Category: Wildlife

While I continue to recover my health, please enjoy these baby hummingbirds!

Thanks to

Stream videos at Ustream

Check out this week’s issue of The Free Weekly for a concept design of one acre for Making Ripples!

Ryan & I have been thinking hard since August 2011 about how to make the most ripples on a small piece of land.  There are so many wonders to be created on just one acre for Ripples, if it’s healthy, protected and sustainable: native pollinators, trees, and wildlife; rainwater harvesting systems; technology that makes a difference globally; alternative power sources like solar panels; fresh organic vegetables and herbs; healing pathways through the forest, and much more!  These are just ideas, but some of them are already alive and well: technology help for non-profits, our blog and column, a rain barrel, bicycles, and more.  But we can’t make a more tangible difference in Northwest Arkansas without the land.  Have you seen this acre?  If so, let us know by emailing

Thanks! :)

Dogs that save endangered animal and plant species!

This week’s issue of The Free Weekly is probably my favorite issue ever, because of the wonderful inclusion of a new comic strip: Eve of the Ozarks.  It’s got a unique art style, awesome fairy-like characters and a decent plot set locally in Arkansas.  Also, check out this week’s Making Ripples column about trained dogs working as conservation heroes around the world, with lots of potential to help local species make a comeback, too. Here’s an incomplete list from on the species that dogs are trained to find:

Black-footed ferrets
Bird and Bat Mortality at wind farms
Individual Siberian Tigers
Desert Tortoise
Kit Fox
Spotted Knapweed Invasions
Ringed Seal lairs and breathing holes
Discriminate between individual Maned Wolves from scat
Right Whale Faeces
Javan Rhinos
Sea Turtle Nests
Invasive Pythons in the Everglades


Check out Day by Day the Farm Girl Way!

This blog is one of the best I’ve found that discusses the life of a woman living on 10 acres and photographing wildlife.  I strive to learn more about native habitat creation, and get better with my camera (and my hand-drawn illustrations).  Recently, Day by Day the Farm Girl Way made an informative blog post about following animal trails and learning which species are visiting the area, what they’re eating, and more secrets of the forest.  Hop on down the trail and check it out!

Bringing you fuzzy tidings on colorful wings and wet noses this holiday season!

Yes, the bluejay is as big as the raccoon because it’s a baby raccoon named Pancake, the son of Waffles. Amanda drew this with the cheapest markers and black ink, using a mechanical pencil for the first sketch, then inking and coloring it in.  This drawing is the first in Ripples’ 2013 art, using circles and themes from our blog posts to illustrate the importance of sustainability and social justice.

Making Christmas magic for wildlife this year.

A bit of trivia from Science 2.0: the first artificial trees were basically really tall toilet brushes, manufactured by a toilet brush company!  Read what I’ve learned about artificial and real Christmas trees, the pros and the cons of each, in the latest column of Making Ripples in The Free Weekly that came out yesterday when I was so busy working on concept art for Ripples 2013 that I totally forgot to post a link!  Sorry folks.  But the art is coming along, and next week there will be a holiday surprise from Ripples to all of you!  Check out The Free Weekly online to learn about how you can recycle your live trees in Bella Vista this year to help little fishies have lake habitat.

Ryan & I are decorating our wildlife “tree” soon and will be posting photos here next week once we do.  Cross your fingers that we get a deer or some cute squirrels!

The latest Ripples’ column in The Free Weekly is about my favorite subject…wildlife! View full article »

The Great Grey Slug, or “Leopard Slug,” likes to visit our front door!

My buddy the great grey slug, beautiful creatures that are willing to eat cracked corn!

I love slugs.  I like snails too, with their spiral shells reminiscent of galaxies and concepts much larger than themselves.  But snails are pretty hard for me to find – I only have one snail shell sitting on my bathroom sink in the soap dish – whereas slugs come calling every night.  They love the entrance to our “burrow” (the nickname for our apartment) and lately I’ve discovered that the only animals to eat my corn are the groundhogs and the slugs.  They are gorgeous, with a pattern resembling a leopard, and they’re one of the largest land slugs in the world, introduced from Europe.  Even their eggs are beautiful, like crystal marbles (at least the images on Wikipedia look great).

Even though slugs frustrate gardeners everywhere, for me they fall into the category of “awesome” despite my gardener aspirations.  I’ll be the kind of gardener that loves garden-eating animals, like the hound dog loving the fox.  And it’s helpful that they eat cracked corn when none of the birds since April have touched it.  This explains to me the meaning behind that song I don’t understand, Jimmy cracked corn and I don’t care, because nobody cares about cracked corn except our slugs. It makes me feel good knowing these little cuties get to eat something that won’t bother any gardeners.  When this bag of cracked corn runs out I can go buy birdseed the birds will eat, like black sunflower seeds.

Waffles the Raccoon has a very cute baby!

Pancake the baby raccoon!

There’s one baby raccoon in particular who likes to explore.  She, or he, is quite an attractive, curious animal, with fluffier fur, a perfectly poofy ring tail, and very black fur around the eyes.  We’ve decided to name him, or her, Pancake!

Pancake enjoys visiting our backyard every morning and evening, often coming alone.  Pancake will roll around on the deck near the cat food, licking its little raccoon paws.  One day, I was standing outside our front door and Pancake was en route to the woods following the raccoon parade of mom and four siblings.  All the other raccoons fled as soon as they heard me, but Pancake froze in place, curious.  Sniffing the air, Pancake posed for this picture.  Raccoons are incredibly intelligent and I wonder what Pancake thinks of me.  It’s a moment I’ll never forget!

We have a groundhog!

Today I’m celebrating our very large ground-dwelling critter who munches our compost.  Thanks to Disney’s Bambi II, when little rabbits jump up and down singing “groundhog, groundhog!” I’m very fond of groundhogs. View full article »