The Joyful Side of Animal Rescue

Joyful side of Animal rescue

Would you be surprised to know there is a joyful side of animal rescue? So much of what we see and hear about animal rescue is focused on the pain, sadness, and fear of abandoned and abused animals.  These have become compelling (and well established) motivators for national and international fund-raising efforts. But the dark side of animal … [Read more...]

Behind the Scenes

Suckling baby javelinas.

At night I’ve been known to stare into the quiet darkness beyond our windows, so different from the fierce sunlight of the day and its illumination. And I wonder: what really happens out there, after the sun slithers behind the mountains? What happens behind the scenes? A lot, it appears. When our blinds are drawn to the skies canvassed in the … [Read more...]

Book: HOUSE BROKEN by Sonja Yoerg

Release date 1/6/15

I first discovered Sonja Yoerg when her nonfiction book about animal intelligence, CLEVER AS A FOX, popped up on Goodreads (“How interesting!” said the animal lover in me). I was fascinated by this author’s professional experiences and grew even more so as I got to know her wit and charm through social media. It goes without saying that I couldn’t … [Read more...]

What if Fresh Produce Had A Mascot?

Dog Maymo

When we think of fresh fruits and vegetables, we immediately think "healthy."  And not about actually feeling better. We think more about all the work -- storing, cleaning, chopping, slicing, cooking that it takes to prepare them, than about the wonderful taste and texture that comes with them. And somehow, we rarely associate fresh … [Read more...]

Nectar Thieves In The Night

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The first few times it happened in 2008, it was a mystery. We’d awake to the hummingbird feeder completely drained each morning, nectar splashed against the window. So we set up our Cudde camera. And what we suspected was true: ~ ~ Yep. Bats (with long tongues that CAN get down into the tiny hummingbird feeder holes). Who knew that … [Read more...]

Be Happier, Eat 5 Fruits and 5 Veggies Daily

fruit and veggies

We've long been told "we are what we eat" and we need to "eat well to be well" in our physical health.  Fruits and vegetables have long been known to promote longevity and decrease risks of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke.   As it turns out, that "eat well to be well" applies to our mental health too and fruits and … [Read more...]

Success In An Elusive F2 at The Knoxville Zoo

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Once upon a time, an interesting species of turtle became extinct. Last seen in 1908, the Arakan Forest Turtle, Heosemys depressa, disappeared and was never seen again. (This seems like a sad story, but stick with me.) About 100 years later, in 1994, a scientist visiting a food market in Asia was astounded to find a few of these animals for sale! … [Read more...]

Visitors @ My Window

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I have cats. So, when I heard a “thud” at the window, I assumed it was one of my furry kids batting at a bug or fly that had somehow gotten into the house. When both cats appeared from opposite sides of the room, running toward the window, I was a bit puzzled. I knew something had collided with the glass doors, but it didn’t sound like the typical … [Read more...]

Invisible Desert Dwellers

This is, unarguably, THE largest mountain lion print we've ever encountered. Consider that my size 13-shoe-wearing, six-foot+, large-handed hubby is the "hand model." Four of my thumb prints didn't even fill one toe pad indent!

Desert dwellers are accustomed to the monsoon season and the rain it ushers in, a glass of water raised to cracked, thirsty lips. We also know that with rain, the normally dry riverbed near our home begins to ebb and flow, its banks rising with churned-chocolate liquid. And while we understand that this sudden arrival of water attracts animals … [Read more...]

Of Mice And Women

vintage microscope

Back in the early 1970s when I was a young nurse at Cincinnati General Hospital I was rejected from participation in a clinical study because I was female. At that time, the Hospital had a floor dedicated to clinical research, where patients or healthy subjects who were part of a clinical trial would often spend the night, as they were being … [Read more...]

Unexpectedly, A Mighty Mite

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My goal yesterday, when I set out with my friend and hiking buddy Kathy, was to show her a secret hot spring in the middle of the desert (shared with me earlier by buddy Roxanne). The plan was to drive the quad to the site, take a peek without disturbing the natural area, then explore along the riverbed. As we were tooling along the outskirts of … [Read more...]

A Herd Of Wild Horses: Genetics And Preservation

Wild Horses of Corolla. Photo credit: Elaine RN

About a month ago I was able to see the wild horses of Corolla, North Carolina for the first time.  What a sight they are to watch in their natural habitat. Our guide told us that the wild horses came to the area about 500 years ago when the Spanish were exploring the Atlantic coastal area.  The waters around Nags Head are an atrocious place to … [Read more...]

Javelina Encounter

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This morning, as I am concluding my daily jog, I come up over a little hill – pushing myself to finish strong as I run faster on that last stretch of desert earth. My shoes are crunching away, I’m breathing heavily, the humidity is kicking my butt, and I “think” I hear something. But I can’t tell due to all the noise I’m making. So I dismiss the … [Read more...]