All posts filed under: ANIMALS

A visit to Fairhope

On a recent trip to the Mobile area, I drove to Fairhope because my hotel was in Daphne, not far away. While there, I walked out on the pier and took a picture of Mobile Bay. I also had the opportunity to eat at Pelican Patio. Here’s a link to their menu if you’re ever in town. Click the photos below to see more images of the restaurant. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

The metal rooster

I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a giant rooster, but if you drive through Rankin County and beyond, you may run across this one. On one of my last trips in that direction, I stopped to take a few  photos of this rooster that is probably one of the largest lawn ornaments I’ve ever seen. The photo at left of me should give you some perspective about its height. This rooster is featured in front of a store that sells other metal decorations for your lawn. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

The Saints go marching in

My mom and I found this pooch on the side of the road. She practically jumped in the car with  us when we saw her, and I couldn’t leave her behind. I took her home, gave her a bath, and thanks to Facebook, we were able to find her a home. When we drove to Brookhaven to take her to her new pet parents, we knew they were New Orleans Saints fans, so I bought a piece of Saints fabric, and we put a bandana on her before they arrived to pick her up. She was a sweet girl who deserved a good family, so I’m happy we were able to find someone generous enough to take her. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

A bird brain idea

On a recent antique shopping excursion, I spotted this unique ceramic bird, that must have flown into the store straight from the 1960s or ’70s. I didn’t really like the orange color, but knew that I would be able to transform it into something that looked a little more modern. This was the finished result. It reminded me a lot of the owls below that I spotted at Anthropologie, except my bird only cost a few dollars. I’m sure the store’s were $50 plus. You can modernize any ceramic that you find in a thrift store. Some people find birds or owls and paint them all white or a solid color. Keep your eyes open, and you may spot something that you can give new life with a color change. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

Birds in a tree

For about 20 years, I’ve had a tree bed. You can’t see the entire bed in this photo, but it’s a headboard and footboard made of tree branches that I bought over 20 years ago in Ripley, Miss. So if you use your imagination, it’s kind of like sleeping in a tree house. Growing up, my mother had a pair of metal peacocks on our wall, so I decided peacocks would be the vintage theme of my room. I bought a pair from eBay for around $20, then I found another pair at a thrift store even cheaper. Continuing the peacock theme, I had purchased a velvet jeweled peacock picture from a thrift store. I decided to place it on top of a canvas so it would be a larger art piece in the room. I bought a piece of foam board from a craft store and covered it in burlap. Then, I attached it to the wall with a nail and hung it over the foam board. I also added a string of white …

Unusual Mississippi mascots discussed on Yahoo blog

East Union Attendance Center was discussed today on Yahoo’s “Prep Rally” sports blog. Writer Cameron Smith took note of the team’s unusual mascot – a sea urchin. “There is no logical reason why a school in Mississippi should use the sea urchin as a mascot,” he said. “The school in question is not on the water, and Mississippi is not historically known as a particular sea-faring state, unless one conflates on a grandiose paddle boat on the Mississippi River as being seafaring. “That in itself should be enough to push the Blue Springs (Ms.) East Union High Sea Urchins into the realm of the absurd and right to the top of the Mississippi mascot lists. Incredibly it doesn’t, thanks to an equally bizarre mascot that looks like a bouncy ball with giant spikes protruding from all of its surfaces.” Smith goes on to talk about two other Mississippi schools and their unusual mascots – St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis and the Taylorsville High Tartars. You can read the full article here with more descriptions …

Reward offered for missing Brandon bye-bye birdie

With communication skills better than some humans, a Brandon bird named Rollo has packed his bags, flown the coop and left his owner frantic to find him. Rachel Murray, 38, is offering a $200 reward for the safe return of her talkative missing grey cockatiel with a yellow and grey head who wolf whistles at people, imitates ringing telephones and sings the theme song to “The Andy Griffith Show.” Chances are he wasn’t inspired by a popular Lynyrd Skynyrd song or a Maya Angelou poem when he became a free bird Friday, July 19, and it wasn’t a bird brain move on his part. Rollo flew away because he was frightened. “I took him with me to housesit/babysit for a couple who had gone out of town,” said Murray, a 6th and 7th grade science teacher at Powell Middle School, who has a daughter, Riley, 8. “As I was taking his cage out of the car, the bottom fell out. It scared him, and he flew away.” Murray heard Rollo the following morning and evening, …

Is cat fashion a passing trend, or will it have nine lives?

