Sunday, June 17, 2007

Simmons the Cat: A Poem by Chrispy

I looked out the door at Simmons, my cat,
and shouted out loud, "What is that!
Simmons, how could you! Eek! It's a rat!"
There is was, out the door, on the mat,
head lolled over, just a big dead rat.
Next to it, my twitching tailed cat,
licked its gray paw. On haunches he sat.
Then he looked at me, then at the rat,
waiting for a reward, a stroke, or a pat,
A sweet, gentle, "Good, Kitty. Good, Cat."
I wondered, how Simmons, who was really so fat,
could have ever even caught that big old rat.
I ran inside, shoved aside my gardener's hat,
and took my pair of gloves out to remove the rat.
But when I returned, I saw the hurt on my tomcat,
my gosh, I'd never seen Simmons so sad,
and he was just about to run - to scat,
when I realized I'd hurt Simmons the cat,
by rejecting that bloody thing - that rat.
So I bent low, said, "Here, Kitty, Here, Cat."
And he bebopped over to me like a hepcat,
purred, meaowed, and lept over the mat,
and upended. Feet in air, he wallowed on the rat,
begging me to pet him - Simmons the cat.
I did. I stroked his fur, behind the ears - like that,
and ignored the blood and the rat gut splat,
and instead said, "Yes you are, you're a good kitty cat."
Well, Simmons smelled like a bitter muskrat,
or maybe a bit like a skunky polecat.
Still he deserved a stroke after that combat,
with a rodent so big, wow! That dirty rat.
Simmons acted like a teenaged brat,
but never had I had a loving like that -
not by a woman, a beast, a dog or a cat,
than I did that day by Simmons the cat.
Well, finally he was tired (because he was lazy and fat)
and scuffled off, though I'm not sure where at.
I scooped up the dead body - that bloody rat.
So, when I dug it out, and plopped it in a hole,
into a dark place, a grave as black as a bat,
well, me and the rat, we had us a brief chat.
Well, dear rodentia, goodbye, you filthy old rat.
Just then I burst out, laughing at that,
and how silly I was - even more than the cat,
and smiled at life's weird pleasures - at
love, life, and Simmons - my faithful old cat.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Deer: Submitted by Caspar Kelly

First, be very careful because, yes, deer can imprint. Bringing a deer in the house is like the worst thing to do. Except feeding it while is in there. We learned this, and hope others will learn from our experience.

This whole tale is long and has good and bad.

The only reason we were concerned at all was that it was laying in the grass and weeds we mow and we thought it was dead. I had been out earlier with Gryffyn (one of our special dogs-for-autistic-children doing some drills, and it wasn't there. When my husband went out later he called me. "Come look."
I immediately thought that something was wrong by the tone of his voice.

"Is it something dead?"

He said yes, it's a fawn.
Sure enough it was lying there not moving a muscle. We pondered what could have happened and assumed something had attacked it, although all our dogs were up. Still, it wasn't bloody, but sometimes injuries don't show. Then all of a sudden I saw it breathe. It wiggled its nose and its ears, but it was rigid and wouldn't move when we touched it.

We assumed that maybe it had a disease. We keep penicillin here, so i said, let's try to shoot it with some. We call the vet to find out what to do and he says, call the game warden.

Well we live in the deer capital of the world and it took almost a half hour to find someone to talk to about wildlife. Of course if you were to catch more than your share of fish the game warden is right on top of you!

We put it in a box and brought it in to call. When i picked it up i could tell it was responsive and alert and i could feel the heart beating pretty strong, but it wouldn't stand or lift it's head.

Now we know that's what baby deer do. Their only defence is that they don't move and they are hard to see -unless of course they are lying on the lawn. The good part is that, it takes awhile to imprint -- longer than 20 mins -- and we didn't touch it much with our hands.

We placed it in a box and picked it up with a towel. We did not feed it or shoot it with meds (we keep a lot of meds for the farm animals and special dogs). The nature advisor said that the mom left it to go eat and would likely return. She said to just place it back on the edge of the woods near where we found it, keep the dogs away and wait until night, when the mother would likely return. So we laid it in tall grass, snapped a few pics and waited.
Sometime later, the mom deer came bak and reunited with the fawn.

Still, with all the concerns aside how often do you get to hold a baby deer -- even if it is with a towel. It weighed barely 5 pounds.

Weird Suriname Frog

This remarkable-looking toad may be a new species to science. It belongs to the genus Atelopus, and was discovered during a survey of the Nassau plateau in mid-2006 by Surinamese scientists Paul Ouboter and Jan Mol.

June 4, 2007

PARAMARIBO, Suriname - A toad with fluorescent purple markings and 12 kinds of dung beetles were among two dozen new species discovered in the remote plateaus of eastern Suriname
The expedition was sponsored by two mining companies hoping to excavate the area for bauxite, the raw material used to make aluminum, and it was unknown how the findings would affect their plans.

Scientists discovered the species during a 2005 expedition led by the U.S.-based nonprofit Conservation International in rainforests and swamps about 80 miles (128 kilometers) southeast of Paramaribo, the capital of the South American country, organization spokesman Tom Cohen said.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Weird Two Toned Lobster: 2007 (Rhode Island)

Updated:2007-06-02 19:54:44
Two-Toned Lobster Caught Off Rhode Island
ABC News
(June 2) - Fishermen are scratching their heads at a rare catch off Rhode Island.

