Tip-toe through the tulips

Tulips in my front yard.  A colorful distraction from a garage overrun by kittens.

An underexposed frame yielded some interesting colors.

An underexposed frame yielded some interesting colors.

tulips3

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How Facebook helped save these kittens

This weekend provided a new experience to me: I’m the de facto “dad” of a young litter of kittens. Yes, I had kittens. I left the garage door open one too many times and mama cat picked a spot amid the clutter in the back to make a nest. (Nest?)

Yes, I had kittens.

Yes, I had kittens.

I’m not a cat person. For one, I’m allergic to cats. Two, I don’t trust them. They’re sneaky. Deviant! I don’t especially dislike cats, although I once had a cat stir-fry recipe posted on the side of my computer monitor at work. But I wasn’t about to let them starve or freeze to death.

So not being a cat person, and certainly having no experience with new kittens, I turned to the Facebook community for advice. They came through big time. I posted a photo (Oooh! Cute! Kittens!) and a question to my FB friends about what to do about the litter and got lots of advice and several offers to donate food for the kittens, including one from someone I haven’t seen since high school. And good advice about what to feed mama and to deal with the kittens. I’m still going to call the Humane Society to see if they can help find homes for the kittens.

So, yeah, it all started with a picture of kittens. But it turned into something more. If you think social media have no redeeming uses, I have news for you. I’ve re-established connections with people I haven’t seen in 15 or 30 years, even making road trips to visit some of them. News travels at the speed of light thanks to Twitter and Facebook (OK, not always a good thing – lots of bad info gets out). Think about the Boston Marathon bombings or the Arab Spring.

True, the social media can be a time-suck and includes dumb stuff (I loathe-hate-despise Farmville), but in the end I think social media offer more than they take away from our daily experience. Plus, kittens. Here’s the original photo and thread.

Turtle love

Spring is in the air and a reptile’s thoughts turn to, ahem,  turtle love. Consider this a PG-13 posting. With the sun mostly shining and temps creeping up near 70, it seemed like a good idea to head down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, seeing as it’s virtually in my backyard. Spring got a little later start than last year, but last year was a bit of a fluke. Things are just starting to green up in the Valley.

One turtle, two turtles, three turtles more!

One turtle, two turtles, three turtles more!

Yes, this is what you think it is. Couple of snappers gettin' it on!

Yes, this is what you think it is. Couple of snappers gettin’ it on!

And now on to some tamer material:

I almost stepped on this little slitherer.

I almost stepped on this little slitherer.

beaver dam

Looks like the beavers have done a bit of remodeling.

beaver tree2

More evidence of busy beavers.

berries

I wonder why the birds haven’t gotten to these berries. Maybe they’re past their expiration date.

budding

cardinal

This cardinal made me have to work for this photo — no autofocus!

daffy!

grassy tuft

green bug

I don’t believe I’ve seen one of these bugs before. Some sort of beetle, I think. And I almost spelled it Beatle! Further research reveals that this is probably a six-spotted tiger beetle.

little squirrel

We don’t have this kind of squirrel in my neighborhood.

mile 28

A triumph in photographic composition. The beaver pond is just a few yards from this mile marker.