MomBert sent me an article that Jim Fowler former naturalist and in my mind wild animal wrangler had passed.
Bye, Burt. Cannonball Run and Smokey and the Bandit always made sense at our house.
Admittedly it’s been kind of a slow week ,but I’m okay with that. It does however, leave me looking, rather desperately, for the next post or photograph. Yesterday evening Miles was dramatically back-lit by the sun coming through the front window. He was elegantly sprawled in a very manly, confident pose much like the 1972 Burt Reynolds Cosmo centerfold shoot. (FYI: I was not even born yet, but somehow that image has been burned into my brain. I suspect that Smokey and the Bandit as well as Cannonball Run are at fault.)
Seriously, this cat has it going on. He projects Barry White music, sometimes a little Marvin Gaye, constantly. I don’t know how Birdie, Sookie, and Olivia can keep their paws off him. Hoping to capture this panther-esque moment, I grabbed my camera, framed the shot, then sadly watched as Olivia photo bombed the whole thing.
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My concept for Little Adventures is the idea of exploring the local things that I’ve been living near for years, but either didn’t know about or never took the time to investigate. I’ve got a whole mental list of posts, but it’s also that time of year when I should be scampering outside having LITTLE ADVENTURES instead of staring at a screen. This makes my writing less than timely as PRIDE Month ends tomorrow which means June is over which is just horrible for so many reasons!
I’ve lived in Columbus for 18 years, but have never attended any PRIDE Week festivities. This year there was opportunity, motivation (sort of), and transportation to the Saturday morning parade.
My adventure buddy read that area shops would open early so parade goers could also shop local. Enthusiasm translated “open early” to “I’ll be at your house at 7:15 am!” We found ourselves wandering relatively empty streets, aside from people organizing floats, wearing our “Love Wins” shirts and feeling a bit like the people who wear the band’s t-shirt to the concert. It turns out “open early” meant roughly at 10:30 when the parade was supposed to start.
However I’m always secretly thrilled by the opportunity to safely walk down the middle of what is normally a very busy street. We did a couple of lonely laps and then found a restaurant open for breakfast. Window seating let us watch other PRIDE attendees with far more fabulous outfits than ours slowly emerge and stake out parade viewing territory. There was also a gaming con of some sort at the convention center a few blocks down, so we also got to watch several Deadpools, Batmen, and other assorted characters emerge.
Being early meant that about 10 minutes after leaving breakfast, we were some of the first customers at the Tupelo Honey Donut truck. Because that’s what you need after breakfast…. donuts. Second breakfast! Hobbit life, y’all!
We also had time for me to participate in the “As We Are” interactive sculpture in the convention center. Adventure buddy had already done it with her kids. It’s a combo of The Wizard of Oz “Ignore that man behind the curtain”, horrifying giant pores revealed , and funny. In part it’s about diversity which seems pretty appropriate for PRIDE.
Coincidentally, I wasn’t the only one attending their first PRIDE Week activity. VP Mike Pence was in town the day before to speak at a downtown hotel. Poor timing or deliberate aggravation on his part, who knows, but protesters met him with a dance party. At the parade we saw “Mike Hot Pence” who really could act as a stunt double for the VP except that he was dancing, and taking selfies with people all while garbed in a suit coat and tie up top and booty shorts on the bottom.
Once the parade started, it was just a glorious conglomeration of happy cheering, music, and all the rainbow swag you could catch! A good adventure!
CBus does PRIDE right even if some Ohioan lawmakers continue to bring on the haters. Lawmakers are debating Ohio House Bill 658 that would compel teachers, among other government entities, to out “suspected” (whatever the fuck that might end up meaning) transgender students to their parents cause it’s all about family. While many parents might be loving and accepting of their child’s identity, you don’t have to watch more than one season of RuPaul’s Drag Race or Project Runwayto learn that loving is not the guaranteed reaction when Mom and Dad discover that they now have a direct link to the LGBTQ community. It’s not actually kosher for me to directly tell a parent that I think a kid does a lot of drugs, or seems dangerously promiscuous, or is an asshat because of their parenting choices. But I should speculate and report a kid’s sexual identity? Rigghhhhtttttt.
I only report dirty communists and sometimes witches. Just sometimes. 😉
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fortunately, (or unfortunately because it would have been interesting from a distance.) it was not one of the local rattlers.
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.
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.
I might have impressed them more with my frog find and my skink.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.”
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.”