Tag Archives: weekend fun

My Trip To The Zoo (Part 3 of 3)

Elephants! African Elephants to be exact. I love all animals, but elephants amaze me. My most recent discovery was an article that made the rounds about how wounded elephants knew where to go to get help from us humans. Read about it here at “The Dodo“.

I could watch elephants all day.  Here are some of the photos I took while I sat and watched.

Soaking up some sun and scratching an itch. You can see that someone had themselves a soak in the pool.

Soaking up some sun and scratching an itch. You can see that someone had themselves a soak in the pool.

Big Ears!  What a lucky shot with my camera!

Big Ears! What a lucky shot with my camera!

I don't recognize this elephant. It has no tail! I wonder what her story is?

I don’t recognize this elephant. It has no tail! I wonder what her story is?

That's a lot of food!

That’s a lot of food!

Here is one of the 'baby' males born at the zoo. Only he's not so little anymore!

Here is one of the ‘baby’ males born at the zoo. Only he’s not so little anymore!

A mom and one of the babies.

A mom and one of the babies.

A 'baby' playing with a bit of hay, snorting and 'waving' its ears.

A ‘baby’ playing with a bit of hay, snorting and ‘waving’ its ears.

Say, "Ahhh..." The elephants were getting an oral checkup. A treat swiftly followed.

Say, “Ahhh…” The elephants were getting an oral checkup. A treat swiftly followed.

It must have been a really yummy treat, 'cause as soon as the word was out, the elephants came running. There was some jostling for position going on as everyone wanted to go first.

It must have been a really yummy treat, ’cause as soon as the word was out, the elephants came running. There was some jostling for position going on as everyone wanted to go first.

I like taking pictures of their faces.  Here are my two favorites from this trip.

This lady came right up to the window where I was sitting and stood there while I snapped pictures.

This lady came right up to the window where I was sitting and stood there while I snapped pictures.

I loved the high contrast in this picture.

I loved the high contrast in this picture. I just wish the eye had been a bit more defined. *shrugs*

And, of course, there were souvenirs!

And, of course, there were souvenirs!

Hope you enjoyed the trip!

My Trip To The Zoo (Part 2 of 3)

Today’s photos will be aquatic themed.  Enjoy!

Philippine Crocodile.

Philippine Crocodile.  NOT somebody I would want to go swimming with.

Our aquarium propagates it's coral to keep from further contributing to the destruction of coral reefs.

Our aquarium propagates its coral to keep from further contributing to the destruction of coral reefs.  Sorry about the glare, but the sun was shining on the window.

Here is the lower tank.

Here is the lower tank.

Potbellied Seahorse!

Pot-bellied Seahorse!

How many seahorses can you count?

How many seahorses can you count?

Wee Horseshoe Crab.

Wee Horseshoe Crab.

Beautiful fish and live coral and anemones.

Beautiful fish and live coral and anemones.

Anemones and coral in the waves.  So beautiful!

Anemones and coral in the waves. So beautiful!

Clown fish in an anemone.

Allard’s Clownfish in an anemone.

Ribbontail Stingray.  This one is found in the Indo-West Pacific oceans.

Ribbontail Stingray. This one is found in the Indo-West Pacific oceans.  Those blue spots are so bright!  These guys are in a petting area and will rub along your hands.

The Big Toothed River Stingray is a freshwater stingray found in Brazil.

The Big Toothed River Stingray is a freshwater stingray found in Brazil.  This guy was not shy about having his picture taken!

Sand Tiger shark. These guys get up to 13 feet long and 250 lbs.!

Sand Tiger shark. These guys get up to 13 feet long and 250 lbs.!

Lovely water fixture by the aquarium.

Lovely water fixture by the aquarium.

American Beaver catching some rays.

American Beaver taking a break.

Polar Bear. "What's this?"

Polar Bear. “What’s this?”

Mine!

Mine!

Next will be Elephants!

