, raccoonlet is doing great - getting bigger and stronger, although she's the pickiest little doober I've had in a long while. Formula temp needs to be one degree shy of scalding or she won't eat - warm-hot formula is not acceptable, hot hot formula = proceed to guzzle mode. Also needs just a pinch of the rehydration powder, which she hated plain but apparently formula without a least a hint of Electrostat is also not acceptable >_> Squawky bean ^^

In random note, dreamed last night that all my underwear in my undie drawer were these diaphanous or bedazzled fancy things - no idea what my subconscious was up to there! My dream undies would be more along the lines of elven leaf designs and earth tones in practical sturdy cloth, maybe some cute bugs and butterflies, than jewels and lace, lol. Make of that what you will, Russia *eyes*
playswithworms: (First Aid)
First wildlife baby of the year arrived today - teeny day-old raccoonlet, not in the best shape.  A hiker found her along a trail in the park, muddy and cold. She's a bit dehydrated, but fairly squirmy and squawky once she got warmed up again - didn't like the rehydration solution at all, but I finally got her to take some diluted puppy formula, so far so good.  As per tradition, wildlife babies that need hourly monitoring and care always arrive on super busy days with field trips and a thousand other things going on *flops* but I have all day tomorrow off so that should help.  Also my grass needs mowing already - yikes!
playswithworms: (First Aid hug now)
Tainry wrote things! Wonderful things! And more to come!!! :DDDDDDDDDDDD

Hatchlings in snowsuits. I repeat, hatchlings in snowsuits. This is not a drill.

In other happy news, groundhog that I rescued last fall that had a probable raccoon roundworm brain infection and poor long-term doing just fine? Still has balance/movement issues, which mainly amount to her moving slowly and occasionally tipping over (very rarely, now, not because she's any better, I think she's just got a better idea of what she can and can't do and is more careful), but has not gotten any worse, and otherwise seems super healthy. I went ahead and put her on my wildlife permits, and she had a small debut over the weekend for groundhog day and rocked it! Her long-term health is still uncertain, but definitely looking brighter :)


Sep. 7th, 2016 08:42 pm
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Happy Birthday to me! :D I'm hoping 45 is easier to remember - I had a heck of a time remembering that I was 44 all year, and 43 was even worse.

Busy day today, with three programs at work and then a sick groundhog got dropped off, but boss and co-workers still managed to squeeze in cake - they're so awesome ^_^ Mom made me a cake on Labor Day, when I had the day off. She was watching niecelet, so we hung out and played and then went to Goodwill, where I got five pairs of pants for work (three of which, by some miracle, are the right length and don't need to have the cuffs rolled up, score!) Niecelet got a duck pillow and some small buckets and a cute little watering can, and I got a hairy Halloween spider for me, but it may end up being a present for niecelet in a few weeks for her 2nd birthday, because she kept trying to run off with it, lol.

Spent most of the rest of this evening getting sick groundhog set up - she walks in circles and loses her balance and falls over, pretty skinny, a bit of the runs, not sure what's up with her. She's eating great, which is a good sign. Has some ticks, so I just spent a bunch of $ to get the fancy topical stuff to treat those, since she's not cooperative enough/I'm not brave enough to pick them off by hand - groundhogs can be tough customers! She's all zonked out now in her crate, looking very cute.

Two raccoon babies are getting bigger and doing better - they may or may not have ringworm (lesions and losing hair on feet and ears, vet didn't mention ringworm as a possibility and gave antibiotics to treat, but another rehabber raised the possibility on our Facebook group. Not sure if ringworm's that...symmetrical though?) I've been trying to get another rehabber to take them, but...crickets. No one wants the chance of ringworm, the cowards! XD

Oh yes, and my other birthday present from mom - a new garage door opener, since my original one gave out and wasn't worthwhile to repair since it was 13 years old. A very substantial present - garage door openers aren't cheap! But garage is now all neat and organized, nice new bright lighting, and nice to have an opener that works without pressing the button six times - have been nursing the old one along for nearly a year.
playswithworms: (First Aid)
Just when you think it's safe to pack up the baby bottles for the year...

