Thursday, April 2, 2009

Noteworthy News

My mother (one of my biggest blog fans and lover of shrews) broke her femur this week during a fall. She had surgery last night for 2 to 3 hours; the surgeon replaced the head of the femur on her right leg with an aritificial ball that is now hooked into her femur and pelvic bone. Soon after the surgery she was moved back to her room at 11:00 pm last night, still groggy, but my dad was able to see her and then head home for a good nights rest. I just spoke with her and the doctors already had her stand on her left (good) leg briefly and rotated her right leg a bit, which is in a cloth-like cast. While lying in bed now she is to focus on exercising her muscles -- rotating both ankles and moving her arms. For lunch she had milk, coffee, applesauce, pudding, and ice cream! She is in good spirits and doing darn well at 87. She will have lots of stories to tell about all the doctors, nurses, and the things that were done to her. Likely in a few days she will be moved to a rehab center closer to home.

........ So, in a few more days my natural wanderings and blog stories will shift to a new location for a while as I visit my mom and help out at home. There will be lots to see and write about on Winterberry Farm in western Massachusetts.

First phoebe! The first phoebe of the year appeared yesterday. It landed on the bird feeder post (sans sunflower seed feeders), bobbing its tail, and eyeing the deck, under which it builds a nest each year. Seems like a later arrival than usual.

First mourning cloak! As is tradition, the first adult butterfly of the year in our neighborhood is a mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) that I saw flitting about today under a warm April sun (nudging 60F!). These beautiful brownish-purple butterflies have a prominent light yellow band along the outer, ragged edge of the wings, and a row of iridescent blue spots just inside the yellow border. Mourning cloaks can live up to a year and overwinter as adults under tree bark, in cavities, and under eaves, just waiting for the first warm spring day to flex their wings again. Photo from University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

A small plug for my website (ibiswildlife.com), which is now up and running (although a few tweaks still needed). Now I have to learn how to update it myself; seems a wee more complicated than using blogspot for this blog.

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