My Trip To The Zoo (Part 1 of 3)

At the end of August, with my son back at college and my daughter and husband off to a LARP, I decided to treat myself since I would be the one at home taking care of all the critters, etc…  No sleeping in for me!  So the day they left I went to the zoo.

I love the zoo.  And this trip there would be no one moaning and groaning if I decided to sit for half an hour just watching the elephants. Unfortunately, with it being the end of the summer, everyone and his brother was there.  It was a bit of a smoosh.  But I had a good time anyway just doing my thing.  And I took lots of pictures.  Even though I’m doing 3 posts, you still won’t be seeing all the pictures I took! 😀

African Lion surveying his domain.

African Lion surveying his domain.  I was lucky to get his face.  The lions were all lying down enjoying the sunshine.

Grant's Zebras enjoying the day.

Grant’s Zebras enjoying the day.

Grant's Zebras and Masai Giraffes up at the feeding area.

Later, the Grant’s Zebras joined the Masai Giraffes up at the feeding area.

Dama Gazelles, Springboks, and an Ostrich

Dama Gazelles, Springboks, and an Ostrich.

On my second trip past (I wanted to see the elephants again before I left) I was able to get a close-up of this guy.

On my second trip past (I wanted to see the elephants again before I left), I was able to get a close-up of this guy.

The Cheetah enclosure revamped. Hallelujah! They have room to run!

The Cheetah enclosure revamped. It goes past me on a curve to the right.  Hallelujah! They have room to run!

So cute!

So cute!

Male Western Lowland Gorilla. The females were scattered around sleeping. It was getting hot out there!

Male Western Lowland Gorilla. The females were scattered around sleeping. It was getting hot out there!

Eastern Grey Kangaroo. By the time I got here, everyone was snoozing and the yard was closed. Oh, well.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo. By the time I got here, everyone was snoozing and the yard was closed. Oh, well.

Yellow-footed Tortoise. This guy saw me taking pictures and came over to check me out. You can see my hand in the reflection.

Yellow-footed Tortoise. This guy saw me taking pictures and came over to check me out. You can see my hand and NEW camera in the reflection.

Black Rhinoceros. This guy is very tough to get a picture of. He likes to stay in the back most of the day. I was able to get this picture because it was going on closing time.

Black Rhinoceros. This guy is very tough to get a picture of. He likes to stay in the back most of the day. I was able to get this picture because it was going on closing time.

Of course, I have to get a picture of the Flamingos! So pretty. And noisy!

Of course, I have to get a picture of the Flamingos! So pretty. And noisy!  And check out the flamingo second from right.  It looks like he’s cleaning his feet!

Oh, I wanted SOOOOO bad to be bad and hang over the fence to get this feather. I was seriously, seriously tempted. Sigh.

Oh, I wanted SOOOOO bad to be bad and hang over the fence to get this feather. I was seriously, seriously tempted. Sigh.

I will leave you with this picture of a sleeping kitty, a Snow Leopard.

I will leave you today with this picture of a sleeping kitty, a Snow Leopard.

 

A Sadness At The Renaissance Festival

Back in 2012 the  Renaissance Festival had cleared out a new section for exhibits.  In that new section were some unbelievably awesome old trees. The trees were listed as being between 270 – 300 years old.  People were forming lines to take pictures of their kids with these trees, me included.  They were sooo awesome.

This year I noticed that there were many booths right along the tree line and I remembered the trees and went looking for them and their plaques.  What I found was disturbing and sad.

This poor old tree is damaged. Say 'hi!' to Saver (5'2")

This poor old tree is damaged. Say ‘hi!’ to Saver (5’2″)  Remember this?  Here is what it looks like now –

Just the bottom half of the tree is left.

Just the bottom half of the tree is left.

Oooold tree.

Oooold tree.  – Only now it looks like this –

Cut down and used as a decoration.

Cut down and used as a decoration.

We had to get in line to get this picture and Spider Bait moaned, groaned, and bitched through the whole thing. Mooooommmmm!!!!!

