Nov 162012

One of the greatest things about the fulltime RV lifestyle is the opportunity to do things that most people never will. And wow, the things we have done!

One of the things we have really enjoyed doing is getting to know and interact with animals that we never would have seen back in our little Arizona mountain town. Once we were parked at a fairgrounds in Torrington, Wyoming when a circus arrived. I got to talking to one of the elephant handlers and she introduced me to their star pachyderm, a magnificent female that was smarter and had a sweeter personality than both of my ex-wives put together.

Another time, at the Ohio River Museum in Marietta, Ohio, the docent on duty handed Terry a baby bottle filled with water and bread, with the nipple cut off at the end. He told her to lay down on the dock and put the nipple in the water, and immediately a school of huge carp came to the surface and, one after another, nursed from the bottle. What an experience!

Another time, at Rooster Cogburn’s Osterich Ranch in Arizona, Terry got to feed beautiful little parrots called lorikeet as well as deer and ostriches. Trust me, the lorikeet were a lot less intimidating than their much bigger cousins!

Terry feeding bird 3

Terry feeding deer 2

Terry feeding ostrich 8

Before I gave her a camera and she discovered what a fantastic photographer she is, I did all of the photography and Terry got to have the fun. Fun like feeding these giant tarpon in the Florida Keys. Look at the mouths on those things! And they just explode out of the water.

Terry feeding tarpon 9

Terry feeding tarpon 8

Tarpon don’t have teeth, but the inside of their mouths are like sandpaper. Terry found this out when one swallowed her wrist in its eagerness to get a small fish she offered. Shortly after that she decided that it was time she started taking the pictures so I could have some “fun” too!

Terry bloody hand

Who doesn’t love manatees? One of the highlights of our travels was last winter, when we paddled our Sea Eagle kayaks with the manatee at Three Sisters Spring in Crystal River. They are such wonderful, gentle creatures.

Yesterday we were down at the marina talking to some of the boaters here at the campground when two manatees showed up. One of the guys cleaning his boat told Terry to give them a drink with the fresh water hose. Apparently they love a drink of fresh water or just being sprayed, and they will stay there with their mouths open as long as you will hold the hose. How cool is that?

Watering manatee 4

Watering manatee duo 3

Watering manatee duo 4

One of the fellows here has a pontoon boat that he uses to take people out on fishing and diving charters. He had harvested a bunch of cowrie and gave Terry a five inch long deer cowrie shell, clean and fresh from the bottom. What a nice guy!

Cowrie shell 2 

Cowrie shell

And can you believe that doing things like this is our job? You know, when we’re having this much fun, sometimes I can’t help but ask Terry, “Gee, I wonder what the working people are doing today?”

Thought For The Day – Inside this body there is a skinny man screaming to get out. But I can usually shut him up with chocolate.

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Nick Russell

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  5 Responses to “The Things We Get To Do”

  1. I have a t-shirt that says “Inside this body is a thin woman trying to get out but I can ususally shut the bitch up with chocolate”. How true for me since my husband sold chocolate and I am a chocolate connisouir.

  2. Magical moments!

  3. How fun was that interaction with the manatees! Very cool.

  4. I never met an Ostrich who wasn’t pushy,

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