Bend In The Branch

The personal opinions of one among many.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Please Don't Feed the 'Gators

Alligators are not known for their intelligence and generally associate their meals with movement in the waters they inhabit. The creature pausing for a drink from the waters of a hungry alligator’s lair is just as likely to suffer an ill fate as is the floating aluminum can.

The well-meaning, but ill-informed often provide food to these predators. Such actions only endanger them and the alligator. Once an alligator associates a human with food, it can not distinguish the hand that feeds it from the food, and the fear that has protected the alligator wanes to its instinct to hunt for more food…better food.

Man Found Dead in Florida Alligator Attack

(AP) - LAKELAND, Fla.-A man found dead in a pond was the victim of a nearly nine-foot alligator that was captured and killed, the medical examiner's office said Tuesday.
Officials did not know what Don Owen, 56, a truck driver from Bartow, was doing at the pond about a dozen miles from his home. He had been missing since Wednesday when he was seen at a convenience store.

On Saturday his remains were found by several men fishing in Six Pound Pond. An autopsy determined he had been killed by the eight-foot, nine-inch alligator, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

Trappers caught the alligator Monday. Owen's forearm was found in its stomach.

Residents said they had fed the alligator, which is illegal and dangerous, said Gary Morse, spokesman for the wildlife commission.

Alligators normally flee from humans unless threatened or cornered, but alligators that have been fed by humans begin to look at them as a food source, he noted…

Lest you need further incentive, it is illegal to feed alligators in South Carolina.

SECTION 50-11-750. Unlawful to feed or entice with food any alligator; exceptions; penalties.

[SC ST SEC 50-11-750] It is unlawful for any person to feed or entice with food any American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), except those persons feeding alligators maintained in protective captivity under a permit issued by the department pursuant to Section 50-15-50 for education, scientific, commercial, or recreational purposes; or department personnel, persons licensed, or otherwise authorized by the department, or county or municipal animal control personnel when relocating alligators by baiting or enticement. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined in an amount not to exceed two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Monday Mutt Shot: Too Many Easter Eggs Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Remember Them

Be Prepared

Telling others is not enough. Consult an attorney and declare your wishes in a legally binding document.

Durable Powers of Attorney / Health Care Powers of Attorney:

Living Wills:

Be Informed

Know your neighbors.

If not, at least know about them.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Monday Mutt Shot: My little girl went to SeaWorld and all I got was a big fish! Posted by Hello

From The Kid Files: Then Posted by Hello

and now Posted by Hello

Monday, March 14, 2005

Update: Dead, But Not Quite


Declared dead at the scene of an accident, then found to be living 2 1/2 hour later, the accident victim has entered rehabilitative care.

As Close As He Could Be...

and grateful for the assistance of an operator who helped make it possible.

When eight-week-old Bryce Beutler is old enough to understand, his parents, Mike and Amber Beutler, will tell him the dramatic story of his birth. He’ll learn how his mother grew weary after hours of labor and how the doctors worried she would need surgery to deliver the baby. Her family was gathered at her side on Jan. 13 in the birthing room at Clarendon Memorial Hospital in Manning as the hours wore on — morning turned to afternoon, afternoon to evening, evening to night — and still no baby.

The one person who should have been holding Amber’s hand, wiping her brow and offering encouragement during the delivery — her husband — was a world away in Iraq, doing his part for the war effort.

But with the help of his supervisors in Iraq and a telephone operator at Shaw Air Force Base, Mike was able to check in with his wife and other family members present for the delivery throughout the day.

The Happy Ending...

Monday Mutt Shots: Good things come to those Posted by Hello

who wait Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Grandma's Quilt

Those who know me best know that I place little value on possessions.

I drive a little truck; it’s not new, but it’s safe, dependable, and utilitarian for one who lives next door to nowhere in the land where curbside garbage collection is a fantasy.

I live in a simple house; it’s small, constantly in need of one repair or another, but it’s never devoid of the comforts that only home can give.

I have one possession, though, that I value more than any other: Grandma’s Quilt.

Grandma’s Quilt was not inherited; in fact, it’s not even hers, it’s mine. I chose the plain color and the simple design, but Grandma made it, and she made it exquisite with her delicate, yet enduring stitches.

The prominence of Grandma’s Quilt is overshadowed by its position at the foot of my bed. It should be more properly displayed and given the honor it deserves, but like Grandma, it prefers to serve a more meaningful purpose.

It has provided much needed warmth during power failures, comfort through an abusive marriage that required nights spent elsewhere, and love when loneliness seemed overwhelming.

It has endured, being washed clean of tears of pain, Kool-Aid, little dirty foot prints, and dog hair, never once fraying to the stains of life.

It will always be Grandma’s Quilt, for it was sewn by loving hands that bind a family together with the same strength, dignity, grace, and endurance as the stitches that comprise it.

Dresden Plate, February, 1995 Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Pest Control

Doodlebug the dog may no longer be viewed as an appetizer to a certain unwanted visitor...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Monday Mutt Shot: "mmmm....PEOPLE food!" Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 03, 2005

After a Long Bus Ride Posted by Hello

And Busy, Posted by Hello

Busy, Days Posted by Hello

The Wanderer Has Returned. Welcome Home! Posted by Hello