We had to get in line to get this picture and Spider Bait moaned, groaned, and bitched through the whole thing. Mooooommmmm!!!!!  – And now this –

This tree is still alive, but no plaque, large branches are missing, and they have a sign hung on it.

This tree is still alive, but no plaque, large branches are missing, and they have a sign hung on it.

I was so depressed over the fate of these trees.  They were so beautiful back in 2012.  I was told by a tree trimmer that removing all the trees around old trees can cause problems for the old trees because the trees around them offer protection from the elements.  It’s just sad.

Renaissance Festival 2015

No summer is complete without a trip to the Renfest.  We love the atmosphere, the shows, the people and the shops.  With Saver of Bugs back at home, it was a true family event.

This year will have fewer pictures of the shows in order to show you some of the other things that promote the atmosphere. Feel free to search ‘Renfest’ to see pictures from past years. Enjoy!

There were a few people there that weekend. And there's another hill you can't see in the photo!

Look at all those cars. There were a few people there that weekend. And there’s another hill you can’t see in the photo!

glassblower

This is one of our favorite stops.  There are glass canteens hanging in front there with some ornamental balls to the right. I have purchased one or two of the balls over the years.

dragon

Mad Maggie and her Dragon Richard roaming the grounds.  ‘Richard’ performs tricks.  Think of every groaner bone joke you can.  You know, like ‘boning up’ on your tricks? Groan.

down in the woods

A small play and rest area with shops down below.  Like Hedge Witch Apothecary which has a stunning array of organic herbal products and teas.  I could just stand there for hours breathing in the scents.

skidmore

Skidmark, the Village Beggar, hamming it up for my picture.

Music

Cast In Bronze, “The Carillon” another staple of our trips.

Me on the same convenient tree as last year. No, I'm not pregnant. The dress poofed when I sat down. Soooo attractive! :D

Me on the same convenient tree as last year. No, I’m not pregnant. The dress poofed when I sat down. Soooo attractive! 😀

Saver of Bugs, on the other hand, looks great!

Saver of Bugs, on the other hand, looks great!

Isabella, Cursed in Stone.  I do not know how she can stand all day in that outfit!  Not to mention sweaty pig that I am, all the make-up would just run right off!

Isabella, Cursed in Stone. I do not know how she can stand all day in that outfit! Not to mention, sweaty pig that I am, all the make-up would just run right off! How does she stay cool!?

Isn't her costume just awesome!?

Isn’t her costume just awesome!?

We, of course, had to try some medieval skills.  See that arrow hanging off the side on the upper left?  Yep, that's me! :)

We, of course, had to try some medieval skills. See that arrow hanging off the side on the upper left? Yep, that’s me! 🙂

Zinnia, the Bubble Fairy.  She wanders around making bubbles, large and small for the kids.  And never says a word.

Zinnia, the Bubble Fairy. She wanders around making bubbles, large and small for the kids.  There is bubble juice in the metal cone.  She interacts without ever saying a word.  Her face is sooo expressive!

And while we were there, we had to shop!

Spider Bait added to his shot glass collection.  The dragon's head is the base when you stand it up to use the glass.

Spider Bait added to his shot glass collection. The dragon’s head is the base when you stand it up to use the glass.

My flip phone is in there for perspective.  Saver of Bugs got (clockwise) a tealight lantern which is red not orange (we couldn't get the colors to photograph correctly), a bird whistle that works by putting water in it and then blowing, an agate geode that is thin enough on the back to let light in and make the insides glow reddish brown, some pretty metal necklaces, a dumoriterite crystal, an emerald crystal with other things mixed in (she forgot to ask), and two polished agate necklaces.  Quite a haul!

My flip phone is in there for perspective. Saver of Bugs got (clockwise) a tealight lantern which is red not orange (we couldn’t get the colors to photograph correctly), a bird whistle that works by putting water in it and then blowing, an agate geode that is thin enough on the back to let light in and make the insides glow reddish-brown, some pretty metal necklaces, a dumoriterite crystal, an emerald crystal with other things mixed in (she forgot to ask), and two polished agate necklaces. Quite a haul!

