Friday, September 07, 2007

Coyote Sightings

This morning while waiting for my coffee to finish brewing, I glanced out of my kitchen window and there in the middle of the street were two coyotes running down the street. Coyote sightings are not unusual in my neighborhood because they live in the many canyons and park areas that surround my home.

What made this sighting so different was the fact that my neighbor Ma, (first generation Chinese) that lives across the street, had left a pile of table scrapes for them at the end of their driveway! After the coyotes had finished eating the scrapes and had continued on their way I went across the street to speak to my neighbors. It turns out that Ma thought she was feeding homeless dogs and had no idea that they were in fact Coyotes!

Historically, coyotes were most commonly found on the Great Plains of North America. Their range now extends from Central America to the Arctic. Except for Hawaii, coyotes live in all of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In spite of being hunted and trapped for more than 200 years, more coyotes exist today than when the U.S. Constitution was signed.

Hardly any animal in America is more adaptable to changing conditions than the coyote. Coyotes can live just about anywhere. They are found in deserts, swamps, tundra, grasslands, brush, and dense forests, from below sea level to high mountains. They have also learned to live in suburbs and cities like San Diego, Phoenix, and Denver.

One of the keys to the coyote's success is its diet. A true scavenger, the coyote will eat just about anything. Identified as a killer of sheep, poultry and deer, the coyote will also eat snakes and foxes, doughnuts and sandwiches, rodents and rabbits, fruits and vegetables, birds, frogs, grass and grasshoppers, pet cats and cat food, pet dogs and dog food, carrion, and just plain garbage.
Coyotes are active mainly during the nighttime, but they can be moving at any time during the day. Most sightings of coyotes occur during the hours close to sunrise and sunset.

Adult coyotes weigh between 20 and 45 pounds. Females are generally smaller than males and western coyotes are generally smaller than eastern coyotes.

Coyotes look like small collie dogs. They have erect pointed ears, slender muzzle, and a bushy tail. Most coyotes are brownish gray in color with a light gray to cream-colored belly. However, a coyote's color varies and may be somewhat darker or lighter depending upon the geographic region and the time of year. Most coyotes have dark or black hairs over their back and tail.
A high reproductive rate and rapid growth of offspring aid in the coyote's success. Coyotes breed in February and March and pups are born about 60 days later. An average coyote litter contains four or five pups. Pups are born in dens. In urban environments, dens can be in storm drains, under storage sheds, in holes dug in vacant lots, parks, or golf courses, or any other dark, dry place.

Pups are cared for by both parents and can eat meat and move about well by the time they are a month old. Because food requirements increase dramatically during pup rearing, this is a period when conflicts between humans and urban coyotes are common. By 6 months of age, pups have permanent teeth and are nearly fully grown. About this time, mother coyotes train their offspring to search for food so it is not unusual to observe a family group traveling through parks and golf courses. If food is deliberately or inadvertently provided by people, the youngsters quickly learn not to fear humans and will develop a dependency on easy food sources.

After this training period, usually in October and November, most young disperse and find their own breeding territory, but one or two pups may stay with the parents and become part of the family group. Although coyotes tend to travel and hunt singly or in pairs, they may form groups as population densities increase or where food is abundant such as in urbanized areas.
In areas where they are hunted or trapped, coyotes are extremely wary of human beings. However, in urban areas where they are less likely to be harmed and more likely to associate people with an easy and dependable source for food, they can become very bold. They will come up to the door of a house if food is regularly present. Coyotes have learned that small dogs and cats are easy prey. Newspapers across the country have carried stories of coyotes harassing leashed dogs on walks with their owners in and near parks and golf courses within city limits.

If you enjoy seeing coyotes and want a closer look at them, use binoculars. Don't ever put food out to lure them closer. Nearly all wild animal bites occur when people attempt to feed them or to treat them like domestic animals. Enjoy watching wild animals, but don't lead them into temptation. Animals that lose their natural fear of humans are more likely to pose a danger to humans and the lifespan of such an animal is shortened. Remember, all wild animals are unpredictable and caution is the watchword when they are around.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce the chance of human-coyote conflicts:
Do not feed coyotes!

