Zoo vs Sanctuary vs Nature Center

Zoo versus sanctuary versus nature center versus the outdoors. I enjoy observing and photographing animals. I most likely will not see exotic animals in the wild. So watching these animals that were born in the zoo is my next best thing.

Here in Sacramento there are different places to observe wild animals. As a member of the Sacramento Zoo I frequently photograph the over 500 animals. In the almost 40 years I have been here this zoo has continued to change and improve the habitats of its animals. Being an AZA accredited zoo means 21st century guidelines need to be met. Efforts are now being made to move to a new location to allow this continued growth and expansion. In May a proposal is being submitted. Shall the Sacramento Zoo remain where it is and update and stay small or move to a location allowing it to grow? I am proud of this zoo and will support either option.

Stripes and more stripes

The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary receives animals that can not be released back into the wild. It is a safe place for wild animals. I have visited here a couple of times, and while it doesn’t have the variety of animals it does have its own charm. Animals are given names. In its early history a bear named Smokey caused a bit of a commotion as I found out by reading the following from their website.

Smokey became famous when the U.S. government contended only the “Smokey” known for forest fire prevention could use that name. The community rallied behind the Folsom Smokey and worldwide publicity brought even more support. Eventually the government relented and Smokey retained his name. Smokey passed away in 1984.

Folsom Zoo Sanctuary that does not have a large following. Plenty of local schools come here.
Zoo docent pointing out that bears like to eat ears of corn. Quite juicy.


Photographers are challenged to capture enclosure-free looking images here. Even using a wide open aperture it is hard to get past the cage bars.

Brown Bear enjoying corn on the cob!
Peacocks have free roaming privileges to visit Henry the Bear!
Peacock spotted.
Cougar staring contest!
Looks like kids are in cages.
Deer are found in a gully within the Folsom Zoo

The Sacramento Zoo enclosures can be masked by camera settings most of the time. Though I hear there are plans to change out the enclosures to glass. Wonder why since there is the talk of moving the zoo?

I captures these Wolf Guenons through a fence. So cute!
This African Lion was taken through a fence. This fellow likes to pose!
I have been privileged to see many of this lioness’s cubs.
Located in Carmichael the Effie Yeaw Nature Center is a popular place. Many families visit, and school field trips are developed to support science, and social science curriculums.

Many times a staff member will accommodate photographers and bring a bird out for show.

Barn Owl

Roaming the nature trails I can see deer, wild turkeys, hares, and sometime coyotes.

Plenty of birds to be heard and sometimes seen. Woodpeckers, turkey vultures, and some unknown to me birds.

Showing off those tail feathers!

Often I will meet up with a group of bird watchers. Butterflies, and caterpillars can be found. Walk down to the American River and you can spot ducks, egrets and an occasional turkey vulture enjoying a feast.

Turkey Vultures carefully observing their prey.
Fishing in the American River
Foggy morning fishermen heading toward the American River
Families exploring nature
My grandchildren a couple of years ago

I like the way the sun hits this buck.
Frogs found in the pond near the entrance.Fou
First photograph I sold of this abandoned bee hive.

I am glad that there is a variety of ways to enjoy nature, and view animals here in Sacramento. I know that a wild life safari to Africa is not in my future. Besides, I could not even hold up the size lens I would need to capture great images. So I am content to visit these different settings for my nature fix! What is your feeling about where you seek out animals.

I had hopes of going to the Sacramento Zoo last week with my photo friends. But now I am the full time care person for my dog Libby. I believe that the tumor on her spine is pressing against a nerve and probably making her foot tingle. Unfortunately she can’t talk. Her rear right back paw is not heeling after the toe amputation, and every day is more alarming than the previous day.

I am now changing her bandage using a wet-to-dry method. This is a many step procedure. She is such a good patient. Someone has to watch her 24/7. She has a way of pulling off the bandage, and trying to tend to the wound herself even with an extra large cone. The other day I woke up to bloody paw prints throughout my house.

Her very wounded paw.

Almost looked like a crime scene. Got out my Simple Solution pet stain remover. This stuff works great! Now Libby and I are sleeping in our “Rest Haven” with a cone on and a leash attached to my wrist. Heeling her foot is the only way to keep her alive. And I hope that when her foot heels she does not go after it again!

