Lanterns

Like most other people during this pandemic I’ve been staying close to home. Even family get-togethers are not safe in these COVID days. Once every couple of weeks I drive one mile up the road to pick up my pre-ordered groceries that workers safely place in my car. That’s it as far as going places so I was particularly excited last night.

My two daughters and I drove to our destination in separate cars, we wore masks and we social distanced, but still I couldn’t wait for our adventure! I even wore makeup and felt like I was going on a date. The tickets were expensive and limited to allow for lots of space between guests. Where was our big night?

Wild Lights Asian Lantern Festival at the Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo is one of my favorite places because of the animals, of course, but the animals on display last night were made of silk of every color of the rainbow.

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Most were very realistic looking and all were brightly lit. There were more than 2,000 lanterns displayed in 65 larger than life scenes. It was a fantastical journey of about one and a quarter miles. There was a 130 foot-long dragon set on a small lake with a fountain. It was beautiful.

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Being with my two most favorite people made it perfect. They took the photos as I was too excited to have patience with a camera. These pictures are all compliments of Dianne.

 

 

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ZOO WALK

My daughter, Dianne, and I signed up for a walking club that meets at our local zoo before opening each morning. I have ambiguous feelings about zoos. I know they save some animals even species and I love to see the animals that I would never see “in person” if not for zoos. On the other hand, I sometimes see animals pacing their enclosures and I know that we (humans) have driven them mad for our pleasure. So, I sit on the fence a bit, boycotting circuses but every few years visiting a zoo. My daughter feels even more strongly anti-zoo than do I.

So, how did we end up walking there? Good question. I suppose we felt we could see the animals without supporting the zoo by buying a ticket. Cheap? Perhaps, but I think it is more a rationalization. Regardless, I was disappointed that we didn’t see many animals on our first walk. A lion, a tortoise, a rhino, that was about it. But this past week we hit the jackpot by staying a little later. We saw, tigers, monkeys, wallabies, kangaroos, a grizzly bear, all kinds of birds and these, my favorites!

The slideshow below contains more shots of the gorilla and polar bear. All photos taken by Dianne Bynum.

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I welcome your opinions regarding supporting zoos and any special memories you may want to share with us.

April in March

April in March

How many of you have been watching the live cam covering a pregnant giraffe named April? April lives in Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY. The caretakers at the park are unsure of April’s due date, but they had expected the baby to be born toward the end of February. It is reported millions of people are watching, not including Elliott, one of my cats, seen here in my lap in the office. 
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Since I was a little girl, I have loved giraffes. There is something so graceful about the way they walk on those skinny legs while balancing a six foot long neck. The intricate patterns on their skin appear random yet artistically fashioned.  

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While I am ambivalent about zoos, I do visit one every few years and giraffes are the main attraction for me. They can usually be seen from far away, small heads bobbing forward as they slowly walk about their enclosure.

There are several types of giraffes with quite different skin patterns and they come from various geographic regions. I am not going to waste your time with scientific information, because it’s all on the Internet for review or enlightenment. I also will refrain from discussing hunting, species endangerment or captivity although these are worthwhile subjects. 

Today, I just want to share some fun, in case you are not already a part of the vigil. April is an experienced Mom pregnant with her fourth calf. She is fifteen years old, but her Baby Daddy is only five.  You can see Oliver in the stall next to April watching over her attentively. Elliott and I have been observing them for about ten days. I carry the laptop into the room where I am working, or eating or enjoying visitors. In the living room a few nights ago, Elliott monitored the situation while I watched TV. 

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We are familiar with the routine of seeing the stalls swept out, hay delivered into the baskets high up on the walls, vets and other workers patting April and giving her treats by hand. Some viewers have reported seeing the baby moving in Mom’s big abdomen and even a mouse scurrying about the floor after lights out. We have missed both of those occurrences, but I have noticed her abdominal girth seems to be growing larger. One thing is sure, this waiting will come to an end and hopefully it will result in a healthy baby likely to weigh in at around 150 pounds, culminating the fifteen month pregnancy. I certainly hope this birth does not occur while we are sleeping. 

So if you aren’t already on board, please join Elliott, me and a million others, including my family and nature loving friends. There are several sites available, but the official Park cam is at http://www.aprilthegiraffe.com

Please share thoughts if you become a “March April Watcher”. 


“Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals ‘love’ them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives, love them more.”  Edwin Way Teale

 

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