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FAMILY TRIP TO THE ZOO – PART THREE

JungleBeasts  Starting off the final zoo segment with a display of carved wooden jungle beasts. It’s a work my nephew brought back from Lagos, Nigeria. It shows several of the animals that retired for the day before the picnic even started at the zoo.  As we walked through the River’s Edge, all we saw were empty display areas. At the brand new exhibit for the Andean Bears all we saw was other zoo visitors with their noses pressed to a glass panel trying to see the two bears huddled at the back of their cave. (I can just see the mama bear asking the papa bear, “Do you think they want to sleep in our bed?”)

We lucked out an exhibit later when the black rhino began to strut around his stomping grounds shortly after we arrived and even pretend to charge the viewers. (For about two or three feet)

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Unfortunately, he didn’t even scare the sacred ibis from ancient Egypt that shares part of his domain. (Hmmm, what is the plural of ibis? There were about six of them.)

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The star attraction of the next exhibit area was an abandoned ant hill.UncleHill

It was a real nice ant hill, but the sign on the fence said that this was the home of the cheetah family. (Guess they were all lurking in the shadows and licking their lips as they decided which one of us would make the best dinner guest.)

Next up were the warthogs … but they were dining. On what appeared to be takeout wrapped up in old newspaper.WhataMessyPig

What a messy pig!EvenMessierPig

And his friend was even messier!

And next door, we couldn’t even get a chuckle out of the snoozing Hyena!  (Never ever heard of a somber hyena before.)SlumberingSomberHyena

However, the African Painted Dogs were actually much more active group of canines.AfricanPaintedDog

Guess they’re trying to prove they’re not extinct yet. They are an endangered species in Africa, and the Saint Louis Zoo is part of a world-wide effort to keep them from disappearing. That’s why this year’s picnic was A Painted (dog) Picnic.ZooPicnic2014

The big stars of THE RIVER’S EDGE were the HIPPOS …HipposAreBig

And LITTLE LUKE (standing next to the hippo on the bottom of the pool) decided that hippos are really BIG!!!  He liked the little fishies, too.

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Hippos do love swimming in their pool though!FloatingHippo

And that brought us to the end of THE RIVER’S EDGE!  There was an Elephant Enrichment Program scheduled for 6:00, but that was the time for our own enrichment … the picnic dinner! Besides we had to get to CHILDREN’S ZOO first, so the adults could watch the little kids pet the baby goats, big snakes, and guinea pigs. There are so many things for the kids to play with here, it’s hard to get the away.  The adults got a special treat though, we were watching the new moma tree kangaroo and her little baby stuck his or her head out of the moma’s pouch.  (Yes, I again failed to get my camera up fast enough to photograph him or her.)

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Nichole with the little goats!

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Luke with the big snake that was taller than he was.

(And the kids wouldn’t touch the real live Python. Guess kids really aren’t that dumb!)

And that was our annual family trip to the zoo!

But we missed the lions, tigers and bears!!!

 

FAMILY TRIP TO THE ZOO – PART TWO

ZooPicnic2014  It’s time for me to continue my visit to the Saint Louis Zoo and the ZOO PARENTS PICNIC OF 2014 with my own family. I arrived from the north entrance, so my first stop was to the INSECTORIUM. I had planned on visiting there in August right before the heat wave hit us. But it really was too hot to venture out into the broiling sun and into  the park back then.  Friday, however, was jacket wearing weather and I briskly walked down to the insectorium and big, bad bug that guards its door.

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There are more than 300,000 species of beetles, and I have no idea which one posed for this sculpture. A good guess would be one of several possible species of rhino beetles. The insectorium has a double set of  sliding doors that keep the outside bugs from becoming inside bugs. And if you have and aversion to big, hairy bugs … move quickly past the next photo.Tarantula

And this one, too!

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Outside this building there was a big sign advertising …MantidMania

Inside this was the only example I could find.PrayingMantis

Hopefully, you can see him in the picture.

 

Then next exhibit was a wall-sized display featuring the insects of the south west.RedBackedDarklingBeetleI passed on putting my eye up the eye-hole of the skull of the long departed bovine just to see what the Red Backed Darkling Beetle looked like. You never know what can jump out of the eye-socket of a long dead cow.

With that I moved on to the friendlier insects that live in the butterfly dome.HSBH2

The decor was a lot nicer, too.  And so were the butterflies!BWR2

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And my favorite … THE OWL EYED BUTTERFLY!  This extra-large sized butterfly appears to have the eye of an owl on the underside of its wings, and when flying it looks like an owl which scares anything that would prey on it.  I’ve simulated this by putting two pictures of the undersides together to give you an idea how this looks.

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Here’s the full-sized photo of one side.

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Here’s a butterfly eating a special butterfly fruit salad …ButterflyFruitCocktail

Just about this time, my cell phone rang telling me that the rest of my family who had entered from the south entrance of the zoo were now waiting for me outside.ClimbingCousins

And you know what kids do when they meet a giant beetle on which they can climb!  Featuring great-nephew and niece Jake and Nichole.

COME BACK TOMORROW FOR PART THREE – OUR JOURNEY ALONG THE RIVER’S EDGE.

 

FRIDAY UNCLE BOB WENT TO THE ZOO WITH HIS GREAT NEPHEWS AND NIECE!

And it was the coldest September 12 we’ve ever had. But what do kids know about cold when you’re at the zoo?FearlessLuke

FEARLESS LUKE AND THE GOLDEN COBRA

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LITTLE LUKE AND THE BIG HIPPO AND LITTLE FISHES

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THE LITTLE GOAT GIRL NAMED NICHOLE

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JAKE AND NICHOLE THE CLIMBING COUSINS

See, you don’t need a lot of words when you have cute kids!

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)

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