Thursday, February 28, 2013

It was a sad day yesterday . . .



I've felt a little overwhelmed and a lot behind these days,
so after my bible study, rather than go to my metals class I decided to go back to the nursery.
Not the commercial one, but back to Maas, and acres of paradise where I can just get lost in thought, or rather no thought at all, just nature.

We have been having some pretty mighty wind these days, which makes it pretty difficult to photograph flowers, but I tried, until frustration got the better of me. So I thought I would go see if my little green frog friends were still around, and yes they were. But, I got sidetracked by something else, that was also green.

Meet my little green friend, Akecheta, which means "fighter" in Sioux....

I first spotted him, yes it is a male, sunning himself just a few feet from me on the white gravel rocks on the ground. So, I got down on the ground, and let me tell ya those rocks do not feel good on ones knees, especially without much cartilage left in them. I really wanted a ground perspective of him sunning himself. I was pretty proud of myself and my stealth mode as he stayed, but unfortunately my knees couldn't take it and I had to get up (my really bad knee is swollen today, I never learn). But something just didn't seem right, and as an adult green anole he was just a little too open to letting me get that close. There was a stick nearby, so I used that, not that I'm afraid of picking him up of course, but it was just easier and I coaxed him up on to it. Yep, I knew something was wrong at that moment. A healthy adult male would have had nothing to do with that stick, and I then was able to transfer him to my hand.



Now that is the face of a lizard who doesn't feel well . . . he just wanted to close his eyes and rest.


So I walked around, probably for the next hour, with him in one hand and my camera in the other, trying to takes pictures of things that moved, tricky I tell ya!


And even not feeling well, he still seemed aware of his surroundings every now and then. They will turn brown when stressed, but also if another male is in the area in which they will also raise the ridge on their back and get a dark black spot behind their eyes. But...I noticed one spot that didn't turn brown, and do you notice the lumps? Hmmm...I didn't have a good feeling about this.


He eventually turned back to green again and back to resting.


I continued to walk around with this lizard on my hand...not one person noticed? I came across the bottlebrush tree, and there are bees everywhere! Note to self, don't wear a shirt with flowers next to this tree...


Check out his foot, and those scales, so amazing


I just couldn't leave him there not feeling well and all, and I have been known to make a few lizards feel better. The nursery just happened to have a small box with a lid so I could transport him safely in the car. When I got home I took him out so he could continue to warm himself in the warmth of my hands and the sun. But it was getting really windy, and the temp was falling and he was cold...so, yes I brought him into the house. He was on my forearm, with his back legs completely outstretched (not normal) as I positioned my arm under a spot light from the overhead light fixture for more warmth. What I was about to witness next was heartbreaking . . .and...well, horrifying!! (No worries, I have spared you all any photographs showing what I'm about to tell you, and only give enough information to understand what happened next, but the thought is unsettling....you've been warned)

Remember that strange spot I mentioned earlier? Every now and again I thought I could see something...moving? By this time, he was taking really shallow breaths, sometimes he would take a big one and then not again for what seemed like a long time. And sometimes he would flinch, and I felt helpless. Then the small  movement became very noticeable, and the one lump became many somethings moving around and I couldn't believe my eyes...and not sure how else to say this (and sparing all the gross details) but to say they were trying to make their way out. I was beside myself, in tears, and he was clearly suffering. So I called the animal ER hospital to find out if there was a humane way I could end his suffering...they said I could bring him in and they would euthanize him for free. And for that, I was so grateful!!

When I got home, I did some research and found that the Sarcophagid fly uses, (for some reason) mostly males, as a host. And as wondrous as nature is, it's also very strange and quite mind boggling. I think I learned more than I wanted to know.


The theme for Photo Art Friday is vintage. I wasn't really sure what I wanted to share for that today, until I was looking back to some photos I took last month on my way home from class one day. I actually did the u-turn thing to go back and photograph these cows. I'm glad I did, they make for a good vintage subject. I used two textures, the first I forgot to write down, but the second one is one of my favorites of Bonnie's, vintage craquelure.


So ironic, that I went to the nursery for a little inspiration, and would end up at the animal hospital. It's not the first time I've tried to rescue wildlife and I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. I should have a bumper sticker that says this vehicle makes occasional and random stops for wildlife. I've rescued birds and taken them to rehabilitators, stopped in the middle of the road to rescue turtles, stopped traffic for a snake who had been harassed by a crow and went into defense mode and couldn't make it the rest of the way across the street, and for baby Killdeer birds that couldn't follow mom up the curb and waited for an hour for her to come back for one of them. It's just who I am.....

