Wednesday, July 18, 2007

For Now

I made this collage in the spirit of Teesha Moore (visit for a swap. I loved experimenting with different layering techniques, colors, collage and journaling on one piece of paper. The face is Lillie's who, that particular day, wasn't feeling well and didn't want to perform for me and my new camera.

The hardest part was beginning the back ground. My normal technique revolves around vintage sepia tones and colors--a lot of browns, beiges, and other neutral colors. This background required color up front and lots of it. After the initial hesitation I didn't slow down. Everything came together so quickly. The journaling was intimidating--what if I make a mistake? Misspell a word? Hate the color I use? After the first line of writing I never looked back--just hoped there was enough room to tell the story.

I sent the collage on its merry way and hope whomever received it enjoyed it as much as I did creating it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back again!

After several months of battling with Blogger about how to post, etc... I took a break. Early on, you had to go through Firefox and while it was interesting to experience, I decided to uninstall the program and go with what I knew. IE might be some people's downfall, but for me, it works. I logged in today to see if I really could and yes!! I can!! Now I can tell my stories again!!

I've been an employee at the sanctuary now for 8 months (after volunteering for 6 years). During this time I've experienced the entire spectrum of emotion from overwhelming grief to the point of absolute despair to immense joy and hope. We've had a huge baby season this year. Many songbirds are still through as well as all other native wildlife from turtles to coyote pups. My favorite? I'd have to say that tiny orphaned possums have to render my heart mushy. There is no discounting minute pink noses and tiny barks of frustration at not being fed fast enough. Toddler raccoons are another favorite and remind me of kittens as they puff up, head down, eyes sqinted, growling and attacking whatever is nearby.

Possibly the cutest of all are the foxes. Their story, like so many others, began as a challenge.

A rancher trapped the Fox intending to kill. He saw her thickened middle and called Texas Parks and Wildlife who in turn called the sanctuary. MomFox arrived late one night. She was quickly transferred to a roomy crate and put in a quiet dark room where no one would bother her. First thing next morning I walked my rounds. Entering her room, I lifed the blanked that covered her crate and 6 tiny heads raised up. She was curled with her kits at her breast and she eyed me with pride. Against all odds, she had delivered her babies safely.

We thought it best for the family to be released as soon as possible so the crate was taken to the back of the sanctuary. There is an area at the back of the property called 'soft release' where healthy animals are taken to an enclosure, provided food and an open door to leave when they choose. Our hope was that MomFox would find a den nearby and transport her newborns to their new home. Unfortunately, she was so very stressed and when the opportunity arose, she fled, leaving the kits behind.

The kits were brought back to the clinic where they were initially fed every 2 hours. They grew far too quickly as most babies do. Sadly, one little girl didn't make it. Seizures racked her tiny body and one morning she was gone. Shortly after, another small male kit was brought in and blended beautifully with the orphans. As they grew far too busy for the small room they were in, a day cage outside was prepared for them. They were united with an older kit and since then they have been one rowdy Fox gang.

They have now been moved to a larger enclosure and have relatively little contact with people. As fall approaches and puberty hits, they will be released on a large property to live out their lives as wild animals. The way it is supposed to be.

Right now, baby season seems to be slowing down. First is was the possums, then skunks, then raccoons. Fawns have been consistanly coming in for several months. Songbirds are constant as they have up to 3 broods a year. We didn't have as many baby squirrels this spring, but, come fall, mama squirrels all over will have another batch of babies and somehow some will end up at the sanctuary.