Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Barred Owl release

A release of a formally injured Barred Owl flying back where it belongs, the Wild  !

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Raptor Rehabilitation/A Very Special Eagle

This is a photo of the first wild Bald Eagle I ever participated in caring for. She was a big, beautiful raptor with the attitude that high, acrobatic flyers of nature possess . She came to the World Bird Sanctuary Wildlife hospital after hanging on a trot line over a river. Nerve damage to her wing left her unable to fly. Not one person ever gave up on her and after 18 months she was released back where she belonged, the wild.
If you are curious about the anklets/jesses and nylon line attached to her legs watch the video Scott Smith produced about her that shows more of her very cool, very special story. Just use this link....

This photo was taken by the Worlds greatest photographer. My brother, Patrick Lanham

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Not these two, no way

I often see ads of grandparents interacting with their grandchildren. The grandmother in her scooter or the grandfather making model airplanes. Not these two, no way !
These two never were indoors very much. Not even when at home. You would find him in his porch swing, her in her garden. These two would have rather stayed outside, out in nature. Both with a fishing pole, and him watching all around him, at beauty he cast his blue eyed gaze upon.
He was a charmer, not a person he couldn't talk to. She a beauty, fashionable even casting her wiggly plastic worms in any hole that would keep some fish.
He knew trees, and plants, and animals,but especially trees. He would point them out. Oak,hickory,dogwood, he knew them all. Not in a lumberjack sort of way. More like a man stepping through the leaves of familiarity. A man who had been away too long, a man who came home.
She loved to cook, sending her grandchildren high into mulberry trees, to pick the ripest for her pies. Her garden was perfect, and she would fish until well after dark, for that Bass that would be battered and fried.
These two never feared nature, but seemed comfortable in it. These two passed along their easy understanding of how to behave and how to not fear. "Never shoot anything just for fun." Animals, birds,squirrels and such. "If you don't bother him, he won't bother you." Speaking of the snake that stumbled upon a young boy as he stumbled upon him in the high grass. They both showed their courage by accelerating to light speed in opposite directions.
These two passed on lessons for a young grandson. Simple truths taught to one of their admirers who could not be happier in the hot summer sun, outside with two people who he found himself later imitating, as he walks quietly amongst the leaves of familiarity, like a man who has come home.
These two are Conrad and Martha Payne, of Owensboro, Kentucky. (Miss you and thanks !)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Eagles/Art/and an Artist from the Eagle Clan of the Acoma Pueblo

I was traveling through New Mexico on the way to Tempe, Az. About 60 miles West of Albuquerque we drove into the Acoma Pueblo lands. After meeting a few artists we were told of the Acoma lands and that one of the longest inhabitated places in North America was here. Skycity. We pressed on exploring further when another artist asked us to find a man named Gary Keene who had in his possession a petition to give the Cultural Center and it's tours back to the Acoma people. We went further into the Acoma lands that had a spacious valley bordered by impressive Mesas and Mountains. There were Mesas in this beautiful desert valley as well.
We found Gary Keene selling his art by the roadside with several other Acoma people.we began discussing the issue pertaining to his petition when I saw that one of his drawings had an Eagle.
No Ordinary Eagle, but one drawn with symbols of arrowheads, lines, dots,and others.
I know an eagle anywhere. I have had the honor and privilege to work on, near and for Eagles for the last several years. Add on the years of being in the presence of these raptors in the Wild, has given me the ability to spot one. For that I am fortunate ! I inquired about the symbols and Gary told me that the arrowheads were thunder, lines and dots were rain. We then talked eagles.
A member of the Eagle Clan, Gary told of the power of the Eagle and how his people would catch them,live. A hole was dug and a rabbit tied with a piece of the leather tied to a wooden stake. Hidden in the hole until the Eagle takes the bait, the hunter would spring out catching the Eagle by the legs. Fantastic !
I shared with him some photos I carry with me on my phone of various Eagles I have cared for.
"Brother you are blessed" he said to me.
"Very much so" was my response
The drawing was purchased, the petition was signed and we were informed that Gary has his Artwork in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian. Gary Keens Acoma name is Waya'Aisiwa.

