Oh! Deer Me!

Young Doe I was surprised as she was. Our eyes met simultaneously and the realization of what we saw froze us both. The young doe seemed more curious than afraid, no flight instinct was apparent. She just stood there while I took several pictures, as if modeling for the paparazzi. After a while she sauntered … Continue reading Oh! Deer Me!

Thistle

Musk Thistle Late summer, the beautiful Musk Thistle appears in pastures and road sides. The hummingbirds love it, the farmers hate it. It is considered a noxious weed. Contrary to popular belief, the Musk Thistle is not poisonous to cattle. The main beef (pun intended) against the Musk thistle is its thorny stalk and spiked … Continue reading Thistle

Big Snapper

Snapping Turtle The oldest and largest Common Snapping Turtle in the world resides at the Schramm Educational Center south of Gretna, NE. Over 80 years old and weighing 95 lbs, he is a crowd pleaser at feeding time. As ferocious as he looks, a head scratch from his handler is always welcome. Thought for the … Continue reading Big Snapper

Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Rest Stop First of July and the butterfly garden looks to be in good shape. In full bloom are Gaillardia (yellow), miniature Cone Flower (pink) and Soapwort (white), commonly called "Bouncing Betty". Behind these colorful perennials are Common Milkweed, where Monarch Butterfly lay their eggs. Also, Goldenrod, Nebraska's state flower, and giant Sunflower. I'm … Continue reading Butterfly Garden

Striped Sentries

On Watch Zebras have keen eyesight. You often see them in pairs looking in opposite directions on the "Endless Plain" of the Serengeti, keeping an eye out for predators as the rest of the herd grazes. By comparison, wildebeest have poor eyesight so they travel along with the zebra for protection. Wildebeest have a knack … Continue reading Striped Sentries

Circle of Life

Vulture on Zebra Carcass While on safari in Tanzania, the scenes and songs from the movie, "Lion King" often popped into my head. But none more than the lyrics of "The Circle of Life". Some say eat or be eaten Some say live and let live But all are agreed as they join the stampede … Continue reading Circle of Life

Marabou Stork

Marabou Stork Storks enjoyed a favorable connotation when I was a kid. The myth about the stork delivering babies was known world wide, and illustrations always presented them pleasantly; i.e. happy, friendly, trustworthy, reliable, etc. That reputation was shattered when I met the Marabou Stork in its natural habitat -- the local garbage dump in … Continue reading Marabou Stork

Wildebeest Feast

Cheetah and Cubs A four-month old cub stands watch as Mom and sibling enjoy the rump of a freshly killed wildebeest. This was observed by over a dozen safari trucks parked in a semi-circle about 30 yards away. Safari drivers share information about major animal sightings, and cooperate in "circling the wagons" to provide good … Continue reading Wildebeest Feast

White Water

Roaring Forks Falls The Smoky Mountains NP has over 2,900 miles of clear mountain streams, which are fed from over 85" of annual rainfall in the higher elevations. The steep mountain sides create roaring streams with hundreds of water falls. Books are written about the top 50 falls, most scenic, tallest, etc. Roaring Forks Falls … Continue reading White Water

Pretty Bird

Lied Jungle - Henry Doorly Zoo I have no idea what kind of bird this is. The local zoo, world famous Henry Doorly, needs to improve their signage in the Lied Jungle. Why? The animals, especially birds, are never seen close to the informational sign attached to the visitor's boardwalk. Monkeys and land animals are … Continue reading Pretty Bird

Howlers

Howler Monkey There are always new "finds" at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. No matter how often you go, there is always a new adventure. I've been in the Lied Jungle several times, one of the world's largest indoor rain forests, and have seen every species of monkey. But, this time a Howler … Continue reading Howlers

Butterfly Convention

Butterfly Convention On a sunny spring day, I noticed a swarm of butterflies in Cades Cove, a beautiful section of Smoky Mountains NP. Several different types of butterflies were all in the same small area. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that all of them were concentrating on one particular spot in the grass. It looked … Continue reading Butterfly Convention