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FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH: PART TWO – Talking To The Animals

Eventually, my walk in the park took me to THE SAINT LOUIS ZOO …DSC09969

That large chunk of rock on the right in this picture of the North Entrance is just covered with tiny bronze sculptures of animal life. This turtle pulling a worm out of a hole in the rock is just one of them.DSC09970

Some day when there are fewer visitors … yellow bus loads of screaming kids unload in front of this sculpture on Friday afternoons and they love to climb and clamor atop it … I’ll try to record more of these tiny works of animal life. So I made my way inside the Zoo grounds. Did you know the correct name for the zoo is Zoological Park which no one ever uses?  And yes, there is no admission charge.

Once inside, my first stop was to visit one of the oldest exhibits at the Zoo … The Bear Bluffs. Back in 1920, the Zoo became one of the first in the country to initiate cageless animal exhibits and present the animals in a naturalistic setting. To do this, they created a setting of the limestone bluffs and caves along the Mississippi River and added lakes and pools in which the bears could frolic behind moats separating them from the public.

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Unfortunately, because of construction of the new POLAR BEAR POINT, the bear life is not in residence this year. But they will be back next year when the new Polar Bear home opens.  Here’s a preview using artist renderings of the new section with the animals behind thick glass partitions.

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The Andean Bears have already been moved to their new home along The River’s Edge which just opened this week.DSC09978

There is a bear in that photo if you can find it. The other bear was playing peek-a-boo with the crowd in front of the other glass panel. Since the only thing I could see was the back of the crown, I didn’t even take a picture. Besides, it’s not fun to tease bears with plump young morsels on the other side of a glass panel. Also because of the large number of people visiting the River’s Edge Section on Friday it was hard to view/photograph any of the new areas and animal inhabitants. DSC09977

I did manage to capture this fantastic blue parrot in his new home. And this sacred ibis, too.DSC09979

Opp, caught I.B. on a bad feather day.DSC09980

Yeah, a profile shot always works better for this bird.  ibishieroglyph_small

In ancient Egyptian societies, the sacred ibis was worshipped as Thoth, the Egyptian god and patron of writing and writers. He was also supposed to preserve the country from plagues and serpents.

Anyway, after  walking around in circles and ending up back where I started, I figured I had enough exercise for the day, and decided to skip the rest of the River’s Edge. I’ll catch the rhino, happy hippos, cheetahs and elephants on my next visit. Besides I was hungry.

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THE ART OF LOSING YOURSELF!

Wednesday, I posted this photo as my WORDLESS WEDNESDAY PHOTO along with one cryptic word LOST.

LOST

LOST

Actually, you probably would have had to click on the photo twice to make it largest before you would see that over the river and through the woods … in a little clearing under some shady trees, there is an elderly gentlemen sitting on a  bench and lost to the world. I also do that on my frequent walks through Forest Park. It has great places where you and just sit back and just communicate with the world around you. Here are some of my favorite spots.BrooksStreams

For total reflection … the park is filled with a complete set of waterways … ponds, streams, lakes, waterfalls and fountains! And they all come with convenient benches.

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And if you choose to just lose yourself and talk to the Roos or other animal species, the Zoo also supplies convenient benches. But be careful, because they look back at you.

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And if you bring a blanket, I know a grassy field where you can spread it out to just lie back and watch the popcorn clouds float by overhead.

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And if you linger too long at just losing yourself, you’ll end up viewing a sky full of twilight silhouettes. Oh what an eyeful!

The Art Of Losing Yourself is not recommended on rainy days.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes Or Fives

IN A NEW POST PUBLISHED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE “THREE” PHOTOS TO TELL A STORY

The Saint Louis Zoo actually has a herd of ten Indian elephants. And last summer I set out to photograph the entire herd. While they do have spacious exhibit enclosures the herd has to be split up when on public display.RAJA

RAJA, the only male in the herd and the father of four daughters has his own private stomping grounds with pools and water falls.

Here are two of the females with their daughters born in 2012 and 2013. MOM BABIES

MOM DAUGHTER

And here are the AUNTIES … the other females in the herd who share in raising the young ones.

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THE AUNTIESDid I manage to capture the entire herd on my (five) photos?  No, I missed one. In addition to the public viewing areas seen in these photos, the herd also has a private ELEPHANT WOODS that simulates the jungle areas where the elephants once lived in the wild.

Sorry, I couldn’t tell my story in just three photos.

SO, WHAT’S NEW FOR TUESDAY?

DSC09013  All things considered, not much change from Monday. Although we did reach Monday’s promised low of 6F overnight. Tomorrow we’re supposed to be basking in the 30s.  That’s almost a heat wave these days.

MY MUG OF THE DAY:  Mug3

Yesterday, I used the Art Museum Mug.  Today, I went super-sized with the Saint Louis Zoo mug. My beverage filling the mug was an Early Morning Breakfast Blend (Decaf).

