A Lifetime of Loving Wildlife, “Shady Refuge,” St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

A baby rabbit in my mother's hands, Sewall's Point, 1974. (Thurlow Family Album)
A baby rabbit in my mother’s hands, Sewall’s Point, 1974. (Thurlow Family Album)

I grew up in both Stuart and Sewall’s Point, not on, but close to the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.  My mother named our second home, “Shady Refuge,” because of the tremendous oak trees arching over the property. Many animals visited, and we welcomed them. Some even lived with our family for short periods of time. Early on, there was no Treasure Coast Wildlife Center like today, so we took animals that needed care to the vet or tried to help them ourselves. My mother was an expert at this. We were taught not to fear animals, even poisonous ones, but to respect them, and to learn from them. It was a great childhood; a great lesson for life.

The  photos I am sharing today were taken at my parent’s home in Indialucie over many years.

I still live in Sewall’s Point today, 30 years later. Of course with continued development of the Treasure Coast, population growth, and continued degradation of our waterways, wildlife is not as plentiful. But it is still here!  When I see an any animal, it is one of my greatest joys. Right now, a hawk is living in my and Ed’s yard. I always feel that  having one of God’s wild creatures visiting me is a gift.

Thank you mom and dad for keeping this family wildlife album and know that siblings, Jenny, Todd, and I, are “passing it on….”

Raccoon family in our driveway.
Raccoon family in our driveway.
Sister, Jenny, with baby squirrel.
Sister, Jenny, with baby squirrel.
Mom with Bandit, who lived with us for a long time until released back into the wild.
Mom with Bandit, who lived with us for a long time until released back into the wild.
A blue heron we took to the vet due to hook in its leg. It was returned to the wild.
A blue heron we took to the vet due to hook in its leg. It was returned to the wild.
A mole. Such soft fur! Returned to dirt.
A mole. Such soft fur! Returned to dirt.
A large native grasshopper who lived in our yard.
Me holding  large native Lubber grasshopper who lived in our yard.
Me holding rat snake that was returned to the bushes.
Me holding rat snake that was returned to the bushes.
Foxes and raccoons that came to food put out. In the 70s we did not know how "bad" this is to do as the animals become dependent and may learn not to fear humans as they should. This practice was stopped but enjoyed while it lasted!
Foxes and raccoons that came to food put out and we took pictures.  In the 70s we did not know how “bad” this is to do as the animals become dependent on human food, and may learn not to fear humans as they should. This practice was stopped but we enjoyed while it lasted!
The Three Stooges.... :)
The Three Stooges…. 🙂
Ping and Pong who we raised after they fell out of a nest.
Ping and Pong, who we raised after they fell out of a nest.
Screech owl in our yard.
Screech owl in our yard.
A bobcat, just walking by...
A bobcat, just walking by…
A lizard shedding its skin.
A lizard shedding its skin.
A Zebra butterfly and a butterfly plant planted to attract them.
A Zebra butterfly and a butterfly plant planted to attract them.
A box turtle in the bird bath.
A box turtle in the bird bath.

 

Secret Garden tour write up by my mother, in 2005.
“Secret Garden Tour” write-up by my mother, Sandra Thurlow, 2005.
Secret Garden Club page 2.
“Secret Garden Tour” page 2.

Treasure Coast Wildlife Center:(http://tcwild.org)

Florida Wildlife Commission: (http://myfwc.com)

12 thoughts on “A Lifetime of Loving Wildlife, “Shady Refuge,” St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

  1. By now there should not even be the slightest doubt as to what has happened to ALL the fish and wild life all over the state of Florida. You would not believe the change my little buckets have made in our 2 mile wide lagoon. Immagine what would happen if WE had some real support

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Apparantly their is a bobcat population around sebastion inlet.There is no access to the lagoon (except by boat) in this area. I intend to bring things back to life so maby the bobcats can take an occasional duck or wadeing bird. Bobcats are in hard competition with house cats. They both kill the same prey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jacqui, I live in Cedar Point just over the bridge from you and my neighbors here say they have seen both a bobcat and a fox recently on the property which I find remarkable and strange since we are so populated here and so much traffic here in Stuart ( no wild land anywhere near) but they insist they have seen both at dawn and at sunset.

    Also when I was a child in California my father worked for the California Dept of Forestry and we lived all over the state in the middle of no where until I was 6 and then moved to the southern central valley. Anyway, my dad always brought home injured animals that he had found after fires that we nursed back to health and released back to nature when possible, deer , raccoons, hawk , like you we always seemed to have something in the yard . Later when we lived in the valley we would find desert tortoises that had been brought to the valley and then abandoned we brought them home , they were far from their home in the desert but since it didn’t get real cold where we lived they could survive in our yard so dad, made it so they couldn’t burrow out of our yard ( so they wouldn’t get run over in the road ) and they lived in our yard and they had an environment in our yard for well over 20 years , we would take them out of their very large environment that they had made burrows in and they would take ‘ walks’ in our big back yard while we would ‘ play’ they would munch on the grass and seemed to enjoy it and when we were done with our playing we would remember to put them back in their environment so they wouldn’t get out into the ‘world’ . I think dad finally took them to the Mojave and released them, they live to be very old and who knows how old they were when we found them . Years later while in graduate school I volunteered at the ‘ Wildlife Museum ‘ in Concord, 🙂 where animals who had been injured and could not be released back into the wild were used to educate the public about how we impact our environment. One of the best and favorite things I have done . 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just love this Pam! Wonderful. Thanks for sharing. We must pass what’s left on. 🙂 I really want to see the bobcats in Cedar Point. An old-timer of Stuart SWEARS she saw a panther just in that area in Cedar Point when it was being developed in Stuart’s early day.s

    Like

  5. Thank you for reminding me if the Florida around me as I was a child. I miss it. I, too, should write a few pages of where I came from and share with my family and others. Again, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s