What I am doing

•February 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have become distracted with my new hobby, yay! Check it out here:

No worries though. I am catching up and will post more interesting stuff on here shortly:)


Back to life

•July 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s been months, but after moving, lack of net, and computer malfunction I can finally blog again! The best part is that I also found the photos from my mexico trip. Exciting stuff!


•June 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hey folks, I just moved to a house I actually own! No internet for a long time, but now I am back. See more fun later.

Dolly Sods 07 – A Newt Return

•February 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

REI was closed when I got there.  So, I waited in the parking lot until it opened.  This was going to be a bit of a late start.  A great guy named Matt found a topo map of West Virginia for me.  At 10:15 I headed out, the dog swiftly became bored and fell asleep in the car.

A Secret Lake

One goal of this little trip was to release some red spotted newts kidnapped from a lake a few months earlier.  These lucky little girls will be going back to the exact same spot they were taken from.

Leech on a red spotted newt

Something very important as rescued herps will unlikely survive if released if a different place than where they came from.  (Even distances of less than one-half mile may mean the difference between life and death.)

As soon as the girls were released into the water, several males found them interesting and began to mate with the newcomers!

I lazily watched the amphibians for a while.  A northern watersnake slowly swam along the shore, his head held up like a little periscope.  Thankfully, he ignored the newly released newts.

The snake serpentined away from shore making tiny wavy ripples through the water and disappeared from sight.  Dozens of tiny fish began leaping into the air near where I had lost sight of the snake.

This was a perfect time of year to visit a forgotten lake. Bees, moths, butterflies, and other nectar loving insects buzzed among the lemon yellow flowers surrounding the calm water. A very strange dusting of pollen collected along the banks.pollononskid

I stayed several hours, but had to move on.

I needed to get a bit down the trail before setting up camp at dusk.

Cold Conditioning

•January 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

By boss and friend tells me to just stay inside.

What is the fun in that?

Taking chances is what makes life rich.  I learned something from trying to do something and failing.  Maybe this is what happens when you get older. You actually learn something from being stupid. Although, trying to bike to the inaugural in freezing weather wasn’t stupid.  I was unprepared.

I have spent too many hours indoors and have not acclimated to the chilly DC winter.  How could I possibly expect to bundle up and go outside at 6 am?

When I worked outside at the zoo, I would be unphased by low temperatures.  I was outside all year, gradually acclimating to the climate as the seasons changed.  Now, I take animals from a heated room into a heated car and drive to heated buildings.

Yeah, I used to be tough

Yeah, I used to be tough

I feel saddend to have become so soft, and Boring!  What a slap in the face these outdoor adventures have been.  I used to be tough!  Yes, I have always been a bit cold-blooded, but never to the point where I couldn’t take it.

In addition:

Gone are the defined muscles on my legs and arms.  Carrying heavy reptiles is far different from doing heavy farm work all day.  I used to walk 8-12 miles a day at the zoo!  I might not have time for a three hour walk every day, but something is better than nothing.  So now I am throwing a pack on and going for a walk.  Stop me.

A proposal to push future inaugurals back to April

•January 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Good thing it was all on TV.

Ten minutes into the ride, I knew something was wrong.  This is the point in time where your body warms up and your cardio is in full swing. I was not feeling any warmer.  My fingers were tingling with the familiar pins and needles pain multiplied a thousand times.  I constantly wiggled my fingers as my legs pumped up and down on the pedals.

I could no longer feel my ears as I expected.  Then, I sped through a stop sign, unable to operate my breaks.  My hands were completely numb, unfeeling.  I turned around to let my bike slow down on the hill I had just descended.  Twenty minutes back to the house where warmer ski gloves sat on the dining room table.  It would be worth it.

Back in my neighborhood, I made a wrong turn down a very familiar street ending up at a busy intersection I should never had seen this morning.  I was becoming disoriented and making stupid mistakes, one of the symptoms of hypothermia.  Hypothermia at that stage takes hours to develop, but I wanted to take no more chances.

I got off my bike in order to keep my body moving while going down hills and to give myself a chance to evaluate where I was going in the dark.  My thighs, chest, and upper arms were beginning to feel warm.  Was I sweating?

Back at the house, it must have taken me a full five minutes to get my keys out.  Visually guiding the digits I could no longer feel.  I managed to clumsily get the door open and my bike inside the house.  My whole body felt like it were on fire!

Thankfully, I had a husband who confirmed that I was ice cold all over.  Ski-gloves or no, I would not be going back out.

Over a month of excited planning had been halted due to cold temperatures and lack of proper gloves and cold weather acclimation. It was ten degrees colder than the weather guys predicted the night before with a windchill bringing the temperature to 10 degrees.  On the bike, the increased windchill would make it feel like single digits.  Its a good thing my fingers went numb that close to the house.  I am not sure what I would have done if I were already well on the bike trail.  An hour and a half in the cold on the way to the city easily would be enough time to lower my core body temperature to severe hypothermia.

I am not sure what I have learned from this yet.  It was not my first time riding to the city, a mere 16 miles.  I never had done so in such cold!

Big changes came to pass on this historic day.  Maybe I need to spend more time outside…

So, THAT is why I did not make it to the inaugural on the mall.

Biking In to the Inaugural

•January 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

How many times does a man get elected to warrant millions of people to descend onto  the Capital grounds?  It could be once in a lifetime.

I am lucky enough to have a camera and a bicycle at hand.  DC is providing a free bike valet at the Jefferson Monument!

If all turned out well. The map below shows approximately my route. If not, never fear, pictures after.

Inauguration Route