I took this photo at the Akron Zoo during a visit with my granddaughters.  As long-time visitors to Life in the Bogs may or may not recall, I am a fan of the flamingo.  I like all birds, but the flamingo is one of my favorites.  (If one were to do a search of my blog for flamingo, one would like find a couple of posts about them.)

See how the sacred old flamingoes come,
Painting with shadow all the marble steps:
Aged and wise, they seek their wonted perches,
Within the temple, devious walking, made
To wander by their melancholy minds.

~ William Butler Yeats

I’m taking the day off from blogging today.  Just because.  I’ll be back live and in person tomorrow.  Maybe.  😀

278: Making faces

Time is the substance from which I am made.  Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger than devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.

~ Jorge Luis Borges

I’ve mentioned in at least one previous post that I have mixed feelings about visiting the zoo, any zoo.  I realize that without zoos I would not be able to see most of the animals I’ve had the thrill of seeing in a zoo.  However, sometimes it seems to me the animals themselves are not entirely happy to have ended up in a zoo.

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277: Jellyfish

The Akron Zoo  has a jellyfish exhibit titled Jellies: A Rhythm in Blue.  It was one of my favorite exhibits, perhaps because it’s not easy (but not impossible) for me to anthropomorphize when it comes to some aquatic creatures.  It’s particularly difficult with jellyfish since they don’t have any recognizably facial-like features (easily explained by the fact that they don’t have faces). Read the rest of this entry »

276: Fantabulous Family Fun

Sunday Signage. Taken at the Akron Zoo.

I had a wonderful weekend.  There is nothing like spending time with my family.  Having the whole crew here (both sons, both daughters-in-law, and both granddaughters) was fantabulous.  I am grateful to all of them for taking time out of their busy lives to get together with us here at Breezy Acres.  I am mega grateful for the gift of having them all in my life.

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129: King of the Jungle

To me, there is something a little sad about zoos.  I know the majority of us might not otherwise be able to see most of the animals that we can visit in zoos, but still, I find it sad.  That’s especially true when I see the big cats, such as the lion above.

On the other hand, he’s probably living a more comfortable life than a lion in the wild.  Maybe he’s even enjoying it, being able to lounge around and have someone else bring him food.  Oh wait!  That’s often the case with male lions anyhow.  The females do the hunting.  To be fair to the males, they do spend a lot of time and muscle patrolling and protecting their territory.

Did you know that in the 1940’s there were as many as 450,000 lions in the wild?  It may be as few as 20,000 now.  If you’re interested, National Geographic has a Cause an Uproar program to help big cats such as the lion.  They also have a movie, The Last Lions, coming out in February 2011.

Today’s CD

Tori Amos, Boys for Pele.

I’ve been a big fan of Tori Amos for, well, I don’t know.  Since the early 90’s, I suppose.  The person that introduced me to Tori Amos’ music calls her “the goddess of the piano.”

Boys for Pele is not about Pele the soccer player, but about Pele the Hawaiian volcano goddess with the boys being the sacrifices thrown into her fiery pit to assuage her rage.  I was going to write that if you’re not familiar with the music of Tori Amos, you might not want to start with Boys for Pele; however, I’m not sure it matters where you start.  Some of her music can be pretty intense (“Me and a Gun,” a personal story of sexual assault, from her album Little Earthquakes comes immediately to mind) and some can sound almost whimsical in comparison to the heavy stuff while still covering serious or emotional subjects.

Click here to listen to “Winter.”  I picked this song for the obvious reason (it’s winter!).  Or check out Caught a Lite Sneeze (which is from the album Boys for Pele).

More Snow

We had more snow overnight and this morning.  I’m not sure what the total is for the season.  We have about a foot of snow on the deck right now.  There would be more if we hadn’t had a couple of thaws.

(Today’s view of the pond from the cattails.)

It’s still a dark, bluish-gray.  We haven’t seen the sun since last Saturday.  Hopefully we’ll get at least a glimpse of it tomorrow.  I’m told the possibility exists.

(In the woods, by the creek.)

Four deer ran through the outside meadow.  I also saw a red-tailed hawk and a couple of small woodpeckers along with the usual chickadees and doves.  The only other wildlife I saw was M speeding down the hill on a sled.

(A few spots of color.)

I looked hard for something different to photograph.  I’m sure it’s out there.  I just can’t see it.  Yet.  Winter is starting to seem long and slow, stretching into forever.

(In the meadow.)

Of course that isn’t true.  Spring will arrive eventually, followed by summer, autumn, and another winter.  That’s how the wheel turns.  But winter has a way of making it feel like the wheel has paused.

128: An elephant in the room

(An elephant at the Akron Zoo.  Taken in April 2007.)

I have all these critters in my photo archives who suddenly want to come out and play.  It makes me wonder why I take the photos if I’m just going to let them sit on the hard drive.  It’s time to bring some of them to the blog.  Just for fun.

I took this one at the Akron Zoo when we were last there with our oldest granddaughter, the Exquisite Emma.  It was the year the baby snow leopards were born (2007).  I didn’t realize it had been so long since our last visit.  This might be the year to go again.

Today’s CD

Orishas, A Lo Cubano.

Orishas is a Cuban hip hop group, influenced (obviously) by the hip hop movement as well as Cuban and Latin rhythms.  A Lo Cubano was released in 1999.  You can listen to one of the songs from A Lo Cubano here.  (The link takes you to a video on YouTube.)

This CD had me dancing around the house.  It would be impossible not to dance or move in some way while listening to the Orishas.  I’m sure of it.

(Warm and fuzzy with snow.)

Hey!  It’s snowing!

I know, right?  You’re surprised.  Me too.  Heh.  We’re supposed to get another 4 inches or so tonight.  Tomorrow will be a good day for skiing.  Heck, today is a good day for skiing.

(White pine captures snow.)

I was going to wait to go out when M got home from work since he’ll probably go skiing.  But I already put in a 5-mile walk/run this morning (on the treadmill) and thought a leisurely stroll back to the woods was more my speed this afternoon.

(Hemlock captures snow.)

The snow is all fresh and white and clean again.  It has been coming down all day.  The snow is falling slowly, softly, gently, almost floating.  While walking to the woods I had a brief flash of apple blossoms drifting on a gentle spring breeze.  It was nice to feel/sense that touch spring, if only in my mind.

(Queen Anne’s Lace captures… well… you get the idea.)

I disturbed a pair of ducks (mallards) when I slid down the hill to the creek.  I didn’t even notice them until they took off, startling me.  I noticed while they were in flight that they are almost the same color as the creek looks right now.

(The mallards were here.)

A chevron of geese flew over as I was making my way up the hill towards the house near the end of my walk.  I stopped for a few minutes to watch and listen.  They were heading east.  Perhaps they’re looking for the sun.

(Prayer flags in the woods.)