...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dinner with the REAL Batman!

 Last week was Easter and being a good daughter-in-law, I helped my MIL and played hostess to three of her six international students that she is hosting.  Missing from these pictures are my husband and his dad.  They were here, but Pops was having a very bad day and I didn't get any photos of those two.  My husband was attending to his dad while I was with "the kids".

I have mentioned it before, but my MIL has hosted students for at least the past 50 years through a group called Bloomington Worldwide Friendship.  The students attend Indiana University and do not live with my in-laws.  They are regular students, but without family here, they are invited to share holidays, etc with us...regular American folk!

My MIL with Julia, Chen and Terrance
 Hopefully these students aren't too warped by their interactions with our family.  My MIL makes them listen to her dinner prayer, eat our interesting combinations of food (Strawberry Jello Salad at this meal), and listen to her stories of old.

Me with all the "kids"...my own two on either side of me
 When my husband and I were first married, I was a bit intimidated by the students my in-laws hosted.  For one thing, they were more brave then me; heading to another country, very far away from home, to study. Secondly, they always seem more worldly then me and they speak at least two languages.

But, over the years as I have aged and become a mother, I realize how nice it is to be able to provide a tiny little feeling of home...albeit someone else's home, but a home none the less...to a "child" who is away from their own safe environment.

Most of the time for me now, I like to hear the student's stories.  What brought them our way? What are their interest?  How are they similar or different to my own children?  What's their family like?  How do they like our town?  When else have they traveled in the US?  My curiosity runs deep!

At dinner last Sunday, Chen, and I believe this is his last name but he was kind enough to go by it for my MIL since I bet she had trouble saying his real first name, mentioned having to get rabies shots!  The light bulb went off in my head, THIS is the student my MIL mentioned was bitten by a bat!

Here's the article from our paper:  HeraldTimesOnline.com

IU student bitten by rabid bat in dorm room

By Dann Denny331-4350 | ddenny@heraldt.com
March 26, 2012

An Indiana University student was bitten in his sleep early last Wednesday morning by a rabid bat that apparently flew into his Teter Quad room, possibly through a torn window screen.
Indiana University spokesman Mark Land said the student, who was bitten on the hand, shook the bat off in the hallway and went back to sleep. The bat was later found alive in the hallway by a residential hall employee who called an IU environmental health services pest control worker, who collected the bat and sent it to the Indiana State Department of Health for testing. The bat, which died en route to the lab, was found to be infected with rabies.
“No one can recall the last time someone on campus has been bitten by a bat,” Land said. “There are certainly no shortage of bats around campus, but there were only three reports last year from people who found a bat in their room or in the Union. We can’t remember anyone being bitten prior to this incident.”
Land said the University is trying to determine precisely how the bat got into the student’s room, and checking areas around the dorm to make sure there are no bat infestations there.
The bitten student, along with his roommate and the pest control worker who transported the bat, are all undergoing a regimen of rabies shots — one dose of rabies immune globulin plus four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period. The vaccine shots are given in the arm and are relatively painless, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.
“The student is doing fine as far as we know,” Land said.
Ken Severson, spokesman for the Indiana State Department of Health, said three bats have tested positive for rabies so far in 2012, all last week. Two of the bats were from Allen County and one was from Monroe County.
He said all bat bites must be reported to local health departments, adding that 33 bats tested positive in Indiana in 2011.

*****There was some more statistical and what to do information shares, but I am leaving that off here. *****

Chen told us the story in his own words.  He had been sleeping and felt something large fall on him.  In his sleepy state, he brushed off whatever it was and that is when he was bitten.  He told us about his getting up and leaving the room.  Then he realized his cell phone was still in the room...as was his sleeping roommate!  The roommate slept on, even as Chen called for him again and again to wake up!  At some point the bat did end up in the hallway.  Big, burly male students were seen hiding in the bathroom trying to stay away from the bat, who was eventually caught.

