Tag Archives: animals

Swim for your Supper

Yum, yum — fresh fish.

Today we’re talking birds — one particular species.

After having a rather rough time of it fifty or sixty years ago, the species now appears along waterways and in bays and inlets throughout most of North America.

Need to keep social distance? With a wingspan of up to 10 feet — this bird’s got you covered.

Born and raised in colonies — an island is good to escape foxes and coyotes — you find them either as singles or groups as adults. They will cooperate when feeding — fish while swimming (a sport I’d never participate in).

Enough with the beak jokes!

The proper name is throat sac. It serves me well when the small fish, frogs, and other tasty morsels are plentiful.

Name? My name is GLIDER– the best of the American White Pelicans in this zoo.

Need a Rest?

Long-time readers of this blog — or people who know me in person — are aware I enjoy zoos.

Recently I visited a New-to-me location.

While smaller than the local zoo (St. Louis is rated world class) this medium-sized facility presented a variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles in both people and animal friendly displays.

Perhaps I’m getting older. One of the things which caught my attention was not an animal at all — a bench with a clever design.

A smooth, simple place to sit and watch the animals — and people. Slide to the end for a stylish arm to assist standing.

Do you admire benches in public places? Want to see more? Click here for a link to my Pinterest collection. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/754845587550645255

Pretty Pair

Some things pair well — bread and butter, salt and pepper, or cat and dog — often come into our minds as a duo.

Glancing around my home recently, I discovered a few book and mug pairs that I wish to share.

When curiosity about one of my favorite insects strikes, the book comes in handy. Perhaps I saw one on a walk. Or I’m writing and my character would know the correct name. That’s the purpose of Field Guides.

Taking a little time and enjoying tea or coffee with my reading? The mug from the Butterfly House makes the ideal companion.

Do you have any special book and mug pairs?

Life Cycle

Every child learns about the life cycle undergone by most insects — the four stages of egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

You may have gone hunting for and found all four stages on a nature hike. Looking for butterflies at the various stages is especially popular.

Artists through the ages have used them as models and incorporated them into paintings and sculpture.

Have you ever…tried to compare this to humans? Think for a moment.

Egg — before birth yet very much alive.

Larva — children are always hungry and refuse to stay in one place

Pupa — teens (have you ever tried to wake one early in the morning?)

Adult — a magical moment, or short time span, where the previous stage gives way to rational thought and dependable actions (every parent’s wish)

Keeping Watch

Stand watch. Keep a look-out. Stay alert. Sentry duty.

The orders imply a solitary duty. It may require effort to stay awake and alert for the entire assigned time.

The longer the observed area remains quiet, the less attention one tends to pay to the task at hand. However, it danger does arrive, you may be in for a short time of intense activity. And if you fall asleep on the job expect a different sort of intense attention when discovered.

Sentry duty comes natural to this Black-tailed prairie dog. With his head on swivel, he checks all the quadrants for danger. Look sharp! Cartoon coyote has been spotted. (Didn’t I tell you these fellows fill in when the roadrunners take vacation?)

Over, Under, Around…

My children enjoyed a book when they were little that was all about a young bear climbing into a box. The entire story was all the ways the box was tipped and moved when the adult bears didn’t know he was inside.

Several years ago, a friend and I watched a canine version of this story.

This is a portion of the equipment set-up for agility trials.

The course between classes

Handlers jog/run alongside the dogs, directing and encouraging the animal. Many of the dogs, especially the herding breeds and retrievers, galloped over, under, around, and through the obstacles with a smile on their canine faces. I do believe several of them were asking at the end — can we do it again? Please? What fun!

The handlers, while many looked pleased with their animals, did not impress as wanting to turn around and run the course again.

A Swan Friend

Decades ago, when we went to visit one of my Aunts, we would take a walk after lunch. Often we ended up at the park and watched the swans. It was an elegant chance of pace from watching the ducks in my hometown.

Meeting them in the park. Finding them in a storybook — I had a copy of “The Ugly Duckling”. Even small girls in tiny Midwestern villages meet the animals.

Perhaps it is these very degrees of separation which encourage the imagination. White — clean and pure. Does that make them kind? Gentle? They glide across water with few ripples. Does that make them quiet? Sneaky? A few drops of information can fuel daydreams.

A colorfully dressed lady shares the puzzle with her swan friend.

Can you create a story from the picture?

Bears at Home

“Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, climb the stairs.”

At our school, among my friends, this was the start of a jump rope rhyme.

Bears have been featured as toys for a few generations, more than a century. Soft bears to cuddle come in all sizes. Carved wooden bears to march and roam across the floor — mixed in with the building blocks. They are an animal featured in stories from traditional Goldilocks to the popular family called Bearenstein.

This puzzle of the Bear family at home features objects from several different past decades. (And also occupied time during these stay-at-home days.)

Which things have you used? Do you recognize?

Bear Pair

Some things are better in pairs. Shoes. Mittens. Cookies.

Bears? Yikes! One thing worse than looking out your window and seeing a bear — seeing a pair.

However, a few bears are good to see in pairs. The duo which appears on the Missouri State Seal — and state flag — come to mind. They also are the inspiration for this charming park bench.

Don’t dispair if the pair of bears is a work of art.

However — if they are wearing fur and lumbering toward you on all fours — exit — stage left, right, or center.

Once in a Blue …

Two full moons this October. Watch the sky next week for the second one.

Stay alert for the short people in costumes out begging for treats by the light of the moon.

But the real question of this blog — have you seen a blue moose?

My brother and I were on vacation. This was the road trip on which I would finally “set foot in” the 49th and 50th states. The plan, actually not formulated until the turn of the century, already had at least thirty accomplished by then. So I set out to include one, two, or three “new” states on each vacation. And in the very last one–soon after crossing the border– we found…

I never said it was an “alive” moose. But isn’t he a jaunty greeter? Exactly the sort of moose I feel safe walking up to and giving a pat on the nose.

Enjoy the blue moon! And the blue moose!