Every once and a while, a trend comes along that you may not be able to sink your claws into. Maybe it’s a style inspired by an Asian motif or the popular Internet meme Grumpy Cat, but like it or not, feline fashion is currently the cat’s meow. Yes, being a cat lady, for some reason, is cool these days. Check out Pinterest, and you’ll find many examples of this trend that isn’t for scaredy cats who are afraid to be a little quirky. In addition to finding a cat in a hat, you may find a cat on a dress, tights, sweaters and even a puss in boots. It’s a Meow Mix of clothing that some will find cute and others will find crazy. But for feline fashion addicts, or practicing catholics (I mean cat-holics), there’s plenty on the market, even if you’re not a fat cat with a thick wallet. However, if you think there’s a chance that looking at these clothes will make you catatonic, you may want to turn the page. …

Attention all Mississippi gardeners: Check out the Crazy Yard Art video

Deep in the concrete jungles of Ridgeland, right off Old Canton Road in an urban shopping center, is a foliage-filled sanctuary of wild animals so brightly colored that passersby can’t help but turn their heads, startled by giant giraffes, zebras and butterflies. You may hear a monkey squeal, a frog ribbit, birds caw and sheep bleat if your imagination runs as wild as the yard art on display at Freshway Produce. Like other stores in the Jackson metro area, Freshway has become a colorful place where shoppers looking for unique and eye-catching art can purchase something “cra-zazy” that’s guaranteed to make your garden ferocious and fierce while your neighbors’ is tame. Want a flying pig? They got ’em. Need a weird looking metal goat? It’s there. What about a 10-foot giraffe? Check. “We have goats, rabbits, butterflies, giraffes,” said owner Richard Cockrell, adding that giant butterflies and giraffes have been his most popular sellers. The giraffes come in 4-foot, 6-foot and 10-foot sizes. Quirky yard art is so popular these days, it was recently used …

Why the injured circus elephant is so much better than the clown who shot him

In case you haven’t heard, there was a drive-by shooting in Tupelo this week, and no it wasn’t a gang retaliation, unless you consider the circus a gang. The victim wasn’t someone who had stolen the shooter’s objectified, promiscuous girlfriend; skipped out on paying a crystal meth bill; killed a bird he owns that frequently wins chicken fightin’ competitions, or insulted his precious mama – all reasons that I’m certain have led to a drive-by shooting or two at some point in history. The target in this early morning potential assassination attempt; screaming cry for help; or “I-just-don’t-give-a-(expletive)-shooting” was none other than a Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey elephant. Yes. . .  That’s right. . .  An elephant. Seriously. “Is this what the world has come to,” I asked myself this morning, when reading the story on clarionledger.com. In addition to seeking vengeance against other human beings, now the misguided youth or emotionally stunted adults in our country – (instead of taking a beneficial anger management class) – are randomly taking out their aggression on …

More of the story: Mississippians believe in faith, family and “Duck Dynasty”

It’s obvious when checking my Facebook  feed, that there are many Mississippians who relate to and love the reality show “Duck Dynasty.” I have watched a few episodes myself, but didn’t quite understand why this show was liked by so many people I know until I interviewed several of them recently and learned that it appeals to their most cherished values – having a strong work ethic, having a strong family and having a strong faith. All of those values are apparently wrapped up in the reality show about a family who struck it rich by selling duck calls. Here’s another interview with Justin Byrd, a youth worker at a Corinth church, that didn’t make it into today’s story because of deadlines. Byrd, a Corinth native who attended Alcorn Central High School and Northeast Mississippi Community College, who is now attending Grantham University while serving in the Mississippi Army National Guard, said he became a fan of “Duck Dynasty” when the series premiered. “I am a die hard duck hunter, and have been for about …

