Tag Archives: Urban Wildlife

Urban Wildlife Encounter ๐Ÿข

Yesterday near the end of the day, after four commissions and a ton of chores, I went grocery shopping. On the way, I met a big turtle! So I put my little shopping cart to the side (I bring my own to the store so I can walk both ways) and got closer for some photos and video.

You can’t really tell in this photo but it was massive, over a full foot long.

I rarely see them this big, and only in the water. It was a good distance away from the water. Here’s a little video:

Originally, I intended to leave it alone then, and began to walk away. But it seemed to have veered towards the sidewalk, and the sidewalk is next to Pines Boulevard, which has busy and dangerous traffic. That aside, I was also concerned someone would simply take it away from its home. It was so massive and conspicuous. So I began to walk behind it to gently gear it back toward its water home.

I didn’t want to panic it into making a clumsy jump back into the water, so I did stop once it was closer to it. The interesting thing is, if you notice in the worn grass, this turtle has worn a regular path to where I found it. ๐Ÿ˜Š I hope it will continue to stay safe.

The area where this turtle lives is also full of iguanas. Everyone talks about how they are an invasive species and this is true, but I love them all the same.

A Li’l Snail’s Close Call! ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿœ

Recently, it’s been raining a lot. That means lots of snails on the sidewalk, and so, sometimes, after a rain, I go snail hunting.

These little guys, they’ll get to the middle of the sidewalk, and go to sleep when the rain stops and the clouds part. There, they’ll either be stepped on, or cook alive in the sun, or get eaten by birds (usually one, then the other). Often I’ll just pick them up and throw them on the grass to save them from this fate.

I rescued a ton this week, since I’d been looking to replenish my West Indian Bulimulus rout. They are sturdy little fellas and live a long time when properly cared for. One of my recent rescues has a bit of an enthralling story (for a snail.)

It’s this little guy, one of the smallest of his species that I have ever come across:

I only really spotted him because he was covered in black ants. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I was sure he was dead/half eaten, but I got all the ants off somehow, including a persistent one that had made its way inside his shell. I took him home anyway. My guess is he was, maybe, 20 seconds away from being eaten.

An hour after I put him in the tank at home, he’d moved to the top of the lid, and hid. I didn’t get to see him move, but I knew he was alive!

I coaxed him out once he had some time to rest. He was in perfectly fine shape:

I’m sure he didn’t even know that he was seconds from being devoured quite literally alive. I hope he grows big and strong in his new digs. ๐Ÿ˜Š For now he’s in the quarantine tank with my other snails, being dewormed and making sure he has no other parasites.

Lawyer Appointment With Mom ๐Ÿ’•

Hello, everyone, how are you? Today my mom and I had an appointment with our immigration lawyer. It went very well. We are working on her case now which looks to be quite easy (hopefully –apparently.)

I’ve been enjoying dressing “fun” again, this was my outfit for today:

I’m really over the moon about this new bag that I got on Teepublic, it goes with a lot of my outfits:

After the lawyer we had a little late lunch. I can’t wait to have my mom here so on some days we can take a leisurely walk to a cafe like this one and have brunch together, and with all she’s done for me, to always be the one treating her. I want to see her smile more, and more easily, and be less tired.

We parted ways at Don Pan. She took a car home, while I walked the two miles to my home:

I got a whole bunch of things at Dollar Tree for the citizenship party on the way. It was hot outside but bearable since I walked in the shade. I happened upon a feisty crow who was probably guarding their nest:

When I got home my friend Al (once my boss, who along with his wife officiated our wedding) was already there. He’s been staying at our house often due to work. Christopher was home early since he’d been to take his second Covid shot, and feeling the first side effects.

After this I just worked on art all day. It was a good day. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Off To A Good Start โœจ๐ŸŒˆ

Hi everyone! ๐Ÿ‘‹ It’s a brand new week. I feel like I’ve started it on the right foot –I got up really early today, at 6:00am, and went on my morning walk. I’m starting to feel in the mood to take outfit-of-the-day selfies again it seems…

As part of my morning walk I went grocery shopping. Today’s interesting find was a brand new burrowing owl nesting site. I didn’t get too close, as it’s not allowed to disturb the owls.

I had a nice snack after I got home! I was quite worn out. My bags were very heavy.

After that I worked on my “100 Days Of Warm-Ups” stuff, on housework, and I studied for the citizenship test. Then I went on another walk.

On my second walk I saw a beautiful drop of sap dripping off a tree.

I don’t know why, but I thought it was lovely, like a precious jewel…

I also saw a monarch butterfly. It was massive! But I was unable to take a photo, it was too fast, had things to do and places to be. ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ’จ

I’m sorry to make today’s post so short. It’s such a busy week and going to get busier, but I’m going to try to post every day (or just about.)

