No offence, but I’m done with apologies for not writing. My personal life has been such a wreck lately that being able to write at all is a blessing. Michelle at Rambling Woods has the strength and courage to keep writing after all she’s been through (which is frighteningly parallel to my own challenges), and she inspires me to keep going as well. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to be able to be as regular as I’d like, but I’m giving myself permission to be ok with that. I’ll write when I can, and will work to keep our blog carnival weekly when I can. If I miss a week, I promise that it will be back – just keep checking in.
So here’s the actual update (if you haven’t been keeping up with me on FB)… I was diagnosed with breast cancer last week. Stage 0, which (as I’ve been told) is about the best diagnosis you can get for breast cancer. As far as they can tell at this point, no cells have spread outside the duct where the cancer was detected (I have Ductal Carcinoma In Situ), so I only need a ‘lumpectomy’ (even though there’s no lump) and 5 weeks of radiation (unless the pathology from the surgery shows more cells, or cells that have migrated).
I’m pretty sure this news hasn’t really hit me yet – it’s been less than a week, and it definitely took nearly 2 weeks for mom’s death to sink in. In the meantime, I’m trying to focus on the fact that this doesn’t have to disrupt my life completely. Not that it won’t affect me; I know that I’ll be considered a cancer patient for the rest of my life, but this won’t be something that defines me. Rather, it will be one more life experience that I can (and will) conquer. To paraphrase my friend Len in his reply to my FB post last week, this cancer doesn’t stand a chance. Truth.
I grew up in lower New York – not far from Manhattan. My dad & step-mom still live down there, and when we visit, we try to take the kids into ‘the City’ (as New Yorkers refer to Manhattan). A few weeks ago we visited the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. If you’ve never heard of the Intrepid, it’s basically a “floating museum”, housed on a retired aircraft carrier. This post really isn’t about the Intrepid but I have to tell you – it’s really cool. The size of the ship alone is amazing, let alone what it takes to launch and land fighter planes off its deck. Really cool. Gives a whole new respect for the amazing men and women who serve aboard these ‘floating cities’.
Anyway, back to the sky…. I’m pleased with how crisp the photo came out; I shot it specifically to capture the NY skyline. It was very windy and cool, but a beautiful day to be on the New York harbor.
Welcome to the 32nd edition of Windows on Wildlife! If you have a recent post or photo about wildlife you’d like to share (it can be anything: birds, insects, mammals…) scroll down to the end of the post and add your site. I will compile and post all additions the following week. Please don’t forget to link back here (I’d love it if you’d add the Windows on Wildlife button to your post which you can find on our sidebar) and visit other blogs that have articles to share. Thanks for stopping by!
We had a pretty good amount of snow this winter. Certainly not our heaviest, but we had a couple of storms that left over a foot – and in two cases, over two feet – of snow behind. Before I had kids, I used to spend a lot of time in the winter out snowshoeing and tracking. We go out on snowshoes occasionally with the kids now, but not as often as I used to. Happily, with the addition of Thorin to our family getting out and walking all year long is now a necessity.
Early on in the season, after one of the heavier snowfalls, Obo took Thorin out for a long, snowshoeing walk. A day or so later, I went out with Thorin following the path Obo had set with his snowshoes. And I discovered something that I had forgotten years ago: larger mammals (particularly the ones that are ‘walkers’: deer, canines, felines, etc.) love following packed down paths through the snow. Completely logical – they want to expend as little energy as possible in the winter when out searching for food, shelter or mates. And having packed-down paths to follow makes for easier traveling, obviously.
As I followed Obo’s trail the large amount of deer tracks that were utilizing his paths was entertaining. I found a few sets of fox tracks as well, but alas, no coyote. I was sure to tell Obo thank you from the deer – he said he was glad to be a help. Next time you head out with your snowshoes (let’s hope it’s not until next calendar year…), remember that they make life easier for the woodland critters as well!
The edition of Windows on Wildlife features travelogues: Around the World posted about seal-watching in the UK, and Helen from Wandering Albatross got rained out from her canopy walk in the Amazon, but managed to capture some, um, interesting (if slightly creepy) videos of ants.
Share your wildlife posts, pictures, videos and observations through the link-up below!
Linking up this week with Nature Notes
I posted a while back about recommended gear for heading outdoors with children, including a list of things I’m sure to bring with me when I head out.
I put this list together with the help of Skinny Scoop (thanks to Another Jennifer who turned me on to them in the first place!) to give more specific recommendations on some of my favorite gear and brands.
This is an interactive list, so if you’d like to comment or add your own favorites, feel free to do so!
Welcome to the 31st edition of Windows on Wildlife! I apologize for the sporadic nature of this carnival; on top of the deaths in my family, I’ve had some recent personal challenges which have prevented me from getting to the blog as often as I usually do.
But we’re back! If you have a recent post about wildlife you would like to share (it can be anything: birds, insects, mammals…) scroll down to the end of the post and add your site. I will compile and post all additions the following week. Please don’t forget to link back here (I’d love it if you’d add the Windows on Wildlife button to your post which you can find on our sidebar) and visit other blogs that have articles to share. Thanks for stopping by!
In a previous edition of Windows on Wildlife, I talked about the value of finding a ‘sit spot’ for nature observation. During the last big snowstorm here in New England, I went out snowshoeing to visit my sit spot. I didn’t go for wildlife observation – I went out in the middle of the storm, just to get out and experience the amazing force and solitude that heavy snow storms bring to the woods.
I discovered, when I stopped at my little spot by a small creek, a rather pungent smell and traced it to a hole in the base of a Hemlock tree:
You can see the scat leavings just at the mouth of the hole. I wish I had remembered to put an object in the photo for scale, but based on the size and construction of the scat I’m guessing that this is a porcupine den. Hemlock is a major food source for porcupines, and they often nest in Hemlock groves. I haven’t done any follow-up research to confirm my findings as definitely porcupine, but I’m fairly certain that this is correct.
Now I’m wondering about whether I can in good conscience continue to use this sit spot. I’ve already become quite fond of it, but I don’t wish to disturb the porcupine neighbors with prolonged visitations.
I’ll have to consider what to do about my spot; I’m loathed to give it up – it’s really the place I’ve been looking for for years. Any thoughts on how disruptive a periodic and quiet human presence might be so close to an animal’s den? What would you do?
Linking up this week with Nature Notes:
I know I’ve been unexpectedly away from Windows on Wildlife for a few weeks. Since I wasn’t able to compile the on-and-off-line contributions from the previous edition, we’ll start fresh this week. Add your wildlife post to our link up below (it’s also on Blog Carnival, which is how some bloggers find us) and I’ll compile them in next week’s edition.