Tune in to Animal Planet tonight at 9 p.m. to see three Mississippi noodlers compete

If you think noodling is something you play with in a swimming pool or add to chicken soup, think again. It’s another word for a type of fishing called hand-grabbing or grappling, and you can watch a Mississippi team compete in a new show called “Catfishin’ Kings” at 9 p.m. Monday on Animal Planet. The three-part series will air March 11, 18 and 25 at 9 p.m. Noodling is a sport that involves catching monstrous fish using only your bare hands. “You have to locate the fish nests or homes, check them to see if they are home, block the entrance with your body and try to retain them,” said Brandon resident Stephen Bowden, 40, a self-described “adrenaline junkie,” who is a member of the Mississippi team that will appear on the Animal Planet series. “Then, you hold your breath, go under water, feel around and try to catch them with your hand. This sport may not be for everyone.” Bowden said noodling or hand-grabbing season runs from May 1 through July 15 in Mississippi during …

Would you let your baby rock a mustache?

Log on to Pinterest, and you’ll find picture after picture of adorable babies with their noggins covered in some of the cutest crocheted hats you’ve ever laid eyes on. I spotted lions, skunks, mermaids, snowmen, puppy dogs, baby fishermen and even Rapunzel wigs while researching one of our latest Style stories. Photographers love the hats for props, and parents love them because it turns their itty bitty precious baby into something even more adorable – an itty bitty precious bunny rabbit or kitty cat. It reminds me of something I blogged about in 2006. A company called Baby Toupee was making hats with hair in them for babies to comically wear. You could get them fashioned after celebrities like like Bob Marley, Donald Trump and Lil’ Kim. I’ve also recently noticed that some company is making mustache pacifiers, so you’re baby can rock a stashe while he’s soothing his gums. Here’s our latest Style story about baby trends. Check out the gallery of photos. Hope you enjoy: Photographer Jennifer Sparrow doesn’t have to leave the …

Pinterest Project # 4: Painting is For the Birds

I’ve been a big fan of the late Texas designer, Enid Collins’, quirky 1960s box purses for many years. I own a few of them, and I’ve even made a few of my own inspired by some of her designs. As I hobby, I like to search for antique furniture pieces and revive them. I recently found a boring wooden cabinet, and it reminded me, in some way, of this Enid Collins purse called “For the Birds.” So I decided to create the same design on my cabinet. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Should monkeys have rights?

While checking my Facebook news feed this morning, I came across this NPR story Championing Life and Liberty for Animals. As a lifelong animal lover, I have always believed that all of God’s creatures should be treated with kindness and respect, despite the fact that I eat meat, wear leather products and understand that hunting can be a necessary evil to help reduce certain animal populations in certain regions, like deer, that can sometimes cause fatal accidents on highways. The NPR story focuses on Mississippi resident Tim Lepard’s cowboy monkey rodeo – an act called Team Ghost Riders he has taken around the country for years featuring capuchin monkeys dressed in red, white and blue cowboy attire riding on the backs of dogs. During one of Lepard’s recent appearances at a minor league baseball game in Maryland, the article states that a “handful” of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) showed up to voice concerns about the treatment of Lepard’s monkeys and how they were being used in the show. PETA says the …

How will you degrade your dog this Halloween?

While researching costumes for an article this year, I ran across a few interesting pet costumes that I’m sure would satisfactorily humiliate your dog this season. Exhibit A. –  Bacon Dog. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not really sure why bacon has become a popular costume for adults, children, babies and pets, but this poor dog has been degraded and brainwashed into believing he’s nothing more than a piece of meat. He should be safe trick-or-treating as long as he has a reflector on his collar and doesn’t get in the path of any larger, hungrier dogs, who mistake him for breakfast food. You have to love Dog Dinosaurs. Doesn’t your “put-him-in-your-purse dog” look much more ferocious wearing the body of a tyrannosaurus or stegosaurus? At least one night out of the year, he can cover his tiny frame and pretend he is a flesh-eating lizard of death before his person paints his toenails pink or makes him wear a lame T-shirt that reads something trite like “Woof!” Sad Bride is really bumming me out. She …