Two tiny, very skinny late-season babies, obviously had been without mom for several days. Raccoon babies are slower to mature than puppies or kittens - these two are still nursing and have no idea what to do with solid food.

A couple more pics )
playswithworms: (First Aid)
The local turtle rehabber is on vacation, so in the last few weeks I've suddenly acquired several turtle rescues!  Check 'em out:
Two box turtles that were left in an outdoor pen behind by a homeowner who moved away.  The new owner didn't discover them until she cleared some bushes and found them in a chicken wire cage, no water, who knows how long they had been there.  She'd been taking care of them for a few weeks and doing a good job of it, too - they were both in pretty good shape when she got them to me.  It's illegal to keep box turtles or collect them from the wild in Indiana, but I have some on educational permits and these gals (and all the other turtles) are on my rehab permit right now.  Will have to check and see if they can go back into the wild (since they have a homing instinct, it's tricky to release them if you don't know where they originally came from) or if they'll have to stay in captivity.

Another box and some snappies )
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Whew, some long days this week - just coming up for air here! One of the higher up managers is watching the nature center today so I can have a day off; she was super nervous about handling weird nature center stuff - this week we've had people show up with every thing from a baby coyote to a snapping turtle hit by a car to a gentleman recovering from brain trauma and injuries determined to do a 2 mile hike around the lake against the advice of his wife who...just left him and went hiking on her own? And then reported him missing right at closing time, so we called for back up and I hiked one way and the other naturalist hiked the other way around the trail and ended up finding him before the police arrived - still hiking, he'd made it all the way around the lake on his own. So anyway! Stuff like that, just a normal day at the park. I'm sure she'll be just fine...>_>

Today's plan:
Shower - it's been a few days, nice that I'm not as oily as I was even five years ago, wouldn't have been able to get away with this then, but still. There are limits.
Mow grass - if you don't hear from me for a few days it's because I'm lost in my lawn-jungle
Feed and clean all the babies - four raccoons now. They're traps! Adorable adorable traps!
Figure out how hit-by-car snapping turtle is doing and get her set up. Luckily she's a smallish one still, shell is cracked slightly but doesn't seem too badly damaged, and she's scritching around in the tub trying to get out so that's a good sign. Snappers are tough!
Transplant milkweed seedlings into pots for the garden tour at the park next week
Set up baby red squirrel in outdoor enclosure - finally caught him; he's been at large in my bedroom for a week (stuck him in a nice big crate. A little too big - he must have squeezed out through the holes in the wire door somehow!)
Figure out what's going on with my credit card - got a fraud alert text from the bank at 6am this morning. No, I haven't purchased anything from Spotify this morning, and there were two more charges also from early this morning I didn't recognize, one for $92 for some sort of "electronic services." They put a hold on my card UPDATE: just got off the phone with the card company, and yep, 15 more transactions attempted, all this morning. They've cancelled that card and are sending me a new one, and I'm not liable for the charges today. Good catch credit card company! Sheesh.

Here, have a meme from tumblr:

WIP Game Rules: Go to page 7 of your WIP, count down 7 lines, share 7 sentences

Cheating a little bit here because I don’t even have seven complete pages of WIP, just a bunch of scattered, fragmented bits, but here’s a fairly coherent section:

First Aid straightened long before Ratchet judged him recovered and began making his way down the corridor, staggering somewhat. He was wavering between tranquilizers or throwing Aid over his shoulder and just hauling him to wherever he was so determined to go, when a shining yellow figure appeared suddenly at the adjoining corridor, not even breaking stride as he scooped First Aid up with ease. First Aid slumped gratefully over the broad yellow shoulder as Ratchet gave the red twin who’d been following close behind an incredulous glance.

“Someone’s outside and we have to save them?” Sideswipe asked Ratchet cheerfully.

Ratchet’s expression went from incredulous to jaw-drop. “Not you too?” Dear Primus, it was an epidemic.

