Today’s Strangeness

Today, we woke up to some tapping, and some clunking coming from our livingroom. When we inspected, we found a flicker (red-shafted flicker) in our fireplace. He must’ve either climbed (being woodpeckers, they are great climbers) or fallen down the chimney. Once in the fireplace, you can’t see back up the chimney and see actual daylight because of a bend in the flue. Consequently, the only daylight he could see was through the glass doors into the livingroom.We couldn’t think of any way to get him out without hurting him. We thought of just opening the doors, and letting him fly his own way out, out the open front door of the house. We also thought of throwing a sheet over him, and carrying him out. Then, I decided to call animal control. They never called me back, and he was continuing to scrabble around in the fireplace, looking for a way out. I felt so bad for him!

I finally decided on the sheet method, opened the doors to throw the sheet on him, and out he flew, into the diningroom window, into the kitchen window and behind the curtains. I held the front door open while Rich tried to coax him off the kitchen windowsill. He finally understood (I guess, if flickers understand anything in their little flickery brains), and flew out the door. He flew up into the tree, caught his breath, and then flew away. I am glad he was okay. I was really worried about him. He did keep himself busy in the fireplace…he tried the partially burned log that was in there for bugs in typical woodpecker style, he climbed the chainmail curtains, pecked the metal walls a bit, etc.

I had to exploit his situation a bit…here are a couple photos of the poor guy, looking terrified:

Flicker_in_fireplace_2-8-08_2 Flicker_in_fireplace_2-8-08_4

In other news: My Amaryllis has finally opened its first flowers of the season. It’s not as pretty as the picture I posted of my mom’s butterfly Amaryllis, but here it is:

Amaryllis_blooms_2-8-08

Enjoy!

The Enemy

Today was a beautiful day, so I decided I would go for a nice walk. I also decided I would give one of my old enemies one more chance, before I get out the ax…

Here’s a picture of The Enemy (all photos are clickable thumbnails):

katie_hiking_boots_2-4-08

They may look innocuous enough, but let me assure you…they have tried on multiple occasions to eat my achilles’ tendons, and only stopped upon removal at the end of the activity, having taken with them more than one layer of skin. Let me show you:

Here they are, pretending to be my friends (July, 2005):

PCT_Katie

…and all the while, here is what they were doing to my ankles:

blister1

I do NOT have thin, sensitive, or otherwise ‘sissy’ skin. This was NOT the first hike in The Enemies for that year, or before that.

People have told me that with proper breaking-in, they will be a boon to my hiking and backpacking journeys. I am not sure those people aren’t out to get me, too. I have had The Enemies for about 4 years now. They are not allowing themselves to be broken in. In any case, I decided this would be the year where I decide if I am going to break the damn things in, or get rid of them, so as not to ruin any future backpacking excursions. I took my first short, easy ‘breaking-in’ walk in them today. It was a meager 2 and a half miles around town, but it was SOMETHING. You have to start somewhere. I am hoping that by the time we plan our summer vacations, they will be ready to go!

In other news: I wanted to share the flowers that are in my collection right now.

Here is a picture of the most flowers open at once on the Bulbine:

Bulbine_NOID_1_2-2-08_flowers1 Bulbine_NOID_1_2-2-08_flowers2

These are some Mammillarias that are blooming happily. The first is M. elongata ‘Copper King’, and the second is unidentified:

Mammillaria_elongata_copperking_1_2-4-08_1 Mammillaria_elongata_copperking_1_2-4-08_2 Mammillaria_NOID_6_2-4-08_flower1

Thanks for reading!

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