It’s A New Day –Let’s Try Again! ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒˆ

Hello, everyone! And good morning to you all. I had a good night’s sleep, and started my day off on the right foot by going on a long walk. It was lovely. I saw a good amount of urban wildlife –some cranes, a friendly cat, squirrels, snails, worms, all kinds of birds.

The cat was very healthy looking, just beautiful, and so friendly. He followed me for a little while. I should have taken a better photo. He seemed happy.

This squirrel let me get quite close…

There were tons of little snails and their shimmery trails on the sidewalk. The snails were asleep, ready to be stepped on or cooked by the sun. So I picked up all the ones I saw and put them in the grass, easily over ten. There was also a poor worm jumping around like crazy. I helped it find its way back to the cool grass.

My plans for today are to do all my house chores, head to Target to pick up some dumbbells to strengthen my wrists and get a bike ride in in the process, and work on commissions some more. I hope your Saturday is off to a great start!

Train Museum Outing ๐Ÿš‚๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’•

Yesterday was a huge, HUGE treat of a day! Christopher took me to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, and he bought me a little train there, and a whistle, and then he took me to The Falls for a walk and lunch, and then we went to a Learning Express toy store, and to Target (where we got more trains) and to IKEA, where we got more track, and a turntable and two bridges.

The weather was cool but sunny and windy, just wonderfully pleasant. I wore Lolita, and just felt so happy, like all my bad mood of the past week melted away. It was a proper, day-long date, and I was in heaven.

๐Ÿš‚ The Museum ๐Ÿš‚

First let me tell you about the train museum. I got way too many photos:

After the area you see above, was the gift shop. They had a whole bunch of Thomas stuff! As I mentioned above, Christopher got me a little engine (James) and a whistle. I was completely shocked that he said yes to James, he was very pricey, but I was so happy and couldn’t stop looking at him the rest of the day:

What I didn’t realize is that the wrinkles weren’t only on the packaging but also on the sticker on the whistle, which is peeling right off! However, that is okay. I’m going to remove the sticker, and decorate the whistle with a Thomas-themed transfer I’ll customize myself. The whistle sounds AMAZING, better than other whistles of the same price on Amazon, and it’s still special because we got it at the museum, so I still love it. Besides, customizing it will be fun!

We also got tickets for a little train ride that I really enjoyed (this gif is from the museum’s site, but this was the train we rode):

I have to be honest, the state of the museum itself is a bit… well… there is a lot of decay and you can tell they are probably doing their best with their limited resources, but there is an abandoned feeling to some parts of it. Nevertheless, being able to step inside these pieces of history is incredible to me:

This was one of my favorites because it was so bright. It’s the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL) Caboose #0322:

That one in which I am sitting, you had to climb on, and it was pretty steep!

The Caboose was built in 1923 at the ACL Shops in Waycross, Georgia. It weighs 5 tons, and carried a pot-bellied stove, kerosene lamps, and leather cushions for seating. The Caboose was used on the rear of freight trains throughout ACL’s System.

This is the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Passenger Coach #136:

Built in the 1920s, the FEC #136 played a role in the evacuation of a portion of the Florida Keys as part of preparations for the Labor Day hurricane of 1935.

The FEC #136 is an open air coach, that was typically used during the winter months. It was in passenger service between Jacksonville, KeyWest, and Havana. The FEC #136 was built in 1925 and retired in 1958.

These photos are just random ones that I couldn’t fit anywhere else:

One of my favorites was the U.S. Army Hospital Car #89436:

The U.S. Army Hospital Car #89436 operated as a hospital car, or ‘moving hospital,’ during World War II. The car was to carry one doctor, two nurses, four service personnel, and could carry up to 33 patients. It was majorly used to move military patients between medical facilities.

It was originally built in 1945 by the American Car & Foundry Co.

This is the only car we couldn’t see the inside of, unfortunately. It is the Presidential Pullman Passenger Car “Ferdinand Magellan” U.S. Car #1:

The Ferdinand Magellan is unique among Pullman railroad cars in that it is the only car ever custom built for the President of the United States.

Originally built in 1928, the Ferdinand Magellan was one of the last cars ever built as a private car and was one of a group of six cars named after famous explorers.These cars were all placed in the Pullman general service pool at about the same time and were operated by the Pullman Company over many of the nation’s railroads.

