Thursday, May 24, 2012

Taming a Shrew

Have you ever seen a shrew? Did you know that they are venomous? Did you know that they have the largest brain to body ratio (10%) of any mammal, including humans? Well, now you do!
I caught my dog torturing this little guy in the woods yesterday. He was laying limp on the ground making tittering sounds and I thought for sure his back was broken, or he was smooshed inside, but he was still alive so I decided to bring him home for some rehab. I carried him in my hands and he just lay there looking up at me with his tiny little pinprick of an eye, it was pitiful! He's only about 2 inches long, I thought he was a mole so I looked it up and found out he is actually a shrew, and shrews are venomous!! They are part of a specialized group, as venomous mammals are rare and include slow lorises, hedgehogs, moles, and the platypus. They use their venom to paralyze their prey of course, and for the shrew this is usually worms or grasshoppers and the like- it would be way too much work for a little guy like the shrew to drag his food all the way home; so they just paralyze it and come back to it later. And the best part is- it's still alive so it won't go bad! Sounds like a horror flick, huh? Fortunately, a shrew bite wont paralyze a human, but it will swell up and be sore for a few days. Luckily, I wasn't bit, and I've been told many times not to touch wild animals, but I just can't resist trying to save a poor little guy like this!
Here are a few more interesting facts: a shrew can breathe carbon monoxide and survive on very little oxygen, they must eat 80% of their body weight daily, and they are not rodents. Also, they usually live underground or in rotten logs, and they are very social- sharing  their homes with a few friends and family.
Well, after some rest and a bunch of sunflower seeds, our little guy was up and moving about, so we took him back out to the woods to let him go. Maybe I should have just left him were I found him, but I couldn't resist trying to help. I hope he finds his burrow again and all of his little friends!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Sketchbook Project 2013

The Sketchbook Project 2013, by Art House Co-Op,  is now open for participation. As you may know, I participated in the 2011 Project (see some of my drawings here) but skipped last year because I didn't feel all that inspired. When I did the project the first time I would open the pages and just draw a blank, I didn't really know where I wanted to go with my book so it ended up being just a loose jumble of sketches and words that I completed at the last minute. Well, this year they have presented some new themes and one of them is 'Memoir'. I have always wanted to write a memoir, my early childhood especially was the stuff of fiction, so I've signed up and I can't wait to get started! I'll be posting some of my new drawings in the months to follow but for now, in keeping with the theme, here a few pictures of me when I was, as my grandaddy used to say, a 'little stinker'.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Dream of Tranquility

Cape San Blas and Indian Pass are both part of The Forgotten Coast , a beautiful beach community in the Florida panhandle. If you like fishing, birding, and/or doing absolutely nothing, this is the vacation destination for you! We decided to visit the cape on a whim because we heard they allow dogs on the beach there (which is rare these days), and knowing very little of what to expect, we made a reservation at a local campground and packed up for the 7 hour drive from Atlanta. After passing through the quaint little town of Port St. Joe, it's about a 20 mile coastal drive through tall pine forests, marshes, and crooked palm treas that are ridiculously close to the road, to reach Indian Pass, where we stayed. Lodging options include a few B&B's, cottages, cabins, and campgrounds; no big ugly hotels here!
I don't fish but this place seams to be a fisherman's paradise. Oysters abound, as well as crabs. From what we heard fishing permits are easy for visitors to acquire, as well as permits to drive on the beach.
I didn't include any beach pictures here,-I'm sure you can imagine a long, wide, flat stretch of beach that was practically deserted.
If you like nightclubs, big fancy hotels and lots of shopping, stay home. However, if you like to post up on the beach with a good book, a cooler of whatever, maybe even your bestest friends, listen to the waves, and do a little kayaking, horseback riding or fishing, this is the place for you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Elijay, Georgia

We headed up to Elijay for a family get together this past weekend. Wildflowers were blooming all across the fields and it was absolutely beautiful!