redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Sep. 28th, 2017 04:04 pm)
[personal profile] cattitude and I went to the Stone Zoo today because he wanted to see otters.

The otters were fun, but otherwise the visit was disappointing, in part because I walked more than was good for me this particular morning. The zoo is small, but the nearest bus stop is about 3/4 of a mile from the zoo entrance.

My disappointment was less because the zoo was small than because the individual enclosures for the animals are too small. The jaguar is wearing a path in the grass of his enclosure, and no peregrine falcon should be sitting in that small an enclosure. The snow leopard area seemed okay if not large, as did the otter enclosure; both of those at least have a little variety (running water for the otters and an almost-vertical rock face for the snow leopard). The zoo does have some unused space, and some space they're using for non-animal-related rides or seasonal displays, so it looks like they could improve animal living conditions without reducing the number of species they're keeping.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Oct. 19th, 2016 10:03 am)
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I went to the zoo yesterday. The Franklin Park Zoo is fairly small, so we got to see almost everything (a few things were closed for the season).

There's a building that houses kiwis and frogmouths, with low lighting because both those species of bird are nocturnal. I had fun watching the frogmouths, including seeing them fly across the exhibit area, and will take Cattitude's word that there's a kiwi in there somewhere. Nearby we got a really good look at a white cockatoo, which was raising its wings so we could see the yellow underside.

I also enjoyed the lions, which we heard before we saw them. It looks as though they have two male lions in there, and no females, which is unusual. Both lions had fine manes.

cut for length )
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redbird: purple drawing of a trilobite (trilobite)
( Sep. 21st, 2014 07:45 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude went to the Woodland Park Zoo this afternoon. After getting our new membership cards (he'd renewed online, but the cards are distributed in person, not mailed), we wandered around a bit. This visit we looked at two kinds of otters, both playing outside, though the North American otters were napping on our first stop; we checked again on our way out and they were very active and playful, in the water, and on land.

Other cool things included the two-toed sloth (which, unlike the three-toed sloth at the Montreal Biodome, is in a small enclosure and not at all difficult to find), an anteater (in a hole in a tree in the same exhibit), and the Komodo dragons. The zoo has one large dragon and two young (born in another zoo in spring 2013), which are being kept in a separate enclosure, possibly to protect them from the adult.

Quite a few of the animals were napping, because it was a warm, sunny afternoon; not too hot for my comfort, though I agreed about the appeal of the shade. We made this a relatively short trip, because my foot started to hurt after a while. One advantage of a membership is that it's easier not to mind the things I don't see on a given visit.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Jul. 27th, 2013 09:55 pm)
We visited the Woodland Park Zoo this afternoon, and bought annual memberships on the way out. (Like the Bronx Zoo, they let you apply that day's admission charge to the annual fee.)

We started with the jaguar exhibit, because we wanted to see the cubs. Almost started—the penguin enclosure was en route, and our attention was caught by a very impressive blue heron standing on the tallest bit of rock there. I stopped to look, and [livejournal.com profile] cattitude noticed another non-penguin. One of the volunteers told us that it's a brown booby (Sula leucogaster), which had caught a ride on a ship to Seattle, and was offered to the zoo. Like the heron, it is not caged and has complete, healthy wings. They both could fly off at any time, but appear to be staying because they have access to the penguins' fish supply. (I have posted a query to the LJ [livejournal.com profile] birdlovers community, asking for opinions on whether that sort of volunteer long-term visitor should count for my life list.)

The jaguars—mother and two cubs—were in fact very cute. Everyone (except a few small children, until corrected by their parents) formed a neat line, and walked along the edge of the exhibit toward the jaguars. (I got a nice view of one of the cubs before we got to the end where all three cats were.)

The Woodland Park Zoo also has a superior exhibit of river otters: they have a good-sized pool to swim in, with one glass wall, set up so visitors can watch the otters from the side, not just from above. The otters (two) were very active, and very cute. Other high points included the hippos, which were just lying in the water when we got there, and then started moving around, first surfacing partway, then swimming closer to us and deeper in their pool; I got to watch them from above, through a few inches of water. I just stood there and smiled for a while.

