The Cyberactivist's Scrapbook
A peek inside my life.
By: Virgil Butler

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Friday, 22-Apr-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
In Memory of Lurch

Lurch getting some love from Billye
Doesn't she look sad?
View all 4 photos...
I won't write much here because the longer version of who Lurch was and why we consider him to be so special is in the process of being written up and will be posted on the blog later on. The first two are of Lurch and the wonderful woman and personal friend of mine who took him and his mate in. The second two show how badly his soul-mate is grieving for him. Also known as Mrs. Lurch, her name is Chirpy. Can you all take a moment when you read this and see these pictures to send a little love her way.

It wouldn't hurt to send some to Billye's way, too. The loss of Lurch and watching Chirpy mourn him is very painful. Laura has even been crying over this all morning.

I will also be writing my own thoughts and feelings about all of this and how Lurch touched my life. For now, let's just say that he was loved and will be missed. Lurch was a very special turkey. My life was certainly enriched by knowing him.

Friday, 15-Apr-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Newest Rescues

Isn't he cute?
Sweet little Annie
What kind of person would dump this face?
View all 4 photos...
Last week some folks dumped this poor little dog in the woods directly in front of our place. We saw the vehicle stop, but since it was dark, we didn't know at the time what they were doing. Well, we knew a few minutes later when he sat there in the woods crying. We tracked down the sounds by flashlight and discovered him sitting there, hungry.

Annie was found in the middle of the highway recently. We had just passed the truck she fell out of. We pulled over to a screeching halt and blocked traffic both ways until we could gather her up and bring her here to safety. Luckily she wasn't injured too badly - just a little road rash on her legs and a wing. She is doing great now, and I am working hard on building new facilities to put her in along with the two roosters (haven't gotten pics of them yet). Once we finish up the new house and yard area we will be actively trying to find some "spent" hens so that we have the proper ratio of hens to roosters.

Looks like we are becoming a sanctuary whether we want to or not!

Oh well. What else can you do when you see a poor baby chicken on the side of the road that looks as sweet as Annie has proved to be? I wish I could say the same for the crazy roosters that attack us whenever we feed and water them! You ought to see the worst one come running and stomping over at us, acting all mean, jumping up and flogging and trying to spur and peck us whenever we care for them! He actually left a blood blister on my hand one day. Ungrateful is what they are! Ha ha ha! We laugh out loud at them every day. They are so funny. When I get the house and yard finished I will get some pics of them and their new home. Perhaps they will calm down a bit when they get them some women and a little more room. We can hope, can't we?

Thank you to all of those who have sent contributions to help make the new facilities a reality. I could not do as much and take in so many desperate homeless and injured animals without you! We are rapidly working on expanding so that we will always have enough room for more as we find them. We have no room at the moment for more without the expanded houses and yards. We are so worried about that, as there is no way we could just keep on driving if we saw another. We were already so full when these new chickens came that we had to resort to the large cage we use for sick and injured chickens for the roosters and a cat carrier for Annie. We hurriedly fortified an old dog yard for her to be in during the day, but we still bring her inside at night in it to keep her safe and sound. Your continued support is much appreciated as we continue to help those who need us so badly. Again, we definitely couldn't do this without your help. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm sure they would thank you too if they could.

Saturday, 23-Oct-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Sierra Club Float Trip

Sierra Club newsletter - click on and blow up to see
We took part in a float trip on the Little Maumelle River with the Sierra Club on this day. Yes, I am back-dating this entry to match the actual day we did the trip because it took us a while to receive the newsletter with the write-up and picture and even longer to be able to scan it to upload it. But, finally we have been able to do so! This is, in fact, the only time I have ever back-dated an entry (and have never future-dated one) - what a cool feature! (But one I don't believe I will use often, as I prefer working in real time.)

Anyway, as the newsletter says, we worked with the Forestry Service (who provided all the equipment and were very nice) and the group of us cleaned up all the litter out of the river along that stretch before we pulled out and had our lunch before loading back up. The thing that made it interesting were that there was some sort of race going on (we just moved out of the way for the racers and let them by - mostly college students) in which they had to canoe, hike, and bike for this endurance-type race. And each team had to include at last one female. Pretty cool. But, boy were some of them tired already! I wouldn't even try it at my age. Sad, but true.

Well, I guess there was another interesting, well I suppose I would actually say funny, thing about this trip. Some of these people had never before gone canoeing! It was fun to watch them try and learn to work together and not run into and over things or go in uncontrolled circles, or even backwards! But, they were dedicated and got better as we made our way down the river. Canoeing has to be done as a team effort for it to work properly. And the more the team works together, the better they are at it. We were put in the lead once the real leader of the group, Bill Saunders, saw that we were experienced and worked well together. Others then could see better what we did and how and were better able to follow, as we had the rule of everyone staying in sight of each other at all times, for obvious safety reasons. The only thing we didn't like about this float was that it was so short. It seemed that we had just put in before we got to the get-out spot. We prefer longer floats, sometimes even overnighters, camping out on the river, but I guess when you are dealing with inexperienced beginners, you keep it easy so that they have fun, too. All in all, we did enjoy ourselves, and it was a rewarding experience to clean up that river!

