Little Adventures: Hanging out in a bog

Even the smallest adventure can make me feel just a little less lazy unlike this morning’s squirrel.

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I was up and out the door to discover new-to-me stuff before the squirrel got out of his sunspot.

What I’ve discovered is that despite my lack of green pigmentation, I might be part ogre. (Not everyone reading this is surprised.) Using Shrek as the base model for ogre-ness, I qualify in a lot of ways. I am frequently loudly farty and burpy. Surliness is my go to emotion for Ev.Er.Y.Thing. I am often misunderstood and regretful of the aforementioned surliness which then leads to self-hating surliness. It’s an ugly surly circle.

I like living by myself. Waffles are acceptable food. Donkeys are okay-ish. People stress me out, and I think it’s possible that my weirdo neighbors could form an angry torch-bearing mob.

The final piece: I was completely blissed out hanging out in a bog this morning.(Yes, I know Shrek lives in a swamp which is different from a bog, but are you really going to nit pick with an ogre?)

Today’s adventure took me to the Cedar Bog Nature Preserve in Urbana, Ohio.

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Boardwalk paths roughly a mile long wind through a decidedly wet and slightly less wet sedge meadow area of the preserve. I knew it was love when I entered the tree line and saw muddy paw prints running for several yards along the boards. It turned out that paw prints were the norm through out the walk.

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One of my favorite types of walks is when the environment is so shady that you don’t notice the heat. It was in the 90’s today, but inside the trees, that wasn’t as noticeable although bug spray would have been advisable.

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This is what Skunk Cabbage turns into! Who knew!

The bog is not for fast walking or loud voices. I was certain that there were hundreds of creatures around me at all times if I just looked hard enough. It was like those visual puzzles that if you stare at it long enough, the image will suddenly become clear.

Like picking out this snake on a fallen tree from all the other elements around it.

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Fortunately, (or unfortunately because it would have been interesting from a distance.) it was not one of the local rattlers.

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I will absolutely stay on the boardwalk.

The attendee at the nature center kindly talked me through the things I might see on my walk, but basically told me I had picked a poor window of time to show up. All the glorious spring blooms were done and it would be a couple of weeks before the orchids started blooming. However I did get to see the Southern Blue Flag Iris and some Columbine that were still blooming.

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Southern Blue Flag Iris

Thanks to a friend who is a frequent bog visitor, I also got to see a Sundew which is a carnivorous plant! I had to look up some images to figure out exactly what I was looking for in the sedge meadow and this photo required laying on the boardwalk much to the amusement of the family that found me there. I think the little kids were hoping I had something more impressive than minuscule alien-looking plants.

IMG_6305I might have impressed them more with my frog find and my skink.

 

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The bog was absolutely alive with sound and movement. I kept catching the scurrying blue tail ends of skinks as they darted off the boardwalk. Finally though, I found one who was a supermodel.

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This skink was significantly longer and rounder than the ones I had come across during most of my walk. It also looked like it’s tail may have been nipped off halfway down. Once it emerged from the leaves, it let me get really close and posed for several pictures. I could see the flutter of breathing under its iridescent bronze skin. The Internet thinks that it’s a Broad Headed Skink, Ohio’s largest lizard.

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So close! This is not cropped. 

I would go back. It was quiet. It had the smell that I associate with the national parks out West: pine and cedar. It felt healthy and magical. I was happy to be there.

WereCat!

Ah, fond conference night memories of this time last year. Much healthier this year, but I think it may be my Werecat resistance to puny human germs.

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WereCat!

There cat!

There is cat venom in my veins. I anticipate a full transformation by the next super moon. Already the urge to sleep all day and chase ephemeral red dots is strong.

I was bitten by a vampire cat. I know I’m mixing my supernatural beings, but the cat was already truly a cat not a transformed human into a cat, plus…fangs. Four perfect fangs that sunk deeply into my arm and latched on.

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My very frail neighbor fell and shattered her hip. She made sure she fed her cat before dragging herself to the phone to call for help. Somehow I could see myself doing that. After hip surgery, she was in a rehab facility for 4 1/2 weeks. She was very worried about Baby her beloved cat and asked me to care for her. So every other day for 4 1/2 weeks, I stepped across the…

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1 reason I like my cats better than my humans

For anyone else who is as idiotic as the secretary at my appointment this morning. 

Random people keep asking, “What are you doing for the 4th?” (Because my life is their business and it’s unAmerican if I don’t say grillin’ drinkin’ and blowing 💩 up)

I say, “I’ll be telling my cat she isn’t going to die as she cowers behind the toilet.”

The secretary:”Oh, yea, mah dogs FREAK out I aughta put them in the basement cause they try to dig out of their pen, but the cats…Huh. Maybe I aughta bring them in. I bet they’re shittin’ themselves.”

Ya think?

Wascally Wabbit

“Kill da wabbit! Kill da wabbit!

We won’t be killing any wabbits, just sniffing really hard at them through the open window. This is day two of a wabbit appearing in the yard. This one seems slightly smaller than yesterday’s, but I can’t be sure. We won’t wish the wabbits any harm unless they decide that my garden is just an elaborate salad bar.

A feathered acquaintance I encountered this week did not have the same wabbit killing westrictions.

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I went to school because I still needed to clean my classroom, file some things etc… I headed for the shadiest parking spot and saw this guy or gal(?) enjoying wabbit fricassee for lunch in the parking lot. It ignored my parked car and kept on chewing as I approached. This is another instance of me getting closer than I probably should to a large bird. However the most attention I got was some gleaming yellow side-eye that made me think of the Jaws speech about cold dead doll’s eyes on sharks. By the time I left the building about five hours later, the wabbit was just some fluff, bloody chunks, and a few worm-like intestines.

I am so bad at identifying hawks. This one was massive in size! The best I could come up with was Red-Tailed, but only because its shins were completely white feathers.

I heart Meyer Wolfsheim (I Should Have Bought that Noodle Rat)

It’s that Gatsby time of year again and this year I was able to fully incorporate my mom’s tooth art into the chapter 4 discussion of Meyer Wolfsheim’s shadiness. That guy’s fashion sense beats Gatsby’s pink suits and Daisy’s fake white innocence any day!
The children however were not amused as I used Airplay to project the art piece and asked them what they saw.
“Are those real teeth?!”
“Why would your mother save those?!” (They presume the tooth fairy leaves cash and throws away the teeth.)
“GROSS!” (Not nearly as gross as the baby books with a spot for the umbilical cord. I have a friend that still has her son’s cord in a bag. Can’t throw it away.)
“Did you disinfect them?” (What?)
They can not appreciate great art.

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We were wandering through a flea market and I was telling my mom about a classroom conversation involving “tooth art.” As a class we were discussing Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby. There are many indicators that Meyer is not on the up and up, but my favorite is his cufflinks made out of human molars. “What does this suggest about Wolfsheim, children?” asks their all-wise and insightful teacher pulling teeth to get ideas rather than cufflinks.

This sparked a story about some t.v. show that one of them saw sometime about someone who had a whole closet full of teeth that they made “tooth art” out of or something. (I love the specifics.) HOW WEIRD!

This made me pause in class to take a mental inventory of all the things in my house that would qualify as “WEIRD” on the level of a closet full of…

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