Tuesday, July 19, 2011

East Sooke park

nice day for a walk in the woods...






it actually felt like summer for a minute there...

Monday, July 18, 2011

playing

the Painter app is so much fun. I like how the eyeball turned out so i reworked the whole thing a bit using my tablet. I still can't get the iridescent quality in the iris like the original, but what-ever, its fun to play.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

you can tell...


first a smoke... and then the eyeball.


mmm... it's so way less pink in real life.


finishing touches


the trim is painted, the mailbox installed, now I'm just waiting for the humidity to go down enough so I can varnish - exterior complete. hah, except now I have to scrape and paint the porch and stairs...


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The Mighty Quinn



I have a new little buddy. I have been utterly pet-less for nearly a year now, and after quite some research I made my decision. She is by far the most unusual pet I've ever had, and I've had some strange ones. I have never made friends with an insectivore previously, and I am finding it very interesting.
Quinn is an African Pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris). She is not a rodent, so does not have the characteristic odour that rodents permeate your house with. In fact, I'm finding Quinn quite odour-less, besides the odd time she's pooped in my hand as a joke or a gift, I'm not quite sure which, but that is slightly stinky, but nothing like dog or cat poop.

African Pygmy hedgehogs are insectivores and have been raised in captivity as pets since the 1980's, and although they are illegal pets in a few states, they are widely recognized as easily adaptable, disease resistant, litter trainable pets that tend to bond with their owners. They live between 5-9 years, have an extremely high tolerance to toxins, are virtually odourless, mostly non-allergenic (there's always someone allergic to everything) and pretty darn cuddly despite their epic defence system. I purchased Quinn from a local breeder, so I know she was hand raised and well socialized. I'm not really a person who buys pets at pet stores...

Insectivores eat a wide variety of foods including, of course insects. It is not wise to feed them wild caught insects, because despite the internal defences of a hedgehog, they are susceptible to pesticides and parasites carried by many wild insects. But a few crickets and mealworms bought at a pet store are tasty and healthy. I also feed Quinn a combination of high quality wheat free cat food, high quality hedgehog food, chicken, apple, banana, cooked potato, and occasional cat treats (for training). I am still slowly introducing new foods to her diet.
Quinn is mainly nocturnal, and I am working on resetting her internal clock a little so that she'll wake up a bit and hang out with me for a while after work. I'm also still working on the bonding process, it is hard to be patient, but I am trying my best.

Quinn is very timid, cannot see very well at all, and relies mostly on sound and smell. Hedgehogs are easily startled by moving too quickly near them or sudden noises, or even a shadow passing over them. So I can see it will be a long process to gain her trust. I'm sort of clumsy and noisy, so it is good for me to learn how to be different. So far we are doing very well, she lets me carry her all over the house, cuddles up on my lap as I sit at the computer or snuggles over my heart as I watch a movie (she seems to respond favourably to my heartbeat), and entertains me by running around with an empty toilet roll on her face, and I am so intrigued watching that little nose of hers sniffing and snuffling everything around her.

She now lets me massage her little body, even her quills... a word of caution here, until you have a completely relaxed and trusting hedgie sitting with you, don't ever try to pet a hedgehog like a cat, you will likely be startled by their huffing and puffing, and could receive a few holes in your hand from their effective quills. I love watching her mood and emotions change by watching the reaction of her quills, how they move and flow over her body, and to think she is one of the oldest living mammals, with estimates dating back around 15 million years ago...

Quinn is a really different kind of pet, and very fascinating, and I look forward to the day she can go hiking with me, tucked away in a pocket with her nose sticking out, ever twitching, ever sniffing...



Sunday, July 03, 2011