Love, Kim
XO

Sharing with Photo art Friday, Little Things Thursday, Thursdays Favorite Things
Friday Photo Journal, Finding Serendipity {1440}



41 comments:

Cheryl said...

Well, it's good to know a person who would go to such lengths with another species. What a heartwarming post. Thank you.

Jeanne said...

Well first, I love the photo of the cows and you did an awesome job on processing it. Second, how sad about that little lizard, and what a weird thing that was that happened to it. Would have never even thought of that, and am probably glad you limited what you shared on your blog with it. So sweet of you to take the lizard to be euthanized, and know that you made his last time much more humane. You are amazing kim

Jennifer said...

This has to be the best post I've read in a long time. Your photos are spectacular (as always!) but it was your words that really touched my heart today. God Bless you for showing that little guy mercy and caring for him so lovingly in his final moments. You have a beautiful heart.

pam said...

Eek...how awful for the little guy. I think you get back what you put out into the universe though and kindness and compassion are always returned. As usual your photos are beautiful...

Kathy said...

Oh Kim...how heartbreaking. You know I am NOT a lizard person AT ALL...but I don't think you need to be to feel compassion for this little creature. How blessed he was to find YOU yesterday.

Nita Davis said...

That poor lizard must have suffered greatly till you happened along. Your kindness is refreshing, so many would just walk on by. Beautiful photographs!

Bead and Needle said...

Because most of the time, I like animals better than people...thank you for being you! XOXO Tanya

Patti G said...

I so would have done everything you did to try & help that poor little guy. My heart is breaking for him, but you made his last moments so special.
Now......if it had been a spider or snake..........NOT this girl!

Kim Cunningham said...

I knew you were my daughter's soulmate, but this confirms it. A sad story indeed. What a horrible experience for him. Your compassion is a gift.

Carol said...

Really beautiful post Kim, and what a sad story. Thank you for being so caring and giving that lizard a peaceful end. I read the paper on the flies and the Anole lizards. It seems quite rare - I hope that doesn't mean there is an outbreak in that area. Nature can be very cruel...

Your photo of the cows is exquisite!

Silvina Soave said...

Hermosa captura la del pequeño lagarto, gran detalle! Y la imagen craquelada es una belleza!! Un abrazo grande.

Barbara said...

Oh my goodness, Mother Nature can be cruel and this is so cruel. I hate that this happened.

Janet Bocciardi said...

Love who you are, Kim. I think it was meant to be that you would find him and make his passage easier on him.

I was having flash backs to Alien. Yikes!

Tamar SB said...

Poor sweet creature. You are just a kind hearted person to help this poor little fellow in his last hours on earth.

Pride In Photos said...

Kim, you are such a nurturer!!! God bless you and your caring soul! The bottle brush flower...Lord have mercy that was gorgeous1

Bonnie said...

Your vintage contribution is simply amazing, Kim. It looks like a master painting!

The images of the lizard are incredible, but I have to admit I could not read the details of the poor creature's problem.

Your gentle heart and compassion shine through in this post - and in all your art.

That bottlebrush blossom takes my breath away!!!

A Garden of Threads said...

What a wonderful post. Mother nature can seem so cruel to us. You have a very caring and loving heart. Take care and have a great weekend.

Linda Kittmer said...

What an incredible post Kim. It must have been really disturbing to witness what you've alluded to! Horrifying! However, you did get some wonderful shots of you little friend. The closeup of his foot is wonderful. Sorry things ended as they did.

On a happier note, your cow image is unbelievably beautiful. You've done a great job with the processing! I love it...it should be enlarge and hung on a wall!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

What a big heart you have! I was completely immersed in the story of the anole. I'm sorry the ending was not a happy one, but at least you were able to end his suffering in a humane way. Beautiful photos and touching story.

Cathy H. said...

You're a very special person, Kim!You took some really wonderful pictures of him!

Comfypjs said...

Only the Lizard Lady can bring someone who is scared to death of a lizard to tears. Kudos to you for caring for him!

Annemor said...

