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The Birds January 10, 2021

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Last Tuesday, January fifth was National Bird Day. The craziness of this week in DC overshadowed this avian observance. I managed some of my own anxiety by spending early morning hours with the birds at the Central Park Zoo. Their lovely songs, cooing and chirping calmed my soul. So I wondered why the term ‘for the birds’ is a negative one. The expression means worthless, useless, ridiculous or foolish. I categorically disagree. These beautiful birds calmed me down this week so I salute them with this photo montage. Please continue to wear your mask, wash your hands and socially distance.

Good Riddance to 2020 January 3, 2021

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This wraps up 17 years of my sending out these Sunday (mostly zoo) montages. By my calculations that’s about 850 photo montages. Oh my! Thanks for coming along for the ride. I think some of you have been with me for the entire 17 years. I am thankful for that. I am not going to harp on what a crappy year this has been – no need to go over what we all have experienced. This was the first year since 2005 that we have not gone on any zoocations. We had one planned for March – but then everything came to a halt. I am hopeful that within six months our lives will somewhat return to normal and zoocations will commence once again. That said – I leave you as always with no ‘ifs, just ends and butts’.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year. More fun in ’21.

Snow Day at the Central Park Zoo December 20, 2020

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 We had about eight to 10 inches of snow fall in Central Park on Wednesday and Thursday. I LOVE snow days mostly because I do not have to shovel nor do I drive. It is a great opportunity to take photos of beautiful animals enjoying the cold weather. I admit that after four hours of picture taking I was very cold and a bit achy but it was all worth it. Enjoy these photos and come visit us at the zoo. You will need a timed ticket but it is worth it to make a plan. Stay safe, wash those hands and socially distance please. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Yellow December 6, 2020

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 Last week I featured the primary color RED and the week before the primary color BLUE . I wrap up my salute to the three primary colors this week with the color YELLOW. It was a fun three week project. I have a few other new themes rolling around in my brain.
 For the first time in 15 years there were sadly no zoocations in 2020 due to COVID19. However, my zoocation pal and good friend Mary Schwalm has created a 2021 desk calendar featuring amazing photos from previous zoocations. Quoting Mary – “The 2021 PostCard Calendars are here! What a year it’s been. We’ve all learned to connect in new ways, so why not start off 2021 by mailing a postcard to a friend? Bonus, you get a calendar to remind you of what day and month it is! (that’s a gift that keeps on giving!) $10 each, $5 flat rate shipping regardless of order size”. Send an email to maryschwalm@gmail.com (see calendar sample below) or a PM. My order is already in.

RED November 29, 2020

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Last week I featured extraordinary BLUE animals. RED is a primary color too. This week’s salute is to many of the amazing animals that have red in their coats, skin or feathers. Hope your Thanksgiving week has been yummy and safe. I know that ours was. Keep doing the right thing by wearing your mask, washing your hands and holding off those hugs until after we all get the vaccine. Enjoy RED!

Pumpkin Fun at the Central Park Zoo October 25, 2020

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 One of the best things about this time of year are pumpkins. I normally run a public before hours photo session at the Central Park Zoo featuring pumpkin enrichment for our animals. Like most everything else the session was cancelled this year due to COVID19. I decided to go ahead with the enrichment and thanks to CPZ’s amazing staff we pulled it off. We dismissed with carving and just gave the animals whole pumpkins. It was fun, colorful and enriching for them, the staff and me. If you are a pumpkin nut like me – here’s a trip down memory lane from some of the other pumpkinpalooza events. 2019’s Hello Gourd-geous2018’s Pumpkinfest2017’s Pumpkin’s a Plenty –  2016’s Pumpkinpalooza. There’s more – but you get the idea. Here’s hoping that next year we are back to ‘normal’ times and we can have a pumpkin photo session again. Please stay safe, wear a mask and social distance. Enjoy the pumpkins.

Brooklyn Bound October 18, 2020

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After eight long months of being on the island of Manhattan I took the Q train and ventured to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Zoo this week. As most of you know, the Prospect Park Zoo was the zoo of my youth and I have a special place for it in my heart. It was a fun, productive visit and it was great to see the friendly faces of the staff and of course to revisit their wonderful collection of animals. Enjoy this week’s salute to Brooklyn and please wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands and be safe.

October Feast for the Eyes October 11, 2020

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To those that know me it is not a secret that I love the fall. I enjoy the amazing colors of the changing leaves and the fullness of the fall harvest. Also my love of pumpkins is well known. I went to the Union Square Market yesterday to feast on all of the fabulous colors and textures. Enjoy! Stay safe, social distance and please wear a mask.

Jumping Jacks September 27, 2020

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Today is day 200 for me being home during the COVID19 pandemic. It has been a challenging 6.5 months but the good news is I am returning to my photography job at the Central Park Zoo on Tuesday. Hopefully next Sunday’s montage will be fresh images of the fabulous animal collection at CPZ. Today’s montage is the final installment of salutes to children’s games. The jumping jack is a toy whose origins date back thousands of years. The jointed jumping jack figure is a cross between a puppet and paper doll. The figures are generally made from wood and their limbs are jointed and tied to a pull string.  When the string is pulled and released, the arms and legs move up and down. Stay healthy and wear a mask please.

Monkey in the Middle September 6, 2020

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 It is day 177 for me being home during the COVID19 pandemic. I continue my theme of cbhildren’s games with one that we used to play on the streets of old Brooklyn when we were kids. My sister and I could not remember our rules but we know for sure – that we played it. Monkey in the Middle, Piggy in the Middle, Pickle in a Dish, Keep Away or Pickle in the Middle, is a children’s game in which two or more players must pass a ball to one another, while a player in the middle attempts to intercept it. Yes, I have stretched the ‘monkey’ theme to include prosimians because – well, I liked the photos. Stay safe, avoid crowds and wear a mask this holiday weekend.