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Winter Wonderland January 9, 2022

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There is something special about the first real snow fall of the season. Friday’s NYC winter wonderland only lasted a few short hours but it blanketed the city with a pristine, fluffy, white covering. I salute all of the people who have to keep the city running during this type of weather. Me? I do not drive nor do I have to shovel and I take mass transit. So I grabbed my camera and headed to my home base, the Central Park Zoo. It has been about two months since I posted CPZ photos. Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Parting Shots January 2, 2022

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 Today’s montage completes 18 years of my sending out these Sunday photos. By my calculations that’s over 900 photo montages. Oh my! Thanks for coming along for the ride. I think some of you have been with me for the entire 18 years. I am thankful for that. I am not going to harp on what another strange year this has been as the seemingly never ending pandemic continues. That said – I leave you as always with no ‘ifs, just ends and butts’. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year. Let’s start anew in ’22.

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.

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.

Red Pandamonium September 19, 2021

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Yesterday was International Red Panda Day. The Red Panda Network launched International Red Panda Day in 2010. At that time, 16 schools and a few zoos participated in red panda activities. Currently, more than 60 zoos around the world participate, with over 100,000 visitors on Red Panda Day. On our many zoocations we have come across lots of red pandas with Tennessee seeming to have the most. The very bottom of today’s red panda montage features photos of the Central Park Zoo’s pandas, Jen and Goodwin with their offspring, Scarlet and Rose. I took these photos back in 2004. Other than being absolutely adorable it is almost impossible to take a bad photo of a red panda. Speaking of photos, I am happy to announce the the Central Park Zoo will once again be holding adult photo sessions. The first one is Sunday, October 31st from 8:30 to 10:00am. Click here to sign up. We will obviously be featuring my favorite enrichment – pumpkins! Hope to see you there.

Six Feet Under September 5, 2021

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 In my quest to try to have a weekly adventure we took a short trip to Brooklyn in early August to visit beautiful Green-Wood Cemetery. I hadn’t been there in about 15 years and thought it deserved a new look. It was founded in 1838 as one of America’s first rural cemeteries. Still an active cemetery, the Green-Wood of today is also a cultural institution and an outdoor museum that tells the history and cultures of the borough, city and the nation. Today, Green-Wood’s 478 acres serve as the final resting place for over 570,000 permanent residents. Among the permanent residents are such notables as Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Margaret Pine (who was the last enslaved African-American in New York), numerous Civil War generals, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers and inventors. I discovered after our visit that Pete Hamill is buried near Boss Tweed’s grave. Next time I go I will have to pay my respects to one of my favorite writers. The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and was made a National Historic Landmark in 2006. A magnet for history buffs and bird watchers, Green-Wood is a Revolutionary War historic site (the Battle of Long Island was fought in 1776 across what is now its grounds), a designated site on the Civil War Discovery Trail, and a registered member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System. It is free and open every day of the year.

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).