Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
This is my favorite time of year. Every turn in the out of doors is eye-popping, and it seems this year is exceptional. The palo verdes are resplendent. Driving down my street has turned into a yellow tunnel, and it is a buzz with bees….just magical.
Added to the palo verdes are the mesquites with their caterpillar like catkins…yellow. Then there steps into the scene, the fuzz balls on the creosote…yellow. The brittle bush pushes its blossoms forward to the sky, all proud and screaming…yellow. Let’s not forget the desert marigold swaying in the breeze fighting for attention…yellow.
It is splendid. The crispness in the air combined with the desert aridness, and I am in heaven. Not to be out done the cacti to start making statements about the season and buds are peeking out ready to burst into being and yes, many of them are yellow.
Maybe yellow doesn’t please you as much as it does me…not to worry. The bougainvillea is standing by to take your breath away. Many of the cacti will appear in yellows, whites, reds, pinks and oranges. There is something for everyone. The hummingbirds and bees are busy as, well like bees, grabbing nectar and pollen to feed babies and pollinate other plants…what a bountiful time.
While I am on the subject of a bountiful time (okay, a risky transition), let’s not forget that our annual fundraiser, Wishes for Wildlife is just about three weeks away. Oh my! Plans are enthusiastically racing toward May 2nd. The evening should be delightful. It is not too late, however, for you to join in the fun. Items can still be donated to our beautiful silent auction and our super silent auction. We wow the guests with great items, many that can’t be gotten anywhere else…surprises galore and something to make every heart sing.
There will be trips including one to England and other inter and intra- continental destinations, garden goodies as always, unique and collectible items, restaurants, cooking classes, chefs in your home, and a not to be missed wonderful up river wildlife tour in a stunning house boat, Out of the Blue, replete with a naturalist and other surprises. The seats are limited on that tour so plan to get your spot as soon as possible.
You can still buy tickets, tables or just donate to support our mission. It is all very simple to do. Go to www.wishesforwildlife.org to get involved. Do your part to support our mission and have a great time doing it. This is a win-win situation for everyone.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for the year is now up to 864.
The level of activity always builds right before Wishes for Wildlife and this year is no exception. Animals, especially orphans, are streaming in the window and from rescue team and all the volunteers are gearing up for the next few m months which will certainly be hectic. This week’s update has a couple of interesting intakes and look at some of the babies in the OC area and the volunteers who are being trained to take care of them until they can be released. This week we also got some help from the Superstition Fire Department and we want to thank the crew that helped out. Let’s take a look…
The people on the Med Services team are working hard to keep up with the intake of injured animals as Spring progresses. New patients show up constantly with gun shot wounds, electrical burns, automobile collisions, poisonings – all the usual suspects. Add to this the several times a day feeding and care for the male California condor and it’s a busy scene in the ICU.
The biggest increase in activity is, of course, in Orphan Care. Between baby birds and baby bunnies, the door never stops swinging, and each buzz of the doorbell alarm means another patient has arrived. The volunteers are inspirational in their dedication to the cause of helping these little creatures reach an age and size when they can be turned loose into the environment and live as they were intended.
Of course, the non-releasables are also cared for continually throughout their lives. Last week the permanent residents got their annual West Nile virus inoculations which we hope keep them from contracting this particular disease which has reached Arizona a while back. The vaccine is donated by our own Dr. Mike Sorum and we thank him for providing this life saving medicine.
I don’t know how many times we have to say it, but sticky traps are horrible!! They are extremely general in targeting and there is far more “bycatch” than what most people have in mind when they put these things out. Usually they are intended for certain insects or certain rodents, but people don’t give a thought that anything and everything that happens to touch them is going to get stuck. This is especially true of bugs as the animals that eat the bugs stuck in the glue (namely birds) now come down to dine on an immobilized prey, only to find themselves hopelessly trapped and headed for sure death themselves. Bottom line: DON’T USE THESE THINGS!!!!
Last week I got a call from the hotline that there was a baby owl with his leg caught in a nest in Apache Junction. The manager of the trailer court had been watching the nest and he and some neighbors noticed a leg of one of the babies hanging down – for three days! He arranged for the Superstition Fire Department Ladder 263 crew to meet me at the base of the palm tree. They took me up 40ft to the nest and I was able to extract the unlucky baby who had stuck his leg through a hole in one of the fronds. His leg appeared to have some trauma so I brought the injured one to Liberty for examination and care, leaving the other two babies who looked to be fine. A big “Thank You” to the park manager and to the firemen who were most helpful!
The golden eagle with the broken pelvis and wing is doing better. Last week I looked in on her and she was sitting in her water tub, enjoying some “hydrotherapy” as she recuperates. She still has a way to go, but any progress is good after a car collision.