A DAY AT THE ZOO

A Day at the Zoo

Summer is here.  I know we haven’t yet reached the solstice, but the weather is summery and so are the outings coordinated by Ogden House 50+ Seniors Club.

What says summer better than a day at the Zoo?  On June 11th, a group of 50+ members journeyed through, the Canadian Wilds, Eurasia and Africa.

It was a sunny day.  A light breeze batted around the white seed packets of fluffy fuzz which fall from The Cottonwood and Poplar trees prodigiously growing around St. Georges Island.

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Upon arrival, our little group of 17 was dwarfed by the sheer number of school children, all walking in orderly lines holding hands while being directed by teachers and volunteer parents.  Their excitement was palpable, it propelled their tiny bodies forward so fast they appear blurred in some of the photos I took.

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Our first stop was the Penguin Plunge, where we enjoyed the antics of the Penguins playing in the outside pools while we waited in a short line to get inside the Penguin enclosure.   Lucky us.  Once inside we were treated to the overwhelming smell of fish and the chaos of feeding time. They don’t receive all the nutrients they need from the lifeless fish, so are given daily supplements to compensate for the lack of nutrition.

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The sleek black and yellow birds swam, jumped and vocalized as they enjoyed their lunch of dead fish.  .

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After the cool air of the Penguin Plunge the heat of the sun felt extra hot, as we trundled our way across the bridge to the picnic site.  Happily, we picked out two green tables shaded under the protection of the huge fully leafed trees.

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We sorted ourselves and took a few moments to decide where we wanted to visit first.  We had an hour and a half before lunch.  Everyone set out on their own adventures, some with buddies others on their own.  I was on the lookout for possible Calendar shoot spots. I had no preconceived plan of action, just to wander where my whim and the animals led.

The surprise of the day were the Peacocks.

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They were everywhere.  Each and every one was displaying their beautiful plumage fans. Everyone once in a while one would call, that eerie piercing caw of theirs, sending shivers down my back.

One in particular was a camera star.  He must be in love with the camera.  I observed that as long as a camera was focused in his direction, he flaunted his feathers. At one point, I put my camera down to change the lens, he brought in his fan and dropped the feathers into the beautiful trailing train.

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When I had finished the lens switch and brought the camera back up, he turned toward the camera, fluttered and fanned this tail out as wide as it would go.

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He was such a poser I had the best time snapping more shots of him than I should have.

As I travelled the African continent I encountered many of the favourite animals taking naps in the shade, walking about, relaxing with their babies or working on fixing their homes.

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0079      Resting Hippo

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0075   Red River Pig Mother with spotted baby

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0063       Sleeping Gorilla

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0086   Zebras strolling around their enclosure

Zoo w Ogden House_0035          A  Misty Waterfall in the Rain Forest

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0108       Yellow Bird tending to its’ home

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0107          Turtle taking a stroll

It was hot on my journey through Africa, so I was happy for the break when lunch time came around.  Back at the picnic table, we were treated to Subway sandwiches, chips, cookies and Juice.

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It was a yummy meal and a welcome opportunity to sit in the shade, catch up on where the others visited and what they saw.

After lunch we had another hour and half to explore more of the micro world of the Zoo.  Since being out in the sun walking around is not my natural habitat, I chose to stay and chat with a few of the others who also enjoy a quiet visit in the shade.

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By the end of the day we were tired but satisfied with our adventures.  We piled into our vans for the short drive back to Ogden House.  Everyone had an exhilarating summer day at the Zoo. One I am sure we will want to repeat next year.

Cheryle Baker   June 2015

DAY 2 – BLOGGING U – WRITING 101

A VIEW FROM A WINDOW

The prompt for Day Two – “If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?”

I would jump into the 1974 drivers’ seat of what I call my cabin, wiggle my little nose.

POOF!                 10351250_10152442787311280_6509159616268359082_n[1]         I am on the road just outside of the “Bella Pacifica Campground” Tofino, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

I draw in a big deep breath of relaxation and anticipation.  Driving past the camp office, my heart jumps with delight, while my nose twitches at the unfamiliar fresh scents of salt, sand and seaweed.

Slowly I back into campsite 108.  I scan both the ocean and the forest, a place of bliss and solitude.  The whisper of the tall cedar trees as they caress each other and the splash of the waves as the salty water breaks against the sandy beach greet me in unison.

I selected this site because it is the furthest site from the entrance and at the far end of the campground road.  Private, isolated and perfect for an introvert wishing to celebrate the sunshine, forest and ocean spray.

Leaving the unpacking and organizing until later, I walk down to the beach, kick off my runners and slide my socks onto the rocks on the edge of the sand.

Stepping forward, my foot sinks into the white granular crystals.  I can hear the ahhhhh my toes sigh when the sand warmed by the sun envelopes them.  I almost drop down and make a sand angel, I am so happy to be here.  Heel, toes, heel, toes, heel, toes – curl the sand between the foot pad and the toes.  The sand gently scrubs my feet, the skin feels brand new.