  • Eliminate sources of water, particularly in dry climates.
  • Bird feeders should be positioned so that coyotes can't get the feed. Coyotes are attracted by bread, table scraps, and even seed. They may also be attracted by birds and rodents that come to the feeders.
  • Do not discard edible garbage where coyotes can get to it.
  • Secure garbage containers and eliminate garbage odors.
  • Feed pets indoors whenever possible. Pick up any leftovers if feeding outdoors. Store pet and livestock feed where it is inaccessible to wildlife.
  • Trim and clean, near ground level, any shrubbery that provides hiding cover for coyotes or prey.
  • Fencing your yard could deter coyotes. The fence should be at least 6 feet high with the bottom extending at least 6 inches below ground level for best results.
  • Don't leave small children unattended outside if coyotes have been frequenting the area
  • Don't allow pets to run free. Keep them safely confined and provide secure nighttime housing for them.
  • Walk your dog on a leash and accompany your pet outside, especially at night.
  • Provide secure shelters for poultry, rabbits, and other vulnerable animals
  • Discourage coyotes from frequenting your area. If you start seeing coyotes around your home or property, chase them away by shouting, making loud noises or throwing rocks.

These steps may decrease the frequency of coyote sightings in your area if practiced continuously. However, coyotes are adaptable to change and are quick to learn new ways of survival. Occasional sightings most likely will continue. By making life for coyotes in your neighborhood more difficult, you will increase the likelihood that they will go somewhere else.

Want to know more? Please visit...
Desert USA
Coyote Facts
Cooler temperatures in San Diego makes for a very happy Miss Rain! Tonight is girls night out and we are going to see Communicating Doors, by Director Esther Emery at the Cygnet Theatre. Saturday night I have a date with C. He says he has a great evening planned for the two of us! Hmm I wonder what C. has in mind.... ;0)

Have a great weekend everyone!


N Posted by Rain at 9/07/2007 11:28:00 AM

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tommy and Mushrooms


How frequent are mushroom ingestions?
Every year across the United States, more than 9,000 cases of mushroom ingestions are reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Many hundreds of cases of mushroom ingestions occur each year in California. Children under the age of 6 years account for a majority of these cases. The consequences of mushroom poisoning can be severe.

What is the difference between a mushroom and a toadstool?
Because there is so much misinformation about toadstools and mushrooms, the terms need definition. Some people mistakenly believe the word "mushroom" means an edible or safe variety and the word "toadstool" means a poisonous or bad mushroom. This is incorrect. Many mushrooms are poisonous and some toadstools are edible or safe.

How poisonous are mushrooms?
Medically speaking, "poisonous mushroom" means any mushroom or toadstool that causes an adverse or negative reaction when eaten. Symptoms can range from 6 hours of vomiting to lethal liver or kidney failure.

How many poisonous mushrooms are there?
In the United States, there are about 5,000 types of mushrooms. Of these, about 100 are responsible for most of the cases of mushroom poisoning. Less than a dozen species are considered deadly. However, death from other species, even so-called "safe" mushrooms, has occurred in very young children or in very ill adults. Some of the mushrooms that can cause death in healthy adults are the Death Cap, the Destroying Angel, the False Morel and mushrooms in the Galerina species. Almost every year, someone in California dies from eating the wrong mushroom.

"There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters. But there are no old, bold mushroom hunters."

What are the facts and fiction about mushroom identification?

FACT: There are no non-scientific tests or rules that can accurately determine the safety or toxicity of a mushroom. Using the following "rules" could prove to be a deadly mistake! FICTION: A mushroom is considered poisonous if:
  • The mushroom stains when bruised
  • The mushroom secretes a milky sap
  • The mushroom turns garlic blue or black when cooked together
  • The mushroom turns a silver coin black when rubbed against it
  • The mushroom tarnishes a silver spoon when cooked with it
  • The mushroom has scales, warts or other types of rough surfaces

FICTION: A mushroom is considered safe if:

  • The mushroom grows on wood
  • Slugs or other insects eat the mushroom
  • Squirrels, rabbits, or other wildlife eat the mushroom
  • The mushroom is dried, boiled, salted or pickled in vinegar
  • The mushroom does not have a ring or skirt on the stalk
  • The mushroom is pure white in color


  • Some people can eat mushrooms with no problems, while other people eating the same mushroom will experience severe vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Some people can have allergic reactions to eating "safe" mushrooms.
  • Some mushrooms are only poisonous if eaten in large quantities.
  • Some mushrooms are poisonous when raw but become harmless when parboiled and thoroughly cooked.
  • Some mushrooms are poisonous regardless of how they are cooked or prepared.
  • Some mushrooms are poisonous only if eaten with alcoholic beverages.
  • Some mushrooms are classified as poisonous because they are hallucinogenic.