BUT WHAT ABOUT YESTERDAY’S SLOW-COOKED PORK?DSC09019Here it is in a Pulled Pork Sandwich on toasted wheat bread with a handful of kettle fried chips.  That was my lunch today. After lunch I decided to do a little work on my origami.  Very little …

MIMATURE DRAGONFLY

MINIATURE DRAGONFLY

And it was very little. Which means my short stubby fingers got a real workout. If that wasn’t enough, I went into the somewhat coolish basement and did the laundry. No, I didn’t run out of sock of underwear, I ran out of pajamas.  Tonight I get the sleep in the warm and toasty navy blue fleece set.

TODAY’S WHAT’S HANGING ON THE WALL:

KITCHEN WALL ART

KITCHEN WALL ART

Today’s art is a bit of stitchery that my sister-in-law did for my mother about 30-years ago. I don’t know a lot about needlepoint, but I would suppose that this was embroidery on linen. Wait to you see what kitchen wall art I show next time I do this.

Do you think I’m starting to get cabin fever from being shut in because of the cold weather?

 

WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS: HEY, MOM!

Hey, Mom, give me a ride!

Hey, Mom, give me a ride!

MY DAILY CALENDAR…DAY 256 – SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 – Part Two

THE RIVER’S EDGE:DSCF1079

The River’s Edge is like taking a safari through all the jungles and homes of the animals of the world.

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Time out for every one to get a bite to eat!

And watch the strolling peacocks …DSCF1095

And as the sun sets and the moon rises … it’s time for the entire family to take one last ride around the zoo grounds on the train.DSCF1097

And this was the end of the Zoo Parents Picnic for 2013!DSCF1098

MY DAILY CALENDAR…DAY 256 – SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 – Part One

MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR SATURDAY, DAY 256 OF 2013: As usual, there were no origami challenges over the weekend, which was just as well, because I spend most of the day going through about 150 photos I took on Friday afternoon and evening. It was the annual ZOO PARENTS’ PICNIC at the Zoo. This is a special after-hours get-together for everyone who has adopted one of the many animals at the St. Louis Zoo.  I am the adoptive parent of a meerkat … DSCF1056I don’t know what his other parents call him, but I call him Merlin. He’s always the most photo friendly of all the animals at the zoo. He strikes a pose as soon as he sees a camara pointed at him.

Most of my family are also adoptive parents of some animal or other,  and every year we get together at the annual picnic. Arrival time is usually around four in the afternoon, and each year we try to do an in depth visit to one or two of the many animal areas.  This year, because we have two kiddies in the family between one and a year and a half, we started with the CHILDREN’S ZOO and the RIVER’S EDGE.

THE CHILDREN’S ZOO -  For kids. the first stop is always the little goats petting area. …DSCF1043

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Little Luke, my great nephew meets his first goat.

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And then a giant frog …

.DSCF1054And a tiny fox in a fox hole …DSCF1061

Then he discovered the fish swimming in the aquarium …DSCF1062About that time his older cousin Nichole showed up and had to ride the fishies for a while.DSCF1068

All the while, Merlin was watching every move they made.DSCF1067

And then everyone had to get otterly ridiculous …DSCF1072

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After that we move on to our next stop … THE RIVERS EDGE!

(To be continued inPart Two)

ANIMAL OBSERVATIONS … AT THE ZOO

 

MERLIN THE MEERKAT SAYS…DSCF1066

Now look what the crazy humans are doing.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO THAT SAYS INSIDE.

This photo taken at the Saint Louis Zoo takes you inside the world of a jelly-fish.Jellyfish

WHAT’S NOT NEW AT THE ZOO!

If you’ve ever visited the Saint Louis Zoo, you’ve probably seen this gigantic weathered steel sculpture as you’ve pull off of I-64 (aka. Highway Forty) and into Forest Park.DSCF0378

The other week I captured close-ups of some of my favorite members of the entourage sculpture piece.

DSCF0379RHANDY RHINO - I did remove the many aviary comments that were on his back.

DSCF0380Gerard Giraffe – almost always doomed to being a partial close-up because of his height.

DSCF0381Charlie Cheeta – who usually moves faster than the round-about in front of him.

DSCF0382RAJA - the first elephant born at the zoo and father of four members of the elephant herd.

DSCF0383UMGAWA the Gorilla - what would I do without Johnny Weissmuller?

DSCF0384GREEN-EYED CANINE – probably the Werewolf Of Government Drive.

And if you click on the top photo, you’ll get an enlarged version where you’ll discover tons of other animals ranging from alligators to zebras. What’s your favorite?

I belatedly realized I forgot to credit the sculptor of this colossal work. The sculptor is Albert Paley and the title of his 100-ton sculpture is ANIMAL’S ALWAYS which is also the motto of the zoo. It is the world’s largest public zoo sculpture and it contains more that 60 animals. It was unveiled on May 25, 2006.

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