Thanksgiving at home

For the past couple of years I have celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents at their place of residence. Easy for me, I just had to show up and be served. I kept saying was I was spending time with family, and that’s what mattered.

But I missed the smells throughout the house. Then there was the leftovers that I enjoy even more the next day. Growing up Thanksgiving always happened at my house. My father and mother would get up super early and stuff the turkey. Then house cleaned, Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade on the television, and the table set. My aunts, uncles and cousins would start arriving in the afternoon. Sometimes some of the cousins would stay overnight. Sometimes a couple of friends would be invited to join us.

So this year I decided that I wanted to bring Thanksgiving back to my house. I invited my Mom, my daughter and her family, and my son and his family. Asked my brother to join us and he drove up from Southern California with a friend for Libby, Lola his Chocolate Lab. Vegetarian requirements and Thanksgiving with friends kept my son’s family in the Bay Area. Plans were set for 10. And two dogs, and two cats. This is a good number for getting back to cooking for a group. My granddaughter spent the night before, but she didn’t want to help stuff the bird. She helped make the corn bread as baking was more her thing.

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Turkey stuffed and ready for the oven. Beanie Baby Turkey looks on.

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Fully cooked and smelling great!

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Brother Carving the Turkey

Many smiles at the dinner table. I did not spend too much time with my photography. I wanted to spend time with the family, and not play the role of documentary photographer. This is the first Thanksgiving without my Dad, and I was glad to have family around me.

Plenty of food, plenty of filled tummies, and plenty of excitement.

When my guests left I checked my email, and found the distressing news that my Uncle Mark passed away on Thanksgiving at 104 years of age. Not unexpected, but nevertheless so soon after my father’s passing. The last of the brothers are now gone.

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Uncle Mark in 2004 taken during a visit to Florida

Here’s to holidays with family!

 

Baby Countdown – Final Week

By next week I will be welcoming my fifth grandchild into the world. Because gestational diabetes bumps up this pregnancy to high risk, baby Lucas and mom Rachel are carefully monitored. Lucas has until November 23rd to make his appearance naturally.

Something new to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Planning for this holiday has gotten complicated over the years.   At the start of my marriage I participated in two dinners. In-laws served dinner early, and a short car ride to my parents and another dinner. Family spread out, and work schedule often would not allow time for travel, and I started to make Thanksgiving at home. Kids grew up, and new issues have left me up in the air about the holiday. The big family dinner around the decorated table never happened.  When my parents lived independently at Eskaton I would have dinner with them. In theory, this sounds nice. Someone to take care of the work, sit sown and have an enjoyable meal. But this was not the case. My Mom did not want to take part, my Dad did not hold up any kind of conversation, and I ended up in a sad place. Then off to my daughter’s house for a second dinner.  With new baby in the mix, plans are again up in the air.

Since my parents have moved to FountainWood, assisted living, they have not visited my home.  Many familiar pieces of furniture are now part of my home, and this may prove problematic.   I’m not sure if my parents would do well with a bit of chaos from kids, pets,  and change in surroundings. Tried to take Mom and Dad out for lunch for my Dad’s birthday, and that didn’t work out at all.

I have to decide. Safe and quiet and guilt ridden. Or chaos and guiltless sadness. This is probably why so many television episodes and movies have comedic twists on this holiday. Check out some funny Thanksgiving disasters as you decide on holiday plans.

I'm watching you.

I’m watching you.

I have mixed reactions to seeing all the family dinners served to us in television commercials. So much food to  prepare for one day, but  I do love leftovers.  I’m glad that there is less “Black Friday” craziness. Some stores remain closed on Thanksgiving.  After all that food is prepared, and all the family comes together it seems a shame to get up and leave for the mall.

But first things first.  Birth of Baby Lucas. Followed by Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas season, Eli’s 4th birthday and New Years to round out the 2015 year.

Baby contractions and calls from Rachel have me up finishing this blog.

One last photograph from my turkey collection.

Turkey Face Off

Turkey Face Off

November 19th would have been my father-in-laws 91st birthday. One of the good guys! RIP Jerry. May be a good day to be born!