Jennifer Howard, Nature Photographer, Spent The Day at Procyon, this Past June 28th

NatureWorksI spent the day at Procyon Wildlife Facility last week to learn more about behind the scene so to speak. I got to meet the orphans that call Procyon their home right at the moment til they grow big enough to go back to the wild. One has a hard time seeing all the little animals that for what ever reason loose their moms. Moms are what they need most. But having said that. When they loose their Mom. I am very thankful that these facilities full of hard working caring animal lovers who volunteer many hours to lovingly care for these babies are there.

It is a booming place with many mouths to feed and cages to clean. And volunteers are always needed here. They train you and the rewards from saving these little lives is something I have said before. No words can describe it. It is a deep feeling of satisfaction. To see them go free again. Well. WOW.

We gowned up and wore masks with the fawns and spoke not a word to keep human contact to a minimum. I am hoping to get into the education program here to help educate the public. So I am spending time and learning as much as I can because education in wildlife is extremely important in our world. I do that now on my own and have done many presentations. But I feel the need to branch out even more. My life is wildlife and I live for it. It is my much needed therapy. And seeing what these little lives go through to start their way into our world,well lets just say we got nothing to complain about. Humans could learn a lot from our wildlife friends. If they opened their hearts to do so.

So to all you wildlife rehabilitation facilities and volunteers out there. Thank you. I can tell you I have taken wildlife to a few of them. And for the most part it has always been a good outcome to seeing them go free again back to the wild. There is nothing cuter than wildlife babies. But remember, they are just that. WILD.

About Jennifer Howard:  Jennifer does a lot of education work and has just won her second award from Ontario Nature on the values of the work she does all on her own. Her first award was from Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority in 2011. Conservation education award. She uses her photography to get the point across. Because that is what makes the impact making people think.

Jennifer’s latest pictures taken at Procyon:

 

Message from Sarah: For all the volunteers who stuck it out…THANK YOU !!!

For all the volunteers who stuck it out and lasted through the hard long shifts of screeching babies and  over full nurseries….THANK YOU !!!

As of  this week – the majority of our babies are outside with only the late arrivals still in the nurseries – WHEW

We can now enjoy that outside time with them and as the amount of time per little critter goes down drastically now we can also enjoy all the little things that make their lives better and let us enjoy our time with them more.  The kind of things we all signed up for

Just as we all tired of endless rounds of bottles & weigh bags (oh those dang weigh bags)…so too did our critters.

Outside they get to hear and see more of a natural environment (including the Blue Jays, Chipmunks and local wild Raccoons trying to pinch their food )

Now we can focus on their development and making sure they are prepped for release and work to avoid them getting bored & restless which can slow down their readiness.

The property provides so many riches we can use for this and we can also make collecting items a family fun time (especially with kids on summer vacation looking for things to do) Great activity at the cottage or the park.

Leafy branches are enjoyed by ALL our critters – to play with or chew on, as are cedar boughs & Pinecones.  The Fawns (as of Wed will be 4 little fawns) love willow & maple leaves

Strawberry season is here and all our critters love them,  there are wild strawberries growing in  a few areas around the property as well as close to many of us so please don’t hesitate to bring some in or take a few minutes to pick some.

We will focus on local foods found naturally as much as possible now with huge thanks to Sobey’s in Bradford for continuing to supplement with fruits, greens and vegetables every week – they REALLY ROCK

The Raccoons love to dig in dirt – and worms, snails, and crayfish are favourites – If you are digging your gardens and can spare some of your worms or are looking for a place to get rid of pesky snails – bring them in and put in extra litter pans with some fresh dirt or mud and watch great fun ensue.  Large pebbles or small rocks are also great toys for them to play with.

Minnows are also a huge hit with the coons – a few in their water bowls give them (and us) great entertainment (and best videos).  As always if taking any pics or videos –  Please make sure to do so in a way that is not intrusive and does not cause too much contact as we get them “wilded up” and working to ensure they are not too used to humans around.   Find ways to minimize contact – the best way to watch them play is from a distance (or via zoom lense)  

and ACORNS – we will NEVER get enough ACORNS – Squirrels and Raccoons all love them and Fawns naturally get a large percentage of their late summer/early fall weight from them to last through the winter – so make sure everyone you know is aware that if they have any on their properties that WE WANT THEM

All other naturally found local nuts are also big hits for most of the critters and if there’s any question about which ones may/may not be good for them we will post a list by the sign in sheet.

Dandelion Greens are also a big hit with all and a staple “super food” for many of our critters so anytime you’re out cleaning out from your lawns and gardens – bring them in and have them enjoyed.

Hopefully the hammocks for the outside coons will be completed soon (a great task for anyone done early – nudge nudge wink wink) – and seeing the babies play on those is such wonderful fun.

On very warm days,  a bit of time with the hose on Spray can provide a lot of entertainment also as the babies will play in it and cool off (HINT – do this BEFORE you change their straw or will need to do over (filed under lessons learned))

Thank you again for sticking it out through the tough stuff – please reward yourselves and the critters now with the fun stuff

Release season will begin very soon also and is the ultimate pay back for all your hard work.   We will schedule a few key dates for releases if you want to join those but there will also be some on other dates  as well if you can’t make those.