1151 Slices
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28 • The Mocker Takes a Sparrow

Lynn Marie Cuny University of North Texas Press PDF

The Mocker Takes a Sparrow • 131

mocker continued to care for her newly hatched twins, but then one was found dead on the ground. A few days later, the other baby bird followed. Finally, late one afternoon, the couple's cat caught and mauled the mama. WRR became involved when the couple brought us the injured, widowed and now childless mockingbird. She was depressed, had a severely bruised wing and one leg that was broken almost in two.

The very same day, we also received what seemed to me the world's tiniest, most naked baby sparrow. He still had bits of eggshell on his minuscule head. He must have spent only hours in his parents' care. I held out little hope for his survival.

This hatchling sparrow arrived cold and damp. He showed little interest in eating. Our first challenge was to warm him and provide small portions of fresh formula every half hour.

His thin neck would barely support his head. He sat in his makeshift nest, drooping and tired, ready to give up. There was only one option left for saving the sparrow's life. I knew it was a long shot, but it was worth a try. If my plan worked, we had little to lose and so much to gain.

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Ratzlaff, Lloyd Thistledown Press ePub


ALBERT AND ELSIE DID OWN A CAR, but it was old and unreliable. Life in the post-depression years of the 1940s was lean, and they were renting a farm in the Springfield district, two miles from each of their parents’ homesteads. They had been married for seven years, and only now were expecting their first child.

On a November 1946 morning when Elsie’s labour began, they hurried to her parents’ farm to pick up a newer model Nash, and flew toward City Hospital forty miles distant. They nearly hit another car en route, and arrived in Saskatoon only to realize they didn’t know how to find the hospital, so stopped to ask for directions. When Elsie was finally admitted, Albert went to a washroom to shave — he’d taken his razor kit along — and found a son already born when he returned to the ward.

In the Mennonite community of Springfield and the surrounding villages, when winter set in, most people put their cars up on blocks, for the roads became impassable and stayed so until spring. One mid-December day, Albert took Elsie and the child to his in-laws’, the Glieges’, in a horse-drawn sleigh, and went on to do some business in the village of Laird, six miles over the fields as the crow flew.

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25 • Miles and Priscilla

Lynn Marie Cuny University of North Texas Press PDF

120 • Through Animals' Eyes

where he had last seen the emancipated turkeys. There, in a grassy pasture, he spotted a group of four birds. 1\vo were pecking curiously in the deep grass. The other two were nestled quietly in a thick patch of weeds. He later described them as looking as though "they were waiting for the end to come."

As he approached the big white birds, two turkeys ran away into the fields that would now be their new home. The two more reluctant birds sat very still and frightened. Little did they know that the individual who would usher them into their new life was standing before them.

When the turkey couple arrived at the Sanctuary, it was easy to see that they were inseparable. As the pair emerged from their giant cardboard box, they didn't run or try to find the nearest bush to hide under. Instead, they took quick, deliberate steps out of their past, where they had faced certain and imminent death, into the security of their new home.

Immediately, they were surrounded by peacocks, ducks, geese and chickens. There were huge bowls full to the brim with fresh corn and millet. There were wading pools overflowing with clean, cool water. There were giant oak trees filled with chirping, perching birds, free to fly about as they wished.

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25 Memorilas for a Legend, 1992

Richard Westwood Utah State University Press ePub

Georgie sold her business to Bill George, owner of Western River Expeditions in Salt Lake City, Utah. Lee McCurry said, “She thought the world and all of Ted Hatch and of Bill George. But she had said, back in ‘86, ‘If I was ever to sell to anybody, it would be Bill George, because I know he’s got the money to buy me out.”’1 Georgie sent the following letter to her clients:

Dear River Rats:

After a lifetime of adventures and 47 years of leading white water expeditions on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, I have turned my valued “river rats” over to Western River Expeditions, a company which has operated trips in the Grand Canyon and other areas for the past 35 years.

This decision has not been easy, for as I stated in the epilogue of my book “Georgie Clark—Thirty Years of River Running”: “And so I am off down the Grand Canyon again doing what I love best, for I am Georgie Clark, Woman of the River, and if I have my way, I shall repeat these trips through the biggest rapids in the world, over and over and over again ... Forever!”

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9. Lessons in Bridge Infrastructure Vulnerability

Philip B. Bedient Texas A&M University Press ePub


Jamie E. Padgett and Matthew Stearns

The performance of regional bridge infrastructure has a significant impact on the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of the transportation system following hurricane events, which is crucial to facilitating post-event response and recovery activities (Fig. 9.1). Hurricane Ike caused notable damage to the infrastructure of the Houston/Galveston Area when it made landfall on September 13, 2008. Many local bridges were completely destroyed and although the majority of these were small timber structures in rural areas, multiple major bridge structures also suffered damage from debris, storm surge and wave loading. Much of the damage can be attributed to inundation of the decks, or superstructures, of the bridges, debris impact, and erosion of abutment supports and approaches.

This chapter presents a holistic overview of the damage to bridge infrastructure in the Houston/Galveston area caused by Hurricane Ike. Typical failure modes are evaluated by assimilating a rich data set of post-event assessment surveys and inspection reports. The data assembled include field reconnaissance conducted by the authors, HNTB (a nationwide bridge design firm) through the Texas Department of Rural Affairs, the Texas Department of Transportation, and interviews with local municipalities or other bridge owners. The performance of timber bridges, often located in rural areas, as well as major highway bridges is assessed. The damage summaries presented include a discussion of factors contributing to the damage, repair procedures, and simple capacity/demand checks for case studies in which bridges over water crossings were damaged during Ike.

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