We haven't seen everything; that, along with how good the otter exhibit was, is part of why we joined. (If we go twice by the end of July 2014, it will be cheaper than paying full price for each visit.) It also just feels right to be zoo members; our membership in the Bronx Zoo expires on Wednesday, and we won't be renewing that while we live in Seattle.
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Monday afternoon I went to the Bronx Zoo by myself: it was a gray, chilly day, and as I was walking from the bus to the zoo entrance it started to snow.

There were very few people there. I spent a long time at the tiger exhibit, which I had largely to myself. There are few things cuter than two tigers curled up next to each other on the same rock, but a third tiger trying to insinuate itself between them qualifies. (The zoo currently has four Siberian tigers: three year-old cubs and their mother.)

I also looked at the white-naped cranes, one of which was sitting on a nest; bison (11, all lying down in the more visible front part of their enclosure); and the Pere David deer. Relatively few animals were out, and I didn't stay very long, but it was a nice outing.

Today, [livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I went to the zoo together. It was bright and sunny, and significantly warmer, so a lot more animals were out and about; between that and spring break for the local schools, the zoo was also a lot more crowded (though nothing like as full as in summer, or even a weekend in May). On the way in, we asked if the okapis were out, and the cashier told us that it's still too cold, maybe next week.

Since what I'd wanted to see today was basically "Monday plus okapis," I went back to a lot of the same exhibits.

The tigers weren't as active, or as cute, as they had been on Monday, but they were well worth watching, and looked even better in the sunlight. On Monday I took some pictures with my iPod, but suspect none of them are worth trying to massage; today I brought my camera, but haven't copied the photos to this computer. There were a couple of dozen other people at the tiger exhibit today, but still few enough that we got a good look and I didn't feel as though I was being selfish for staying there as long as I wanted.

The cranes were even more fun than on Monday: we spent a while there watching them (and a muskrat on the bank), went across to the snow leopards, and then came back. On our second visit the female crane got up long enough that we could see that she is sitting on two eggs; she rearranged them and the straw around them slightly, then folded herself up again, beak resting on her back.

We also had fun watching the rhinos (in what used to be the elephant enclosure next to Zoo Center).

Sometime in the past four days, a flock of red-winged blackbirds have arrived, and are singing loudly in the trees and shrubs next to the Northern Ponds waterfowl exhibit. There are also a lot of wood ducks this spring.
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redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Sep. 3rd, 2012 05:04 pm)
Despite the holiday (Labor Day) [livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I both woke pretty early. This was okay for me, since I was pretty well rested; not quite as good for him, I gather. I had said a couple of days ago that I wanted to try to get to the gym three times this week*, and he reminded me of this when I said that I didn't really feel like it. (This is cool, since it is a reminder of my previously stated intentions, and "I don't feel like it" is different from a specific reason not too, be it a sore knee or other things I would rather do.) He wanted to get out and about, so suggested that he meet me after my workout.

I went downtown and did a bunch of my usual exercises, then met Cattitude in the lobby of the hotel where (this branch of) my gym is. We had lunch a few blocks away at Le Pain Quotidien—mine included a very nice "watermelon cooler" made from watermelon juice and pulp, cucumber, lemon juice, and sweetener, and garnished with cucumber slices, which Cattitude dubbed a superior comestible—then walked up to the Central Park Zoo. It was the sort of day when I was glad we're members, not just because we don't pay each time but because we didn't have to stand in a long line to buy tickets, just walk up to the gate and show our membership cards.

The highlight of the visit was the snow leopard, who was active and near the front of his enclosure when we got there. I also enjoyed looking at the red pandas, muntjac deer, white-naped cranes, and turtles. (The only polar we saw was asleep at the very back of the enclosure; the seals were hiding somewhere; and we didn't feel like going inside to look at penguins.) We then strolled back across Central Park and took the A train home.