A half-brown, half-orange lobster is the talk of the town in Little Compton, R.I. The unique-looking crustacean was caught off the coast of Newport. Lobster aficionados say the chances of catching a two-toned lobster is one in 50 million. By comparison, the odds of finding a blue lobster are about 1 in a million.

In fact, the lobsterman who caught it thought someone was fooling with him. When a similar two-toned lobster was caught off the coast of Maine last year, Bette Spurling of the Mount Desert Oceanarium’s told the Associated Press that lobster shells are usually a blend of the three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. Those colors mix to form the greenish-brown color of most lobsters. The two-toned lobster caught off Rhode Island apparently had no blue in half its shell. Bernard Arseneau, a former manager at the oceanarium's lobster hatchery, said lobsters also have a growth pattern in which the two sides develop independently of each other. ABC News reported that the two-toned lobster was heading to an aquarium for all to see.

Weird Red & Green Lobsters: Newfoundland 2006

Two-Toned Lobster Saved From Dinner Plate
Animal Half Green, Half Orange
POSTED: 9:15 am EDT June 13, 2006


A two-toned Canadian lobster's unique colors saved it from a date with a dinner plate.
The lobster, which is half orange and half green, was caught last week by a Canadian fisherman off Newfoundland. The lower right part of the lobster's body and its upper claw are orange, the color a lobster turns when it is cooked. The fisherman who caught the lobster, Kirk Tulk, said he's been told the unusual coloring may be due to a protein deficiency in the lobster's body.
Greg Stroud, an interpretation specialist at the Marine Center in Terra Nova National Park in Newfoundland, said the strange color pattern is a genetic defect.

Stroud said the two-toned lobster will be housed at the Marine Center for the rest of the year.
He said the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans will be taking a look at the colorful crustacean. The lobster doesn't have a name yet, so the center may hold a contest for naming rights.

(no pix - sorry. -Chrispy)

Weird Red & Green Lobsters: 2006

Maine lobsterman pulls up rare lobster
July 14, 2006

BAR HARBOR, Maine --An eastern Maine lobsterman caught a lobster this week that looks like it's half-cooked. The lobster caught by Alan Robinson in Dyer's Bay that is a typical mottled green on one side; the other side is a shade of orange that looks cooked.

Robinson, of Steuben, donated the lobster to the Mount Desert Oceanarium. Staff members say the odds or finding a half-and-half lobster are 1 in 50 million to 100 million. By comparison, the odds of finding a blue lobster are about 1 in a million.

Robinson, who has been fishing for more than 20 years, said he didn't know what to think when he spotted the odd creature in his trap. "I thought somebody was playing a joke on me," Robinson said. "Once I saw what it was ... it was worth seeing." Bette Spurling, who works at the oceanarium, said lobster shells are usually a blend of the three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. Those colors mix to form the greenish-brown color of most lobsters. This lobster, though, has no blue in half of its shell, she said.

Bernard Arseneau, a former manager at the oceanarium's lobster hatchery, said lobsters also have a growth pattern in which the two sides develop independently of each other. The oceanarium has received only three two-toned lobsters in its 35 years of existence, staff members said.

(A rare two-toned lobster is seen in this Thursday, July 13, 2006, photo taken in Bar Harbor, Maine. AP Photo/The Daily News, Abigail Curtis)

Weird Red & Green Lobsters: 2001

Fishermen Catch Mutant Lobster
Creature Displays Christmas Colors
November 6, 2001

PORTLAND, Maine -- A Christmas surprise came a little early for two Maine lobstermen.
Charlie Weber and his son Chris caught a half-red, half-green lobster in their traps.
Charlie said that in the 45 years he's been a lobsterman, he's never seen anything like the striped crustacean. Biologists said that the lobster has a genetic mutation called bilateral symmetry, which makes it look as if somebody painted each side with a perfect line down the middle. Chris said that he wants to give the lobster to an aquarium so that it can be put on display.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Calico Lobster !

This story goes back a while, but basically a Portland, Maine, vessel brought in an unusual calico with an orange and yellow shell with black spots spread randomly, weighed more than 3 pounds.

It was weighed at 3-1/2-pound, male, and estimated it to be about 12 years old. It was released back into the wild. It was one of 1,500 others caught that day.

Parisi said he saw a similar shell about 12 years ago on a lobster that weighed about 1 pound.

Robert Glenn, a senior marine biologist with the state Division of Marine Fisheries in New Bedford, said it’s extremely rare," he said.

William Adler, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, said they can show up with blue, yellow or orange shells, but calicos are "pretty rare."

The most rare are albino lobsters, which are all white and do not turn red when boiled. Glenn said lobsters’ shells are often one color, or sometimes bicolored.

Many times lobstermen will call an aquarium and donate unusual lobsters, but whether they are taken depends on the color of the shell and how much space the aquarium has in its tanks. Sometimes businesses will try to keep them going in a (tank) to show off on display.

Anthony Ciarmetaro, owner of Captain Vince, said he has seen several calicos, several blue lobsters and several bright red ones.