Thursday, August 14, 2008

Diamondback Rattler pt 2

Ok I was just kidding again. Found this little snake when I was out for my evening stroll- dusk is my new favorite time to head out into the forest, with the full moon coming up the dark isn't a problem. Anyway, she didn't move until I stepped really close to look at her. Then Maggie saw her and was after her. I hadn't identified it yet and I was like oh crap what if it's poisonous??

Maggie chased her, and though she was a darn fast snake, she stopped "running" and changed her defensive tactics. She curled into a writhing swirling ball, keeping her head tucked in the middle and flailing the tip of her tail as a decoy head. The fact that she wasn't in a more aggressive stance made me pretty sure she was harmless, but I grabbed Maggie away just in case. Plus, I didn't want her to hurt the snake- I wanted to see it closer.

This is what I put her in, for the brief ten minutes of captivity she suffered so I could take some pics. This is just so you can see how small she was- maybe 13 or 14 inches. I never touched her, though. I took my shirt off and threw it over her and then gathered her up. Don't worry, I had a sweatshirt around my waist so no forest animals were subjected to indecent exposure.

Aren't her scales gorgeous? They're like gems.

After I let her go back to nature (exactly where I found her) I went on with my stroll- and not 5 minutes later a HUGE owl swooped across my path, ten feet away from my face. At first I thought it was a crow, because we have a family of some very large crows living here, but then I saw the round head and flat face, and it was bigger than the biggest crow (Wow my brain is not doing well with words today. I took an allergy pill and now I'm all sleepy. At least my nose doesn't itch anymore). It never made a sound or even flapped it's wings. Just glided by. THEN I saw a lightning show better than fireworks. Nature was on a roll last night.

I just realized that I captured an unidentified snake- the same day that I screamed bloody murder because there was a caterpillar by my front door. Mom had to come rescue me by taking it somewhere else. EEEEEEK it wiggled all fast and scary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The snake was really active, too, but that's just not my phobia. Huh. Was Potterman's though. He was a wee bit alarmed when I walked in all proud of my catch. Flying, heights, spiders, small spaces... What's your phobia?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I love abandoned buildings and racists suck

This is an abandoned restaurant/ bar. It fascinates me because I've always wondered what the planet would be like after people. Now, I don't really want humans to to be wiped off the earth, but I would like it if we could all get along. So here's my dilemma: I just met the most racist person I have ever encountered in my life.

This is looking through a hole in the door- of course I imagined a bony hand grabbing my neck as I leaned in and tried to get a shot. I couldn't see much to my right except for a chair... a chair guarding the door? Holding a phantom bouncer? The real reason (suuuure) I couldn't go inside is because of the hantavirus. Also called the Hunta virus. It's found in rodent droppings and saliva, and you can get it just from inhaling air where rodent droppings lay- aka, abandoned buildings. Too bad this slipped my mind earlier in the day when I walked through an abandoned auto shop. Anyway, it's something like 99% fatal- out of all reported cases in the U.S., only two people have ever survived, both teens. In fact, the little girl who my Mom does the Big Sister program with- her mother died of it.

So, when I meet people as racist as the one I did, I think it's why I am drawn to places like this. This guy, well, I'm sorry to go into details, but I need to explain why I wanted to bash his face in. I was saying that there are some gorgeous people of Japanese heritage, and Mexican, too. Heck, any one can be gorgeous on the outside, you all know I'm more of the inner beauty type, but there's nothing wrong with seeing a person's physical beauty. And he said, "yeah, if you like f#%&*@ donkeys and monkeys". I stared at him in horror and disgust. "I'm not racist," he says, "I just don't think species should mix".

I probably couldn't have kicked his ass, but my blood was boiling. I had to settle for ignoring him the rest of the evening, but I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. To me, he is what is wrong with this world. Live together or die alone, right? And the worst thing is, if I am intolerant of him, how can I hold his racism against him? Aren't I supposed to be all Gandhi and Martin Luther King about it? Set an example or something? And if I can't forgive and love and not want to kill people like that, I certainly can't see him changing, either. So, maybe, these abandoned buildings embody that feeling of lost hope for me. I know that being positive is the best bet, but sometimes, when I meet people like that, it feels foolish. How do we, all humans together, get a fresh start?

Somehow I have to accept people like that dude, and people like that have to do some accepting as well. Or these decrepit buildings really are our future.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Confessions of an Addict

There's my work space. Hey, it's a trailer, kay? And no, I'm not referring to the two computers (both hooked up the internet and both usually on). Although I guess it could be a habbit. A good one, I swear. Look closer.