I took a bunch of photos, which I will pull off the camera and look at later.

the usual gym notes )

* (I won't be seeing my trainer on Thursday, and Monday/Wednesday/Friday works more smoothly than trying to fit two other workouts into a week when one is Thursday evening, since the gym is about 40-50 minutes away by foot and subway so weekends usually don't appeal.)
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redbird: Me with a cup of tea, standing in front of a refrigerator (drinking tea in jo's kitchen)
( Nov. 20th, 2011 05:15 pm)
The Bronx Zoo has a five-month-old okapi, and [livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I went to see if she was visible this afternoon. The zoo website warned that the okapi would only be on display until "mid-November" because when it gets cold they have to bring them indoors, and the only okapi viewing area is outdoors in the Congo exhibit.

It turned out to be an excellent day to look at okapi. Reasonably warm (around 60F/15C), with some sunshine and not much wind, and late enough in fall that the trees were mostly bare, so the okapis weren't hidden behind lots of leaves.

enthusiasm about okapis, cut for length )
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redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Sep. 11th, 2011 09:15 pm)
At the Bronx Zoo's Butterfly Garden today, two different butterflies landed on my head. One stayed long enough that [livejournal.com profile] cattitude tried to take a picture with his cellphone, but it seems to have gotten lost somewhere. (He also took it from behind me, so even if we find it, it doesn't show my face, just my hair and a butterfly)
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redbird: a butterfly, wings folded, resembling the letter V (leaf)
( Jun. 12th, 2011 06:38 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I went to the Bronx Zoo today: it was pleasantly cool and damp and not very crowded when we got there around 1 p.m., and pleasantly warm and sunny by the time we left.

chipmunks, okapi, and gawky adolescent birds )
redbird: a male cardinal in flight (birding)
( Mar. 5th, 2011 03:59 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I went to the Bronx Zoo today, for the first time in far too long. (First I was sick, and then it was winter.)

We started by walking through the seabird aviary, which was fun, and then the attached bird building, which has fine ibises and such, and where I realized that I mostly wanted to be outdoors. Fortunately, it was a warm enough day for that; unfortunately, a lot of the animals, including the snow leopards, seemed to think it was a fine day to lie down and nap.

Got lunch at the zoo cafeteria, which wasn't as good as usual; we're hoping this was just an off-season blip.

We went to the giraffe house for the aardvark exhibit; the zoo is trying to keep it dark, for the animals' sake, but it's curtained off, loosely, so my eyes would get dark-adjusted and then someone would come in or out, and I'd lose part of the dark adaptation. We saw the tail of one aardvark, sticking out of its den/artificial cave. The giraffes were good, though.

It's definitely getting on to bird courting season, both for at least some of the zoo birds and for wild/local birds. There was a flamingo displaying very impressively (and some others less so). Over near the duck ponds we saw several male red-winged blackbirds, singing and showing off their colored wings. (If there were any females around, they were hiding.) A muskrat was also lurking there, and we spent several minutes watching it and the birds; muskrats are usually a lot shyer.

We finished by spending a few minutes at Tiger Mountain, where we saw two fine tiger cubs (adolescent Amur tigers) and their mother. By then we were pretty tired, so we headed out, with only a quick look at the Pere David deer and the bison.

No crocuses yet, but witch hazel was blooming, and there are a lot of snowdrops.

We also saw chickadees and a wren, plus an assortment of ducks. One mallard in the flamingo pond near the cafeteria kept diving, not normal mallard behavior; it seemed as though he was trying to reach the bottom, classic mallard dabbling behavior, and not prepared to give up just because the water was too deep. So, dive, kick for the bottom, see if he could grab something before surfacing.

I am feeling pretty worn out, despite a restorative cup of tea.

