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June 29, 2006



I live on 4 hot and dry acres of beautiful Arizona desert. We share this space with all kinds of animals; rattlesnakes, gekos, javalinas, gila monsters, rabbits, quail, doves, and owls just to name a few. People expect to see these animals around. I also raise Nigerian Dwarf Goats. These goats are the size of a large dog and I move them from place to place in my car. I was taking four of them to be bred at the home of a friend and I thought I was going to cause a pile up on the highway. Apparently people don't expect to see goat heads sticking out of a 1991 Saturn sedan.

Julie Anne Long

Arizona *is* beautiful, Goatkat. I heard it was home to the largest number of types of poisonous critters in the United States, too. LOL. Have you read the Bean Trees? It's a Barbara Kingsolver book, and I read it before I first visited Arizona. Lovely descriptions of the place.

I started cracking up when I pictured everyone doing double-takes at all the goat heads peeking out your Saturn! LOL. If you feel like it or have the time, you should send some photos my way. I'm going to set up a reader gallery of sorts. It would be fun to share photos with folks. Have a great 4th!

Donna S.

Happy 4th of July, Julie! My exotic encounters mostly have to do with spiders, but my husband takes care of those. :) I make him take them outside. No smushing allowed.


Hi Julie! Haven Rich from Romantically Inclined told me you had your blog, and it's absolutely beautiful. :)

This morning I'm sitting at my desk, sorting through some paperwork, when my co-worker screamed "Isabel!!! You gotta look at this, is this...this has to be the most SPECIAL creature in the whole wide world!" She turns in my direction and doesn't see me sitting in my chair because I'm clinging to the ceiling a la Sylvester from Looney Tunes after she startled me out of skin...my co-worker had been reading the Marmoset article on SFgate.com and desperately wanted me to look at the picture of the curious little creature. I must say it's cute, and I hope they find a good place for him in San Antonio.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill book and documentary are definitely worth anybody's time. I have a six year old Nanday Conure, a true treasure of nature, she's our little girl.
As for interesting encounters with animals, do skunks count? I was once "held" hostage in my own car by a of skunk. I stayed in my car for about twenty minutes until I was sure the little stinker was in not position to, uh, strike.

Julie Anne Long

Donna—I don't smush spiders, either! I confess that they both freak me out and intrigue me, because something about the way they move makes it look like they're really *thinking* about things. LOL. I always trap them and escort them out the door. Squealing like a little girl, usually.

Isabel!! How nice to see you here! Thanks for the compliments on the blog, too! I think it'll be fun. :) We'll see how it develops over the next month or so. I'm been pondering a few regular features, too, but I'll have to see if the reality of my schedule allows for all the ideas I have. :) Hope you pop in often!

And oh, that marmoset. I tell you, I'm an absolute sucker for an animal story, and I can't read the tragic ones. LOL. I'm just so glad they caught him (the marmoset)! It's kind of amazing that he was still there when the animal control officers arrived. He looks a bit worried, doesn't he? Sounds like he's in good hands, though.

Skunks count!! LOL. It's funny, but in San Francisco I've stumbled across a few reminders that we do share space with wild critters. I once saw a fox on Telegraph Hill. Beautiful little thing. Opossums and rats are plentiful in Golden Gate Park, and raccoons are there, too. A friend of mine in Portrero Hill used to wake up and scold his cat, because every morning the cat's drinking water was strangely dirty and kibble was *everywhere.* Then one night he (my friend) got up very late to get a drink of water...and watched a raccoon come in the pet door, WASH ITS HANDS in the cat's water, help itself to kitty kibble, then waltz out of the pet door again, all while the petrified cat looked on from the top of the refrigerator. LOL.

I was once waiting for a Haight Street bus when a BIIIG rat poked up out of the sewer and sat on its haunches next to me, as it was getting ready to commute, too. LOL.

And here's a review from Salon (one of my favorite websites) of "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill," in case anyone's interested. http://dir.salon.com/story/ent/movies/review/2005/03/17/btm/index3.html

IT's quite a story.

J Brookwell

Everytime I see a special animal...I think that its a blessing .... I once saw on a residential street on the way to work a peacock.... that was amazing. Seems he does live on that block tho he doesn't get out much!

Another time I saw a perfectly and totally black squirrel....he too was amazing to see - for me anyway.

The greatest was a HUGE OWL who hopped in front of my car, spread it's wings (larger than the front of my car) and gracefully took off for higher ground.

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