Hey there's Leo! He ALWAYS steals my spot! He doesn't let me get up for two seconds before he yoinks it. That's Stephen King's The Stand- the extended version YAY 1200 pages of entertainment!!! It was my third time reading it. I guess that, too, could be considered one of my addictions- reading. I definitely have withdrawls if I go too long with out.

But let's look a little closer. Can you guess what's in my purse? Potterman couldn't, but he didn't get a peek. Also, it's not exactly your standard purse content.

It's NOT 20 packets of Taco Bell Fire Sauce. There were only 19.

I live 35 miles from Taco Bell!! Oooooh, I just got to go the other day, too. I went with my gf Flower, and it turns out she loves Taco Bell, too!!! We were so excited. (Can you believe it, I have a real live friend not related to me- not to diss my best friends who are family- or online AND I left home??)

Anyway, this isn't just a little taste of the fast food world, it's entertainment! Here are some quotes from my stash:

Ahhh... we meet again. (I'm happy, too.)
I collect straws.
This space for rent. Inquire within.
Help! I can't tell where I am. It's dark and I hear laughing.
Scratch & Sniff: Gotcha!
The feeling is mutual. (Oh yeah it is)
Marry me. (YES!!)

It's addiction, but it's also a love- love relationship.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Operation Tumbleweed pt. 2

I was out getting my zen on pulling tumbleweeds- BAD TREE HUGGER!!!!! - and usually I like to make a big pile, or bag full, so I can see my progress. It's more gratifying that way. Mom and Potterman were "down in the valley". See, I'm like totally local now. Back home people talked about "over the hill" not as an age reference lol but referring to San Jose- I know this is duh for pretty much every one who will read this, but just in case- well, here, going to the big city is "going to the valley". Like when someone speeds through town, "oh, they're from the VALLEY" (roll eyes).
When I'm getting my zen on, my brain does NOT get quiet and peaceful. It goes into maximum overdrive. I get all kinds of ideas, and if someone were to walk up without my knowing, they might witness me laughing to myself. Yup, out loud, at some amusing thought I just had. Well, this was one of those ideas. And as soon as I thought it, I got all panicked. What if they got home before I was done????? That would spoil the effect to say the least! So, sweating like crazy (tmi?) I did some record breaking weed harvesting, and a bit of giggling to myself as well. Close to the line of crazy? Maybe, but I never cross it, I swear. Hmmmm.... unless I'm giggling when running through a dead forest in a lightning storm... nevermind that.

I finished before they made it home- actually now that I remember that day, they weren't in the valley. They came home at different times and Mom saw it and Potterman was like, what the heck are those squiggles and lines on the pavement?

LOL I crack myself up. And NO I do not have too much time on my hands!! would you say that to a farmer spraying pesticides? I'm a farmer, man, organic even, AND an artist. The first photo will totally be in National Geographic. Yeah, that's it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Leonidus the Ewok

This is my newest family member. (It was about 90 degrees that day and the bathtub was nice and cool- all my plants are outside on a field trip.) Leonidus is 2 years old. He weighs four pounds and will never get bigger, except maybe fatter, and his muzzle is inverted.

See this close up? That is the exact underside of his head- you can see both sides of his strange little mouth/ jaw line. His cheks stick out further than his itty bitty, always running nose. Poor guy, I think it's partly his inbread persian heritage and partly maybe allergies, so I ordered some runny eye/ nose medicine for cats from petmeds- for his sake I sure hope it works.

When he plays too hard he starts wheezing and snorting, much to the terror of Pheonix and Lilly. Thay do NOT know what to make of the strange creature running around in the garden. But you know what? Maggie and him are best friends!!!! They chase each other all over the place and it cracks me up. I felt really guilty about getting a new kitty after Sebastian died, but I also felt terrible for Maggie. L & P tolerate her to an extent, but I wanted her to have a friend again. I was worried, too- what if I got a new cat and they didn't get along?? You can imagine the sloppy grin on my face when I see them play together.

So that's Leo's story. He was a purebred reject who needed a home, whose only companion was a chihuahua that kept him hiding behind the couch, and he had probably never even seen the outdoors. I'm just glad he wasn't declawed. Now he is the happiest little snorty snuffler and, on monday when the medicine comes, hopefully he'll just be happy. I love outcasts. And I love my Leonidus.

P.S. Thanks for the bird identification, Dad! :) I knew I could count on you! I have a book and I tried, but the closest I got was MAYBE some kind of nuthatch. Or maybe a wren. Or maybe... well, like I said, good thing I got you lol.