Also, I went to the gym yesterday )
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I went to the Bronx Zoo today. I walked up to the edge of the lion enclosure to watch them, and a small boy who was standing in front of me looked at me and said "Why do you have a beard?" I said "Because I grew it, the same as anyone else." Then he asked "Why are you a girl?" and I said "You'd have to ask my parents, they made me one." At that point he said something about the gazelles in the area behind the lions, and we both focused on the big cats.

A more accurate answer to the first question would have been "because I'm lazy": shaving is a nuisance and leads to stubble and itching (sometimes itchiness by the end of the same day), and any more permanent hair removal would require me to be sure I wanted it and set aside time (as well as money). But I suspect that was even further from what he was thinking, which probably was in the area of "I thought you couldn't do that."

It was a good day for the zoo in other ways: cool (call it 70F, 21C) and overcast, so a lot of animals were active. The lions were moving around, even chasing each other a bit, as were the gazelles behind them. We spent a while watching the hyraxes in the baboon area. At first they were still and very hard to see: they're almost exactly the color of the rocks. But some of them moved around, and both Cattitude and a woman who was just standing and watching pointed some of them out to me. That was fun; I like hyraxes, in a somewhat intellectual way. (Small, obscure mammals whose closest relatives are elephants.)

We also had fun with snow leopards (again, quite a bit more active than usual) and the white-naped cranes. The young crane looks a lot more like his parents than he did on our last visit: brownish head, and his body feathers are graying, but still a little browner than his parents. Their pond is covered with duckweed, which made a nice contrast.

There were a lot of chipmunks just running around (the zoo is full of them, but we rarely see them, because they tend to stay under cover), and cardinals singing. We also watched the giraffes and ostriches for a bit. Skipped the tigers because I was tired by then. (I decided against going to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] elisem and other folks in Greenwich Village, because by the time we got back to Inwood I was tired, and not at all sure I had the energy to go downtown, enjoy hanging out, and get home again. Alas.)
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redbird: a male cardinal in flight (cardinal)
( Jul. 11th, 2010 09:12 pm)
[personal profile] cattitude and I went to the Bronx Zoo this afternoon. The specific reason for visiting was lion cubs, but mostly it's just that we hadn't been in a while (we've been members for years). I also am trying to get back into the habit of walking more, now that the knees are somewhat better. (Stairs can still be problematic, but walking on more-or-less flat ground has gotten much easier.)

description of zoo trip, cut for length )
We stopped briefly to look at red-winged blackbirds (and sit on a bench in the shade), then took the bus home. About half an hour after we got home, it started to rain. I grabbed my shoes and we headed outside. It was a good rain, cool and moderately heavy, and much needed. We didn't go into the park, because of the lightning and thunder, just stood on the sidewalk and got wet.
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redbird: a male cardinal in flight (birding)
( Sep. 20th, 2009 10:18 pm)
[personal profile] cattitude and I got up fairly early (well, by Sunday standards, which is to say before 8 a.m.) and headed to the zoo a little after ten. Getting there early was nice, because it meant fewer crowds. We didn't try to see everything: just the sea lions, a few minutes someone showing off birds of prey, Madagascar, the Congo, giraffes, and the butterfly garden. One of the butterflies landed on my hand and stayed a minute or so, which is always nice. We also saw a few other birds that were on our way, like the flamingoes. On the way out, having decided to skip Tiger Mountain to save energy, we saw a sign that it is closed indefinitely because of storm damage. So, less than we might have wanted, but we had fun, and got some good photos. (No, my camera doesn't have a manual focus, but I had better angles and got a few reasonable pictures of the okapis.)

Also, having tried putting my new boots on early in the day, I am hopeful: I walked around the apartment a little, and wore them for about 3/4 of an hour, mostly while sitting and playing Scrabble.

I've posted some zoo photos, and a few from the park, to Flickr (rosvicl). Two crested couas, one butterfly, and two okapis: )
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Most of this I just posted to [livejournal.com profile] baaaaabyanimals, but I like them enough to put them in my own journal as well.

