With a respectful nod to Messrs.’ Rogers and Hammerstein, I must say that here in Bellaire, June really is Bustin’ Out All Over! This last weekend I saw the first of what I hope will be many painted turtles make its way across our lawn and into the river. This turtle migration appears to begin at Craven Pond and continues into Intermediate River and points beyond. Last year, never before having observed any such phenomenon, I was delighted to learn that this turtle parade is a yearly event here at The River House. I also learned that not only is it permissible to give road-crossing aid to our slow-moving reptilian neighbors, the DNR actually asks that if anyone sees a painted turtle (or any other variety, I expect) attempting to cross the highway that we give a gentle “air lift” to the nearest safe spot so that they may continue their journey to the rivers and lakes that are their natural habitat. The DNR also cautions that snapping turtles should be approached with great caution and should be picked up ONLY by the very back of the shell so as to avoid the loss of the Good Samaritan’s digits!
The Center, too, is experiencing a June explosion of various sorts…the gardens are beginning to come into full flower and each trip up the road brings delightful surprises in both the wooded areas surrounding the gardens and in the gardens themselves. Peonies, iris, columbine and a host of other beauties smile on the antics of the felines who bask on our sunny catio (ok, patio—I just couldn’t resist), and greet volunteers and potential adopters alike with the assurance that this is a place of pleasure and contentment. Birds fill the outdoor feeders that provide entertainment for our feline friends as they watch and wait safely behind our large and sunny windows. The kitten “explosion” is in full swing, and just as fast as the little ones are adopted, others take their place. The cat room vibrates with kitten energy and it is easy to understand why our older residents take refuge in the outdoor screened cat/pat-io away from the pouncing, tumbling antics of the youngsters. It is a great time to visit the Center, and perhaps take one or two of these small comedians home to their forever family. Our canine family has grown to five loving, funny, adorable dogs who wait patiently for just the right person to come along. Five more wonderful dogs it would be hard to find—someone for every family. Energetic youngsters, Young gentleman and lady pups who are more sedate and sensible (as Jane Austen might say) and one delightfully silly small, white, long-haired youngster who would make a great companion for anyone, young or old! Along with pups and kittens, the Center’s summer volunteers are back, and so very welcome! This is a great time to work on projects that simply get put on the back burner during the winter and early spring. The work of running an animal sanctuary is endless and many hands make light work of the tasks that are necessary to keep our guests healthy and happy. Even though we currently have “many hands”, more are always needed and so very appreciated by everyone—human, feline and canine. Come and check out our June Bust-Out for yourself. We are open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to Noon, and look forward to seeing your delight in our beautiful and loving sanctuary. -CC