Thursday, June 25, 2020

Another DIY project!

Not long ago I told you I had brought a turtle home with me, I was hiking and that trail crosses a highway...on my way back from the hike right by the side of that road was this turtle.

I didn't even take a photo of him when I found him because the poor little guy was injured.  AND ants had gotten on him so I brushed off all the ants and I grabbed him up and headed to my van where I could help him

 I had some black tape in my van and I put that tape around his wound to stabilize the shell...
Until I could get him home.  

He had his head, neck, all four legs and tail tightly tucked up into his shell.....I identified this turtle as a Striped Mud Turtle and read they are omnivores. They have 2 hinged sections on bottom...and they live in wet swampy areas and even ditches that hold water.   I carefully and gently removed the black tape you can see a bit of it sticking off to one side in the above photo and there was still some bleeding So I gently cleaned the wound and prepped him for Gluing! 

His shell was broken in 2 places at the back...yes I said Gluing.  The breaks were pretty clean no bits had fallen off so I thought it would glue nicely.  Now Im not telling you to do this but I have heard it's successful and seen it done on TV so there you go!....I used the gel type Gorilla super glue which is easier to apply.  And is more precise.  Once I cleaned and dried the area I applied a line of glue along the breaks and under the edge of the shell where it was broken also...and I held him in my hands keeping light pressure on the sides of his shell till the glue took hold...

 I didn't take any video or stills of the actual repair steps as it was more important that I used both hands to do it right...I decided to stick a little paper towel on to help increase the strength of the repair, it's only adhered along the fine bead of glue.

Here he is after 10 minutes of set up time, and the pieces fit together really well...the shell was still attached to his skin underneath...poor guy I put him in this clear bin overnight with a pan of water which he did get in he was wet once when I checked him...and I put some lettuce, strawberries, and one dead wasp I found in for him to snack on...he did not eat anything!  I put that little tea box in for him to have a place to hide if he wanted and he sort of rearranged and made himself a bed in there and got under the greens I had put in for his bedding..

In the morning he was trying his best to climb out of the bin and the shell had held very well I pulled one layer of the 2 ply paper towel off and inspected and it looked like a good seal no bleeding and he was I drove him over to a nearby swamp to release him...I had some errands to do that day and didn't want to stress him out by keeping him captive any longer than needed so I made the decision to release him within a 5 minute drive!

turtle release
Sorry it's a little blurry           PLAY

He stuck his head out of the shell and was looking around when we parted ways...

turtle release

Good luck little fella!  Since this turtle I've moved one more off roadways, and  stood guard while another BIG snapper was crossing at the Refuge, he was not in any danger of being hit...but I stood guard just the same.  

The only time I recall my MOM liking a snake was one day we were on our way home from this spot where a creek runs under the road I saw a beautiful Copperhead snake just edging out to cross the road he was as big around as a human arm...I did a u turn and put my car across the road until he made it safely to the other side, she told me she had never realized that even a deadly snake sometimes needs to be protected and she seemed to change her attitude about  snakes she had been so afraid of after that.  She often said "I will never forget you putting your car across the road to protect that snake he was so beautiful",,, she watched him thru her window as he crossed and she was amazed at his beauty.  A life changing moment can happen when you least expect it. 

How cute is this dozing calf? So sweet and innocent,

can we all just be Vegan? All life matters...

Every day is a new Adventure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Goals, an investment in time

I like to set little goals to make MY simple life more hiking to as many of the SC waterfalls as I could, one of my more recent goals,,,,well I didn't finish because all were not public but I did 43 so far! It takes a lot of dedication to complete a goal..even a small one but one like hiking to every waterfall in a state is a pretty big goal...Im not done and if I never do them all it was so much fun to try!

Other Goals Im working on
  • Visit all 50 States, I still need Hawaii
  • Get from 400 to 500 Life List birds in NA, Im at 457
  • Visit all of SC State Parks, and get my Passport Book Stamps I have visited many and will need to revisit to get the Stamp. 
  • Get a Bird List for each of the 47 counties in my State 9 to go..
  • So here is an interesting goal...there is this vernal pond not far from my home, it's about 7 or 8 miles away and I've been watching it for a couple years...It became visible when the land was clear cut much like the parcel right here on the same road I live on.  SO anyways this one has grown and with all the rain we have had over the past 24 months it has become quite established.  So every time I drive by I was always looking then one day I saw a Great Blue Heron fly up..

And before I could pull over and get off the road a Little Blue flew I've been birding this I call it Old Stagecoach Pool, cause that's the name of the road, I cant really make it a hot spot it's private land, no one lives there but still...that is the Heron.  And even better  Google earth shows the Little Lynches River is only a short mile of so as the crow flies, north of this spot...the map shows a second is farther back and I really don't want to trespass that much so I stick to the one closest to the highway.

This really shows the importance of vernal pools, and ponds.  I have spotted many other birds there and a mallard pair must have a nest they have been there...more than a month now. 

 A Loggerhead Shrike pair are always there as well as Northern Mockingbirds, Eastern Kingbird, Prairie Warbler, Killdeer, and now three Green Herons along with several Common Grackle....
the Green Heron

An immature Loggerhead Shrike...

