Sometimes I wish days were 48 hours long... there is never enough time in the day to finish the farm chores & run the errands & call the people back & give the attention I need everywhere... Can I clone myself?!
Special shout out to the best Employees anyone could ask for.... Sarah Zalewski for working the Green Metropolis Fair Expo with me all day on no sleep after working over nights at Antech doing Veterinary Labwork all night..... and Lisa Rank zookeeper & full time mom for covering my animal shows all day! These two girls are smart, talented & devoted to sensitizing kids to animals & nature. So proud to call them part of Natures Creatures!
These are the kind of moments that I live for & make everything I do feel so right. It melts my heart.... when things slow down at the end of the expo day & the girls that had parked at my booth for 5 hours decide to sit down with Timothy the Tortoise & read to him, talk to him & draw pictures of him......
Coyotes are loud when celebrating a kill or a plan of attack. In the country we hear them all the time... almost nightly...
...now I'm not a human mother yet... but my mothering instincts kick into overdrive when that pack of coyotes has moved into MY territory & is literally steps over my creek with a dozen shiny reflective eyes (100 yards from the house/barn) howling their celebratory kill song. This high pitched song is deafening when it's this close & will send terrifying chills down your spine.
So what does this crazy city chick do?
Within seconds I had leaped off the couch into heavy duty protective armor (winter jacket hat & gloves), grabbed a flashlight & pitchfork & was literally running towards the woods at the coyotes like a lunatic with pitch fork raised.
Fueled by adrenaline I ran yelling & screaming in hot pursuit. I growled & yelled and hit my pitchfork on trees making a ruckus.
The plan to look super psychotically crazy & scare them away ... kinda worked.
I was channeling the "Bees!" Scene in Tommy Boy & a few other choice crazy SNL skits. It worked. They took off & the woods are silent again with no reflecting eyes. If I was a guy I would have marked.
(Loading the gun takes too long when it's that easy to tap into crazy...)
I swear if I had been attacked I would have ripped them to shreds like that mom on the news protecting her baby biting off the pit bulls ear... in my best True Blood vampire moment. It would have been a good death. (Mine?)
But nobody... And I mean ain't nobody messin with my baby goats... ..or my Pork..... Or my Goosie Goosie, or my Beanie ... Or my pony man... You catch my drift...
"Timothy" the Tortoise was donated to Erin's Farm" a few weeks ago.... it was a cold day & I initially thought that his lack of movement was due to the cold ride to the farm.... but after he warmed up... his lack of mobility reflected a much bigger problem.
Timothy has MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease).... which is a broad spectrum of disorders caused by abnormalities of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium or vitamin D (via diet & environment) leading to dramatic clinical disorders that are commonly reversible once the underlying defect has been treated. This condition is similar to Osteoporosis in humans. In Timothy's case, his back legs were so weak, that he could barely use them & had extreme difficulty getting around. Most of the time he would not move at all.
We have many tortoises at "Erin's Farm" that have shell abnormalities, but since they have now been eating a more suitable diet & have been exposed to natural sunlight & vitamin D3 for 10-12 hours a day they have improved dramatically.
Timothy however, is the largest African Spur Thigh Tortoise that we have weighing in at over 65lbs. He just didn't have the strength to pull his heavy body around with his weakened legs & back.
My mother, Ellen McCabe Yanz.... who is extremely crafty & talented, felt for Timothy. Her heart broke.. as did everyones, thinking about the enrichment & exploration that he would be missing out on. She immediately measured his shell & within a week had designed and build a "tortie cart" for Timothy.
At first he seemed to be confused as the cart lifted him a few extra inches higher & he just sat in his shell. But soon he began to peek out & explore. Eventually he stretched his weak back legs out farther than he has been able to in years. Now Timothy scoots all over the reptile room! He loves exploring & using his new found mobility.
The Natures Creatures Reptile Vet, Dr. Gordon Smok of Sanford-Brown and U.S.D.A., FL keeps in contact with us about his slow progress. Hopefully by next summer, he'll be scooting around the tortoise paddock just as fast as everyone else!
Recently, someone I dated for a few years (many many moons ~ over 10 years ago) reminded me that back then I had once told him... that eventually I wanted to (was going to) live on a horse farm with a huge area for the horses to run around in the back & a place for the kids to play out front.
It was really exciting to hear that, because I didn't recall saying it myself... but I felt a huge sense pride of & accomplishment on the first part. Now just gotta figure the kids part out. Oh yeah & a hubby too....
...dreaming of that day... in my old apartment... with that soft sunny summer breeze gently tumbling the curtains, waving to me, ...gently beckoning to me...
...a glass of red wine... a sense of the earth in the air, that white light within my perennials sets the scene... you coax me into your embrace, I blush and shiver into one, your scent takes me home... too a home I've never known, but I know...
I mold your cheek and feel your breath... our fingers blend together within the light, looking upon this garden of every color... of every color I know... but your not there... it's just the melodies consuming me... as I slowly sway in the breeze... and the song soothes me...
I dream... as I always dream... we are far away from here... and I'm far away from you... it's as of we never met... the fantasy parade, the numbing translucent existence....
People say I have the patience if a saint.
I really struggled today.
Not with the kids --the kids were wild & crazy as usual & thats no bother - I want them to be enthusiastic about nature. It's the 40 yr old man with a child that parks himself at my station telling me [loudly to be heard] manufactured stories of his friend with cancer that was gifted a pet chimpanzee by the zoo as a parting gift. And as kids eyes widen they ask if chimps can be pets & he leaps & says "yes they can! You can get anything you just need the permits. Chimps make great pets! You can train them & they wear a diaper". Ummmm please leave. Please leave. Please leave!!
I don't want my table or biz to be associated with any discussion of any primate or ape as a good pet. Biting my lip I could only repeat: "That story makes me so sad" & then talked louder of snakes & lizards until this adult child left.
I love all these cheesy "superpower" T-shirts I see in my news feed.
Like..."I'm a Veterinarian what's your Super Power"
This is what I want:
"I got bit on the foot by a 15 ft python today. What's YOUR super power?"
(Erin)Owner of Erin's Farm & The Natures Creatures Animal Show, horse rider, corny joker, writer/artist wannabe, animal realist (not activist), maker of cheese, soap, wine, mead, & honey, fashion victim, klutz, creature cuddler, giant nerd, hot headed ginger.