I really wish we could have seen the very fancy inside, but I guess in order to protect the historic artifacts/car, you had to go back inside and ask for a special tour of $5.00 per person. I think Christopher would have said yes if I asked, and I did want to see it, but felt too lazy to go back for that –I guess I didn’t want to see badly enough. ๐Ÿ˜…

Nothing of what we saw beat the steam locomotives. That was UNREAL. These are the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Steam Locomotive #153 AND #113:

FEC 153 was one of a group of 7 pacifics (151-157) built by ALCO in 1922. The FEC Locomotive #153 served on the Florida East Coast Railway from 1922 to 1938. It even pulled a train carrying president Calvin Coolidge to Miami in 1928! 

FEC #113 was one of a group of 60 pacifics (77-136) built by ALCO between 1910 and 1917. It was used in regular revenue service over the entire Florida East Coast Railroad. 

The couple of photos below are from the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) Passenger Combination Baggage-Coach #259:

The SAL Passenger Combination Baggage-Coach #259 was called the โ€œcombineโ€, because the car is part baggage cart and part passenger coach. The car is Also known as a โ€œJim Crowโ€ car because of its segregated seating areas. 18 seats in the front section and 24 in the rear section.

It was rather jarring to bump into someone wearing a Trump/MAGA facemask as we stepped out of this train and they stepped in. Through the window, I saw the woman taking a photo of the man in this mask seemingly by the area where the “white” sign was. It was just kinda sobering.

Here are a few more photos that I didn’t know where else to fit:

And that was that for the train museum. Afterwards, we went to The Falls!

A lot of the info accompanying the photos is from the museum's website: https://www.goldcoastrailroadmuseum.org/
I recommend a visit if you want to learn more!

๐Ÿช The Falls ๐Ÿช

A full year of Covid has had an effect on The Falls. Much was closed or under construction, and due to the latter, my two favorite areas of the mall were destroyed, basically. Everything felt just a little bit more in decay. But there were still cats. This one was very friendly:

We ate at BJ’s. Food options were reduced, on the whole. BJ’s is just “ok”. We enjoyed our meal.

I ordered a sandwich and fries, it was okay, I didn’t eat much of it. It ended up being too heavy/rich.

After that we went to Learning Express (didn’t find anything too interesting) and to Target, where we got a bunch of Battat trains (I don’t think Christopher knew the brand; it was Battat) and I got these little food trucks which don’t fit on the rails obviously but that’s fine, trucks don’t go on rails:

They will be a fine addition to my “towns”. ๐Ÿ˜

Target did have a lot of Thomas but it was the plastic motorized garbage. ๐Ÿ˜ž

After that we went to IKEA for more track, and then home. And that was the end of our outing. It really was wonderful, though I am still tired, even today! That’s probably due to my period, too, though. Now I have to start my day properly, and get housework, art, and exercise done.

Thursday Recap ๐Ÿšฒ๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿ›

Yesterday I received the Limited Edition of Code Realize: Wintertide Miracles!

Iโ€™m super excited to play it, but believe it or not Iโ€™m gonna wait until Christmas. Itโ€™s a seasonal game and I feel Iโ€™ll enjoy it ever so much more.

I also discovered a new bike trail. It was very enjoyable and I plan to go on it again.

During my ride, I saw a mother duck with her ducklings…

I was even able to get a little video:

Something else that happened is, while I was heating my leftovers for lunch, I saw a very distressed earthworm doing jumps on the hot concrete of our screened-in porch. I carefully picked him up by moving him onto some damp paper and removed some of the hairs heโ€™d gotten tangled in. Then I put him in a container with nutrient rich soil, some food scraps, and coffee grounds.

I think he was just so cute. You can see his little mouth at the end of this video:

Iโ€™m not sure if heโ€™s going to survive, honestly. But Iโ€™ll do my best to look after him. As of today, he’d buried himself deep in the soil. If he starts to do better, I’ll buy a bag of worm feed. I’ve named him Spaghetti.

Something else that came yesterday is a package from ODU! It’s the Pupcakes and Mac ‘n Cheese designs. I love them!

I’m wearing one today after I shower, but haven’t decided which just yet. Maybe Pupcakes.

I also have a GigaPets t-rex now. But, I’ve yet to play with it:

My mom in law is coming to visit today so I have lots to do… I’ll end this post here. I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

And I Say Hey! ๐ŸŒˆ

Hi guys! How was your day? Today I had a Zoom chat with my mom for a couple of hours, then worked on both commercial and non-commercial commissions.

Later I relaxed working on my journal while watching Arthur. It was a very rainy day, I enjoyed listening to the rain while I worked.

In the late afternoon the rain stopped, and I caught this squirrel lounging like this on the fence. Looks uncomfortable but it was so relaxed. Watched it getting in and out of this position twice, doing a happy stretch once. Adorable!

In the evening I fed the snails as their “day” began:

How about you, what did you do today?