Pimp My Pheasant

Zee Pleasant Pheasant

This is one of the most beautifully colored birds I’ve ever seen… a Golden (or Chinese) Pheasant. They were very shy and stayed mostly under the low-hanging leaves in the shady area. They would dart across the open areas, and just flit around. Very difficult to get a sharp shot because of the movement and lack of light.

We’re Off to See the Lizard

It's Coming to Take You Away, Ha Ha!

This is a komodo dragon at the Atlanta Zoo. It was kind of a spooky feeling when, after being almost motionless for several minutes, it started moving swiftly in my direction, then stopped and moved away. It’s quite a menacing-looking creature.

I looked on Wikipedia for more info, and found this interesting, if disgusting, information:

Komodo dragons are carnivores. Although they eat mostly carrion, they will also ambush live prey with a stealthy approach. When suitable prey arrives near a dragon’s ambush site, it will suddenly charge at the animal and go for the underside or the throat. It is able to locate its prey using its keen sense of smell, which can locate a dead or dying animal from a range of up to 9.5 km (6 miles). Komodo dragons have also been observed knocking down large pigs and deer with their strong tail, as well as deliberately harassing pregnant goats and deer in the hopes of inducing a miscarriage they can consume.

Komodo dragons eat by tearing large chunks of flesh and swallowing them whole while holding the carcass down with their forelegs. For smaller prey up to the size of a goat, their loosely articulated jaws, flexible skull, and expandable stomach allow it to swallow its prey whole. The vegetable contents of the stomach and intestines are typically avoided. Copious amounts of red saliva that the Komodo dragons produce help to lubricate the food, but swallowing is still a long process (15–20 minutes to swallow a goat). Komodo dragons may attempt to speed up the process by ramming the carcass against a tree to force it down its throat, sometimes ramming so forcefully that the tree is knocked down. To prevent itself from suffocating while swallowing, it breathes using a small tube under the tongue that connects to the lungs. After eating up to 80 percent of its body weight in one meal it drags itself to a sunny location to speed digestion, as the food could rot and poison the dragon if left undigested for too long. Because of their slow metabolism, large dragons can survive on as little as 12 meals a year. After digestion, the Komodo dragon regurgitates a mass of horns, hair, and teeth known as the gastric pellet, which is covered in malodorous mucus. After regurgitating the gastric pellet, it rubs its face in the dirt or on bushes to get rid of the mucus, suggesting that it, like humans, does not relish the scent of its own excretions.

All Dressed Up for the Lemur Ball

"... form a love train, love train."

When female lemurs are cold, they form “lemur balls” to stay warm. Apparently, they were only a bit chilly this day, because there weren’t many of them in the ball.

Lemur researchers have recently found that lemurs have some propensity toward understanding simple arithmetic.

Finally, the perfect pet! Cute, cuddly, smart, and can do my taxes!

Meerly a Cat?

"Listen! Did you hear that?!"

Nope, it’s an adorable meerkat at the Atlanta Zoo. Nothing really informative to post about them, they just amuse me. They all behave as if they have major anxiety/paranoia issues. Perhaps a hybrid meerkat/sloth would be the answer?

Serenity

Peace

My heart is so heavy for the people of Japan. I can’t even find the words to express how the situation makes me feel.

I chose to post this picture because I took it at the lake early on Saturday morning after I’d been glued to the TV all of Friday night, not able (actually, not wanting) to fully comprehend the horrible carnage I was seeing. A half a world away, people’s lives were upside down… outside my door, the epitome of calm.

I’ve never seen the fog so thick on the lake, and it lent a surreal air to the quiet of the morning. The heron on the edge of the point moving silently through the still waters, it was so very peaceful.

I felt so fortunate, and so very sad.

Just Thinkin’

"Hmmm... chicken or egg? Egg or chicken?

Well, it’s been almost a month since my last post. I can’t believe how fast time flies!! I haven’t been taking many photos, because I’ve been busy working on getting a side business going, but with Spring coming, I feel sure my photo taking might get back to previous levels.

I went to the zoo on Saturday with Sandee and some of her family, so I just HAD to post at least one photo from that excursion. It was such a perfect day to be out and about. And fortunately, most of the animals were the same way.

This orangutan was so cute. It looked like it was smiling down on us from its high perch. There was a baby orangutan down below this one who was being an absolute clown, but this is the ‘tan that I think I captured better.

I’m sure more zoo photos will follow in the days to come.