Somebdy has to care for wildlife :)
Have a nice day.
Mormor Norway.

http://www.starbear.no/mormor/2013/02/28/photo-art-friday-march-1st-2nd/

http://vivhalliwell.com said...

Lovely thoughtful read Kim... it's so caring, I hope you feel better in yourself maybe that little lizard was there for you just at the right time...

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

It is wonderful that you have a compassionate soul. Poor little fellow. I remember walking around with the kids gerbils wrapped in a little blankie when they were on their last legs. The cows came out beautifully in vintage. Valerie

NatureFootstep said...

excellent choise for a vintage image. :)

Miriam said...

Thank you for sharing such an amazing post. What a truly lovely lady you are. The vintage picture you have made is beautiful but your pictures of that little guy are truly wonderful

Nicki said...

I can not bear to witness another suffer and am glad you were able to have him put down in a humane way. You gave him affection, compassion and a more peaceful end. That is all any of us can ask for in our final moments.

linda said...

What an amazingly kind and loving person you are. I don't think I know anyone who would have done this.

Your photos of the little guy are just wonderful!

June Caedmon said...

We love who you are, Kim :) Thank you for sharing your story. Lovely images, as always.

Kathryn said...

Kim this post epitamizes who you are. This post made me quite emotional and I'm just glad that you took the time to give him some love before his final moments. You are truly special, don't ever forget that.

Currie Silver said...

oh my, Kim, this is the post that just keeps getting a bigger heart one word at a time...

and then to read all the comments, too, I mean, it is a Life-altering experience I have had today.

your cows are magnificent. NOT to minimise them, but...

the photos of the lizard, like the one where he is green again with his little "knee" bent. so like a sick kid, and you, so generous and openhearted!

it is always an adventure visiting your posts. I feel a good bit of kindheartedness growing in me for the many lizards I live with here. the other night I got up for a drink of water and a good sized one was up on the high wall. I knew "it" saw me BEcause "it" was trying to BE a deer in headlights, so I just blew it a kiss and went back to sleep. apparently "it" found its way out or somewhere to set up camp...

I am undone. you are one incredible human bean. xoxo

Ida said...

Kim you have a heart of gold for sure and a love for nature and God's creatures. How sad for that poor lizard but I am thankful you were there and he didn't have to suffer any further.

Your PAF piece is so lovely.

Thank you for sharing.

momphotographer said...

you're a wonderful person, Kim.
talented photographer.
very sensitive soul.

warm hugs

Andrea Dawn said...

Kim, your tender heart of God's creatures is such a beautiful thing. I so enjoyed the lizard lesson and your PAF shot is superb.

Patty said...

Poor little guy. He was lucky to have you there with him. Your photos are amazing.

Sherri B. said...

Kim, you brought love and mercy into the last few hours of that sweet little lizard's life. As sad as it is, you kept him from dying all alone...that's a beautiful thing. I'm so sorry about your sad experience...you are a kind and compassionate soul. Your photos of him are truly beautiful...and I love your vintage image, too!

Have a good weekend, OK? xo

Linda R said...

Poor little fella. That was so sweet of you to help with his pain. Love your photos..

Hugs~

Katherines Corner said...

you are a good soul, great photos too. Happy weekend wishes to you and Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop, your participation is what makes it so much fun. Come back to Katherines Corner,I posted the new giveaway today! xo

teri said...

Poor little Akecheta. You carried him so he did not have to be alone in his suffering. Life is full of woeful stories and people like you who ease the pain of others. I am Glad to have stopped by today (from PAF). I have seen your comments nearly everywhere-it is finally nice to stop by here. Stay well- and here's to being rid of winter ho hums and other stuff. xo teri

seabluelee said...

Oh, Kim, what an experience. It's hard to understand nature's ways sometimes. It's all so intricately interwoven, and some things die so that others can live. It is sad to witness, though.
I'm amazed at the beautiful photos you managed to take while walking around holding a lizard. The bottle brush and bee is really stunning. And I love your vintage cow image. The photo itself feels old, and your processing really enhances that vintage look and mood.

Kelly said...

Hello my sister of the heart...that little guy is truly amazing and I loved reading this entry. I'm so glad someone took you serious to free him of pain....so sad. The fact that you got him turning colors is national geographic cool...and that last shot of him on your fingers is a keeper...LOVE that one. You rock in book Kim.

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