I couldn't resist teasing Chen and asking him if he finds he has a craving for blood now.  :)  He laughed and then told how he was heading to class later on and walked up behind two students who were talking about the incident (obviously not knowing he was the Batman) and said they wondered if he could see his reflection in the mirror!  Chen said he's heard a lot of Twilight/Vampire jokes.  Of course I asked if I could have my picture with him...and I told him I'd be posting it on FB!

Chen happens to live in the same dorm as my own son, but a different wing.  Yikes!

Hootie with our local infamous, Batman!  
I think the day that I will be hosting my own students is drawing nearer.  But for now, I'll continue to piggy-back as hostess for my MIL.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

EBT: Eastern Box Turtle...Boy or Girl?

Just a reminder, you can click on any picture to enlarge it!

Boy or Girl?
In the past several years I have been lucky enough to spot several EBT's while out hiking in the woods.  I didn't realize it at first, but the habitat for EBT's happens to be woods!  I guess I thought like most turtles, they probably only hung out around ponds.  I'm not surprised any more when I head out after a morning rain shower and I see turtles out crossing my path.  

It seems EBT's are more active early in the day and after a rain.  They usually just freeze in their tracks and retreat a bit into their protective shells when they see me coming their way.  

Winston is a great turtle hunter...he will pull me several yards off a path when he smells a turtle trail.  No worries though, he doesn't like to do more than point them out to me.  I think he likes all the praise and the love I give him for his find!  :) 

So, boy or girl?  How does one tell?  I'll admit, I don't know that I can tell the young ones apart.  I don't know when they mature.  

The adult ones are easy to distinguish between the sexes.  
Females have dull eye colors... brown or a little yellow.  
Males have very bright red or orange eyes.  

Winston and I saw this girl after a rain shower just a few mornings ago.
Female...eating a breakfast of worm
Same female as picture above
When I see a turtle, I have a routine I do: First look at their eyes and guess, male or female.  Second, snap a picture or two, usually one with my camera lens cover in the photo so I can note the size.  Third, gently flip the turtle over to confirm sex by looking at bottom of carapace.  SEE BELOW FOR EXPLANATION ON THIS


 Here's my first baby of this spring to find...I guess girl due to eye color and flat bottom. I can't find any good information about when they may mature and their sex becomes obvious.  I bet like their sea loving relatives they need a few years to mature.  That noted...this could be a young boy!
It's always hard to distinguish their size from my up close photos.

Isn't this tiny compared to my picture above?
 Remember, that's my lens cover!  It measures just 2 1/4 inches across.   

I was nervous having my fingers so close to this mouth.
Little or not, I'm pretty sure it would hurt!  

EBT's hibernate under dried leaves, dead logs and old stumps.  Win did find this one and he uncovered the leaves.  I put the leaves back after my picture.

Females have a flat bottom
Males have a concave (very noticeable) bottom

This guy was tight in his shell
and this was the only way to tell if he was a boy or a girl.
 So, why are the boys concave on the bottom?  

For reproducing of course!  
Bright orange eyes...Male...but
I didn't disturb these two.

 Nature is so amazing!  

Monday, April 02, 2012


Dogwoods and Red buds
Paw paw blossoms
Squaw root (a.k.a. cancer root)
"grey" morels

tiny, grey morel

mushrooms - not edible
? pipe fungi?  
Star Chickweed
Spring Beauty
Yellow Violet
Dutchman's Breeches
Squirrel Corn Wildflower
Solomon's Seal...I think, not blooming yet
Wild Geraniums
Jack-in-the-Pulpit...with shadow!  
venusta orchard spider
venusta orchard spider
venusta orchard spider
American Toad...baby

Gardner Snake (I think)
Definitely not poisonous
Nodding Trillium Photos

bloom coming up

feeling bugged

Frogs by the stream
In the Eagle's Nest!  
Great-Horned Owl mama

keeping her eye on me

Papa Great-Horned Owl...watching me too

Don't miss tomorrow's post...a Lesson on Eastern Box Turtles!  ~Hootie