I am blessed ! I really like wildlife people and Eagle people are great people to meet!

Link to Gary's art at the Smithsonian.

Near SkyCity, New Mexico, of the Acoma Pueblo

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.  Beautiful Place !

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Desert Dreams

I had a dream I met a lady in the Desert. As we exchanged our greetings, I saw her wind blown hair, and she greeted me with an enthusiastic wave of her arm. Even though we could not speak the same tongue. I knew she had always flourished here, and was grateful for her welcome.

"I dreamed I met a woman in the Desert." Saguaro Cactus, Sonoran Desert, Arizona.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

From a Distance

This is how they prefer to be seen, from a distance. They do not trust man enough to allow you to come too close. They know of gunshots, arrows, rocks, poisons, and even man's desire to "Get a closer look". They have learned, and almost always allow you to gaze at their wonder, from a distance.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Snapping turtle Xray

The Hosts for the IWRC course was the Wildlife Rescue Center. They gave us a tour of their very modern facility. This x-ray is of a Snapping Turtle they have as a patient. He was hit by a car probably trying to find a great spot to wait out the oncoming winter. He is expected to be release.
Great goings on at the center ......

Wildlife Rehabilitation Course

I spent a great weekend attending the Wildlife Rehabilitators course conducted by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. I have been doing Wildlife Rehabilitation for several years but it has always been Raptor specific with a few large waterfowl like Trumpeter Swans and Shorebirds such as Herons. I wanted to learn more, especially about mammals and reptiles.
This is a pic of my lab partner holding a very rare Missouri Dwarf Giraffe, after I applied a "Robert Jones" Bandage, to its' broken leg.
The course was great and I really like being around wildlife people. They are truly special !

Here is the link to th e IWRC......

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Opposum Missile! Everything has it's place

It was cold, rainy and very dark when I was driving to the gas station this morning. The dull feeling in my skull from waking in the middle of the night had not yet shrunk to a normal level. I was driving along when I picked up the sight of four rapidly moving tiny feet coming at me at a ninety degree angle. I moved my eyes and saw an Opossum on a collision course with my car. He was homing in on my car like some crazed Opossum missile. I swerved hard to avoid him, hoping that my car did not spin out of control. As I passed the perceived point of impact, I let go of the breath I was holding waiting for the "Thud" that never came. I went on to work with a "You are not going to believe what happened to me" story. I am sure the Opossum was telling a different version of the story!
I began to think it strange that the night before I was reading an animals tracks book with the last page I read was the Opossum.
My brain deviated to the time I was taking a live trapped Opossum to a place that gave it less opportunity to get into trouble. I was stopped by a woman who was looking for some directions. She saw the captured lil' guy and said, "You should kill it, they eat baby birds." Being as I was working at a bird sanctuary I am sure she thought I would readily agree. Her face became angry when I said "Everything has it's place" she quickly responded by saying "I guess you are not as hard as I am!". I responded with the same phrase, despite thinking, "I am not as ignorant and mean!" I am sure my face betrayed me because she stomped her "Hard" little self back to her truck.
I continued on my little mission and was very pleased at the spot I picked, and opened the trap. The Opossum ran at full speed down a creek and into the forest. I believe he had heard the conversation I had with his potential executioner, and that he was running as fast as he could from people more "Hard" than I was. The Opossum also had tell his "You are not going to believe what happened to me" story.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A cool book " Carnivores of the World"

A few days ago I finally put my eyes onto a book I have waited in anticipation for.
"Carnivores of the World" by Panthera's Dr Luke Hunter. I wanted the book to learn more about predators of the Americas. A good book helps you learn what interests you. A great book causes you to tromp down the path to learning more. I love the descriptions of Mountain Lions,American Minks and Jaguars and such. But I have never before heard of a Chinese Mountain Cat. Huh! Fascinating! Here is the link.......