It's not easy being REEN

Life in Hollywierd

Monday, December 11, 2006

foxy lady

My adventure took me to Fox Island (one of the Channel Islands of California) in my search for true love in the wild.

As you can see I found a happy couple snuggling up. Foxes do mate for life. Unless a younger, better looking fox comes into a female's territory. Apparently, a stranger passing through is the only thing that might make the female stray.

C'mon ladies, must we get so easily distracted? Where is the love? Dedication? You sly little foxes.

dreaming of moose

Some people count sheep before they go to sleep -- I count moose. I only got to 1 before I fell asleep. I was in Maine and knew I was going to track wild moose the next day, so this helped me prepare...

Camel wear...

It turns out the humps on a camel do not hold water. The humps are made of fatty tissue, the water is stored on the blood! And they can go 2 weeks without water and a month without food.

My favorite thing is their eye lashes...they have 2 sets so that they can shut out the strong sand in the desert storms... and helloooooo -- look beautiful at the same time! They can also close their nostrils if needed, and their coat reflects the sun to keep them cool.

And have you seen their fantastic long legs to keep them away from the hot sand? If I were a camel with the eyelashes and long legs it would be enough to make me put up with the 2 humps of fat on my back.

Come out of your shell......

If you look carefully you will see that I am holding baby turtles, hatchlings, and they are moments from being released into the sea.

This is on "turtle Island" where I had just spent all night up on the beach watching a HUGE turtle scoot up at 1 am to find a safe place to lay her eggs.

She dug a whole and proceeded to go into a trance state and layed exactly 98 ping pong looking eggs. Then she buried them and went off to sea. The amazing thing about this mother is that she will never see them again. But they will come back to the same place to lay eggs if they make it to her age. Some turtles have to wait 50 years before they mate and lay eggs! (And I thought I was becoming an old maid!).

Out of 98 eggs only a few will survive, which is why she lays so many!

The eggs stay for about 90 days in the sand and then if they have not been eaten by predators, they hatch and crawl to the ocean, already having all the instincts to survive on their own.
No mother, father or siblings teaching them a thing -- pretty independent creatures.

These little ones I am holding have been kept safe by the program on the island, and they just hatched hours before, so they must be released into the ocean, where they belong. I watched them crawl into the ocean, their tiny heads bobbing up and down, and somehow they knew exactly what to do. Some of us humans take years to come out of our shell!!!

PREYING for love

Did I say I thought there might be true love in the animal kingdom?

Wow---the praying mantis might scare any guy away for life. Most of the time she eats her mate. But here is the freaky part, ready? He STILL TRIES TO MATE HER EVEN AFTER HIS HEAD IS BITTEN OFF. He might try for a whole day or so. Talk about persistence!!!

Hellooooooooo, she just bit your head off, that is not a subtle rejection, can't you take a hint??

The good news for the ladies is they get to mate and they get a great meal as well. And most the males only go for the fatter ladies, so thin is NOT IN to find romance in this world.

It is sounding better and better the more I think about it... so me and the crew try to look like a struggling version of the praying mantis--we have the scare anyone away part down.

ring around the tail-er

I have finally found an animal society that I might fit into. It might take me a while to look good in stripes (especially horizontal) but if I can get over that, i would be very happy.

I found out that ring-tailed lemurs are a female-run society. The gals get to eat first, they get to decide when and who they will mate with, and pretty much run the show. And if a guy gets too close, and they become annoyed, they wont hesitate to smack-em one.

The poor males have to snatch their left-overs, stay close by, make sure the ladies are well-fed, and if they are lucky, once a year one of the ladies when she is in heat, for one day, for few short minutes, will mate with him.

Then just as soon as the romance starts, it is over and the males are back to waiting on these finicky ladies till next year, hoping to get the chance again.

The reason the males have to keep the ladies happy is that he wants them produce the best offspring if they get that chance.

Not sure how we can get humans to catch on to this technique, but I am here and willing to get the word out....

Don't ROO-in it

Still in Tasmania I got to check out some Kangaroo love.

In case you were wondering how kangaroos court, listen up gentlemen, they have much to teach.

First the kangaroo who is the biggest is called the BOOMER and he usually gets his pick, and the females usually prefer a bigger, stronger dude. But to win her over he starts by rubbing her tail with his claws (who doesn't love a good massage?), then he pursues her for as long as it takes, hoping (or hopping) he will win her affection.

And the poor female, if she does decide to mate, she will be constantly pregnant for the rest of her life. Yikes--ever hear of adoption??

That's enough to make me stay single if I were a kangaroo!