Clockwise - A fanny pack with multiple pockets (two zippered), a pewter fairy with crystals, a leopardite crystal, a dumoriterite crystal above, and to the left a sunstone crystal, and a septarian sphere.

Clockwise – A fanny pack with multiple pockets (two zippered), a pewter fairy with crystals, a lepidolite crystal (it’s purple), a dumoriterite crystal above (blue), and to the left a sunstone crystal (orange and white), and a septarian sphere.  I didn’t do so bad myself. (I save up for this weekend every year 🙂 )

I can’t wait for next year!

Outing Part 2 – My Hike To The Mineral Springs

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Special thanks to Spider Bait for using his fancy schmancy new phone to help with the photos.  My camera was very finicky about the light there at the end and I got lots of dark photos.  His fancy phone did much better than my camera.

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After I had been on the lake with my new kayak long enough to feel guilty about leaving Spider Bait on shore all alone, I headed back in and offered up the kayak so he could take a spin.  He declined and said he wanted to take me hiking up to the mineral springs.  So I deflated and bagged the kayak and then changed back into shorts and shoes.

Back in the 1800’s the mineral springs were a big deal and boasted curative waters.  They even had a resort on the hill above them at one time.  Now it is all woods and a hike to get to them.`

Into the woods we went.

Into the woods we went.

One of the first interesting things I spotted was this tree.  It doesn't look it in the picture, but this tree is quite large with a huge hole in it.

One of the first interesting things I spotted was this tree. It doesn’t look it in the picture, but this tree is quite large with a huge hole in it.

 

And then I found a fungus among us. :D

And then I found a fungus among us. 😀

An interesting burl on a tree.

And an interesting burl on a tree. The wood framing you see to the left are supports for a bridge across a section of the creek.  It was a Boy Scout Eagle project.

I love how Mother Nature is reclaiming this tree.

I love how Mother Nature is reclaiming this tree.

"Come on, mom!"  "I'm coming, I'm coming.  There's a damn bug down my shirt!"  Did you ever notice how your kids always take these less than flattering shots of you?

“Come on, mom!” “I’m coming, I’m coming. There’s a damn bug down my shirt!” Did you ever notice how your kids always take these less than flattering shots of you?

We made it!  This is the main cave at the spring.  We have had a very dry couple of months.  Normally there would be water cascading off the top of the cave in a waterfall.

We made it! This is the main cave at the spring. We have had a very dry couple of months. Normally there would be water cascading off the top of the cave in a waterfall.

This is a pile of rocks that have broken off in the middle.  There is a smaller cave to the left.

This is a pile of rocks that have broken off in the middle. There is a smaller cave to the left.  You can also see the drips running off the edge to the left of the rocks from a small creek that runs down into the spring area.

Part of the steps from the  upper trail down to the spring are original back to when the resort existed.  You can see the springs at the end of the bench where the iron stains are.

Part of the steps from the upper trail down to the spring are original back to when the resort existed. You can see the springs at the end of the bench where the iron stains are.

These are the mineral waters that everyone came to drink.

These are the mineral waters that everyone came to drink.

Water and time have eroded an almost perfect bowl into this rock.

Water and time have eroded an almost perfect bowl into this rock.

Of course, after hiking through the woods in the heat we were both thirsty.  Spider Bait went first.

"Brrr, it's cold!"

“Brrr, it’s cold!”

Well, if he thought it was cold there was no way in heck I was putting my face in there.  So I dug out the ziplock bag I had for my camera on the kayak.  It made a perfect canteen.

Some for him...

Some for him…

And some for me!

And some for me!

We then decided to grab roots and climb up above the springs and look around. There was a creek up there with neat rock formations.

My son fiddled with his phone and got this picture of the same rocks.

I wish I had had a flash light so I could see how far back inside that little cave/overhang goes.

I found some interesting lichen up there.

I found some interesting lichen up there.

And a tree growing right on the edge of the rocks.

And a tree growing right on the edge of the rocks.