Pic dump

May. 8th, 2016 09:30 pm
playswithworms: (First Aid)
My bluebird box had four species of birds fighting over it this spring: bluebirds, house sparrows, chickadees, and Carolina wrens. The chickadees won (I put up a couple more nest boxes - bluebird family has already moved in.)

Spring babies and plants, oh yes, and also one dog vomit slime mold )
playswithworms: (First Aid)
Whew, marathon week last week - not only our daycamp, but a second daycamp we do jointly with a museum, plus the bumper crop of wildlife this year.  My schedule was thus:
5:30am - feed formula to 7 baby bunnies (which takes about 40 minutes), feed 1 mama opossum with head trauma (doing better but still needs hand feeding), feed 1 raccoon baby still not weaned, go out and gather dandelions and clover for baby bunnies to nibble, feed three baby opossums (drinking from a dish), feed me, pack lunch, fail to shower
7am - leave for work
7:40am - open nature center for before care staff from museum, kids start getting dropped off at 8am, run around and do nature center stuff, get ready for camp activities for the day
9am - 3pm daycamp daycamp daycamp daycamp, and also three more baby opossums dropped off.  Maybe lunch if lucky.
3pm-5:30pm run around cleaning up, answer emails & phone calls, prepare for next day of camp.
6:30pm-7:30pm eat supper and SIT.  Sitting is awesome.
7:30pm-11pm  - feed 7 baby bunnies, feed Bunnicula the rescued bunny and let her out for hoparound time, feed mama opossum and check her babies, feed and clean all 5 baby raccoons, give the little guy his bottle, feed and clean all 10 outside opossums, feed four inside baby opossums, give kitties some love and attention and foods, collect dandelions and clover for all the bunnies, corral Bunnicula back in her pen and clean up any deposits on the carpet, check to make sure no one's been forgotten, BED.  Bed is awesome.

And then, straight into working Saturday instead of my usual Sunday, so that was a looong day, not much accomplished although I did get the July calendar updated and up on the park website, and managed to nod and smile at visitors and tell them pleasantly to please not tap on the beehive and the garter snake tank and to not open up the Pepsi machine out in front which had gotten broken into the night before and was sitting there with the door hanging half open and looking rather sad.  My patience with the foibles of humanity, I could tell it was running a little low, lol, but luckily it was not tested too severely.

So, survived that!  And now two, count 'em, TWO days off in a row!  \o/ I have showered AND eaten breakfast!  Moved all baby raccoons outside this morning, cleaning and de-raccooning of the living room shall commence momentarily (they were in a big crate, but somehow the bits, they get everywhere.  Raccoons are champions of messy!). Bunny babies are now weaned, as of this morning, so that saves me a bunch of time, too.  (Check out this bunny nibble action! Only three days ago they really had no idea what to do with the green stuff: )

And check out this awesome news:  Philae woke up!
Cute yawning Philae:
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Ended up with two more raccoon babies - these were in the backyard of a friend of my sis-in-law, dogs had killed a third baby, and when I checked them out the other two were clearly in bad shape hadn't been with mom for awhile. Tough customers though! Very growly and bitey - have to use gloves when I handle them, although they've learned very quickly good stuff comes out of the bottle. Not that I have time/energy/money for two more raccoons, but in one way it was a good thing: tried putting little runt boy with the two bigger babies last week, and he was getting pretty overwhelmed and freaked out so I pulled him back out, but the two new kids are right around his size and they buddied right up!

Raccoons learning to do raccoon things )

Crazy busy couple of weeks coming up, as usual, with summer daycamps starting and year round schools still going and calling for field trips, and wildlife and visitors and gardening and lawn mowing, but heading into this year only doing two jobs instead of four (we have a daycamp director and all our counselors present and accounted for, yay!), so it's a stressful time of year, but not to the crushing stress levels of last year thank goodness.

I kinda want to see Mad Max now, having seen all the bits about it on tumblr, but then...a two hour action car chase explosion movie @_@ Apparently the reviews of this silver food spray on Amazon are all inspired by Mad Max - I don't have a frame of reference, but they still cracked me up anyway. I love it when Amazon reviews get hijacked in the cause of Geeky Silliness and/or Great Purpose.