Recently I saw 3 Bald Eagles, one adult and two Immature ones...

immature Bald Eagle

I was worried for the ducks but they were hiding...I hope one day I will be this way when it's sunny! Always seem to be there on a dreary day...the last time I stopped I had 18 species of bird here! Not bad for basically a big mud puddle.  There is grasshopper, frog, and berries, along with all sorts of insects  to feed these birds,,,,check out the Green Heron grabbing up a frog, and just listen to all the birds living here...

Green heron
Play by pressing in the middle of the picture/video

So this goal is to continue to watch this wetland progress and see how it grows, see how many species of bird I can log there for an entire season, just hope it's not destroyed by a landowner who knows nothing about the natural world around them of which there are many in this area!

Also on another note there is a Rookery not so far away normally you can't even get close but  one day the gate was open, no sign saying stay out so I took a chance and drove in.  Glad I did it was exciting to see and hear the chaos of the rookery!

The road is really sketchy...altho it's a very short distance. 

Another goal was realized here for I had not seen a Black Crowned Night Heron this year, and BAM there was one! 

And more Great Egrets and Cattle Egret nesting colonies, I didn't have a good view of the huge amount of birds there as the view is best if you are ON the lake say in a boat...

they are very haphazardly placed I don't know how they manage to  keep it together during storms..

More precious young ones..and no "warbler neck" this is why sometimes I seek out birds that are not going to be 100 ft up. 

"If you read the plaque it tells you all about those 2 photos! 1808

I agree with moving any Confederate Statues to a museum or where ever they can figure out a place where they would be appropriate, but I do hope they don't remove the historic markers. 

Boykin's Mill is where the Rookery is located...

We can not erase the past, but it seems we have not completely learned from it!  Hopefully if signs need to be remade they will still tell the story but in a more inclusive way...

Then I went off to do more County Birding...this time Calhoun County..

I found the perfect road it was a dead end..Perfect because......
NO one would be passing by saying "what'cha looking at"? Yahoo!! 

There was a large fallow field and some pine trees, I do think this land is part of a hunting club, but I saw NO signs saying keep out...Found several painted Buntings...

Eastern Wood Pewee

Yellow-Throated Warbler

Blue Grosbeak (female or immature)

the Great Crested Flycatcher

Just to name a few.  I had a great time fulfilling this chunk in my county goal. 

What are some of your personal goals??

Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Back to Lee State Park...

At Lee State Park, on May 15th....

I always enjoy going to this park, it's situated alongside the Lynches River but the river is down a fairly rough dirt tract and most of the time they have that tract closed...Up by the visitors center huge trees draw the attention of the migrants like this Northern Parula.  

A very inquisitive bird...This park has several artesian wells and they flow constantly...I see people bring jugs and fill them with the right out of the Earth water.  I have never tried it..but know it's cold

PLAY by clicking in the center

Near the boardwalk I found a Wood Thrush, sometimes you hear them and never see them this time I saw one for a change...

The Hermit Thrush has the rusty color on his tail the Wood Thrush has it on the head, neck and upper back.  The melodious song is such a treasure to listen to.  On the ground was this Broadhead Skink and this is the female, they are sometimes confused with a 5 line skink. 

Once I got on the forest drive,  I started to hear different birds the ones who like it damp..this is the
Acadian Flycatcher...they make a loud WHIT,  -WHIT WHEW how I describe it...

As mentioned the River Loop Trail (road) was open so I took it, it's about a 4 mile drive, it's open to horses, foot traffic, and when the gates are open vehicles.  It's still wet and muddy from recent rains but manageable...once closer to the river I encountered many Prothonotary Warblers, they like to be near water's edges.  I would park get out walk a while then return and move up the road and got a good feel for how the birds were staging.  The flycatchers were near the road so they could see and swoop out to get moths and flying insects...the warblers were a layer back gleening the leaves and stems of the trees...and farther back the deep forest birds like the Thrushes and the Towhees.  

Prothonotary warbler

the water was muddy and murky due to all the heavy rains  in May...

the trunk of this Holly Tree has so many pretty colors! 

natural camo 

The river bends here by the road and this is a good spot to pull over and enjoy a picnic 

I had to help this Snapping Turtle across the road, he got into a deep puddle that was right in the road so with some not so gentle encouragement I moved  him to the edge of the road, these guys are heavy and they bite!  This one didn't try to bite like the last time I tried to help one...I know it's not very nice but I picked him  up by the tail and lopped him off to the road edge on top of these branches then I used a fork shaped stick to push him into the deeper water...good thing too asa I got him over a truck came and he would have been squashed where he had been originally!  Here he is walking across the road, but then he settled into that puddle, 

Press center to play videos....

He was none the worse for wear but he did not appreciate my help

nostrils above water 

This water snake was seeking better cover also..

Press the center to play in this window...

I  watched a lady pull over and move a turtle off the road last week, and I've moved 2 since then myself...and one even came home with me, I will  explain in later posts...

The problem Im having with the new Blogger is it jumps all over the place...I move the photo or text where I want it, then it jumps by itself to where it wants to be so spacing is going to be difficult...I am assuming.  I am not using the new format yet, but I can tell by the way the old one is reacting it's gonna be tricky.  

Every day is a new Adventure.