And then it was time to return Spider Bait to school and get home for dinner.  So one last look around…

The springs from the creek bed up above.  I'm going to want to come back after we get some rain so I can see the waterfall.

The springs from the creek bed up above. I’m going to want to come back after we get some rain so I can see the waterfall.

I managed to catch Ms. Bumble Bee just before we came out of the trees by the car. It was a nice end to the walk.

I managed to catch Ms. Bumble Bee just before we came out of the trees by the car. It was a nice end to the walk.

Hope you enjoyed the trip!  Night!

The Renaissance Festival 2014

We hit the Renaissance Festival a couple of weekends ago.  Right after I spent a couple of days fighting a stomach bug.  So I wasn’t exactly running around like lightning.  Nor was I eating all kinds of stuff.  But I did eat some good things, drank a lot of liquids to keep hydrated (it was hot), and still had a wonderful time.  It took me this long to get through all the pictures.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This year I was not responsible for picture-taking.  See, I always forget something when I go on trips.  This year it was the camera.  I was sooo sad.  So my wonderful son gritted his teeth and offered to take pictures with his new fancy schmancy phone that Grandma got him.  And took pictures he did!  203 pictures to be exact.  Yikes!  I eventually whittled them down to 59.  No I won’t make you look at all of them!  I also had problems taking pictures of this year’s loot.  But that is going to be the next post.  Enjoy our trip to this year’s Renfest!

The upper level and some shops.  It was early and not too crowded.  But a couple of hours later it was packed!

The upper level and some shops. It was early and not too crowded. But a couple of hours later it was packed!

That is a real married couple!  They are now doing weddings at the Renfest!

That is a real married couple! They are now doing weddings at the Renfest!

The Klass Klowne! He is one of our favorite acts.  That's real fire and he's standing on a board on a barrel!

The Klass Klowne! He is one of our favorite acts. That’s real fire and he’s standing on a board on a barrel!

That's a pogo stick falling out of the picture.  Do you see how high he is?  And going over backwards!

That’s a pogo stick falling out of the picture. Do you see how high he is? And going over backwards!

Blowing fire! Can you imagine how bad that tastes?

Blowing fire! Can you imagine how bad that tastes?

The lower eating area.  Popcorn on a stick and a couple of the locals!

The lower eating area. Popcorn on a stick and a couple of the locals!

The parade!

The parade!

Bellydancer!

Belly dancer!

The Owlchemist Queen.  Look at all those feathers! (She had to be roasting.)

The Owlchemist Queen. Look at all those feathers! I wish he had gotten a picture of her face.  It was wonderful.  (She had to be roasting!)

Skidmark, the Village Beggar.  You should see the 'stuff' in his little cart!

Skidmark, the Village Beggar. You should see the ‘stuff’ in his little cart!

Yep, that's me!  The branch over my left shoulder is also the branch I'm sitting on!  It  made a nice seat!

Yep, that’s me! The branch over my left shoulder is also the branch I’m sitting on! It made a nice seat!

It was raining while this was being played and the pictures didn't come out.  It makes wonderful music!

It was raining while this was being played and the pictures didn’t come out. It makes wonderful music!

More awesome music!  My son went and grabbed their CD so we could listen to them at home!

More awesome music! My son went and grabbed their CD so we could listen to them at home!

Flourish, an acrobat!  Look at those muscles!

Flourish, an acrobat! Look at those muscles!

I loved this picture by one of the artists.  Whose name I have forgotten.  I should have written it down.  *sigh*

I loved this picture by one of the artists. Whose name I have forgotten. I should have written it down. *sigh*

At the end of the day on our way out we were treated to 'Zinnia the Fairy'.  Her outfit was wonderful.  And, oh!, her wings!

At the end of the day on our way out we were treated to ‘Zinnia the Fairy’. Her outfit was wonderful. And, oh!, her wings!

And, of course, we had to treat ourselves to Cinnamon Almonds before we left!  In the next post I’ll show you all our loot! (Mostly mine! 😀 )