Wilton Silver Color Mist
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Added one more raccoon to the collection - this little doober and his brother arrived nearly dead last week, cold and emaciated, covered with fleas - brother didn't survive the first night, and I had given this one up for lost as well. Didn't take him to work with me because I decided it would be better to let him expire in peace rather than subject him to the stress of car rides and hauling in and out of a noisy nature center, but...when I got home, he was still alive. So kept giving him bits of fluids and then formula, and he kept getting stronger. Now he's doing great! He's a little dinky fellow - my other two that are about the same age are nearly two pounds, and he was half a pound when he arrived, closing in on a pound now. Waiting until he's a little bit stronger and will try putting all three boys together, see how they do :)

playswithworms: (First Aid)
My phone app keeps crashing every time I try to upload pictures, so doing this the old fashioned way - with a cord to the phone, whoa, weird! :P

Bunny-cat!  I moved the catfood up onto the dresser to keep her out of it, and walked in to discover she'd jumped up and was munching away.  Doesn't seem to have done her any harm so far, but I'm going to have to up my game to keep her out of it - I'm pretty sure cat food is not good for bunnies long term.


More critter pics! And one spider web but no spider on it. )
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3 cats (permanent residents)
2 bettas (permanent residents)
1 domestic bunny rabbit (looking for home, no really)
1 yellow-bellied slider (looking for home, no really)
3 baby squirrels (eating solid food - yay!)
3 baby raccoons (two bigger kids, one tiny fellow who came at a few days old, all still on bottles 4X a day)
5 baby opossums (drinking from a dish - yay!)
released yesterday: 4 wild baby rabbits

And that's not counting the three rescued black rat snakes and the bat hibernating in the fridge at work! *flops*

Oh yes, and the fence lizard.

So, tomorrow's agenda: critter laundry, upgrade opossums and raccoons to larger cage, grocery for critter veggies for the squirrels, set up new house outside for yellow-bellied slider (her wading pool sprung a leak last year, so I invested in a nifty 140 gallon stock tank that arrived yesterday - since she emerged from hibernation she's been living in a rather dinky plastic tub in the kitchen). Weed the roses, mow the grass.

In other news, have been watching an episode or two of Steven Universe each night - they're only 11 or so minutes long - and OMG this show! I'm up to "Catfinger." CATFINGER! XD I've been seeing bits and bobs on tumblr, and I didn't care for the style at first but it seemed intriguing and now it is all that is adorable and hilarious.
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Finally getting a day off here and there to catch up with life (although not quite the break I was hoping for, since my volunteer coordinator resigned so taking over a lot of her duties and starting the hiring process all over again, hurrrg). Things accomplished: kitchen cleaned, carpet shampooed, laundry, grocery, and outside opossums cleaned out. Yet to be done: mow the grass.

It's been a really good month for monarch butterflies, at least in my area! Very heartening to see them after their lowest overwintering population ever.

Baby things and hey I found my own perfect birthday card )


Jun. 26th, 2014 08:50 pm
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In addition to the usual baby opossums (I'm up to 17, currently: 6 big kids outside, 1 medium kid outside, and 10 smallish babies inside still, but drinking milk from a dish and ready to start nibbling solid food), I ended up with an orphaned baby Big Brown Bat for a few days. I fed him with the sponge tip of a makeup applicator, something I'd seen done online at some other rehab centers but never tried myself, and it worked beautifully! I don't really have time to keep up with the every three hour feedings right now, and baby bats need a bit of specialized training to successfully release, so I dropped him off today with a wildlife rehabilitator who specializes in bats - was fun to take care of him for a little while, though! (Safety note: don't try this at home, kids, or at least not without gloves. Rabies is rare but totally possible with bats, and I've had my pre-exposure rabies shots.)

playswithworms: (Default)
Today's things what I did:

Fed leucistic baby squirrel (she's in an outside pen now, doing squirrel things! Two more baby squirrels rescued by mom of a co-worker coming tomorrow, so she'll have some buddies soon).