  • Some mushrooms that are edible when fresh and young become poisonous when they are old, hit by frost or if they decay.
  • Some mushrooms, for unknown reasons, are poisonous in one part of the country and are not poisonous in another.
  • Some mushrooms that are poisonous to animals do not cause major problems in humans.

Most mushrooms are more dangerous to young children, the aged and the very ill.

Image from

The Faerie Factory

What symptoms do poisonous mushrooms cause?

There are a variety of mushrooms, divided into categories or groups. Each category causes different symptoms.

  • Group 1. CYCLOPEPTIDES: The first signs and symptoms may not develop for six to 24 hours, usually 10-14 hours after the ingestion. Symptoms begin with sharp abdominal pains, followed by violent vomiting and persistent diarrhea, often containing blood and mucous. In three to four days, the patient begins to worsen with symptoms of kidney and liver failure. Death is very possible.
  • Group 1A. ORELLANINE: Symptoms begin 36 hours to 11 days after ingestion. They include nausea, lack of appetite, headache and, most importantly, a severe burning thirst and kidney failure.
  • Group 2. IBOTENIC ACID-MUSCIMOL: State resembling alcohol intoxication develops 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion. Confusion, muscle spasms, delirium and visual disturbances, which last for about four hours, develop following the intoxicated state. Vomiting usually does not occur. Drowsiness and sleep follow and recovery is usually rapid.
  • Group 3. MONOMETHYLHYDRAZINE: After six to eight hours, the patient experiences a feeling of fullness in the stomach followed by vomiting and watery diarrhea. Headache, fatigue, cramps and intense pain in the liver and stomach regions occur, followed by jaundice. Seizures occur in severe cases.
  • Group 4. MUSCARINE-HISTAMINE: Within 30 minutes to two hours after ingestion, symptoms include sweating, drooling, diarrhea, watery eyes, blurred vision, pinpoint pupils, decreased heart rate and blood pressure, and asthmatic breathing. (The sweating, drooling, diarrhea and watery eyes do NOT occur with other types of mushroom poisonings.)
  • Group 5. COPRINE: Symptoms will occur if this mushroom is eaten by a person who drinks alcohol within the next 5 days. Flushing of the face and neck, a metallic taste in the mouth, numbness of the hands and feet, palpitations, and an increased heart rate are the symptoms.
  • Group 6. PSILOCYBIN-PSILOCYN: These are the hallucinogenic mushrooms that alter consciousness. An intoxicated or hallucinogenic condition begins between 30 and 60 minutes after ingestion. The mood may be apprehensive (anxious) or pleasant. The person may experience compulsive movements and uncontrolled laughter. In children, a high temperature (102-106½ F) with seizures may develop.
  • Group 7. GASTROINTESTINAL: Within 30 to 90 minutes of ingestion, sudden severe vomiting and mild to severe diarrhea with abdominal cramps occurs. Symptoms generally last six hours. In children, this may lead to dehydration severe enough to require hospital treatment.

Can we just wait to see if symptoms appear?

Just because a victim does not have any symptoms right away does not mean that everything is OK. Symptoms may not develop until several days later. Not all mushrooms are poisonous. But several people have developed complete liver failure after eating the wrong mushrooms. They received liver transplants and will be taking anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. If no liver is available for an emergency transplant, the patient could die.

But aren't there antidotes to treat mushroom poisoning?
There is NO antidote for mushroom poisoning!
All mushrooms not bought at the grocery store are considered to be potentially dangerous.
Call the Poison Center as soon as you even suspect a mushroom ingestion. If a significant amount of time passes after the ingestion, treatment at a hospital will be required. Mushroom ingestions can be very serious and emergency treatment may be required.

Spring and autumn seasons with cool, damp evenings encourage mushroom growth. Check your yard for mushrooms before letting young children and pets out to play. Teach children not to taste or even touch ANY outdoor mushrooms.

Don't add mushrooms from the wild to your gourmet dishes unless you are absolutely positive that the mushroom has been accurately identified and is safe. The life you save may be your own.

In the event of a poison emergency, call the nearest poison center immediately by dialing 1-800-222-1222 or contact 9-1-1 emergency services. Ideally, people and animals should never eat mushrooms that have not been identified by an expert or bought at the store. Unfortunately, many mushrooms are difficult to identify even for a trained mycologist, a biologist trained in the study of mushrooms.

How ARE mushrooms identified? Is it easy to do?

