Late Evening Diversionary Open Thread

For your late evening, Eastern Daylight Time, diversionary enjoyment pleasure.

Open thread!

Respite Open Thread: LOOK! ANIMAL MEMES!

What a terrible day for Paul Bronks’ twitter feed to go to ‘protected status’. (I sincerely hope it’s temporary.) Apart from @BoringEnormous, which are your favorite sources for fauna-related respite japes?

Sunday Garden Chat: Garden Art (with Bonus Yard Varmints)

From desert gardener and intrepid front-pager Cheryl R:

Here are a couple of photos of a covey of metal quail I bought from an artist at a Roseburg arts and crafts show while I was in Oregon.

I am reworking my flowerbeds and plan to plant a trumpet vine behind them. The other side of the wall is a six-foot drop to the driveway. I removed several Russian sage. Nobody told me they send up suckers – ugh! I notice they’re not being sold as widely as they were for a while.

I am pleased with my quail.

What’s going on in your garden(s) this week?


And for those among us who have ever been frustrated by the indigenous wildlife’s ‘landscape redecoration’, a bonus story from the Toronto Star“Toronto built a better green bin and — oops — maybe a smarter raccoon”:

In January, as the city of Toronto rolled out its final fleet of new raccoon-resistant green bins, Suzanne MacDonald was flooded with emails from citizens fretting about the fate of the masked bandits known for pillaging our food waste.

The worried residents wrote to MacDonald, an animal behaviourist and known raccoon sympathizer, because they hadn’t seen the creatures creeping through their backyards lately, and were beginning to wonder: Where are they? Are they starving to death? Have they been forced to relocate in search of nourishment? What have we done to the raccoons?

Designed with a special raccoon-resistant lock, Toronto’s new organic waste bins, which the city began distributing to great fanfare in 2016, were perhaps the greatest human effort in what we like to call our “war” against the raccoons. The animals had been effortlessly pillaging our first-generation green bins for more than a decade, leaving morning messes for us to scrape from our driveways and sidewalks. The city’s search for a new-and-improved bin had identified animal resistance, “especially for raccoons,” as a top priority.

The $31-million contract gave us roughly half a million bins, a decade of maintenance and a promise: that raccoons would have great difficulty penetrating the clever new receptacles. City politicians called the bins “raccoon-proof.” The bin maker — and MacDonald, who ran field tests on the prototypes — used the term “raccoon-resistant” because, well, you just never know…

Twelve months before the rollout of the new bins in Toronto’s west end, MacDonald had started logging the body mass index of raccoons killed in traffic. “Very glamorous work,” she called it. Her goal was to find out whether the loss of a steady food source would make our famously fat raccoons leaner.

MacDonald said I was welcome to join her for the next weigh-in. I put the appointment in my calendar: “Measuring dead raccoons.”

Over several months, I followed MacDonald’s research, expecting to learn how raccoons were adapting to life without green bins. But as a long winter melted into spring, things got weird, and my simple inquiry turned into an accidental investigation. A viral video with a curious backstory and suspicious activity in my own laneway shifted my focus from whether the green bins were starving the raccoons, to whether the animals had found a way, once again, to outsmart us…

How About We All Take a Deep Breath and Go Awwwwww!

Apparently everyone’s a wee bit stressed out, which is understandable. So rather than explaining the vetting process* on how a series of white supremacists, plagiarists, conspiracists, economic illiterates, white collar criminals, and some, I assume, are good people, I thought something relaxing might be in order. Everyone say awwww!!!!

Open thread.

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Even the Crocodiles Have had Enough and Need a Diversion

Well you don’t see this everyday. And, of course, it’s in Florida!

From Fox13 Florida:

 – It’s not unusual to see an alligator or crocodile swimming in a canal in South Florida but it’s definitely unusual to see a crocodile swimming by on a pool noodle.

Victor Perez snapped the photo of a crocodile floating along on a pool noodle in Key Largo earlier this month.

We see crocs from time to time in our canal but never ever one on a noodle…” Perez told FOX 13. “He could have been from up north on vacation just chilling.”

The National Weather Service in Key West shared the photo saying, “Yes, that is a crocodile on a noodle. Even they know to ‘Play It Safe’ when heading into the water!”

While alligators are far more common in Florida, a breed of crocs called the American crocodile is found in South Florida and even as far north as Tampa.

Keep your heads above water!

Open thread!

Floriduh! Man and Gator

Back in July, I brought you the story of the Floriduh! Man who dumped an injured gator at a WaWa gas station and convenience store. Apparently this has started a slowly developing trend of Floriduh! Men, gators, and convenience stores!

Open thread!

Sunday Night Cuteness Overload: Good Morning Young Prince Edition

I have a new neighbor!

This adorable little beastie sauntered out of the scrub on somewhat shaky legs around 12:30 this afternoon. The fawn chirped a half dozen times or so while looking around then settled in for a siesta. About four hours later the fawn got up, chirped some more, walked around the side of the house, and went in to the really thick scrub, which is probably where mom was bedded down for the day. He or she chirped off and on for a bit.

The whole thing, minus mom, a family of quail partridges (or are those ptarmigans?), a family of opossums, a mole, and knowing if the fawn is male or female was kind of reminiscent of this:

I thought I’d share because we can all use a lot more beauty in our lives about now.

And a PSA from the Wildlife Center of Virginia:

If you find a baby deer:

Do any of the following apply to the fawn?

• It is bleeding, has an open wound, or has a broken bone.
• It’s covered in fly eggs [look like small grains of rice].
• It’s cold or wet.
• It’s crying nonstop for hours on end.
• It appears weak AND is lying on its side.

• If YES, the deer is likely injured or orphaned. Contact your nearest permitted wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian for treatment.

• If NO, then continue on to the next question.

Is the fawn in a dangerous location (e.g., by a busy road, in a backyard with dogs, etc.)

• If YES, the fawn can be moved a short distance to a safer location.

When moving a fawn, it’s not unusual for the fawn to follow you as you leave. To prevent the fawn from following you, place the fawn facing away from the direction in which you plan to leave so it cannot watch you.

Tap the fawn once or twice firmly between the shoulder blades (this mimics how the mother taps the fawn with her nose to communicate “stay here and wait until I come back.”)

Quickly leave the area. Do not linger. The fawn may stand up and take a few steps to follow. Keep going and the fawn should lie back down. If possible, you can monitor from afar with binoculars.

• If NO, then the fawn is healthy and simply waiting for mom to return.

Leave the fawn alone! Keep children and pets away. Monitor from a distance and reassess the situation in 24 hours.

Remember …

• Never chase a fawn to capture it. The stress of being chased can be dangerous to a fawn. Fawns are prone to a condition called capture myopathy, which is caused by chase and stress. Capture myopathy can lead to damage to internal organs, and even death.

• Never give food or water to injured or orphaned wildlife. Inappropriate food or feeding technique can lead to sickness or death. Fawns in particular have very sensitive stomachs and require a special diet. Cow’s milk will make them sick.

NOTE: Each animal’s nutritional, housing, and handling requirements are very specific and must be met if they have any chance of survival. Raising a wild animal in captivity is illegal unless you have a state permit. For information on how you can become a permitted wildlife rehabilitator, contact the Wildlife Center of Virginiathe Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries [PDF], or your state’s wildlife agency.

Open thread!