5.03.2007

Honeybees, Armadilloes And Gators - Oh My!

Back at last! And with more memory than ever! (Unfortunately, the extra memory is in my computer, not in my brain.) My computer had gotten so low on hard drive space that it started having little tantrum crashes, even after I bought an external hard drive and sent a bunch of memory-hog programs to reside there. And I still just could never get enough memory back. I finally faced the fact that I needed to upgrade in order to keep up with my growing collection of music and photo files. So I had my very own geek come over to my house on Sunday and give the old girl a little surgical enhancement in the form of an 80GB hard drive. And now that most everything is loaded back on where it belongs, I am back in the blogging bidnezz.

There is so much to catch up on. I have only been knitting on the scarves for my office staff. I am probably halfway finished on the Herringbone scarf and 7 inches into another one-row scarf (in a decdently soft alpaca). I haven't had nearly as much time as I would like to knit since (1)I am working an average of 55 hours a week lately due to the end of school and increased stressors, and (2)the worker bees are once again back at the house, finishing up the new-home repairs that should have been done a year ago, including moving all the furniture into piles (AGAIN!) so the floor guys can clean all the paint drips and spills that occured when they were repainting. But enough of the complaints. There has been a little fun going on too.
Last weekend, we went to a benefit at the zoo. There was Cajun food and music and dancing, the IMAX film "Hurricane on the Bayou", and even an alligator who did some PR:

Tiny little toes


Tiny little teeth

Isn't he cute? (although the eye candy on the left isn't too shabby either)

The gator was very well-behaved (he had no choice since the eye-candy had him in a death-grip the entire time) and surprisingly warm and smooth - it was like petting a leather sofa. Unfortunately, I can see how folks were tempted to make shoes out of these beautiful creatures, who were hunted to the point of extinction less than 50 years ago. Fortunately, being placed on the endangered list allowed them to repopulate instead of becoming extinct.

I am going to digress here a minute on a topic of which I have been obsessing recently - I am appalled that there are actually people who scoff at the idea of global warming and I won't get into the details of my opinion of otherwise intelligent people who will form opinions based on superstition and conspiracy theories instead of scientific facts because maybe I have one or two of them in the family. I will not waste my breath or my time to argue with such people because it does absolutely no good to argue against illogical fantasies. BUT. Global warming is occuring in front of our faces and to ignore the evidence is beyond stupid. My husband has a good friend who lives in the Yukon and has watched the glacier in their bay shrink away from shore by miles every year. There are polar bears showing up further south than have ever been documented, even wandering into their towns. And they have actually had honeybees in the Yukon for the first time ever within the past couple of years. They are not being killed out by the winter.

My part of the Midwest has been rezoned from planting zone 5 to 6 for gardening due to the warming trend. There are many formerly Southern plants that have begun growing further and further north, for instance mimosa trees, Southern magnolias, and the dreaded kudzu which I have seen starting to blanket parts of southern Missouri. When Mr. C and I have driven down to New Orleans these past 12 years, we'd see lots of dead armadilloes along the Louisiana and Missisppi interstates, until hitting northern Mississippi where there were none. Presumably because they did not survive that far north at that time. In the past few years, I have been seeing armadillo roadkill creeping farther north, until this past Christmas holiday when I saw 2 dead armadilloes along the highway in central and northern east Missouri. A week later, an article in the big newspaper here reported how armadilloes have been seen in the areas north of Kansas City. A week after that, I spotted a dead one on a suburban street about 5 miles from my house.

So why the digression? Because in the last 2 years, there have been many news reports of 4-6 foot alligators being pulled out of lakes and ponds on the south side of Kansas City! Alligators, people, tropical swamp reptiles! So I asked the gator guy at the zoo about this and he told us that the alligators are actually living in these ponds and lakes and surving the winters here!

So if I did relent and agree to debate the misguided fundamentalists who deny global warming, I would have to ask them how else they could explain the fact that these alligators, armadilloes and honeybees keep migrating further and further north. If it's not due to global warming, IS IT BECAUSE OF ADAPTATION OF THE SPECIES? BWAHAHAHAHA - Gore or Darwin? Or both?

When we first moved into our house 2 years ago, the yard had been so poorly graded that we had a virtual swamp out in the backyard. I'd make jokes about smuggling alligators out of Louisiana and bringing them to our swamp so I could feel at home. Thanks to global warming, this now seems to be a strong possibility. So next trip down to see the family, I'll be bringing back some chicory coffee, fresh Gulf shrimp, Doberge cake, a palmetto bush, a small gator and maybe an armadillo or 2. We'll create a new type of ecosystem: prairie bayou.


"I'm goin to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come..."

"It's a conspiracy - first Kansas City, then we take over the world!"

3 comments:

Nichole said...

Chicory coffee? Do tell... I'm googling it now, sounds interesting (I'm a coffee LOVER in case you didn't guess)!
I'm with ya on the global warming - can't deny it! If you have eyes, its clear!

Sonya said...

That is certainly something to think about. And very worriesome Love the photos.

Diana said...

I'm luvin' the eye candy. I do believe in global warming and try to do my part. I have driven a gas-electric car for 6 years, hang clothes out to dry weather permitting, recycle everything possible and turn my computer off when not in use.