Identifying mushrooms is an exact art that is very difficult and time-consuming. Before making a positive identification, mycologists look closely at the color, gills, spores, stalks and base portion of the mushroom. Spores are examined under a microscope to detect differences. The mycologist will also consider where the mushroom was growing, such as in the woods, on a lawn or on a tree before making an identification. Because of the involved process required to accurately identify a mushroom, it is impossible to identify a mushroom from a description over the phone. Gourmet cooks who have harvested wild mush-rooms have been poisoned. To be safe, avoid all mushrooms not purchased at a store.

Now you all must be wondering why I am posting about mushrooms. On September 05, 1975 a family friend, Tommy died of kidney failure as a result of eating wild mushrooms. I miss Tommys infectious laugh, playing piano 'duels' against him and of course his singing. Tommy used to constantly play with my hair, pulling my curls and he would call me Shirley Temple. I would give anything to hear him call me Shirley one more time :0)

Rest in peace my friend...


N Posted by Rain at 9/05/2007 11:50:00 AM

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hunky Mondays

One for the Ladies....

Photo Source Unknown
Oh my, lookie here!

One for the Guys.....


My weekend was full of surprises;

  • Hot, steamy, wet and wild sex.
  • Lots of laughter.
  • Soaring temperatures.
  • Kinky sex on exercise machine with my Luva.
  • Confessions between friends.
  • The arrival of a gift from a friend in the mail from here Warning! Not Work Safe.
  • Drinking water until I felt like I was going to float away.
  • Spent some well deserved time alone with a good book.
  • Fabulous meals cooked outdoors on the grill. In the heat...Yes, I feel the love!
  • Naughty flirtations and whispered secrets with promises of more to come.
  • Midnight dips in the ocean.
  • An earthquake.
  • Temperatures over 100 degrees for the seventh day in a row.
  • Going through a DUI check point, I thanked the officers for keeping me safe on the streets.
  • Tempers flaring, glass doors breaking and accidents on the freeways.
  • Did I say great sex? Oh my, I guess I did!

I would like to take this oportunity to thank Willis Haviland Carrier for inventing the 'Apparatus for Treating Air' (U.S. Pat# 808897) granted in 1906, was the first of several patents awarded to Willis Haviland Carrier. The recognized 'father of air conditioning' is Carrier, but the term 'air conditioning' actually originated with textile engineer, Stuart H. Cramer. Cramer used the phrase 'air conditioning' in a 1906 patent claim filed for a device that added water vapor to the air in textile plants - to condition the yarn. Read more here

How was your weekend?

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N Posted by Rain at 9/04/2007 12:38:00 AM

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Pirates Life For Me

Septembers Pirate

Pirates Lust
Artist Unkown

On September 5, 1717:

King George issues a royal pardon to all pirates that surrender to authorities.

On September 26, 1580:

Francis Drake arrives at Plymouth laden with treasure aboard the Golden Hind and as the first captain and second man to sail around the world.

Holidays for September:

September 3~ Labor Day
September 9~ Grandparents Day
September 11~ Patriot Day
September 16~ Mayflower Day
September 17~ Citizenship Day/ National Stepfamily Day
September 22~ American Business Women’s Day

National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
Office of the Director, Consumer Affairs1
Choke Cherry Road, 2nd FloorRockville, MD 20857
(800) 729-6686 (240) 276-2750

The Recovery Month observance highlights the societal benefits of substance abuse treatment, lauds the contributions of treatment providers and promotes the message that recovery from substance abuse in all its forms is possible. The observance also encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective substance abuse treatment for those in need. Each year a new theme, or emphasis, is selected for the observance.

Recovery Month provides a platform to celebrate people in recovery and those who serve them. Each September, thousands of treatment programs around the country celebrate their successes and share them with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues in an effort to educate the public about treatment, how it works, for whom, and why. Substance abuse treatment providers have made significant accomplishments, having transformed the lives of untold thousands of Americans. These successes often go unnoticed by the broader population; therefore, Recovery Month provides a vehicle to celebrate these successes.

Recovery Month also serves to educate the public on substance abuse as a national health crisis that addiction is a treatable disease, and that recovery is possible. Recovery Month highlights the benefits of treatment for not only the affected individual, but for their family, friends, workplace, and society as a whole. Educating the public reduces the stigma associated with addiction and treatment. Accurate knowledge of the disease helps people to understand the importance of supporting treatment programs, those who work within the treatment field, and those in need of treatment.

Okay everyone have a Safe and Happy Labor Day!

Please do not drink and drive :0)

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N Posted by Rain at 9/02/2007 06:57:00 PM