At the lintel, the sand is wet, cold and packed.  The imprints of my heels are deep, gathering seawater.  The tidal water rushes forward freezing my feet right up to the ankles.  I jump back with a squeal.  I land in the dry warm sand. Oh heavenly bliss!

Cheryle – April 7, 2015

Blogging U – Writing Poetry 201 – Sonnet, Future, Chiasmus

10th Assignment – Sonnet – Future – Chiasmus

 

When Summer Comes

 .

I can’t wait to see what my future will be

I’m itchin’ to get on the road

All the camp gear is stowed

For me and my little RV

 .                   10351250_10152442787311280_6509159616268359082_n[1]

What my future will be, I can’t see

My food and camera are stowed

Zipping along on down the road

My little RV and me

 .

Where will I go, fast or slow

What will I see when I stop.

Here and there, to and fro

On a dime the awning I’ll drop

 .

Like a float on the river I’’ll go with the flow

Up or down, city or town, love the view from a hilltop

 .

Cheryle March 1, 2015

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I want to thank Hannah of Simply Hanes for nominating me for The Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award.  I am so very honoured and grateful for her consideration.   Please pop over to her blog she is a versatile writer with many categories to delight you.    The Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award is given to writers who express the unique female experience.

The Rules for Accepting and Nominating are as follows:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their site.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the ten questions sent to you.
  • Nominate seven blogs.
  • Make a list of ten questions for your nominees.

My Answers to the Questions:

  1. What is your biggest fear and why?

Being successful, I would then have to accept that I can do anything I set my mind to.

  1. What are you motivated by?

To help.  If I believe I can be of help to someone I am all in 100%

  1. What was the last dream you remember?

It was an apocalypse dream where the captured were forced to tattoo their own hands with hunting knives.  Then the captors cut them off and left the victims to die by being skewered on a fence and hit by fast moving vehicles.  (Sorry… I ate something before bed, I shouldn’t have )

  1. What is your favorite book and why?

The Rhyming Dictionary – it is an invaluable resource

  1. If you could sit down and have a conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Buddhas’ Mother – he ordained her.  It would put to rest the squabble between Monks and Nuns regarding the suitability of Nuns ordaining Nuns.

  1. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? Do you still have that childhood dream?

At one time I wanted to be a Nun, an Actress, a Writer and a Conservationist (That’s what they were called back then).  Yes I still have those dreams.  Did the actress thing, practice ecological behaviour, I am now blogging and I teach Samatha Meditation based on the Buddhist Thai Forest tradition.

  1. Do you have a bucket list? If so what are the top three items?

a)  I would like to travel in my RV.  b)  Travel on meditation retreat with my Venerable Teacher.  c) Create a multi discipline creative healing retreat.  A large lodge with smaller cottages sequestered in the woods to accommodate, writers, musicians, healers, meditators and artists.  The property is located  in an area of wooded rolling hills and has a river running through it, for swimming and rafting.

  1. If you could boost one of your five senses, which would it be and why?

Improve my ability to listen to my intuition.  Not only hear it but listen to it.

  1. Would you rather die young, or live forever?

Die young, if it meant not coming back.

  1. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My ability to enjoy being alone.

I nominate the following, in no particular order. 

Allychat’s Blog

Anecdotes from Along Life’s Road

Daily Cup of Wisdom

Iridescent Spirits

Shannon McFadden – Global Grandma

Kate M Colby

Serins Sphere

The 10 Questions.  I chose to ask the same insightful questions that were asked of me.

  1. What is your biggest fear and why?
  2. What are you motivated by?
  3. What was the last dream you remember?
  4. What is your favorite book and why?
  5. If you could sit down and have a conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
  6. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? Do you still have that childhood dream?
  7. Do you have a bucket list? If so what are the top three items?
  8. If you could boost one of your five senses, which would it be and why?
  9. Would you rather die young, or live forever?
  10. What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Keep on Blogging and Enjoy the experience of writing.

Assignment #7 – Keep Personalizing

Assignment #7 has been encouraging.  I am becoming more comfortable with the technicalities of blogging.  Even though I was reticent at first to play around with the appearance of my blog, I feel I am slowly progressing and am happy with the end result.  This assignment was to add a header and work with the widgets.

The header was fairly easy.  I uploaded a picture my husband took of me a few years back, when we stopped at an amazing abandoned farmhouse while on our way to Writing On Stone Provincial Park. The roof had caved in, the paint had been worn off by the wind and the trees had grown wild around what had been the farmyard. The memories we made that day linger in my mind reminding me that beauty can be found anywhere, even in the death of a once loved vibrant home.

Widgets are the bits of information added to the sidebar of the page which help readers access what I have to offer. Once I figured out what Widgets are, what they do and where I could find them, I removed a couple of the sections, added a photo gallery, a contact sections and a following button.  Cool!  I filled the gallery with a sampling of photos I’ve taken over the years, of places I’ve been, things I’ve seen and a few of my creative endeavours.

Ultimately I believe I have perked up my blog, giving my readers an opportunity to see me a little more clearly.

I hope you enjoy your visit.  Let me know what you like and what you don’t.