I have to admit that I am still learning myself. Luckily, Laura has done it quite a few times and is helping me learn, but that didn't stop me from tipping over our canoe once and dumping some of our gear into the river. We did retrieve 90% of it, and I learned a valuable lesson. And, hey, you have to take into account that the reason it happened was that we came around a curve and there was a tree that had fallen all the way across the river that was only about a foot or two above the river level. Laura rightly ducked, but I wrongly grabbed the tree, ignorantly trying to stop us in the belief that I could, but only succeeded in turning us sideways and dumping her right in, along with some of the gear that she was frantically trying to grab and put back in there while at the same time right the canoe before more fell out. She is a real trooper. I would have freaked and gotten very mad, but she took it in stride and turned it into a lesson. Needless to say, I learned that valuable lesson that day, and it is a mistake that won't be repeated. We then brought the canoe to the bank and carried it around the tree, after dumping all the water out and repacking our gear properly. Luckily, she didn't hold it against me for long and was in pretty good spirits about the whole thing, laughing at me a lot, though. We were upset about the gear we lost, though. Not just for ourselves, but because we littered the river. We are very careful about that and always pick up whatever trash we see that others have left whenever we go on a float trip, coming back every time with a whole bag full of trash. Normally everything in our canoe its tied down tight, but we had just undone something to get something out of it (can't for the life of me remember what now) and hadn't managed to get it back tied down. Oops! We won't make that mistake again, either.

Anyway, we wanted to be able to show you the pic of us on this trip and in the Sierra Club newsletter. I am actually writing this entry on 6-8-05, and we will be doing another float trip very, very soon - this time on our very own river - the Ouachita. We will be hosting it, in fact, with people camping here and setting off from here and floating to Oden, picking up litter. Much longer float that will take all day. No beginners on this one. Smaller group, too. Bill Saunder wants to scout it out before he tries to expand it to include others to make sure it won't be too much for beginners - probably will though - some decent rapids on this one! I haven't even floated this section, so it will be new to me. I only did the section form Cherry Hill down to here. But Laura has done this one, and so has her mother, so it won't be new to them. We can't wait!

It will be a good way for us to check out how well our new patch job on our canoe holds up, too. Just got it back a couple of weeks ago and haven't had a chance to test it out in the water yet - too much rain, which means that the river has been too high, not to mention the fact that I have been busy building chicken yards and gardening. We will just have faith, I guess. Or do a lot of bailing!

Never boring around here! Life in these woods always gives us something to do, especially when you have so many animals needing care and people just keep dumping them on you or you just keep on finding them in the road. What else can a caring person do but take them in?

Thursday, 21-Oct-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Our latest rescues

See how little they are?
And cute?
These little ones were rescued from a drawer up at Laura's mother's. We think that she had released the mother across the bridge a day or so before after catching a mouse. Whether it was her or not, these little babies started appearing all over the room right after that.

You can tell how young and small they are by noticing the ratio between them and Laura's hand in the pics. We figure they were close to three weeks old. It won't be long before they can care for themselves, but they are still babies.

Sadly, four of them were killed by the cats before anyone could stop them, but these four were caught and saved. We will care for them for another week or so and then release them in the same area as the others, including the one believed to be their mother.

Aren't they cute?

Monday, 11-Oct-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
A few pics of my birthday party and other things

Signs greeting me when I got to Laura's mom's
A better look at them
Wonderful vegan chocolate cake!
View all 8 photos...
My birthday isn't until the 13th, but we did my party over the weekend. Thanks to Paul from COK for the sweatshirt you see here in the pics. He sent me that shirt for my birthday. (Anyone else wanting to see their group memorialized on these photo pages, send me a shirt and I'll wear it in a photo! Great advertising, and I get a free shirt! !) Anyway, I thought I would just post a few more pics today so that you can see a little more of what I have been writing about and doing lately.

I put up a pic of the new pen I built for the boys - thanks Martha for donating the fence to such a worthy cause. The new pen gave them more room and is built better than the old one. It made a big difference for those guys.

I should take this opportunity to let you all know that Blaze, the one with the white streak on his chest, is not with us anymore. We buried him a few days ago, not long after this picture was taken. We still have his brother, Junior, though, and will keep caring for him. He has been getting a lot more attention lately in his grief over the loss of his brother. They had always been together for their whole lives, and he misses him. We miss him, too. It was really quick, and he didn't suffer, though. We were right there with him. He didn't die alone.

Now, on to happier things. Kittens! Now you can see our newest little rescues, Callie and Goldie. You ought to be able to figure out by looking which is which. As Laura's mother says, Goldie is "turning out to be a bit more masculine than we first thought, but we are keeping the name."
She has also nicknamed Callie The Demon Cat from Hell because she is so mean to poor Goldie and attacks everything and everyone! Ha ha ha! But, isn't she cute?! We are having fun having some babies around the place again. After our house is built, we intend to take in a couple of little kitties ourselves. I'm sure we will have no trouble at all finding some that need a good, loving home.

I also included a shot of me and Billye at the Rainforest Cafe. That's a cool place to eat if you find yourself in Nashville. They have the best veggie burger - and it's HUGE! Going there is not just having lunch (or dinner) it's an experience. You just have to go there to understand. It's pretty cool. Thanks, Billye, for taking us to lunch there. We had a great time staying with you and your family.

Well, that's it for today. Have a good one, everyone!

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