Sunday, June 18, 2006

So Long Sedna!

And thanks for all the memories! Yes, it's true! Sedna will be leaving us this week and is going to be released in an area where there will be other sea lions to hang out with and an abundant food source. It's hard to believe that when she first arrived she weighed only 93 lbs. and has gone from this scrawny looking thing.........

to THIS regal beauty!

She will be tagged on Tuesday, which I am hoping to catch on video, and then leave on Wednesday. It will be weird not having her around, but I tell you, the bigger she has gotten the scarier it has gotten dealing with her. On Saturday we had to corner her with herding boards to do a final pool drain/clean and she kept leaning against my herding board and bumping against it. I tell you, if I hadn't had my right leg behind me to brace myself and my left foot wedged against the bottom of the board, she could have EASILY knocked me over. As it was my muscles ached from the pounding she gave me.

The other reason she needs to go is that we NEED this wet pen for other animals. I figured we would be putting the 2 million (exaggeration for the sake of emphasis) baby ducks and geese we have in there but nope, in go the otters. The otters, which are BORED in the indoor mew and are wrecking havoc in there. It's just too small for 4 growing otter kits.

We have some Barn Owls in. We have a youngster that is inside but he's almost big enough to go in one of our outdoor mews.

And then there is this group of 4 that were outdoors in one of our mews and were doing so well that they were released yesterday afternoon.

My sister Shannon refers to Barn Owls as the "Zen Buddhist Owls", as they seem so serene most of the time, as long as you aren't trying to mess with them. If you try and mess with them, especially if they are in carriers and can't fly away from you, then they throw these MASSIVE tantrums. And by tantrums I mean screaming, throwing themselves on their tails, kicking with their feet, biting, the whole works! Two year-olds could learn a LOT from them, as far as technique goes. The first time you hear and see one of these fits, it definitely takes you aback. Now I just try hard not to laugh out loud, as though it is hysterically funny to me, I also realize they are petrified and this is their defense mechanism.

The flickers have graduated to one of our outdoor mews, which I like to call the "big boy" bird mews.
Not that they are all acting like "big boy" birds. Some definitely still need to be handfed.
We got THE CUTEST duckling in on Saturday! I hadn't seen one before this and they are seriously "cartoon" cute. Meet our Hooded Merganser baby!

I know! How CUTE is this thing?! He is leaning up against his "mother", the feather duster. Thankfully they are not as prone to stress-induced death as the baby wood ducks are, but they are fish eaters, so getting a diet made up for him was interesting. Until he is big enough for feeder goldfish, he will be getting tiny mealworms, soaked fish food, pond weed, and bloodworms.

Seaweed is continuing to grow. He is also losing his preemie hair. Seaweed is comfortable enough with his surrounding and daily routine now to play the oh-so-fun game of BITE THE HOSE WATER!

After his bath is filled, he does what any other baby does in the bath once they have gotten used to it...he plays!

He really is a goof and I constantly laugh at all his bath-time shenanigans!

And last, but certainly not least, we have our first Virginia Opossum baby in. I just love these little guys. We usually have a couple in at a time, as they are usually found together near a dead mom, but this one came in solo.

You can't tell from this pic, but his mouth is open and he is hissing at me, which is all the baby opossums have as a defense mechanism. Once they get old enough they go outside in our opossum cage and they sleep in this hammock we have rigged up in there.

As an aside, one of my other favorite things to photograph is flowers....more specifically, closeups of tiny flowers. Here is a tiny flower which I found on Wolf Hollow property. It kind of looks like a miniature Morning Glory.

That's it for this week. Stay tuned for next week's update...same bat time...same bat channel. Til next time......