Save the Animals

Just like many publicly funded programs, the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center in Shelby Township is being asked to cut costs. Township leadership says the animals must go to save money; unless the animals are adopted.

Snakes, turtles, spiders, frogs, cockroaches and other species need animal-lovers to give money for their care to stay housed at the Shadbush Nature Center. Adoption costs range and depend upon the animal and the level of care needed to support its health.

In February, my family adopted Slim, a ball python, for our daughter, Issa. She is very interested in learning about snakes. We thought this was the ideal way to encourage further exploration. Slim continues to live at the nature center. Issa can visit any time. During her visits, Issa holds Slim and learns to care for him.

Slim, the ball python, adopted for Issa. This picture was taken in March 2012. He has grown considerably and is a very people-friendly python. Photo Credit: Tina Richmond

The Shadbush Nature Center offers ongoing, low-cost, hands-on educational programs for people of all ages throughout the year. Young people benefit especially from the summer camps, evening nature talks and opportunities to see/handle animals in a safe environment. Without the animals, the nature center would be at a loss to continue what is does so well for our community.

To learn more about adopting an animal at the Shadbush Nature center, call 586-323-2478.

One Word Wednesday: June 26

Vibrant

A misty trail at Huron County Nature Center Arboretum in late May 2012. Photo credit: kateschannel

School’s Out: Week 1 — Hot Stuff

Issa, Riff and I sprinted through Week 1 of summer break. It was a streak of hot, warped-speed fun, which included …

pancake mornings, swim suit afternoons, and scorching-hot evenings that called for grilling out whenever possible. After-hours indulgences include ice-cold Bell’s Oberon long-necks, Hard Luck Candy Rootbeer Flavored Vodka on the rocks, Cherry ICEEs and Rock of Ages.

Issa and Slim. Photo Credit: kateschannel

critter camp at Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center. Issa continued her exploration of reptiles, amphibians, insects and plant life during this four-day camp. Each day from 10:30 – 2:30 pm she joined other nature-lovers for hands-on instruction and fun. Plus, she got to see her adopted, pet ball python, Slim. In February, we donated funds to the nature center to help them care for Slim. In exchange, Issa visits him on a weekly basis to help with the provision of that care. Slim is very charming and loves for Issa to hold him.

weekend birthday bashes for my niece and nephew gave Issa and Riff two days of play with their cousins, introduced Riff to Jackson 5 magic, and gave me quality time with a very creative, over-the-top mistress of celebrations — my sister. Sisters do rule. Mine made her children a beach-themed birthday cake, which included a palm tree made out of rice krispy treats. She also woke me up at 5:15 am Sunday to ensure I made that 5k at Comerica Park in Detroit. Blaring Blink 182 as I zoomed along M-14 to meet up for a carpool with a long-time, college friend helped, too.

Just beachy! My sister is an artist in the kitchen, garden or wherever inspiration takes her. She made the palm tree out of rice krispy treats. Photo Credit: kateschannel

running with 2012 Heart of Detroit for Kids on the Go (KOTG) with the best coaches. Two avid runners — my cousin Joe Duris and my long-time, college friend, Lisa Brady — signed up to run the 5k at this event. There was something special about all these good people running for good people; down a quiet, traffic-free Woodward to the riverfront.

My A-Team. L to R: Joe Duris (my cousin), Lisa Brady (long-time college friend) and I envision the finish behind home plate at Comerica Park. Photo Credit: Kristy Schena, Kids on the Go

a home plate finish at Comerica Park. I came in at 35 minutes, 24 seconds and placed 12th out of 28 in my age group. Sweaty, running attire did nothing to stop my growing addiction to running; and to racing. In fact, Lisa, has helped me set my next goal: my first 10k at the Flirt with Dirt next June. My motivation to train more consistently and with greater conviction starts after the July 4 holiday week.

Comerica Park
Comerica Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

training on how to change shirts — without showing boobs — when one is without the privacy of a restroom. Lisa and I had decided on a post-race breakfast at Leo’s Coney Island in Plymouth, Mich. To save fellow diners from breathing our BO, we ditched sweaty race shirts for fresh ones prior to entering.

