Poetry, Philosophy, and Wildlife

Hello dear readers, it has been a while since I provided an update on my blog. I have been taking a break from social media to concentrate on family, wildlife care, and new work developments. I am currently on sabbatical, and have been focusing on scholarly and creative work. My projects include a philosophy translation and a full length collection ofnarrative poems. I also took up painting, and became a NYS licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Nicola Marae Allain syringe feeding an orphaned Eastern Grey Squirrel.

Nicola Marae Allain syringe feeding an orphaned Eastern Grey Squirrel.

Joseph and I are active members of the wonderful North Country Wild Care organization,  and have been very involved in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. This summer we released 13 orphaned juvenile squirrels, and raised three wild turkey poults. We currently have four late season orphaned baby squirrels in my dance studio who arrived, separately, in critical condition, and needed to be overwintered. I am happy to report they are thriving. We built them a special indoor cage to substitute for the large outdoor pre-release habitat. They will go into the outdoor space as soon as spring weather starts to show. We are also providing winter food support for a wide array of wildlife on our nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary, which is quite an undertaking when temperatures drop or snow falls. We receive daily visits from up to 70 wild turkeys, 2 herds of deer, 25 Blue Jays, 70 Juncos, three species of squirrels, and a variety of winter birds. The other night, an adorable little flying squirrel was sneaking a paw through a feeding hut crack to grab nuts as I put them in.

Tiffany, Eastern Grey Squirrel

Tiffany, a juvenile female Eastern Grey Squirrel who arrived in very critical condition and is thriving. She fell from a tree in Saratoga Springs, and was severely emaciated. Something must have happened to her mother.

We are fortunate to have a rich and varied arts community in Saratoga Springs, and are active members of the legendary Caffe Lena, which is newly renovated into a state of the art contemporary folk venue. We have seen some extraordinary musical performances in the past year. Joseph and I both regularly read new works at Caffe Lena’s Open Poetry night. In September, I was a featured poet, and read from the series of narrative poems about my childhood in Tahiti. I’ll be teaching a Tahitian dance workshop for the Flurry Festival on February 17, in the afternoon. I’ll also do a storytelling and dance performance on the Saturday evening.

My life is filled with new learning and a deepening of my knowledge and skills in areas of expertise. I find the practice of writing and translation to be best done outside of the influence and constant noise of social media. This said, I do keep up with new developments, and touch base with colleagues every now and then. I am enjoying the ease of doing research using my 2017 iPad Pro 12.9 (an upgrade from the first generation iPad Pro), and haven’t yet decided whether I like my iPhone X, with the loss of the home button and a few other features. I can say that I have an intense dislike for the Apple Smart Keyboard for the iPad Pro. My previous model was paired with the wonderful Logitech Create keyboard and case, which unfortunately wasn’t updated to fit the new iPad Pro.

I have been popping in to virtual worlds now and then, enough to keep up with the evolving technologies, especially in relation to avatar embodiments. I’ll be resuming graduate teaching in immersive environments with the Advanced Design Seminar and Digital Media Arts and Technologies in the fall.

I’ll drop back by now and then with further updates. Thanks for reading!

Warm Regards on this cold February evening, –Nicola

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