Thursday, February 7, 2008

RIP, Rubester =*(

My lovely Ruby died on Tuesday. She was thirteen and had lived a good, long life for an amelanistic cornsnake, but I sure am going to miss her beady-eyed, expressionless little face.

I'm surprised I'd never gotten around to taking more pictures of her. I took that one of her being held by a friend's little sister just after I'd graduated high school, when she was given to me as a graduation gift by my mentor, my high school art teacher. She had been the class pet. He said he wanted to see us both off and doing bigger and better things.

She wasn't much of a conversationalist, but she made for a nice terrarium decoration and liked a sun-warmed rock and thawed-out rodent as much as the next guy.

I planted her in my lily bed; the tiger lilies will be a nice way to remember her in the Spring. I figure, with her coloring she'd have clashed with the stargazers.

Goodnight, Rubester, I'll miss you. =*(

Friday, February 1, 2008


I've been hesitant to post until I know what's happening for sure.
What seems to be happening is improvement. They say aspergillosis is a one-way street. If he gets sick from it, he dies. Quickly.
Well, he's not dead, and he is preening, interested in his surroundings, bright-eyed, and responsive. He doesn't look like a sick bird.
He's fat, so he's fairly uninterested in flying, but it's definitely a different kind of uninterested than the lethargic, lackluster, mussed-up, and dull-eyed bird of a week or two ago.
He spent several cold nights in the house, both to save him the calories of keeping himself warm, and to keep him off the floor where he'd been spending all of his time. Spending a lot of time on the floor is bad for his feet, and a sign of a very sick bird. I put him in the mews yesterday after our daily workout, or non-workout as the case may be with a fat bird, and lo and behold not only did he spend the day on a window perch, he spent the night there, too.

All good signs.

He does have some bumblefoot issues, one big sore and lots of little ones, presumably from bacterial incursion into some scuffs he'd gotten over Christmas. All that standing around on the floor brings fecal bacteria into contact with the feet, and the abrasions turned into bumblefoot.
Randy Carnahan, a master falconer of some many years' experience took a look at it for me, and has given me some advice on how to care for them. He thinks that, despite my panic at their appearance, they're fairly minor-to-moderate but not terrible, and that if kept clean, they'll heal up just fine on their own.
If all goes well, we should be back to regular training soonish. I'm trying not to get my hopes up... too far.

Welcome to falconry, eh?