Four baby otter photos, taken about ten days ago:

small otters, large images )

and a tapir for Timprov )
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Most of this I just posted to [livejournal.com profile] baaaaabyanimals, but I like them enough to put them in my own journal as well.

Four baby otter photos, taken about ten days ago:

small otters, large images )

and a tapir for Timprov )
Tags:
Most of this I just posted to [profile] baaaaabyanimals, but I like them enough to put them in my own journal as well.

Four baby otter photos, taken about ten days ago:

small otters, large images )

and a tapir for Timprov )
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redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Apr. 26th, 2009 07:52 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I spent a couple of hours at the Bronx Zoo today. From what the woman at the information desk said, the stories about them having to close exhibits and send animals away may be completely without foundation. They did have only one snow leopard on display, and no red pandas, but those animals are being sent all the way to Central Park, and weren't on the published list of animals being exiled.

We had a good time, and saw baby animals—a tree kangaroo we'd known about, and a litter of otters and some langurs we hadn't—but didn't see the lion cub, who may not have been out in public. We only spent a couple of hours, because it was unseasonably hot, and sunny in the way a Spring day can be when the trees are just starting to leaf out. It was also an excellent day for looking at turtles.

I took my camera, and got some good photos. I've fiddled with some of them, and put a few up on Flickr, but no baby animals yet.

pictures of animals and plants behind this cut )
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redbird: a male cardinal in flight (cardinal)
»

Zoo

( Apr. 26th, 2009 07:23 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I spent a couple of hours at the Bronx Zoo today. From what the woman at the information desk said, the stories about them having to close exhibits and send animals away may be completely without foundation. They did have only one snow leopard on display, and no red pandas, but those animals are being sent all the way to Central Park, and weren't on the published list of animals being exiled.

We had a good time, and saw baby animals—a tree kangaroo we'd known about, and a litter of otters and some langurs we hadn't—but didn't see the lion cub, who may not have been out in public. We only spent a couple of hours, because it was unseasonably hot, and sunny in the way a Spring day can be when the trees are just starting to leaf out. It was also an excellent day for looking at turtles.

I took my camera, and got some good photos. I've fiddled with some of them, and put a few up on Flickr, but no baby animals yet.

pictures of animals and plants behind this cut )
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redbird: a male cardinal in flight (cardinal)
»

Zoo

( Apr. 26th, 2009 07:23 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I spent a couple of hours at the Bronx Zoo today. From what the woman at the information desk said, the stories about them having to close exhibits and send animals away may be completely without foundation. They did have only one snow leopard on display, and no red pandas, but those animals are being sent all the way to Central Park, and weren't on the published list of animals being exiled.

We had a good time, and saw baby animals—a tree kangaroo we'd known about, and a litter of otters and some langurs we hadn't—but didn't see the lion cub, who may not have been out in public. We only spent a couple of hours, because it was unseasonably hot, and sunny in the way a Spring day can be when the trees are just starting to leaf out. It was also an excellent day for looking at turtles.

I took my camera, and got some good photos. I've fiddled with some of them, and put a few up on Flickr, but no baby animals yet.

pictures of animals and plants behind this cut )
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redbird: purple drawing of a trilobite (trilobite)
( Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:04 pm)
As members of the Bronx Zoo, cattitude and I get Wildlife Conservation magazine.

When the most recent issue turned up with "Last Issue" on an extra page pasted in front of the cover, my first thought was "don't bother me, we've already renewed."

Then we took a closer look. It's not the last issue of our subscription. It's the last issue of the magazine. After 112 years and two name changes, the zoo is folding the magazine.

Email and the web site will keep members informed of what's going on at the zoo, but we won't be getting the nice little articles about GPS tracking of mountain goats, or the nice pictures of tigers or sea turtles.

The editorial explained that this was a consequence of the current bad economy. I don't think that's all of it, as they'd reduced the frequency in the last few years, but it's certainly a factor. But if the choice is folding the magazine or giving a porcupine a pink slip, they're doing the right thing.

Alas.
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