Archive for the ‘Ohio’ Category

Lake White   Leave a comment

30 miles to go.

76 miles Time for new socks   Leave a comment

67.11 miles Entering Pike County #TOSRV   Leave a comment

38.98 miles. watch for Bikers #TOSRV   Leave a comment

Missed the first food stop. :(

Rainy #TOSRV start   Leave a comment

27.9 miles Kitty Break   Leave a comment

Y’all remember Timber the Mountain Lion?

Posted 2013-10-13 by Mr. Guilt in cats, cougars, Cycling, Ohio, Route Tracking

An Afternoon at Hueston Woods   5 comments

Cougar CaveI’ve been making trips to Oxford, Ohio on my bike a couple times this month, even doing a loop of Hueston Woods State Park. While doing a loop of Hueston Woods was one of my favorite bike rides while in college, I rarely went beyond it.

However, we were looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon, and I came up with the idea of going out there. I figure we could be nostalgic alumni, having a late lunch at Bagel and Deli. This was one of our favorite places to grab a sandwich while my wife and I were in college. Afterwards, we could go to Hueston Woods State Park, and hike some of their trails. My wife thought it would be fun to go down to Acton Lake, which centers the park. The other advantage is that it set us up for going to the original location of Jungle Jim’s, as we needed some things we thought we could only get there.

The deal was sealed when we discovered their nature center had a cougar. The web page suggested they just got it–cougar cubs are awesome! There was no date on the post, so it could well have grown up by now. Still, it would be great to see the cat.

We got a bit of a late start–we didn’t get to Oxford until a quarter of Four. Our late lunch (or is it now and early supper?) would be a picnic. We drove to the Nature Center. One neat thing was that most signs not only detailed facts about the animal, but also their names. Timber, the cougar, was in his enclosure, hanging out in his house.
Shy Timber

Next door Eli, a bobcat, was having supper. Eli was originally a pet, but his owners could not continue to care for him, so he was surrendered to a wildlife rescue. Prior to that, he was declawed, so there is no way he could be released into the wild. Things I believe that this underscores: wild cats aren’t pets, and declawing is bad.
Eli's Supper

The Nature Center was also home to a Raptor Rehabilitation Center. Several birds of prey were present. Nannok is a rough tailed hawk.
Nannok the Rough-Tailed Hawk

Next to Nannook was a great horned owl, whose name I didn’t catch.
Great Horned Owl

The largest enclosure was for a bald eagle.
Bald Eagle

Rose is a red-tailed hawk.
Rose the Red-Tailed Hawk

A close-up of the hawk’s eye.
Eye of the Hawk

Clyde, the barred owl, kept looking away. I finally said, “Clyde, can I please take your picture?” He turned to look at me. Handsome owl!
Clyde the Barred Owl

My personal favorite, however, was Rachel the kestrel.
Rachel the Kestrel

After checking out the nature center, we had our bagels, enjoying the unseasonable-for-August weather, which was absolutely pleasant. Then, we went to the Cedar Falls trail, and started hiking.
Creek Bed

Creek Valley

Blue Rock Falls

What's Down There?

We saw wild crawfish.
Wild Crawfish

“Daddy, can I take a picture with your camera?”
DSC_1415

After our hike, we went to the beach at Acton Lake.
Sailing on Acton Lake

Seagulls and geese…an odd combination.
Geese and Seagulls

Summer strut

Lakewatch

We left as the sun was starting to set. As we drove around the loop, we noticed all the other things at Hueston Woods: horse rental, archery, even tree climbing. It’s amazing how many things are in this area–and it’s not that far from home. We’ll definitely have to come back.

Posted 2013-08-19 by Mr. Guilt in animals, birds, bobcat, cats, cougars, Family, Ohio, owl

Saber Saves the Day at the Columbus Zoo   1 comment

Zoo animals are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild.
–Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

While we were in Columbus for the Dublin Irish Festival, we also went to the Columbus Zoo. Ohio has some great zoos, and while I am biased towards the Cincinnati Zoo and it’s large collection of cats and research efforts in conservation, the Columbus Zoo is perhaps a bit better known.

A few months ago, some Amur tiger cubs were born, and we wanted to see them while they were still little. Amur Tigers are one of six remaining tiger subspecies, and are the largest felines. The exhibit at the Columbus Zoo drives home the point about extinction quite dramatically as you approach their enclosure. One display, which I regret not having taken a photo of, had a pedestal to hold a tiger statue, done in a stylized Asian style. there was one pedestal for each of the nine subspecies. Three of the statues were broken (only part remaining) to represent the Bali, Caspian, and Javan tigers. These subspecies are now extinct.

The most magnificent creature in the entire world, the tiger is.
–Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

When we got to the tigers, two were having breakfast, provided by mom.
Nursing Cubs 2

The other two were dozing under a tree. One thing I’ve learned about photographing animals at zoos, especially babies, is to be willing to go early and go back. So, when we returned…
Tiger Cub Cuddle Puddle

All four were under the tree. Not what I was hoping for. Still, they were cute.
Watching Cub

Mom was at least getting a break. She is a gorgeous cat!
Mom Gets a Great

OK. We’ll come back to them. Near the tigers was a red panda, a non-cat I’m becoming quite the fan of.
Red Panda Tail

“OH HAI!”
O HAI!

