Monday, December 01, 2003

Other Things ...

Okay, I'm in a calmer place now ... Let's see, on Saturday, Evelin and I went for her to get a blood test. The docs need to see what the heparin levels are like in her body to see if we need to have the dosage adjusted -- last time, we started at 40 mg and if the miscarriage hadn't happened, we would have had to go down to 30 mg, which is what we're injecting this time.

When we got home, we found that the winds associated with the cold front that was coming through had blown the lantern off our lamppost in the front yard. It was an older fixture and the bottom had a bad layer of paint and a lot of rust holding it in place. The winds seem to have just ripped it apart. At Home Depot and Lowes, those lanterns look really big, so I got one that looked like it would be a good midsized replacement. Well, it looks on the small side now that it's in place, but at least it works again and no fires have started (a small, recurrent concern whenever I do something electrical), so we're happy with it.

Sunday morning, I started off raking the leaves that the winds didn't scatter everywhere fully intending to only do the front, side and upper back yards, but my conscience got the better of me. Since the city hasn't done a leaf pickup yet this year (they started the first week in November, but every Tuesday has gone by and our pile of leaves keeps getting bigger), I figured if I didn't do it this weekend then they would come by on Tuesday and that would be the only pickup we get this year. (The alternative is bagging all the leaves and then calling for a special yard waste pickup; it's not a bad system, but we always forget to call until it's too late ... and then we end up with bags of leaves, sticks, vines, etc., composting by the back door.)

The pandas were tuckered out from a good day of play, so my watch Sunday afternoon revealed zero behaviors beyond sleeping, scratching while sleeping, and rolling over while sleeping. I did get to see the new elephant yard, however. To accommodate the growing Kandula (who, as a bull, requires a bit sturdier facilities than the zoo previously needed), the National Zoo redid the old rhino yard to give him more room to explore and play. Some of the sightlines in the new enclosure are awkward, but all in all it looks good. The elephants were inside by the time I got there, but a lot of footprints were visible in the sand in the enclosure, so they have been exploring it.

Also the Sunday Baltimore Sun had an interesting article about the new Australian river gorge exhibit (scheduled to open in spring 2005) at the National Aquarium. Actually it was about the storage facility in Fells Point where the animals being collected for the exhibit are awaiting their new home. Because of Australian export restrictions and other difficulties in getting flora and fauna for the exhibit, the aquarium began gathering animals and plans in 2001. Also, getting the animals ahead of time, gives the staff time to study the animals' diets, behaviors, etc., and it provides time to acclimate the animals to being on exhibit. For example, to habituate the parrots and cockatiels to voices and noise, a radio turns on/off throughout the day.

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