Getting back on the horse

Near the end of the school year at Brandon’s University Christian School, the art teacher gave his first period students large canvases, leftover paint and the freedom to go at them Jackson Pollack-style. Danielle Parkman, 14, dipped her hands in color and splattered it against the white – tossing pink, blue and red across the rectangle. Then she threw it on her friends, who laughed and retaliated until, pretty soon, everyone was engaged in a colorful, carefree mess of creativity. It is her most vibrant memory of the day her life went black, canvas wiped clean. On that day, May 12, 2009, her mother, Julie Parkman, a wife and mother of three, had a lot on her mind. In two days, her eldest son, Mitchell, would graduate from UCS. He was away on a mission trip with his father, Louie, but they would return that evening. On May 14, the family would leave for the Bahamas, and she couldn’t forget about Danielle’s upcoming horse show. After work, she drove to register her daughter for the …

Trends: Things that make your heart sing

I picked up these cute bird notecards over the weekend printed on recycled paper. They are by Green Inspired, a company that sells its products exclusively at Target. You can learn more at green-inspired.com. I liked the verse that reads “Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing.” –Marcia Wieder I picked up these cute bird notecards over the weekend printed on recycled paper. They are by Green Inspired, a company that sells its products exclusively at Target. You can learn more at green-inspired.com. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Kermit: A Mississippi icon

I’ve been a fan of Kermit the Frog for a long time. And because the new “Muppets” movie comes out this week, I thought I’d take a moment to share some of the Kermit things I own and point you toward other cool Kermit finds. The reason I have a soft spot in my heart for Kermit is because, of course, I grew up in the 1970s and ’80s, and loved “The Muppet Show” and “Sesame Street.” (I’m sure many of you can relate.) But it’s also because Kermit is officially recognized as a Mississippian along with his creator Jim Henson. Leland, Miss., is known as “the birthplace of Kermit the Frog.” Deer Creek has even been recognized by community leaders as the spot where Kermit swam as a tadpole. Kermit was also the grand marshal of the St. Paddy’s Day parade in Jackson a couple of years ago. A giant Kermit balloon made its way down the street, and I wore a handcrafted Kermit shirt for the occasion that I may have to revive …

The Yoda Bat – Cute, he is

I often have the sneaking suspicion that aliens may live among us, and I think the recent discovery of the Yoda Bat confirms this. I just clicked on an NPR link that took me to the National Geographic website where the 10 Weirdest New Animals of 2010 were featured. The Yoda Bat was perhaps the most adorable of the 10 with his pointy green ears and nose, but Yoda wasn’t the first creature that came to mind when I saw his funny face. To me, he bears a striking resemblance to The Neverending Story creature and a Star Wars tauntaun. I thought I might be alone with these thoughts until I saw other NPR commenters say the same. Some comments were rather hilarious. My favorite reaction to the Yoda Bat was, “OH. HELL. YES,” followed by, “Cute, he is,” and, “OK, to all of us bent on destroying the planet, how can you honestly look into the loving eyes of the Yoda Bat and not want to live with the land? Seriously, this bat fills …

What my Golden Retriever Taught Me About God

While walking her sister’s 10-year-old golden retriever, DeKalb native and author Rhonda McRae had a spiritual epiphany. “I was just enjoying how much Sadie was enjoying the walk,” McRae said. “The thought occurred to me: I wondered if this is how God feels to give me joy. “It kind of opened up a new way of thinking about God’s love for me. Then I started observing her behavior, and the book came out of that.” What My Golden Retriever Taught Me about God ($11.99, P&R Publishing, 2010), chronicles McRae’s year-long spiritual journey with Sadie. McRae said you can learn a lot about God from a pet, and it’s an idea many churches across the nation have implemented by creating pet ministries that visit nursing homes. Some even offer pet food pantries and pet-friendly church services. “I didn’t really decide to write a book about Sadie,” said McRae, a member of First Presbyterian Church of Jackson who works in the corporate communications department of Baptist Medical Center. “That was just the process of what God was …