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A Walk in the Woods November 21, 2021

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 I am a city gal. The country frightens me. A good friend of mine (thanks Bonnie) coined the phrase ‘Outside begins with OW.’ I am much more comfortable walking the concrete canyons of NYC than the forests or woods. However, on a recent trip to visit friends in New England we drove up to Vermont to visit the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS.) It is a non-profit environmental education organization based in Quiche, Vermont.  Its mission is to motivate individuals and communities to care for the environment through education, research, and, avian wildlife rehabilitation. It was a wonderful experience seeing their raptor collection, education center and beautiful, very accessible, forest canopy walk. Am I a convert to the country? No – but every now and then it is good for the soul to get outside of one’s comfort zone.

Pumped for Pumpkins November 7, 2021

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 My October obsession with all things bats and pumpkins has come to an end with last Sunday’s adult photo session at the Central Park Zoo. Fun and enrichment was had by all species. I usually post something about our having to turn the clocks today as Daylight Savings Time ends. If you enjoyed those posts – here is the one from last year. Enjoy that extra hour of sleep.

Calling all Chiropterologists October 31, 2021

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 Someone who studies bats (the flying mammal) is a Chiropterologist. I often refer to October as ‘Batober.’ I love bats and am fascinated by them. The scientific name for bats is Chiroptera, which is Greek for “hand wing.” That’s because bats have four long fingers and a thumb, each connected to the next by a thin layer of skin. Sadly bats are much maligned and feared. Here are 10 reasons you should love bats. The photo above is of course the gang that lives with me at Casa Lobo. Mr. Pepe and the rest of the gang wish you all a very safe and candylicious Holloween.

A Return to the Beardsley Zoo October 10, 2021

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 I got the opportunity to return to the Beardsley Zoo with some good friends this week. I had not been there since 2013. There have been many terrific changes to the facility. The zoo is located in a park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (who also designed our NY’s Central Park and Prospect Park). It is Connecticut’s only AZA accredited zoo. If you get a chance, I highly recommend a visit. The bottom photo of a snow monkey with a pumpkin is not from the Beardsley Zoo but is an oldie but goodie from one of my photo sessions at the Central Park Zoo. We are holding our first photo session since COVID on Halloween day. Click here to sign up for some pumpkin fun.

Rescue Dogs of 9/11 September 12, 2021

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 Yesterday was a very hard day to relive as we honored those we lost 20 years ago on 9/11. We all remember that day – where we were – who we were with – and how we coped with the days, weeks and months that followed. I coped by blogging about the smells, the sounds and the sights that I witnessed. Some of you have been following my musings, photos and rants for about 20 years. I decided to return to the Museum of the Dog this week to see their new exhibit about some of the rescue dogs of 9/11. When the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001, nearly 10,000 emergency rescue workers joined in the efforts to help. More than 300 of those heroes were dogs. This article from the Doggington Post highlights a few of them. I spent a little time going over some of my posts from that time and thought I would share one of those posts from the 10th anniversary of 9/11. If you have a lot of time on your hands and want to go back in time I share my random and oft times funny musings here. My post from 2011 on the opening of the Memorial site is here. And finally, a post from 2016 when One World Observatory opened. Stay well and keep the faith.

’til the Cows Come Home August 29, 2021

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 My appreciation of public art continues this week with some of Moo York City’s cows on parade. Here is a map of where the 78 cows are located. The cow parade came to NYC in 2000 and I remember it well. It was fun, festive and if you do not count the defacing, tipping or stolen cows it was a good thing for the many charities that received money from the auction. This time the auction proceeds will go to God’s Love We Deliver. Here is my tip for those looking for the cows. I went to the Staten Island location and found only two cows but did end up in an informative lengthy discussion with the gentleman that works at the lighthouse museum. And it is always fun to take the ferry. Bloomingdale’s has only one cow as does Macy’s. The balance of today’s cow photos were taken at the mall in Hudson Yards. I was too hot and tired to go to Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx. If you go – take some photos please. For those that like a bit of NYC cow parade history – here you are. MOO!

Blowin’ in the Wind August 15, 2021

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 I have always been fascinated with weather vanes. Probably got interested in them since I love watching clouds and would sometimes spot a weather vane while studying cloud formations. I think of weather vanes as a very early type of public art. When I heard the American Folk Art Museum was having an exhibit all about weather vanes I was on it.
Weathervanes have been around for over 2,000 years, invented by the Greek astronomer Andronicus in 48 B.C. to determine the direction of the wind. The first weathervane – also called a “wind vane” – was fashioned to look like the Greek god Triton, who had the head and torso of a man and the tail of a fish. This is a great museum and it is always free.They also have a wonderful gift shop. I encourage you to check out this wonderful space.

Happy 33rd Anniversary – Central Park Zoo August 8, 2021

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 Today is the 33rd anniversary of the Central Park Zoo. I am happy to say I have been associated with the zoo for the past 31of those 33 years (that is probably how I know most of you). The zoo began in the 1860s as a menagerie. The zoo or menagerie (as it was called) started inside and around the Arsenal (built in 1848 – which now houses our WCS administrative offices and the NYC Parks Dept). The zoo was modified in 1934 as part of the WPA with the addition of many new buildings arranged in a quadrangle around the sea lion pool. In a contract with NYC, the zoo was completely renovated in the mid-1980s and with much fanfare, reopened on August 8th, 1988, replacing the old-fashioned cages with naturalistic environments. There are many great old photos of the menagerie and zoo found with a simple google search. Come visit us soon and a very Happy Anniversary!

Red, White and Zoo – 2021 July 4, 2021

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Summer is a time for reruns. Accordingly I share last year’s post since July Fourth actually falls on a Sunday this year. This was a fun montage to create. I didn’t realize how many animals could be included in this red, white and blue themed photo montage. Wishing you a safe, happy holiday and keep those pets inside as most are afraid of the noisy fireworks.

Happy Father’s Day 2021 June 20, 2021

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 While most caregivers in the animal kingdom are mothers, there are some fathers who join in the role as caregiver. I salute some of those fathers out there in today’s photo montage. Coincidentally – tomorrow is also National Martini Day. Why not celebrate that special day today? The photo above today’s montage is of my father, sister and me (circa – the beginning of time).