This week I need to do laundry and scrub toilets. But, there are only 12 weeks left. That means the priorities are painting, fishing at the subdivision retention pond, swim lessons, and taking time to make new recipes for dinner.

Related previous posts …

See It: Rock of Ages

Back Health Issues

Get Moving! Forward is a Pace

About Slim

We Are Family

This weekend I spent two glorious days with my younger sister, Tina. She and I are only 18 months a part. Through childhood, we had many of the same circles of friends. We have always maintained a close relationship.

The occasion bringing us together was pretty delightful as well. A cousin and his wife are expecting their first baby in about four weeks. My sister and I attended the shower Saturday afternoon. We gushed over the expectant mother as well as all the stylish wardrobe her future daughter assembled in a mere three hours. Other cousins and aunts attended the shower, which meant visiting and catching up on everyone’s busy lives.

Another highlight on Saturday afternoon was a two-hour visit with an aunt we have not been especially close to. My sister and I gave her a ride to the shower. Upon returning to her home, we had this amazing conversation about the status of public education, voter apathy, banking, family relationships, employment, books and travel. I marveled at the broad range of subject matter while also appreciating my good fortune in developing a better connection.

My sister’s visit wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to Shadbush-Burgess Nature Center. On Sunday, she went with Issa and I to meet our newest family member, Slim, who is a ball python. I adopted Slim for Issa’s ninth birthday. Slim continues to live at the nature center. Issa visits him weekly to observe his growth, to hold him and to help with giving him food and water. In addition to hanging out with slim, the three of us watched bearded dragons and bull frogs feast on their cricket lunches. Also, a very active tortoise roamed freely through the entire nature center.

I forgot to bring my camera to the shower and the nature center. Thankfully, Tina did a great job of capturing great shots from both events with hers. She will send me the photos soon; and then I will share them with you.

 

More Summer Please!

kateschannel - Meet Woody. Look at that face.

Hey there! Three more Mondays to go. It’s back-to-school for Issa and Riff on September 6. As the days click on, I realize I want more summer. This happens to me every August. I go through the same mix of emotions. Part of me longs for the structure school encourages as well as some consecutive hours to get “stuff” done. Another part wants to keep swimming, playing, reading and watching fireflies from my back patio.

As I started organizing my home this weekend for a new school year, I clicked through the photos on my camera. There, I took a second look at all the fun we had swimming, fishing, partying, taking nature breaks, visiting family and friends, and fixing up our landscape.

kateschannel - Riff cools off on a nature break
kateschannel - Catch and release at our local pond.
kateschannel - This happens at our tea parties.
kateschannel - Issa overcame her fear of jumping in the water at swim lessons.

In the Middle of Beautiful

kateschannel -- in the middle of beautiful

Quiet lake tucked away from the hurried pace of now. My Aunt Kate picked this respite and often shares her treasured spot with family and friends.

What a way to spend a couple vacation days. She invited Tracy, Issa, Riff and I to join her in the middle of beautiful. Her break from the world on a small private lake named Lake Taho. Take note. I did not misspell. There is no “e” and it’s not located in Nevada or California. No plane ticket required. It’s located a couple hours north of my home, near Clare, Mich. where harmonious breezes mix with peace.

Loons, lily pads, tall trees, birds and insects co-exist. We kayaked, fished, played and enjoyed each others’ company as well as a connection with nature in its purest sense. A full moon lit the lake on the first night of our visit. Lightening and thunder woke us all early the next morning. But, breaking storms yielded to some blue and we took a quiet boat ride. We took a closer look of some loons swimming on the lake.

kateschannel -- kayaks provide fitness and fun

We have visited many other times when sunshine and warmer temps. made use of the lake more inviting. But, the weather is always secondary, really. The company — whether it be for an intimate re-connection with just my crew or raucous reunion parties with our big, extended family — my Aunt Kate’s place is always in the middle of beautiful morning, day or night; during rain or sun.