Beso lays on the floor.
Archive for July 2014
Beso lays on the floor.
We’re running out of tigers.
In the last century, we’ve gone from over 100,000 tigers to 3,000 tigers in the wild. There are more captive tigers in the United States than in the wild–only six percent of which is in AZA accredited zoos.
Today is International Tiger Day, a day to bring attention to the plight of these great cats.
Poaching is a large part of this, but habitat lose is the key thing.
How can you help? Palm oil is causing a great deal of habitat lose for these great cats. Select products using sustainable palm oil. The Cincinnati Zoo actually has a cool web app to help you make tiger-friendly choices.
My wife came home from our mailbox with a new mystery box for me. I love mystery boxes! This one I was not expecting.
Remember my ill-fated Pelikan Hub?
I’d admired these ceramic pelicans for a long time, having seen them at pen shows and online. It’s about six inches tall, and has a hole to hold a pen (in this case, my Souverän 600). I was extremely excited as I unwrapped it.
“How do you hold that pen?”
The Airdock was used during World War II for the construction of military blimps. It is 55 million cubic feet of empty space–it’s large enough to have its own weather inside. Lockheed is looking at building new airships inside this large building.
The other thing we did on our Romantic Weekend in Akron was ride on the Towpath, a bike trail that parallels the Ohio and Erie Canal. However, instead of a simple out-and-back, we only biked back to our car–we took a train south.
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The train goes between a northern suburb of Akron, to Independence, a southern suburb of Cleveland. It runs through The Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a national forest. Lots of people buy tickets to ride the train round trip, and enjoy the sights and activities. During the summer, however, they offer the Bike Aboard program. Partnering with a local hospital, they offer a one-way rate that is a sixth the cost of the round trip fair for cyclists. The goal is to encourage people to ride on the trail for health an exercise.
At Akron Northside, our train bikes were unloaded, and we started heading north. We wanted to make sure we covered the distance before sunset, so we didn’t stop too much, and I didn’t get many photos. One stop we did make was at Szaay’s a farmer’s market. They were closing, but it smelled wonderful walking around.
My daughter has been at camp this month, leaving my wife and I alone. This gave us a weekend to ourselves. We felt that the combination of being temporarily childless and our anniversary entitled us to a romantic weekend away…
Not an obvious choice, but there were a couple things we thought would want to do. One of the things we wanted to check out was the Akron Zoo. Zoos are a favorite of my family, but, in particular, we wanted to see Malaya and Makalu, their baby snow leopards.
They weren’t quite three months old when we got to see them, and were only out for about an hour-and-a-half. There was a line to see them–groups were allowed to go to the window, and you could get back in line (which we did–four times). It was actually well run. When we got there, Malaya, the girl, was climbing about as snow leopards (and, really, all kittens) are want to do.
With mom around, everyone settled in for a nap (and a family portrait).
I have a 16:9 aspect ratio version of this photo for use as wallpaper on Flickr.
We were told that this was a stray who had a kitten. The keepers were trying to catch her, but haven’t had much luck. They said that the storks don’t seem to mind. The cat, however, got a bit annoyed when they took a step too close.
One thing we did learn in all this is that storks are carnivores. I hadn’t really considered it one way or the other.
I really liked the Akron Zoo. It is a smaller zoo, but all the enclosures seemed very up to date. Their app is awesome, and gives the names for many animals (in some cases, I couldn’t tell who’s who, but nice to have some idea). They had some neat displays, such as one showing how coral exhibits photoluminescence.
One think I really liked was that almost every enclosure had a tag for an advocacy group for that animal. For instance, by the snow leopards, there was one for the Snow Leopard Trust. Appropriately, I was wearing one of their t-shirts.
I’ve been a bad blogger.
In March, 2012, I decided to shoot for twenty posts a month. I was open to how that would be done. Sometimes it would just be a picture, or an embeded YouTube video. Other times, it would be something longer, like photos from a zoo trip, or a pen profile. The idea of a goal was to have a way to drive producing some content, and perhaps sharpen my writing.
It did that decently, until the last several months. Last October, it dipped, and it’s been unstable since. then, this month, the wheels fell off the wagon. It’s the eleventh day of the month, and this is my first post. I sincerely doubt I’ll do twenty.
Why? Hard to say. Part of it has been that I’ve ironically had a lot going on, and just not taking the time to write. There have been lots of bike rides, cooking, pens, and cats. Part of it has been a quality thing: I don’t want to post the same ten pictures from the zoo.
But I still value the exercise in writing, photography, and other disciplines. I know that, even if no one else reads it, I like having the log of what happened–it makes for a great diary.
So, I’m taking the pressure off myself. My goal is now half. Ten posts a month sounds good, with a stretch goal of twenty. Hopefully, a more achieviable goal will prevent this blog from fading.