Saturday, August 23, 2014

HERE'S HAGRID!

Hagrid, the newest resident in our home.
When I first met Rob, he had a tarantula, Maude. I wasn't impressed that he had a tarantula, I was impressed by how long he had cared for her. Maude passed away a few years ago at the ripe old age of 22, a testament to how well Rob cares for his pet family members.

I am not going to go into all the horrid details of how "Hagrid" came into our lives, but he is a rescue, and through a series of connections, Rob got a phone call earlier this month asking him if he'd be willing to take in what we were told is a Mexican Golden-knee Tarantula that was rescued along with over 20 other animal species from a neglect/hoarding case. Rob told them, he'd have to ask me first.

When he asked me about taking the tarantula on August 9th, I told him I'd ponder it for the weekend. I don't particularly like spiders, but I don't hate them either, so a couple hours later I told him we would take the spider on 3 conditions; 1. I have nothing to do with his care. 2. He is in an escape proof tank. 3. I get to name him. 

Now, I knew number 1 & 2 weren't going to be issues because of Maude, number 3 had Rob a little worried, as I told him I would not reveal the name until the spider was home, but I kept saying names like "Jelly Bean", Cotton Candy" and "Prince Fuzzy Butt" to scare him.    

It was actually my friend Pat who came up with the name, I was leaning towards Aragog, the spider from Harry Potter, but when she said Hagrid out loud to me, it just seemed to fit better, after all, they are both large and hairy! Rob was relieved when his name was announced on August 14th when he came to live with us.

Meadow meeting Hagrid.
 Hagrid is very different than Maude. He's more nocturnal, preferring to only come out of his hut after dark, and he makes way more webbing then Maude ever did. I didn't even get a glimpse of him until 5 days after he came to live with us.

Hagrid spends a lot of his time in his hut.
He does walk around a lot after we go to bed.
This is how his home looks now, he's settled in nicely.
 We don't know how old Hagrid is, he may live 6 months, he may live 10 years, but one thing is for certain, he will be well cared for.

To learn more about Maude, and Meadow's special fondness for her please check out Rob's blog from 2009 here and Maude's passing in 2010 here 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

PROJECT 52 - WEEK 11 - CAN'T OR WON'T


I only have 1.5 weeks left on the Slim in 6 exercise program, and after missing 3 workouts last week, I really want to get them all in until I'm done the program. ( I have an exercise plan for after)

My mind had other plans coming home from work today. It's really busy at work, lots of stress as we get ready to welcome the university students back for another year. I'm tired, and as I rode the subway home today I had pretty much talked myself out of exercising. I was going to come home, make dinner, finish watching the movie I started and do a little dusting.

Then I went downstairs and saw my workout clothes. This little voice in my head said, "Come on, it's only 30 minutes". So I changed and did the work out, and I felt better for it.

I thought about my missed work outs from last week, only 1 was really a won't, the other 2 I couldn't. Tonight was a lesson for me, there are going to be days when I really can't exercise, but skipping one because I just don't feel like it, isn't going to get me where I want to be.

I still made dinner and watched my movie, the dusting can wait until tomorrow.

Friday, August 15, 2014

CHASING DRAGONFLIES

Rob with a Common Whitetail Dragonfly.
Once the craziness of spring migration is over, Rob and I don't do much birding until Fall. We enjoy the summer visitors that frequent our backyard, like Baltimore Orioles and this year the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been around more then ever, so it's pretty easy to stay put.

We have however, in the last couple of years, gotten more interested in other winged creatures, Butterflies and Dragonflies. I signed us up right away when our local Wild Birds Unlimited posted a Dragonfly and Damselfly talk and outing. And we are lucky that both these species visit our backyard as well.

Last Sunday we were at the store for 9am for the lecture part of the event. Kyle, a fairly new employee at the store is also a naturalist. He lead the talk and shared his knowledge and sense of humor.

We learned the difference between Dragonflies and Damselflies, learned about their life-cycle, courtship, etc. It was very informative and interesting. I had no idea there is 173 species of Dragonflies reported in Ontario!

After the enjyable hour long talk with slideshow we were off to a local park to see some of these amazing flying insects. Kyle taught us how to catch (with a net) and hold a Dragonfly safely, as to not injure it.

Kyle demonstrates how to  hold a Dragonfly properly.
Kyle hunting Dragonflies, a man on a mission.
I'm looking at an Eastern Amberwing and Kyle wants to catch it.
An Eastern Amberwing.
I "Googled" a close up shot of an Eastern Amberwing so you could have a better look.

We saw a few different types while on our outing, Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Dragonfly) and Eastern Forktail (Damselfly) to name a couple. It was a great event and I hope they do more like this in the future.

Want to know more about Dragonflies, Damselflies and all sorts of other flying insects? I found this great blog while writing mine, The Dragonfly Woman.