Thursday, September 22, 2011

Amur Leopard at Binghamton Zoo

The Amur leopard didn't fall for the purring ploy. 

There are less than 50 Amur leopards remaining in the world in far Western Russia, in the same fragile region as the Amur tiger. They are classified critically endangered. There are also very few in captivity. The genetic pool is tiny and growing weaker.

Go see this magnificent cat in Binghamton; find a group working for survival of the Amur leopard and consider joining it. Reflect on how small the planet has become.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cougar at Binghamton Zoo

There were very few other people at the zoo when I visited, and I had the two large cats to myself.

The cougar was pacing furiously as I approached and was further agitated by a zoo truck that drove by.

I purred. Loudly. 

It took notice, looked at me and eased its pacing. Fairly soon, in two elegant leaps, it got upon its highest shelf, lay down and, acting like other kitties, rubbed its head on the shelf, softened its eyes, relaxed and took cat naps. It is not asleep here, just enjoying being purred at! It was several minutes of magic.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fennec Fox, Vulpes zerda, at Binghamton Zoo

There are two at Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park. Playful and curious, they are the smallest of all canids. They live  in the Sahara Desert and the Arabian Peninsula, and are perfectly adapted to life in a hot and dry place. Those ears are air conditioners. 

We find a fennec fox in Antoine de Saint Exupery's The Little Prince

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bumblebee on the Blue Mist Shrub

Blue Mist Shrub is a late bloomer. As soon as the flowers open, the bumblebees come. 

The shrub in flower is usually in motion though there might be no wind and one might not notice the bumblebees right away. The impossible lightness of these creatures alighting causes the branches to bob up and down.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spiny Soft Shell Turtle at NYS Fair

The DEC Aquarium Building is permanent and always fascinating. 

I apologize that these photos are not up to par. It was plain difficult to get this guy because he (I think it is a he because of the size) was always in almost frantic motion. I can also blame it on the light, the crowds, and any number of other factors.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Garter Snakes in the White Mountains

An extended family of garter snakes live in the retaining wall in front of AMC's Zealand Falls hut, offering endless opportunity for close looks and speculation about how deep into the wall they are able to go to withstand the cold of White Mountain winters.