The other day, I was surprised to see a stranger on my front doorstep! A lizard!
one of these? I have no idea; I just wondered if it was a 'lucky lizard'. At the same time we spotted the lizard, my son was replacing the hubs on his car wheels and he had left the trunk open. As I peered into the dark trunk, I took out a large bin and noticed something black tucked in behind it. "What is this?" I asked. His face lit up. Lo and behold, it was his winter jacket that he had been searching for, for months ~ and in the pocket of said jacket was the spare key for my vehicle. Yay! Thank you lucky lizard!
The lizard becomes the latest addition to the list of wildlife creatures that inhabit my garden and yard environment. Speaking of wildlife, I dropped in to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre today. This particular refuge has an interesting history, see the link. Even though Snowbird lives way across the pond, I could imagine her popping out any minute surrounded by an entourage of animals and birds.;) As with her recovery centre, this one relies on volunteers for assistance.
It was a bit of a dull, but warm, day which didn't lend itself to good lighting for photography...plus the birds and animals were hidden behind branches...and of course protective fencing. Here are some highlights of my visit:
An eye-catching carving greeted visitors.
Two little bear cubs clamoring up a tree stump. This refuge is well known for its bear recovery program. Apparently around 70 bears have been treated over the years. In February, two tiny baby bears were left orphaned when their mother was hit and killed by a truck on the highway. Recently two more cubs (about the same age as the other two are now) were rescued. I'm not sure what happened to their mother. The cubs are in a large enclosure which can be seen on a webcam in one of the buildings, and it was fun to see them cavorting about, playing together as cubs do. These bears will be relocated in the wild once they are old enough to fend for themselves so its important that they are kept isolated from people. The sounds of the natural environment are piped in to their environment...and they are carefully monitored.
There is one resident ... very large... bear, Knut, who was ambling about his territory. I just missed seeing having a splashy bath in a big tub. Here he is in a resting area. Can you see him?
youtube that shows Knut being fed by hand out of a bucket...(move ahead in the video) something that is not wise in the outside world! We are encouraged, for example, to pick all fruit from trees or off the ground, as soon as possible to discourage bears from sauntering into neighbourhoods at harvest time. Sounds like a plan to me!
There were quite a variety of owls ~ horned, barred, tufted, all with their own story. Here is a barred owl...a bit of an odd shot!
Now on to the hawks and falcons:
Look at Emily, a Saker Falcon! (an aside: it sounds like the falconer had the head trauma...;))
There were many interesting and informative exhibits. The large flight centre can be viewed through small one way glass sections. I saw some bald eagles, other large raptors and smaller birds through the little window. There is a treatment area as well where a vet volunteers his services to wounded or sick creatures. At the moment an eagle that was covered in oil is being carefully washed and it will hopefully be released once it is clean and has moulted again.
On the way out, I noticed this rather disheveled looking individual on the roof, and I wondered what it was thinking...perhaps: