Generous Awards

The lovely Nuestra Dona de las Agujas has chosen to pass the Blog on Fire award to me.  It means a lot to me coming from her, because her blog is full of gorgeous pictures of her travels, along with practical and inspiring posts about spinning and knitting.

And then today I saw that the kind Heidi at Sea Green and Sapphire   also passed this award on to me  Heidi does all the things I like to do – garden, spin, and create with textiles – but her results have a special touch.  Reading her blog makes me feel I have been sitting in a beautiful flower garden for an hour or two.

So thank you to both ladies!

The rules of the award are that if you receive the award, you must tell eight unusual facts about yourself or your animals, and then share the award with eight of your favorite bloggers.  Veronica at Agujas says that this branch of the  award has come down through a long line of animal lovers, so I am going in that direction.

And then, the clever Dre over at Grackle and Sun, passed me the One Lovely Blog award.  I love the “scientifical” information she shares about natural dyeing, and I’m pretty sure that one of these days her motivational exercise posts will jolt me into action.  So I thank her for sharing inspiration as well as the award.

The rules for the One Lovely Blog award are pretty much the same – thank the award-giver, tell seven unusual things about yourself and nominate seven blogs.  This post is already getting ree-all-lly long so I will have it do triple duty for the awards.

On to the animal stories.  (I will throw in an extra one.)

1. Pets I have had – dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, gerbils, hamsters, parakeets, canaries, finches, an iguana, a hedgehog, a tarantula, a duck, a pigeon.

2. My reputation as an animal person has led teachers at my school to hunt me down to say, “You like animals, right?  Can you get the dead mouse out of my room?”  Neighbors have called me to take charge when their dogs fight, a possum gets in their trash, or a chicken turns up in their yard.

3. It turns out that a sheep CAN get a goat pregnant, even though they are very different biologically.  If this happens, your goat may miscarry, have to be spayed, be isolated for a week while she recovers, have a resulting hernia, need a second surgery, and have to be isolated for a week again while she recovers.   You haven’t lived until you have lifted a 135-pound, hurting goat into the bed of a truck, and driven her 20 miles to the vet.  Twice.  Let’s just say the vet remembers me when I show up.  (I actually have a picture of the poor goat with her hernia but I won’t gross you out.)

4.  We spend a lot of time in the Texas Hill Country, in a relatively remote area.  When you turn off the paved road it takes 30 minutes on the caliche road (hard-packed dirt and rock) to get to our place.  When we pull the memory card out of the game camera and upload it, we find out what the resident wildlife has been up to.  This gray fox has a regular routine of checking out the deer feeder.

gray fox

Gray fox

5.  Feral hogs are a huge problem in Texas.  They reproduce like rabbits,  travel in groups, tear up the ground, and eat everything, including the eggs of wild turkeys and quail.  It turns out they can stand up to eat out of deer feeders.

feral hog at deer feeder

One motivated hog.

6.  Even a small hog is enough to frighten a porcupine!  Porcupines don’t scare easily – I have followed one in broad daylight for an hour and it just ambled along.  But this one is scrambling.

feral hog and porcupine

Porcupines are not known for speed.

7.  One time I was out there with just the dogs.  I was building a pen, and one of the dogs, Peyton,  showed up with a muzzle full of porcupine quills.  I tried a tweezers and realized that wouldn’t work.  I called my vet at home and he said I would have to get Peyton to a vet and get him sedated to pull the quills out.  I loaded both dogs in the truck and headed to the one place in town that should know everything – the newspaper office.  I went in to ask if there was a vet in town – there wasn’t.  The next town big enough for a vet’s office is 60 miles away.  The newspaper lady went out, flagged down a friend driving by, borrowed a pliers from him, and pulled all the quills from Peyton’s face.  He never even whined or winced.  That lady is one of my heroes!

8.  Deer are not that big.  Elk are huge.

buck near feeder

Whitetail buck.


Elk at feeder

9.  One time we were out there and spent the night.  The next morning I found a 3-foot-long shed snakeskin IN THE BATHROOM!  I had not noticed it the night before!  I never found the snake.

So there you have some of my animal stories.

Now on to the awards.  I am going to hand on the Blog on Fire award to these eight –

Knitted Notes – gorgeous knitting creations, classic movie reviews, and perspectives on European politics from an Italian woman.  This blog is bilingual and I hope to use it to improve my Italian (without somehow giving up that part of my brain that is reserved for Spanish).

Naturephotorehab – flawless photos and extremely clear photography instruction.  I want to begin at the beginning and work my way through all the lessons.

Jennifer Dominique’s online journal – witty, articulate book reviews of Young Adult literature.  I wish I had seen this blog when I was teaching.  I hope every kid I ever taught turns out half as well as this blogger.

Canadian Hiking Photo – it’s too hot in Texas and I can always use at least a virtual trip to lovely Canada.  I feel cooler whenever I submerse myself in this blog.

A Word in Your Ear – I just want to print out all the gorgeous photos and paper my house with them – so inspiring!

Hearing with the Eye – travel adventures, most recently in the Himalayas.  All of the beauty, none of the altitude sickness!

Words Fusion – multiple world traveler authors.  I love blogs that give me a new perspective, with information from around the world.  I feel smarter when I read it.

Grey Cat Quilts – very clear tutorials on a variety of quilting topics.

To me, the best thing about these awards is checking out all the blogs that the award-givers have chosen – I love finding new blogs that way.  I hope I can help someone connect with another great blog!