Coyotes Are Hunting

At 2:20am this morning I was awakened by a long coyote howl from our back yard. A few seconds later I heard the acknowledging howl from far off. Coyote packs send out scouts to find food and relay the information over long distances. If food is found – like an injured deer or meat in the garbage can – the finder calls the pack in.

These are smart animals sharpened by survival of the fittest and by adapting to nature and civilization. Unlucky cats and small dogs who are out all night are especially vulnerable. Be safe with your pets.

 

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Elementary School Memory

I was mowing the yard this afternoon when a memory from the past floated into my mind.

I was in the sixth grade at Druid Hills Elementary School. I was in a small group of undiagnosed ADHD boys who delighted in misbehaving. We were creative and effective in our techniques for undermining the teacher and disrupting the class. Our first teacher, Miss B, was fresh out of college – we were her first real teaching job. She quit after three months. Our second teacher, Mrs. S, was more experienced. (I remember that she read Lord of the Flies to us and cried at the end.) She resigned after several months.

Mrs C was the third teacher for this class. She appeared more confident than the other two. It didn't take long for the a test of her resolve to unfold.

Mrs C. told Pat, one of the boldest misbehavers, to do something. He responded "No!". The misbehavers were delighted and watched as Mrs C walked over to Pat. He stood his ground, very cocky, and looked her right in the face. She slapped him hard right on the cheek.

Everything stood still. The misbehavers were stunned. We knew immediately that our reign of mischief was over. We were a well behaved class for the rest of the school year.

By the way: Mrs C was Pat's mother. And she was a great lady.

Sandhill Cranes Migrating – Feb 2014

I heard a big flock of sandhill cranes flying over on the afternoon of Feb 16, headed north. When I went outside and saw them, it looked like about 400.

I've been hearing them go over almost every day through Feb 21.

I hope this means that this very cold winter is over

Sandhill Cranes Migrating South 11/24/2013

Big flocks of Sandhill Cranes are flying over, heading south for the winter. Apparently there's a thermal rising here because they are coming in at a lower elevation, catching the thermal, and riding it up in a circle until they are several hundred feet higher. Then they head south, all the while singing their beautiful song.

I have yet to determine how the date of their migrations north and south correlates with the severity of the winter.

Ramona Pierson’s Amazing Comeback

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At about 4 p.m. on a weekday in April 1984, Pierson finished her work, went home, leashed her dog, Chips, and set off on her usual run through a suburban neighborhood. She stopped at an intersection, bouncing in place as she waited for the light to change. As she started across the street, a drunk driver ran the red. Chips got hit first and died instantly. The car plowed into Pierson and then ran her over as the driver kept going. Both of Pierson’s legs were crushed; her throat and chest were ripped open, exposing her heart. Her aorta sprayed blood, and she sputtered as she tried to breathe. Just before everything went black, Pierson says, she felt “my life’s blood emptying out of my neck and my mouth.”

Continue reading Ramona Pierson's Amazing Comeback

 

Missy the Siamese Wolverine as a New Kitten

Missy the Siamese Wolverine 2005-07-27

Eight years ago today Ann brought this kitten home. She was the sister of Blue Star, who had been with us two weeks. She wasn't as pretty as Blue – she had huge feet and ears. We named her Mist.

She grew into those feet and ears and became a beautiful specimen of strength and confidence. We started calling her Missy. She had to be outside all day, consenting to be pulled in at dusk only at our insistence.

Recently we became aware of her feats of boldness and courage when she was out in the woods and fields, and we started calling her the Siamese Wolverine. We are still grieving her June 1 death at the hands of an evil human. He didn't know about the curse of the wolverine, but he will find out.

P.S. Here's the story of the terrible day: Missy the Siamese Wolverine – RIP

We Miss Our Siamese Wolverine

Missy the Siamese Wolverine was a magnificent blend of strength, beauty, and confidence who boldly sought adventure in the fields and forests by day and companionship with her humans at night.

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A month ago I found our beloved cat Missy, the Siamese Wolverine, shot and buried by someone in our neighborhood.

Since that day, we have experienced much sadness, anger, and grief over losing such a unforgettable companion.

Although we don’t know when, we know the killer will suffer greatly for this evil act.

We want to thank everyone who offered sympathy and support.

P.S. Here’s the story of the terrible day: Missy the Siamese Wolverine – RIP

Missy the Siamese Wolverine – RIP

Missy-in-Greenhouse

Someone killed our Missy the Siamese Wolverine yesterday (June 1).

She didn’t come home to eat and nap in the early afternoon. My gut was telling me to find her. I last saw her walking past our storage shed in the back yard at about 10am.

I started looking for her. We had put a Loc8tor tracking tag on her collar, so I can locate her with a credit card sized handset from 300-400 feet. I walked for an hour scanning the woods to the north of our property with no hits. I saw two wild turkeys but no Missy.

At about 6pm Ann and I scanned neighborhoods nearby from the car with no success. Then I walked into the thick woods (Georgia jungle) behind our home and headed east, down the creek. About a half mile away, I was about to turn back when I got a faint signal on the tracker. I slowly honed in to a very rough area on the side of a hill, covered with fallen trees and underbrush. My tracker was saying she’s right in front on me but I saw nothing.

I assumed that the tracking tag or her collar had fallen off so that’s what I was looking for. I was brushing away leaves under my feet when I saw a patch of fur. Missy had been buried under some leaves in a small depression. I called Ann with the awful news and started home, with her lifeless body cradled in my arm. I assumed Missy had been killed by a coyote and covered up.

On the way home I called Ann and asked her to contact our neighbor Chris to help me determine cause of death. He met me in the woods behind our house and walked with me to the driveway. I put Missy down and Chris started examining her. He immediately found a small gunshot wound on the side of her head and the exit wound on the other side. We were stunned.

We decided to report the shooting to the sheriff’s department. They sent out an officer who was polite, compassionate, and professional. He took all the pertinent information and went to a neighborhood near the place where I found Missy to canvass people. Chris and I drove there and talked to several people. Nothing definitive was uncovered.

I believe that we may have a serial pet killer who is an expert shot in our area. After he kills the pet, he goes to great trouble to transport the body deep in the woods to hide it. He never thought that someone would have a tracking tag on a pet that he hid and would be able find it.

Missy had one clue on her body that may help us find the killer.

Many pets, especially cats, have disappeared from our neighborhood in the last few years. The usual suspects were coyotes, which is why I bought the tracking device – to get Missy in before dark. Now we know that someone is shooting pets and hiding them. How many of the missing pets were actually due to coyotes?

The Siamese Wolverine was a bold, strong, stunningly beautiful, energetic cat. Not long ago I saw her pull a big black snake out of a briar patch. Last week she treed a raccoon in our back yard, tackled it when it came down, and chased into the woods. Also, she was bitten by a copperhead on the chin last week and was sick for about 8 hours. She had a charismatic presence that caught everyone’s attention when she made an appearance. Her death is such a waste as well as an act of undeniable cruelty.

On the morning before her death, Missy was sleeping at Ann’s feet on our bed. When Ann got up at dawn to go to the garden, Missy moved to my left side on the edge of the bed and smuggled up against my chest. As I stroked her wonderful coat, I could feel her deep purr. It was a peaceful way to begin the day, a day that I’ll never forget.

We are devastated. We hope for justice.