Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Re-Visit

I'm a spider fan and was surprised by a favorite today. The Phidippus audax or Daring Jumping Spider is a harmless, fuzzy, black & white cutie. Prompted by the season and my little friend, I decided to re-post Halloween 2008.

Happy Halloweeeeeeen!!!

Halloween! All Hallow's Eve! Dia De Los Muertos! The day of candy corn, jack-o-lanterns, costumes, ghouls, goblins, fun, and generally SCARY STUFF!

How about spiders? They are very active in the Fall. Big garden spiders spin and spin, creating huge symmetrical webs to trap their prey. Daylight finds them in hiding; evening begins the hunt. And watch out for Black Widows too! They seek dark places, spinning rather desultory webs as their signature death trap.

And how scary is a pumpkin? The inside can be pretty darn to a little one, namely mine. When my son and niece were young we carved some pumpkins for Halloween. Each child was to clean-out his/her own pumpkin before the artistic process would begin. My niece dug in happily; my son protested. Thinking he just wanted to skip to the fun part I encouraged him to persist. Not until I heard him say "Mom, I see little white flies in my pumpkin" and "I'm dizzy" did I realize what was happening. My rough and tumble boy was seeing stars! Blood and guts never phased him, but the mushy innards of a pumpkin were definitely his kryptonite!

Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lavender's Blue Dilly, Dilly...

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen.
Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so....
(Burl Ives/Disney version)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lend Me Your Ear!

Had Van Gogh suffered a change of heart, and wanted to reattach his ear, he probably would have needed a few leeches. Medicinal leeches, that is! Besides removing excess blood from the wound, leech saliva contains both an anticoagulant and an anesthetic. The anticoagulant prevents clotting so the ear receives blood flow and survives; the anesthetic numbs the pain so you'll never know what bit you!

In 2004 the FDA approved the use of leeches as a medical device. Today a tribe of the creatures passed through our hospital's pharmacy on their way to save, not an ear this time, but a life.

Of course we were all thankful for our camera phones... ;)