Saturday, January 18, 2014

NC Zoo

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The boys and I went to the NC Zoo yesterday.  We usually go once each trackout, and we were running out of time and good weather days.  Of particular interest this trip was the new polar bear, Patches.  Patches, who was born at the zoo in Omaha, NE, had already moved one time to the zoo in Eerie, PA. The Eerie zoo needed to rehome Patches, and the NC Zoo eagerly accepted her.  She's 26 years old, which is pretty old for a polar bear, and she is still getting used to her new habitat since she only relocated in November.  Thankfully, we were able to make the polar bear keeper talk.  The keeper threw an ice block with fish in it into the water, and Patches eventually dove in and swam to get it.  We were up top listening and watching but quickly ran down to the underwater glass viewing area to enjoy the action.  We also enjoyed viewing the sea lions, baby gorillas, and lions as well a the other animals and foliage at the zoo.

The NC Zoo is currently building a new polar bear exhibit, and Patches is currently in the old exhibit.  If I understood the keeper correctly, when the new exhibit is complete, the zoo will have 3 separate polar bear habitats, so they will be able to house 3 or more bears at one time depending on male/femlate and if they get along.  There were a lot of new enhancements to the Kids Zone area right across from the polar bear exhibit too.  Kids Zone will reopen in April, and the polar bear exhibit should be done by the end of the summer.

Note, the zoo hosts some of their photos on SmugMug!

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Clock and Shadow

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The new coffee/gift shop at The Museum of Life and Science in Durham has several gear/see through type clocks for sale and in use.  I thought they were really cool and took several pictures.  I smiled wondering how many other people took pictures with their coffee:-)

Here is a cherished shot of Aunt Debbie and the boys at the museum.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Leaf Latte

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My friend Debbie treated me to  latte at the new coffee shop at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham today.  To my surprise, the barista put this cool fern leaf on top.  Too cool and of course I had to take pics.  I isolated the background so I could apply a blur to it and increase the dof  look.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Resting Train

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There's an interesting story behind this picture.  The boys and I were out running errands, and it was rainy and around 50 degrees.  I have been taking and posting a few weather related pictures to this app called Wezzoo.  It's kindof cool, if you have interesting weather, or not, you can share a picture of it with other like-minded weather folks all over the world.  It's kindof like Instagram but just for weather.  So, I decided the train would be a good addition to my weather shot of the rain and gray sky.  The boys and I love trains, and we often stop to visit these trains on the track in Fuquay-Varina.  So, we're sitting in the car in a restaurant parking lot talking about the train, and I'm taking pictures.  I think I hear the train engine start and then the engineer blow the horn.  I'm trying to get Johnny to notice the engine noise.  Johnny is trying to tell me there's a garbage truck behind us.  OK, but hear the train?  Next thing I know, there is a really loud toot from the garbage truck horn.  OH!  There's a garbage truck behind us and he wants to get to the large bin in front of me.  Oops.  I move...  Needless to say, our train watching was over for the day!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Just Another Old Barn

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I took a drive yesterday starting my hunt for letter shaped objects.  I stopped to take a picture of some high voltage power lines, and this barn also caught my eye.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Barn in the Late Day Sun

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I pass this barn every day as I come and go from Fuquay-Varina to our home.  I have often wanted to take a picture of it, but the distance across the field, the trees growing up in front of it, and the light have lessened my enthusiasm.  Yesterday I noticed the late day light really warming up the westerly side of the barn, and I decided I should stop and try to take a worthwhile pic.  I took quite a few far away and close-up.  Vertical and horizontal.  Bracketed and regular.  Donnie helped me review what I had and said he liked the vertical I've posted as my daily the best.  I kindof like the horizontal faded version below.  I'm not really happy with any of them, but I am glad I stopped to try to get a good shot anyway.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014


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For  mockingbird, this guy is pretty reasonable.  After the bluebirds eat the mealworms they want, he comes in and cleans the plate.  There are always 5+ bluebirds, and I have not seen him try to push them away from the plate or interrupt them.  I'll keep my eye on him, though;-)

Here's another bird out my window...this one a window cling so the real birds don't run into the window.  So far, these gel clings are working great.  I had two soft hits prior to putting them up and none since.  I have seen birds turn for the window, obviously see the clings, and veer off.  Whew.

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