Sassy Sue wows the bark park visitors with her catching and retrieving.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sassy Is One of Those Exotic Creatures

Have you seen a murmuration of starlings,
where they weave patterns in the sky by constantly changing group flight patterns?
We watched during a church picnic, transfixed by the ever-changing shapes created.

I lost track of the Facebook page on jeweled spiders from Australia, with some remarkable photos in the article.

I decided to Google the images and could not find anything close to the article, so I wondered if it was a hoax. I could find the category and examples, but they did not look like walking stained glass windows - except for the one photo of a jewelry case in the shape of a spider.

Nothing would surprise me about exotic animals, especially those in Australia, where they seem to be larger, more colorful, and more dangerous than anywhere else except Africa. They even have giant earthworms in Australia.

Everyone loves the Sassy grin.

Sassy is learning her Australian culture, since she is half Australian Cattle Dog, bred from the tough little dingo wild dog of that continent. We sing Waltzing Matilda and the Cattle Dog Blues in the car. That proved useful when we were waiting for tires at Goodyear. Two customers became very interested in her behavior and three legs, so we sang the Cattle Dog Blues, with Sassy howling the chorus. They loved it so much that Sassy pawed my leg to get the second verse going, where she howled again. She loves attention. The customers wrote down the Sassy blog's name so they could look it up later.

When she begins yipping in a high-pitched voice, we chide her about "going full Kelpie." That is another name for the Cattle Dog - Kelpie. When she hears that Kelpie name, she really sounds off.

She used that call to get the Helper family out of their house. Mrs. Helper asks for the happy bark when we stop by. Sassy responds with her German Shepherd voice, a very loud but lower pitched bark, sent left and right for full coverage. "There's that happy bark!" And she barks some more. In contrast, the Kelpie yip is high pitched and penetrating, one sharp warning or alert.

She yips if anyone tries to pick her up or comes close to stepping on her. She is especially sensitive because of her amputation and recuperation, but she is also quite the drama queen.

She is one of those homegrown exotics that people often overlook. Sassy is unusually smart and independent, cleverly working on us to understand to her way of doing things. I just asked her to move over on the bed, so she rolled over for loveys. If Mrs. Ichabod does not join in pettting her, Sassy looks back to get a second person petting her at the same time. She grins about this because her independent actions makes us laugh each time.

Butterfly Weed is related to Milkweed, named Asclepias for the healing properties of this family.

I am hoping that Butterfly Weed will grow in my yard. I planted some along the fence. In time they should show themselves. The attracts butterflies in general but also helps other plants - a companion plant.

Once upon a time Milkweed was common, and so were Monarch butterflies. Now people are wishing for more butterflies and worry about the loss of the Monarch.

I think I spotted some local Milkweed on my walk. A stand of them would support some Monarch caterpillars, but I doubt one plant in the sidewalk crack will do it.

Here the Monarch, in his jade coffin with golden nails. The wing markings are visible. Shortly before he was a fat caterpillar with none of this coloring - no gold frills. I am not going to get jeweled spiders in my yard, but I can raise these and even hatch them in a glass jar, as I did years ago in New Ulm.

No one is sure if the golden nails have a function. I consider it showboating by the Creator. If you ever doubt the power of the Creating Word, look at what He does with with a homely caterpillar that dines on milkweed sap.

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