Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

This gloomy rainy evening has got me thinking that we need to add a little color to liven things up. I offer to you these bright, joyful flowers and berries growing in Norfolk’s own Weyanoke Bird and Wildflower Sanctuary.

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All photos by Jennifer Miele

 

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Since our clinic is happily located only minutes away from Norfolk Botanical Garden, I decided to make use of my membership card and take a stroll after work. Join me on this walk through the woods and then make time to see it for yourself.

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The gardens were peaceful, except for the stirrings of little forest creatures like this guy:

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The raccoon posed for a photo as he crossed the lane, but I took so long getting the camera ready that he tired of waiting and moved on.
I had no chance to snap his little friend who came crashing through the shrubs a moment later.

Lush banks of azaleas urged me onward.

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The azaleas seemed to glow with color even as sunlight began to fade.

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I stopped to gaze at the lake where fish caught their dinner and lazy turtles napped in the waning light.

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This has always been my favorite reading spot in the garden.
Without a book in hand, I snapped a photo and continued on.

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The white azaleas beckoned me forward. How could I resist?

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At nearly 7 o’clock, I headed back to the parking lot.
But first, a quick stop at the fountain…

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…and the Japanese Garden.

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My visit is complete.
What will you see when you visit the Garden?

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All photos by Jennifer Miele.

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We’re still waiting on the massive snowstorm headed our way (I don’t want to jinx us, but we’re supposed to get 2-4 snowflakes this evening!), but you can start making plans for after the Great Winter Meltdown.

Mark your calendar for these local events:

Winter Wildlife Festival
WHEN:  Saturday, January 25…….10 AM to 4 PM
WHERE:  Princess Anne Recreation Center in Virginia Beach
WHO:  All ages

COST:  Free
LEARN MORE:  www.VBgov.com/WinterWildlife
Saturday, January 25 | 10 am – 4 pm | Free & Open to the Public
All ages | Be sure to stop by the Exhibit Hall at Princess Anne Recreation Center and speak with our Winter Wildlife Festival partners and exhibitors, including Virginia Aquarium, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia State Parks, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Lynnhaven River NOW, and Virginia Beach Audubon Society. You’ll learn ways to get involved with local efforts and find out what environmental groups and businesses are up to. Also, check out the decoy carvers from the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, and walk next door for children’s activities at Princess Anne Library!

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Pawsitive Reading with Therapy Dogs
WHEN:  Saturday, February 1……..10 to 11 AM
WHERE:  MEO Central Library, Virginia Beach
also at Princess Anne Library……..10:30 to 11:30 AM
or
WHEN:  Saturday, February 8……..10:30 to 11:30 AM
WHERE:  Oceanfront Library and Great Neck Library, Virginia Beach
WHO:  Kindergarteners through 5th Graders
COST: Free
REGISTER (required):  www.VBgov.com/library-events
Practice your reading skills by sharing stories with therapy dogs. Bring your own book or choose one from our selection. Grades K-5. Call 385-2606 to register.

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Boys Choir of Hampton Roads Concert
WHEN:  Sunday, February 9……..4PM, reception follows

WHERE:  Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Norfolk
WHO: All ages
COST:  FREE
LEARN MORE: www.blessed-sacrament.com and www.theboyschoirofhamptonroads.org
Founded in 1997, this group of young men lift their voices in song as they
reinforce positive self-image for youth.

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Following is a semi-exhaustive picture dictionary of animals we don’t treat.

Bees

Bees

Butterflies

Butterflies

Dragonflies

Dragonflies

Slugs

Slugs

Goose, ducks

Geese with duck harem

Rude ducks that talk over each other

Rude ducks that talk over each other

and finally…

Otters carved out of wood

Otters carved out of wood

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All photos by Jennifer Miele.
Bee: Colonial Williamsburg
Butterfly, dragonfly, slug, quacking ducks, otter carving: Chesapeake Arboretum
Goose with ducks: Mariners’ Museum Park at Newport News

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82° F today?  Summer weather is here, folks – so it’s time to get outdoors and get moving.

With the warm-up upon us, pet owners will be taking advantage of the season to go camping, hiking, swimming, and playing in the backyard with their dogs.  But they’re not the only ones out in force — wild animals will be enjoying the weather, too.  The problem is, wildlife can leave behind a bacterium called Leptospirosis, which infects both people and their pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis - a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis – a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.

LEPTOSPIROSIS PROFILE

Found in:  Water, soil, mud, and food contaminated with animal urine.  Flood water is especially hazardous.  Also found in an infected animal’s tissues and bodily fluids such as blood and urine.

Host animals:  Raccoons, squirrels, opossums, deer, skunks, rodents, livestock, dogs, and rarely in cats.

Points of entry:  Cut or scratch on the skin; mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth; inhaling aerosolized fluids.  Drinking contaminated water; exposure to flood water.

Symptoms in people:  Fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, jaundice, vomiting, rash, anemia, meningitis.  Some people show no symptoms.

Symptoms in pets:  Fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, depression, stiffness, muscle pain.  Some pets show no symptoms.  The disease can be fatal in pets.

When will it show up in my pet:  Between 5-14 days post-exposure, although in some cases it may take up to 30 days.

