Friday, June 01, 2018

Maddy's Internship in Canada

Maddy is having an amazing experience in Canada! It is really hard work but she has already successfully rehabilitated some baby squirrels back to the wild and is now rearing some baby raccoons. Look how adorable they are!

She loves her fellow interns and says they are like family now they have been living in the woods together for a month. She enjoys the scenery and the simplicity of card games, cooking and outdoor activities like soccer and doesn't miss wearing make up or her social media at all:). She is one of only 2 Americans and the dominant language is French so that's new to her too. She says it's been an amazing, life-changing experience so far:)

Feeding wild raccoons is difficult though and as they have transitioned to juveniles they have developed sharp teeth and nails. Maddy's arms and hands are pretty torn up - she's definitely a dedicated mom!

But now they are a bit older, her babies have been joined by some new friends as they prepare for release when they are able to fend for themselves...

Critter Care made the news this week too: Link here! 

Knowing how happy she is and how much she is thriving from this unique experience really takes the edge off of how much we miss our Maddy. Words cannot express how incredibly proud we are of her hard work and the difference she is making for wild animals in BC. Love you Maddy!

Willow Bay Update

Our Willow Bay renovation project is coming along really well and we are still targeting July to move in! We are having to get creative to work around some of the items that are over budget which has been both challenging and rewarding too. For the fireplace that was going to cost several thousand dollars (that we would likely rarely use) we came up with a fake, decorative fire that turned out beautifully!

We got a great deal on the porcelain tile floors that look like wood too - and they look great!

It's going to be a busy month but we are so excited that the light is finally at the end of the tunnel:)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Critter Care, Banff and more!

Maddy has really been looking forward to her 3-month internship at a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary in British Columbia:). We decided to make the trip together as a family and take the opportunity to do some Canadian National Park sight-seeing while we were up there too. We flew into Seattle and spent the first day on a whale watching day trip from Friday Harbor in San Juan island. We didn’t see any orcas but we did get to enjoy a pair of beautiful humpback whales which was amazing!

And the seals were so stinking adorable too!

The next morning we arrived in Langley, BC and checked Maddy in at Critter Care. They take care of all kinds of injured and orphaned wildlife: squirrels, beavers, raccoons and even bears and the setting is beautiful. 

Maddy couldn’t wait to roll up her sleeves and get started so we said our goodbyes and headed East to Banff in Alberta. The drive was breathtaking, we drove through two other National Parks on the way...

As soon as we got there we realized that the some of the main areas were still closed for the Winter season. Although it was fairly warm, some of the lakes were frozen over and therefore not the famous blue/aqua color that we'd heard so much about. But we did get the snow-capped mountains to enjoy and they are just so pretty:)

It is some of the most amazing scenery I have ever seen and as the days draw to a close the mountains are perfectly reflected in the water...


And things really come alive on the golf course of all places! We saw about 50 elk grazing there!

Mike was particularly excited to see so many Bighorn sheep. We saw a whole family up close and two rams who had come down from the mountain to lick salt off the road:)

This was my favorite photo of the trip. So handsome:)

We also saw both a black bear by the road and a grizzly bear looking in this empty truck for food. I was so shocked I didn't get to my camera quick enough to catch him! 

The wildlife is just incredible. They even love their toads in Banff...

I loved the Columbian ground squirrels...

And the deer...

This elk looked like he was posing for a postcard...


And as we left the park to drive back to Seattle we even saw a mountain goat:)

Maddy reports that she is incredibly busy and already the proud mom to 4 baby squirrels. She is working very long hours mainly cleaning and constructing cages for the inevitable Summer intake. She's excited to be there and although we are missing her already we are so very proud that she is making a difference in this special place. 

Bye bye for now Canada - hope to see you again very soon!

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

After a busy week getting things started at the new house we took a drive back out to Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive to get our nature fix. I got some really nice photos of a red-winged blackbird... 

And osprey hunting and feeding...

So looking forward to a week in nature in Canada soon...:)