Wildlife

Spring Break, Part I

My blog hibernates during DFW winters. There’s not much here that inspires me to reach for my camera during the bleak gray months, although I did get a few nice shots this year at the place where I board Mahogany.

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I’ve been less and less satisfied with the performance of my aging camera, so I finally picked up a new one earlier this month. The dreary winter landscapes didn’t offer much worth aiming it at until Elizabeth’s bff flew out from California to spend spring break with us. She arrived on a Saturday night and left a week later on a Saturday morning: a week of gorgeous spring weather bookended by chilly drizzles. I had Tuesday and Thursday off work that week, so we crammed all of the sightseeing we could manage into those two days.

Our Tuesday morning began at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. I’m still getting the hang of my new camera; my old one excelled at outdoor shots and struggled in indoor settings, while the new one seems to do just the opposite. I do love the way the new one captures the luminous quality of sunlight.

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The weather couldn’t have been nicer. Mid-80s and sunny, with a light breeze that smelled like spring.

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Love the giant Texas bluebonnet.

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Of course the Japanese Garden was the highlight of the day.

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Hopeful koi are hopeful.

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After the Botanic Gardens, we headed downtown to the Water Gardens.

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And from there we went to the Stockyards.

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Don’t tease the mechanical horses!

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Saunders Park is still my favorite little hidden gem of the area.

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All in all, a fun day!

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Next: Thursday in Arlington.

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Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Birthdays, environment, Family, food, Friends, Horses, kids, Life, Love, trail rides, trees, Uncategorized, Weather, Wildlife, Winter | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday: More Parks Along the Trinity

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Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Animals, environment, Friends, Life, maps, trees, Wildlife, Wordless Wednesday | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Where the Wildish Things Are

Yesterday I got a rare Saturday off, so the kids and I spent it at the Fort Worth Zoo.

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We had been to this zoo once before, on our road trip in 2007, but that first time we had gone late in the day for the Halloween Boo at the Zoo event and the kids were there for the candy more than for the animals. By coincidence we happened to visit during the 2014 Boo at the Zoo weekend, but this time we came for the animals.

[FUN FACT EDIT: Elizabeth just pointed out that we came on the exact same day, October 25, seven years later. What are the odds?]

It was a fun day, although we were surprised by how small the habitats are compared to the San Diego Zoo and how many of the animals are housed alone or just in pairs instead of in natural groups. The meerkats, for example…in San Diego, their enclosure is a large, fully-populated colony where you can watch them engaging in natural lookout and social behaviors. At the Fort Worth Zoo we only saw two listless meerkats in a small pen; no colony, no natural behaviors, no fun to watch. Same with the gorillas — only two of them, and they looked incredibly bored and dejected.

A few of the habitats are really nice though, especially the aquariums and some of the reptile enclosures.

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The rock-climbing wall is pretty cool. It’s more of a challenge than we expected, but making it to the top and ringing the bell was a nice feeling.

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We watched a fun Halloween-themed marionette show…

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…and enjoyed close-up encounters with a few tame animals.

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It was a nice way to spend a Saturday, and the weather was perfect. We probably won’t be going back, though, at least until they upgrade the habitats a little. The San Diego Zoo has spoiled us, apparently.

Categories: Animals, Cats, Family, kids, Life, Wildlife | Tags: | Leave a comment

Wordless Wednesday: Nature’s Clean-Up Crew

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[Click through to see additional photos. Warning: Animal Death]

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Categories: Animals, Death, environment, Life, trail rides, Wildlife, Winter, Wordless Wednesday | Leave a comment

Grasshoppers Are Cool

This weekend’s safari trail sighting: just the llama this time.

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Yesterday I showed the kids the paved trail system I discovered last week. Elizabeth said that my pics don’t do justice to the size of the power poles, so here is another one for scale:

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When the kids and I moved here this summer and first started exploring, there were grasshoppers freaking everywhere. I tried and tried to get a photo of one, but they were very skittish and never let me get close enough. Now that it’s fall there aren’t as many around, but the ones I do see seem completely fearless. So I feel kind of obligated to snap a pic of every one that I find.

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Is it weird that I think they’re beautiful? I love the detail on their little exoskeletons. Maybe I’ll dedicate a race of aliens to them in my book, there’s always room for one more.

Categories: Animals, environment, Family, kids, Life, trail rides, Wildlife | Leave a comment

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