Gravity:  In people, Lepto infection can lead to kidney and liver failure, and death if left untreated.

Who is at risk:  Campers, water sportsmen, farmers, military, to name a few.

Prevention

  • Vaccinate dogs annually for Leptospirosis
  • Don’t allow dogs to drink from puddles, streams, lakes, or other water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Don’t swim in water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Wear shoes when outdoors
  • Keep dogs out of children’s play areas
  • Control rodents around your home and yard

Resources: 

http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html  Visit the CDC website for comprehensive information on Leptospirosis in people and pets.

http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/pdf/fact-sheet.pdf  Print your own Lepto fact sheet, or send us a message using the contact form, and we’ll print one for you.

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This article originally posted on July 8, 2011.

Photo credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson, via Wikimedia Commons.

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I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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All photos by Jennifer Miele, at Lone Star Lakes Park in Suffolk.

P.S. I see a swan in the clouds in the first picture. Do you?

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Happy for the cozy temperatures and blue skies we’ve been blessed with the past two weekends, I took the opportunity to twice visit one of my favorite free parks in Virginia — Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield; and I got to know an area that’s new to me — the Mariners’ Museum Park  in Newport News.

I began two Saturdays ago by visiting Windsor Castle Park, just a short drive down the highway from a farm in Suffolk where I take weekend horseback riding lessons. I’ve learned that one of the best things I can do for myself after riding is to go for a nice long walk, to ward off next-day muscle soreness.

Keeper, my lesson horse at Indian Point Farm. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

Keeper, my lesson horse at Indian Point Farm. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

At the park, I kept an eye out for wildlife slightly more exotic than the ubiquitous squirrels. To my delight, I caught sight of a nutria swimming around in the marsh. 

Water rat

He’s larger than he looks! Photo by Jen Miele.

Also spotted, but not photographed: hawks, turkey vultures, and fiddler crabs. I did get a kick out of two squirrels playing a game of tag. The game ended abruptly when Squirrel A jumped up on a bridge, saw me standing there, then turned around and high-tailed it up a tree. Squirrel B (the chaser) had already spotted me and took off in the opposite direction.

The real wildlife worth watching that day were the slightly buzzed folks returning from the Annual Smithfield Wine and Brew Fest held at the park. After chatting up some friendly locals, I turned my attention back to the marshes.

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Windsor Castle Park. Photo by Jen Miele.

Windsor Castle Park. Photo by Jen Miele.

Windsor Castle Park. Photo by Jen Miele.

The next day, I toured the “Working South” exhibit at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, then set out on the nearby Noland Trail at Mariners’ Museum Park, having forgotten my water bottle, not dressed for hiking, and not realizing the trail is 5 miles long. But I did bring my camera.

Dogwood blossom, Mariners' Museum Park, Newport News, VA. Photo by Jen Miele.

Dogwood blossom, Mariners’ Museum Park, Newport News, VA. Photo by Jen Miele.

Lake Maury. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

Lake Maury. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

Long-leggedy beastie sneaking around the pool. Photo by Jen Miele.

Long-leggedy beastie sneaking around the pool. Photo by Jen Miele.

Hungry turtle. Photo by Jen Miele.

Hungry turtle. Photo by Jen Miele.

This past Saturday, I returned to Windsor Castle Park and cleaned up on the animal sightings. There was yet another (or possibly the same) nutria, for starters.

My camera battery was giving up the ghost, so here is a list of animals I saw and did not photograph: a red-winged blackbird, a goose, turkey vultures, cormorants, cardinals, a skink, turtles, little fish that stay underwater and larger, splashy ones that breach the surface whenever I look the other way.

Sunlight sparkles on the surface of Cypress Creek. Photo by Jen Miele.

Sunlight sparkles on the surface of Cypress Creek. Photo by Jen Miele.

I did capture this heron standing by the shore:

Egret on Cypress Creek. Photo by Jen Miele.

Egret on Cypress Creek. Photo by Jen Miele.

Continuing down the path, I enjoyed the view.

Natural beauty. Photo by Jen Miele.

Natural beauty. Photo by Jen Miele.

Cypress Creek at Windsor Castle Park. Photo by Jen Miele,

Cypress Creek at Windsor Castle Park. Photo by Jen Miele,

Finally — and the absolute highlight of my day — I met the Princess of Windsor Castle Park:

Trail buddy. Photo by Jen Miele.

Trail buddy. Photo by Jen Miele.

Far from being bad luck, Princess was the perfect traveling companion. Though strangers at first, we snuggled on a bench at the end of a pier and admired the view, including the egret pictured earlier. A vulture circled above, then swooped down low to get a better look at us. Just as I was pondering the absence of cormorants in the park, one of the jet-black birds flew overhead.

Adding to the drama, a slate-grey military ‘copter hacked its way through the air over us, using Cypress Creek as its flight path. (Cue “Paint it, Black” by the Rolling Stones.) I waved to the occupants of the helicopter, and I like to think they smiled and waved back at the girl sitting on a bench over the water, cuddling a black cat.

Finally, I’d like to share yet another tree-hugger photo, proving once again that the most dedicated tree-huggers in the world actually live in the forest:

Is this how trees reproduce? Photo by Jen Miele.

Is this how trees reproduce? Photo by Jen Miele.

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