Monday, August 31, 2009

Fall is here

I like spring, it means that new baby orphans will be coming in, the land comes back alive ... but fall has come. The trees know it, the animals know it. Since I have gotten back from Tufts from the Chemical Capture Class, I have known that fall is coming. The Chemical Capture Class was great, I hope to be darting animals soon to save them.

For the last few days, I have been dreading today. It was release day. My day started early with preparations to catch, cage, transport and release skunks and coons. I try not to get emotionally attached to the wildlife I rehab. My first coons came in May 9th ... skunks came shortly after. Watch the slideshow that Gayle will hopefully attach to this blog and link to the website.

Release day is always tough for me. I know that they are ready, they have been enriched, and can figure out any food item that I slip in. Every year we get "better" , we never claim to know anything here but we are quick learners and once we make a mistake (which all rehabbers do) we learn. That is why I mentor. That is why I'm lucky to have Kelly as one of the best mentors in the world. Never a day passes that I don't scratch my head, say "never saw that before" ... and learn.

I really don't know what to say about today, I moved the Kestrels into their soft release enclosure. The 'Possums moved out into theirs.

The darn cage that Oscar the Bobcat was in is 1/2 an inch too large to slide into the aluminum zoo cage that I use to transport him to Cornell. I have to take him there tomorrow and it wasn't pleasant getting him into a cage with a catch pole now.

I really think that if you watch the slideshow and listen to the music that Gayle put to it from today, you will get what I do ... very few people get what I do. 5 months of my life has revolved around these animals; baby coons and stinkers; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week--no breaks. It all boiled down to today. Did I get them prepared for life in the wild and things that could eat them in the woods? I think so. If you watch the slideshow, you will see one eyed (black eyed) Susie as I called her, This is the coon that Dr. Diane saved for me. We both spent a lot of time and money on her; she was the only coon that kept coming back to me for reassurance--all of the others plunged into the wild. I am comfortable with the release, I am happy for them al. Once I drive away, they are on their own. It was the way that it is suppose to be, they are not pets. They are wild animals, for better or for worse.

I got home, depressed, in a bad mood which everyone at the farm got. Started getting things ready for Cornell trip tomorrow with Oscar the Bobcat because I start school on Wednesday.

Got a phone call about an owl in someone's yard, she called nonstop until we answered the phone ... she knows I don't check the answering machine more than once a day. I went, found a great old Great Horned Owl that was sitting under her picnic table. I had caught it before the kids could even get out of the house. What an old warrior; he had reserved himself to hunting a Porcupine and a couple of weeks ago had caught one. I pulled several quills out of a horribly infected foot. Glad I'm going to Cornell tomorrow--if anyone can save this foot....they can. Also had to set a livetrap for a red fox with mange: met a great guy who doesn't want to see his fox from his farm die a horrible death. I will try to catch it. I will and I will fix it.

I have several people a week say that what I do is amazing, I do not get funding; it is all by donation and my blood, sweat and tears. Forward everyone you know our blog, website and slideshow of our release today. I am the luckiest guy in the world that I get to do this every day.

My kids will look back at these releases as they get older and releaze how cool they were versus "Why can't I get out of the truck?".

I look forward to getting back in my classroom, I miss the kids from school. I need to see some kids (as if I haven't seen them all summer).

Plan on attending the Scottish Festival this weekend at the Altamont Fairgrounds. The Committee has supported what I do for years. I will be doing two shows daily.

Gotta hit the hay.



New York Wildlife Rescue Center said...

VOLUNTEERS: we do welcome local volunteers. Please visit the main website at and contact us through the email link there if you are interested.

Gayze said...

Wes, it was, as always, a joy to be included in such an emotional and awe-inspiring event. I hope readers of your blog will be inspired to a new sense of caring and respect for all creatures, great and small.

You're da best, my friend!


Anonymous said...

Yahooo WES!!!!! You have a cat, I'm so thrilled. Just think, this was only a vision just a short time ago, now your dream is realized. I'm proud of you Wes. You are the best.



Maryann said...

Hello Wes, I happened upon your blog and am hooked. I am currently a sub-permittee and apprentice to a fully licensed NJ Wildlife rehabber. This entry touched me because on August 20th I released "my boys." Four incredible raccoons that were extremely special. I got them on May 8th, and like you invested my heart and soul into them. I've rehabbed animals before and have released them. But there was something about this batch that made me absolutely bonded to them. I know that releasing them into the wild is how it is meant to be and its what we sign up for, doesn't make it any easier, does it? We've all been there investing our time and money and I agree that most people just don't "get it." Keep up the good work though. Know that there are people out here cheering you on and supporting your great cause! Maryann