Attended First Aid/CPR training in the morning - abbreviated 2-hour version instead of the daylong training we used to have. Due to budget cuts, maybe? Just the very basics; I think I'll read through one of my old first aid manuals before the daycamps start. Some new dummies for the CPR that have green lights if yer doin' it right. I could only maintain green lights for about 10 seconds, just can't CPR like I used to - my wrists don't hold up anymore, alas. I'd probably do better to just sit on someone's chest and bounce up and down >_>

Treated turtle pond with a mosquito dunk rather than dumping out all the zooplankton and dragonfly nypmhs and any other fun stuff that came with the water lilies I'm baby sitting for work - the dunk is a bacteria that only targets the mosquito larvae, safe for turtles and even most of the other creepy crawlies in there.

Stocked up on rawhide chews for Kettle and five long plastic planters for starting more milkweed seeds and zinnias. I should not wear sage green T-shirts while in garden stores - folks always think I work there and come up asking me questions, lol. Today a gentleman wanted to know what plants he could buy for full sun.

Dumped out the worm bin on a tarp on the back porch and spent most of the afternoon peeling off the worm castings bit by bit, as the worms burrowed deeper into the middle. It was long overdue - the bin had gotten so heavy it broke the lid on my secondary bin it was sitting on top of, and the goo at the bottom was anaerobic and rather sour smelling. Still, ended up with four lovely buckets of worm castings that I arranged around the roses and lilacs. Also created 12 mini-worm bins to take in to work for kid programs - used those plastic "mixed baby greens" salad containers I've been saving all year.

Took the kitties out for sunshine - Toast won't stay in the yard anymore, and I hadn't let him outside for quite awhile. Finally converted a big dog kennel (inherited from a co-worker who used to live nearby from when we were taking care of a bald eagle one year that required twice daily medicating) into an outdoor cat playpen. The openings are too big for it to work for most wildlife, so it's just been a storage area for empty crates for several years. Used some of the logs and limbs from the hackberry tree that had to be cut down last year - Toast loves it! Gandalf enjoys it too, but prefers that I be in there with him; he's such a people kitty, lol (except when the neighbor walked up to the fence on the other side, which was apparently The End of The World, and he started growling and flinging himself head-on at the side of the pen O_o) Haven't tried Bones yet - she shows absolutely zero interest in going outside, and I think she'd be distressed, but maybe if I took her out in a carrier as a safe space, and then she could decide if she wanted to venture out or not.

Transplanted some raspberry wine bee balm, planted petunias in the planters, weeded around the Golden Alexanders, mowed one half of the backyard before it rains tomorrow.

Still to do:

Feed and clean the six baby opossums. I wanted to move them outside today - they're getting stinky! - but ran out of time and energy. Plus thunderstorms and rain tomorrow, so maybe better to wait until the weekend.

Shower! I'm a bit stinky, too ^^

Things that aren't gonna get done today:

Laundry, vacuuming, dishes...
playswithworms: (First Aid)

I was starting to think I'd made a terrible mistake in deciding to overwinter the yellow-bellied slider in my backyard pond - I thought she'd be happier there than in a dinky tank in my basement, but if I'd known we were going to have one of the coldest, longest winters in decades I might have reconsidered. Still, my pond pump kept running even through the harshest days and I had a heater that kept some of it ice free, so it should have held oxygen, and the closely related red-eared sliders at another park that lost power in a snowstorm for four days and ended up frozen solid in blocks of ice thawed out and were just fine, so I wasn't too terribly worried, but I kept checking the pond every day for her as things warmed up and turtles were emerging and basking in all the ponds in the park...and still no turtle. I wondered if maybe she'd crawled out into the yard earlier in the year before I'd noticed her and frozen to death?

and then Saturday I noticed some funny holes in my water lily )

playswithworms: (First Aid)

Benson went home for good with his new mom on Sunday. This is the most recent picture of him - kittens, comfy anywhere XD

I'm gonna miss the little crazy fuzzy bean, but so happy he's got a good home. Gandalf seems to be enjoying having snuggles without his little groupie butting in all the time :)

assorted critters and plants and some house stuff, and one tree tragedy )


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