Several flying foxes were hanging around.
Flying Fox

Including a baby, in it’s own mini-cage. The adults were about the size of a cat; the baby would readily fit in my hand.
Baby Flying Fox

A new-to-me animal was the markhor. This member of the goat family was about the size of an adult deer. It lives primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their horns were great.
Markhor

A young elephant was tossing dust on it’s back.
Elephant Dusting

Those tiger cubs up yet?
Naptime

We were surprised to see clouded leopards–they weren’t on the web page. The zoo just got them-much of their enclosure’s signage still alluded to the sun bears that were there before. Clouded leopards are among my favorite cats, so it was a treat for us.
Cloudie Pals 1

These were relatively young ones–I’ll say “adolescent.”
Cloudie on the Platform

They are such pretty cats–just amazing!
Cloudie Pals 2

While we were standing their, someone mentioned that the cub was out. My wife and I looked at each other: “cub?!?” A clouded leopard cub, in fact. It was in an area by the entrance How did we miss it? Perhaps focus on the tiger cubs. We set out to see this cub, as it sounded like he might not be out long. By the way–where the tiger cubs up?
Low Cub

OK. They are cats, and cats sleep two-thirds of their life. And they are babies. Babies sleep a lot. These are definitely cute cubs, and it is great to see them. However, we really were hoping to see them romp around and play. I wouldn’t say the trip was a bust, but certainly not as exciting as we were hoping.

We went to the front, and saw a sign “Clouded Leopard Cub.” That’s the spot!
Saber Sits

His name is Saber, a four-month-old cub. He is being raised to be an ambassador animal, to go with Jack Hanna to educate people about these cats. Saber, however, was just being a kid, rolling around, and showing us his magnificent belly.
Saber's Belly 1

He prowled around his cage some.
Creeping Leopard

He was also very interested in seeing the people who gathered to see him. This will likely make him a great ambassador animal.
How Much is that Cloudie in the Window

The volunteer was there answering questions about these magnificent cats. At some point, she was stumped by a question. My daughter outed me as being a cat geek (it was either that, or my Snow Leopard Trust t-shirt). I filled in a few gaps, including explaining how snow leopards and clouded leopards were different. Saber relaxed and listened.
Clean Toes are Happy Toes

Of course, in spite of the name, neither snow leopards nor clouded leopards are more closely related to regular leopards than a tiger or house cat. Leopards are true, roaring big cats.
Leopard Back

We are fond of otters. The Asian small clawed otters romped around their enclosure.
Climbing Otters

Swimming Otters

They were quite chatty.
Chatty Otter


Should we go back to see if the tiger cubs have gotten up?
Disapproving Otter
Disapproving otter frowns on your tiger obsession.

A koala was sleeping in the trees of his enclosure.
Koala, Doing What Koalas Do Best

The kangaroo enclosure was a path with a mantrap on either end. You were basically in the exhibit. One keeper was standing by one kangaroo in particular. Caroline was her name. She was described as a troublemaker.
Caroline the Kangaroo

I find okapis very interesting. at a glance, they look like a horse/zebra hybrid. However, they are actually relatives of the giraffe. For the first time, I noticed their horns.
Okapi Profile

There were actually two okapi enclosures. One had an okapi…and a bunny friend.
Okapi and Friend
Look in the lower left-hand corner.

We wanted to see the moose, another situation where we went back twice. The second time, one was laying out front in the open.
Moose in the Grass

Earlier, however, they were in a cuddle puddle.
Moose Cuddle Puddle

Speaking of cuddle puddles, I’ve never seen manatees in one before.
Manatee Cuddle Puddle

We saw lounging lady lions.
Lounging Lady Lions

And mountain lions.
Cougar Bath

Next door ware bobcats, taking a nap.
Bobcat Nap

Bobcat, Resting His Eyes
Maybe just resting his eyes.

We didn’t get to see a beaver during our trip to Canada, but one did come and say “hi” to us–he even waved!
Waving Beaver

They moved quite like the otters.
Beaver Pushes Off

The Mexican wolves were gorgeous.
Mexican Wolf

Whether walking around.
Approaching Wolf

Or doing Pilates.
Downward Facing Wolf
Downward-Facing…um…Dog.

It was a great day at a great Ohio zoo. The tigers were not as exciting as we hoped, however they are wild animals doing what comes naturally, not performers. When you go to a zoo, you need to enjoy that behavior, and still appreciate what magnificent creatures they are. Still, as a treat, we got to see Saber. In a sense, he was there to save the day!
Catnap

Dublin Irish Festival   2 comments

DIF Sand Castle

This weekend we traveled to Columbus for the Dublin Irish Festival. We had a great time. We got to see a lot of bagpipes.
Marching Pipers

Marching Drummer


The 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band

My daughter got to try a harp.
Caitlin Tries a Harp

My wife and daughter enjoyed some Alien Corn–out of this world flavor!
Rebecca and Caitlin with Alien Corn

Mmmm…Corn

Alien corn?!? Eeek!
Eeeeeek! Alien Corn

One of the acts we wanted to see was Natalie MacMaster. It was crowded–our “seats” were off to the side and behind, but she was great to watch, anyway.
Natalie MacMaster

We had a great time!
Sandcastle 1

Posted 2013-08-05 by Mr. Guilt in Ohio

Dayton Celtic Festival   1 comment

Last weekend, we went up to Dayton for the Dayton Celtic Festival. Our main purpose was to see Gaelic Storm, our favorite band. You’ve seen them play. It is held at Riverscape Metropark, where they have a great statue honoring the Wright Brothers, with Wilber in flight…
Wright Flyer Statue

…and Orville on the ground (with a helper).
Caitlin and Orville

We did enjoy hearing Gaelic Storm, though we didn’t have the best view. Still, it was a fun time.
Gaelic Storm

Posted 2013-07-30 by Mr. Guilt in Music, Ohio

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