Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dogsled home and a day at the zoo.....

We are currently in Foley, Alabama but we were without internet connection for a couple of weeks. I will post the missing blogs in order and will be caught up in a few days. Sorry for the long dry spell. 

Our Location: Gunter Hill Campground, Montgomery, Al

(Jan 12, 2017 post)

A fantastic night, warm and wonderful. The day was exceptional and warmed up as it went along, we managed to get into the high 70’s/25-30 C by afternoon. Blue skies, sunny, warm breeze, it just doesn’t get any better. Perfect weather!!
One of the aviaries we visited full of various kinds, colours of Parakeets.

After breakfast we decided we’d go for a walk as we couldn’t drive, the Dogsled was still not home. We hadn’t managed to get more than to dump our garbage when my phone rang, it was Will from Will’s Automotive, Dogsled was ready. He would bring it to us, we needed to give a Credit Card number to him so he could bring a receipt of the bill as well. We hurried home to give him a call back with the number and bingo, we were now facing a day with possibilities after all. Since it would be about a half hour until the Dogsled came home we decided to take a short walk around the loop to view a few other spots that we would pick to park if we ever come back to the area. 

Dwarf Calamen

Back home we started to remove things from the basement as it was due for a cleaning. We were about half finished removing things when Will pulls up in our Dogsled followed by a fella in his truck. A bit less than $300 USD was the final bill. The issue was a rusted thru fuel heater in the line under the tank. He didn’t have one but just removed this one and put a straight thru line in it’s place. Suited me fine. He also explained the underside was very rusty and I should consider getting a different Dogsled to haul with in the future. This of course I already knew and have been browsing for a newer one already. The fella with him made a comment that  the newer ones don’t have the same hauling capacity as this one and I should look for one in good shape down in this area the same as what I have. His buddies that have newer ones think the tow capacity isn’t as good on their newer trucks. Something else to think about I guess. 

Sloth Bear

We finished cleaning out the basement, vacuumed and replaced everything, looks and smells better. ~laugh~ I also topped up the batteries with water, climbed up on the roof to ensure the panels were still in place and nothing loose or dangling. (I didn’t do this earlier as I need to remove my ladder from the Igloo ladder and it’s been too cold, damp and ugly plus I’ve been busy until today) All of our chores and work list complete we decided we would head off for the zoo today. Only debate was what to wear, too hot for this, too cool for that…..decisions, decisions.
Siamang, swinging on his ropes, having a great time. Sometimes he just used one hand.

We headed off to the Montgomery Zoo around 10:30 am, it was a mere 11 miles away. About 20 minutes of driving and we arrived at our destination. The zoo is sandwiched between two schools. I’m not sure how wise that is, the aroma on a hot day must be wonderful. ~laugh~ Plus if an animal escapes, well on a weekday they would have a target rich environment. Anyway, I thought the planning could have been a bit better. 
Momma and Jr.

The cost for the zoo was $15 USD and the museum was $7 USD. We opted for the zoo only, we’ve toured enough museums for a few days. The zoo is divided into continents. We thought about a train ride or a sky ride on a lift but instead thought walking might be best. We followed our map as best we could and eventually figured out the system. Picture taking was difficult in some areas as the glass partitions were dirty, smudged and scratched, so they weren’t glass but probably plexiglass. This resulted in glare, reflections, blurry, fuzzy pics in some cases. Also some of the exhibits have wire cages with the holes in the wire making it almost impossible to see anything in the pictures as the holes are so close together it looks more like mesh than wire.  Looking with the eye was fine but the pictures weren’t always great. So keeping that in mind, excuse some of the pictures today. 

Green Tree snake

Among the creatures we witnessed today were Parakeets, Macaws, Gazelle’s, Elephants, Ostrich, Alligators, Monkeys, Bears, Sloth Bears, Bengal Tigers, Maned Wolf, Anteaters, Canadian Lynx, Giraffes, Bison, Bonteboks,Elk, Deer, Rhino, Lions, Pygmy Hippo, cheetah, black Jaguars, Flamingos, Peacocks, Kangaroo, numerous snakes, turtles, Lizards, Geese, Bald Eagle, Condors, and ducks. I know there are more but that gives you an idea of what we viewed today. 

One of three elephants.

A few things we found interesting: something called a Maned Wolf, looks like a big red fox. Although he was sleeping and hard to see, I truly thought it was a large red fox. The color was the same, the nose was pointy not blunt and the ears were fine, pointy, smallish, not thick, blunt and large like a wolf. Sloth Bears: look similar to a black bear except around the face. It has a long sad looking face, or perhaps a sleepy looking face would be a better description. It tends to sit on it’s backside much like a human instead of on it’s haunches. Numerous varieties of Monkeys included the Emperor Tamarin which had a huge handlebar type mustache of a different color than it’s body and tail. The tail and body were different colours from each other as well. It was like a three toned body. ~laugh~ Black handed spider monkeys were more social with each other, and seemed very clannish compared to the other monkeys we seen.

Cheetah and Black Jaguars (this black kitty was the cub)

 Many of the animals were grouped in one large area, while others had only one animal per area. We walked thru a couple of aviaries with parakeets and Ibis as well as other birds that were just wandering around and flitting back and forth over head. We enjoyed the vast variety of monkeys, one particular black Siamang was enjoying his ropes, swinging and changing ropes as easily as could be. Riley was concerned that the Peacocks were just flying/walking around, not in cages. I think she thought everything should be caged. ~laugh~
We noticed a number of turtles and Canadian Geese in many of the areas, as well as ducks. The Geese I’m sure just landed there and stayed for the winter but the others seemed to be totally at home among the animals as well. We did see a huge Alligator Snapping Turtle, not as big as Big Al from Riverquarim in Albany, but still pretty big. 

Great Indian Rhinoceros and a Canada Goose

Monty the Pygmy Hippo and the cub were cute and snuffled a lot. Their hides looked almost indestructible. Tough, leathery, thick. Similar but different than the Great Indian Rhino who’s hide appeared to be almost armor like with thick plates of outer hide covering various parts of the body. It too looked thick, leathery but tougher some how. More like an alligator but still different in some way. Similar to the back of a turtle shell but again, different in some way. 

Banteng (like the cow type thing seen in MASH)

We wrapped up our tour of the zoo by around 1:30 and headed home. Such a wonderfully warm afternoon we both sat outside reading for a couple of hours. Inside for a nap to catch up on some much needed sleep I guess. ~laugh~ I do wear out from all this activity. 

Monty and cub are Pygmy Hippos

It was nice enough for Riley to have the big door open while I BBQ’ed dinner, but I was in long pants, a heavy sweater and shoes. It was warm, 61 F/16C  according to the thermometer but I found it cool.

Dinner was Dill Potatoes with onions, Garlic Veggies, and Southern Peach BBQ sauced chicken breast. Mmmm it was delicious.

Clean up inside and out, some pics of the moon with my phone camera but didn’t turn out. The moon is full and peeking thru the trees it was nice to see. Critters in the wooded area between sites caused me to get my flash light out to ensure I had no company while cooking dinner. ~laugh~ Some shiny eyes made me think probably coons or opossums instead of squirrels which are many thru the daytime. I don’t think squirrel eyes shine but then again I don’t know. ~laugh~

Inside to edit some pictures from the zoo, we took 352 pics today. Now I go thru them, edit, sort, discard, and label them. That’s a lot of pictures. ~laugh~

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit. Until next time…be safe, take care……

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