Nearly Wordless Wednesday: How a Snake Eats a Rat

What? You thought I was kidding? I’m not. Here’s a cute image so people don’t stroke out from seeing a snake in their inbox. If you don’t love snakes, don’t click past the picture of the dog wearing glasses. Consider yourself warned!

Dottie the Therapy Dog is so ready to write her book. It's a tail-wagging saga of a chicken biscuit.

Dottie the Therapy Dog is so ready to write her book. It’s a tail-wagging saga of a chicken biscuit.

I got to feed a Green Tree Python yesterday (Morelia viridis, also affectionately known as a Chondro). They’re just so elegant, I took a few pictures. My Twitter friends convinced me to share them.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: A Year in Pictures

Happy New Year! What better way to recap the past year than to share my favorite images? You can click to enlarge.

Manouria impressa:

Chelydra serpentina: These were from eggs collected from a female who had been hit and killed on the road.

A few additional friends:

And finally, my favorite image of 2013:

I'll get you, my pretty!

I’ll get you, my pretty!

Thanks to The Dragonfly Woman for the wonderful idea to recap the year in images.

Attention, book lovers! We’re hosting a giveaway over on sj’s blog. Just comment to enter to win one of our two favorite books of the year. The drawing will be held on January 3rd, so there’s still time if you hurry!

Today, I Remembered

I hit a rough patch a bit ago and kind of ran off the road..  You may have visited that particular ditch in your travels as well, the place where things that would ordinarily slide off like water from a duck’s back instead bring you to your knees, and even the chocolate doesn’t taste good anymore.  I won’t bore you with details, but at the beginning of this week, watching my plans and efforts crumble to dust, I wondered why I bother at all. It was a low point. But not today. Today, I remembered.

Today, Phyllis came to visit my camp and pooped on the floor, and I remembered how to laugh.

Phyllis the Polish hen. She never stopped talking.

Phyllis the Polish hen. I can’t look at her without smiling.

Today, my new friends met my old friends, and I remembered why I love them both.

Rex, meet campers. Campers, meet Rex. Want to go to a movie?

Rex, meet campers. Campers, meet Rex. Want to go to a movie?

Today, an elephant played me a harmonica tune, and I remembered how to sing.

I don't even care that I have to clean the harmonica.

I don’t even care that I have to clean the harmonica.

Today, an otter caught a snack, and I remembered there is wonder in the world.

I wonder how she bends like that.

I wonder how she bends like that.

Today, there was a splash pad and ice cream, and I remembered how sweet life is.

July 11 splash pad 013

July 11 splash pad 033

Today the water stopped, and I remembered I can make my own magic. Someone reminded me. Thanks for that, little buddy!

July 11 splash pad 029

Today, I remembered why I love what I do. Today was a blessing.

Nearly Wordless – Wait, What Day Is It Again?

I always get a little discombobulated when we have a holiday. In my mind, it’s Saturday, which normally means no post at all. But I’m a giver.

I know it says nearly wordless, and look! Words! Bear with me. I got a new camera. It isn’t super-expensive or anything, but it’s my first dSLR, and it is intimidating. The how-to guide is 400 pages. I tried it a few times with little success. I hate things that prove that I am make me feel stupid, so I put it back in the box and continued to use my little camera. Until yesterday. I sent my little camera with my daughter on her mission trip and picked up the 400 page manual. I made it 25 pages, and then I gave up and just started taking pictures. I am in love.

Click to enlarge.

And then there are these. Click to enlarge them, too.

And we went to see my friend’s puppies last night. I’ll leave you with this.

You're welcome.

You’re welcome.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Why My Mom Doesn’t Let Me Garden

I am useless in a garden. I am easily distracted and way more interested in the fauna than the flora. I dig a scoop of soil and watch disinterred earthworms squirming uncomfortably in the sudden sunlight like slimy vampires, and I gently tuck them back in. I study the beetles emerging from underground and puzzle at how they can be so shiny when they’ve been buried in the dirt.  And then I find this guy, seeing and hoping not to be seen, and am filled with wonder at the miracle that is the natural world. Plant a flower? Thank you, but I don’t think I have the time. I’m looking right now.

.What do you see?


Can you see me now?

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Happy Tortoise Day!

I thought it was time that I share with the world the reason that Wednesdays are nearly wordless.  This is for Gilly, who never fails to wish me a Happy Tortoise Day. Here’s insight into the secret life I lead. On Wednesdays, I volunteer in the reptile department of my zoo. I soak feces from endangered species. Truly, I am living the dream. Here are some of my favorites.


Cape speckled tortoise, also known as a Padloper. The smallest tortoise species. It is also one of the prettiest.


Pyxis arachnoides. A sub-species of spider tortoise from Madagascar. And it’s dinner time. I don’t feed. I deal with the aftermath. Professor of Poop, that’s me.


Manouria impressa. The prettiest baby I have ever seen. This one is about the size of an oreo cookie. But don’t eat it. It’s sharp!


My boss holding one of the baby Aldabras. That was 4 years ago. The tortoise is now five times this size.


Eventually that baby tortoise will grow into one of these. Hey, Tex, you’ve got something on your face. It’s hardly noticeable.


Chow time! Don’t feel sorry for the little guy. He may be outweighed by several hundred pounds, but he gives as good as he gets.

Happy Tortoise Day! May all your poop-soaking dreams come true in the new year.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: A Tiny Misunderstanding

I wondered why my little Santaphobe was suddenly on board with paying a visit. He was suddenly so excited to see Santa. “Go see Santa and sit on his lap!” became his favorite phrase over the weekend. So on Monday, I loaded him into the car and we went. And on the way, it became clear. “You sit Santa’s lap, Squish take ‘pitcher.'” Oh. In the manner of parents desperate for that precious picture with Santa, I discussed, explained, negotiated, and bribed. So here’s what we agreed on:



No. Not this. This:


Yes, indeed. Sometimes the toddler wins.


It would almost be worth sending Christmas cards this year.




Santa photo:

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

In honor of Thanksgiving, here are some things I’m thankful for.

Nature. God is in the small things.

Baby carriers that keep Squish out of trouble.

Magic first moments

Tidy children who put their things away. I’m sure that’s the proper parking place.

Old friends. Like, really old friends. He’s older than everyone in my family put together. Hey, Tex! Love ya, man!

Brotherly love

Hiking trails we haven’t died on. Yet.

People besides me who know how to use a camera so that in 60 years the children will not be asking themselves “What DID Mom look like?”

Happy Thanksgiving. Now, who’s ready for a feast?

How did you…I just…what in the…You win.

Aaaaand what do you see?

Hide and Seek taken to the next level.

Apparently my toddler carried out a fairly elaborate practical joke at nap time yesterday, but he fell asleep before he could see it all the way through. I came in and found him, or rather, didn’t find him, like this. He somehow managed to crawl under his fitted crib sheet without dislodging it. He laughed when I woke him up, clearly amused at his own cleverness. I doubt I will never know how he pulled this one off.

Is it just me, or does this pic make you stop and scratch your head?