Thursday, June 7, 2012

June already?...

If you want to keep your skin looking young, think about becoming a wildlife rehabilitator!  You'll never have time for roasting on the beach and never have to worry about skin cancer and wrinkles...

If this is a garble, it'll be because I'll probably have to write in little spurts.  There are beaks and tiny mouths to feed, and I won't even begin to talk about cleaning house and the laundry that is slowly piling up again...

Two days ago I got in a dead American Black Duck, a banded mom who had been killed by a speeding car as she tried to cross a state highway with her ducklings.  Two young women witnessed the accident and stopped to rescue the animals.  The mother duck died in their arms within minutes, the ducklings were scattered all over the place and eventually ran underneath the guard rail into the median and disappeared into the thick bush, but he women were able to catch one baby which they brought to me. 

 There isn't much that's cuter than a baby duckling, but knowing that there were siblings out there I set out with the two women to capture as many of the others as we could.  Thanks to a lot of knee surgeries I can't run anymore, so I called the Environmental Police Dept (EPO) and asked for their help. 
Upon arrival at the accident site, we had barely stopped in the breakdown lane when state police arrived and a trooper said that he had been called by EPO "because of some ducks crossing the road".  I explained the situation to him and said that we just have to get over to the median and hopefully will be able to round up the siblings. 

The trooper said no, no way are we going to cross this busy highway, he can't allow us to do that.  Loud peeping from behind the guard rail urged us on to try and change his mind, but he would not budge and even told us that if we tried anyway he'd have no choice but arrest us.  EPO arrived and said the same, adding that if a biologist wants to come out and do something he can coordinate with state police and the highway department and they would be the ones to section off the area. 

I wasn't about to give up that easily.  A friend told me to contact FoxNews Tip Line but I must have mis-dialed because I got a direct connection with a desk reporter.  Who happened to know somebody at the Animal Rescue League (ARL) who might be able to help.  When I called him back later that night he gave me that contact's email and said that this person expected to hear from me. 

Much later that night, after the duckling was set up and fed and all my other animals had been taken care of, I wrote the emails and posts and finally crawled into bed at 5:30am. 

The phone rang at 10:00 am , ARL, they were headed out to the accident site.  I should stay put, they'd contact me again.  They spent the afternoon searching the area in the pouring rain but came up empty-handed.  Can't win them all...

The Lionhead bunnies are giving me a terrible time.  I'm down to two survivors who are going strong, a third one just died this afternoon.  It suddenly refused to drink and that was that, and it's been driving me crazy.  I know that none of them would be alive without my intervention, but after having put in so much time and loving care it has been incredibly hard to lose even one. 

Late last night I got a call about a tiny baby opossum.  Tiny no kidding, the mini clocks in at a mere 19 grams, that's a little over 1/2 oz.  Opossums under 30 grams are tough to get through, so if I succeed the little boy will be very lucky.  So far he is going strong, but the constant feedings will wear me down, especially at night.  

Another opossum arrived a few days ago, much bigger, a little girl, growling and hissing, a cat attack victim.  She has now calmed down and pokes her wet nose in my ear and nostril when she gets a chance.  She is super cute with her huge button eyes, pink ears, pink hands and feet, and pretty markings.  She weighed 112 grams upon arrival and now weighs around 129 grams.  Opossums grow relatively fast and are therefore highly susceptible to metabolic bone disease if they don't receive the proper food.  They are such beneficial and harmless animals:  I wish I could keep one around all summer long, because I'd never have to worry about those darn slugs eating my plants and herbs!  Did you know that opossums are immune to rabies and many other diseases due to their lower body temperature?  So next time you see one looking at you, wedged in a corner, mouth agape with all 50 pearly-whites glistening in the moonlight, just back off and leave the animal be.

Now on to my crafts:  first, I'll post the remainder of the release Darlene at just put out, where I worked with 8 embossing folders. 

Here I used two different hues of blue for embossing the background and matched up the design, the balloons were painted on the back of a clear acrylic sheet, punched out, and glued onto white paper, the baby carriage is embossed with super fine embossing powder.  The teddy is flocked. 
 The background was brushed with distress inks for depth, the daffodils are cut from crepe paper and shaped.  The punches are from Martha Stewart and I punched out the ladybugs twice and then used to black dots to fill in the design. 
 Here I hand-cut the tree trunk and added lines for interest as bark.  The baby raccoon is embossed with super fine embossing powder, cut out, and glued over and onto the branch.  Leaves are cut out and molded. 
 Again the background embossing is enhanced with distress ink.  The image is hand colored with colored pencils, the border is a Martha Stewart punch which I doubled up so it butts up on both sides.  Easy to do, just get your measurements right!
 My little skunk boy.  He was such a cute little guy, but he hated the vacuum cleaner.  I left the embossed image along, added some flowers from my stash, and the sentiment is die cut-out. 
 Here I used a Spellbinders die for the focal image and then used a punch to cut out the center.  The little opossum in there is one of many that have crossed my door step.

Here is yet another shadow box I finished the other night.  I wanted to recreate the clematis that are currently blooming in our back yard, and I have to say, I came pretty close.  The blue spikes in the front consist of a gazillion tiny flowers I had to punch out, shape, and glue in place.  This shadowbox is airy and beautiful, and it is also sprayed with a preservative so nothing in there wilts or loses its shape.  The price is again $39.95, which is a steal if you consider that the box alone cost me $10 and I even hand-wove the background.