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Amusing Myself, or Really, Just Getting Out of the House!

The week began without Bruce, and the week continues without Bruce. What's a girl to do?

Late last week, I considered going to one of my favorite places, the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne. It's actually not in what I call Melbourne because it is only 56 miles away, instead of 70+, but they call it Melbourne, so I will too. Looking on their website, I discovered that on Tuesdays in September the admission is just $3.00, rather than the typical $16.95 for adults. Now that the kids are back in school it can't be too busy on Tuesday or so I thought. I soon discovered I was being seriously naive.

Before leaving I needed gas---lo and behold, check out the price!
Can you imagine? Before I go further, I wanted to mention that the big flag display I showed you from 9/11 last week, was completely removed by Sunday afternoon, surprising me as I thought they would keep it going until it looked crummy?

Anyway, attempting to connect the blue tooth in the car to my phone for music, I discovered I'd left my phone at home. Thankfully I was still within a mile, so no big deal. WELL, pulling up in my driveway, I noticed a fellow out front with this!
Hmmmm....never one to shy away from asking questions, I did just that. He told me he was using the drone to take aerial photos of Nadav and Crystal's house because they were putting it on the market!!!! Well that's just plain disappointing....

Once I arrived at the zoo, the parking lot was pure madness with people parking any place they could squeeze into. Lucky for me, someone was leaving, and I parked in the first row! So, a good start to my trip. As you can imagine, I took a whole lot of photographs which I've tried to edit judiciously. On my last visit, the zebras were shy guys, however, they seem to have adjusted to their environment and are easy to see.
The dark chocolate brown is just beautiful on this Grevy's Zebra. Adjacent to this area is the ever popular giraffe section. Seriously, are they magnificent creatures, or what?
I learned from one of the handy volunteers that in the spring two baby calves were born, one of whom now resides at the pathetic zoo in our area. I've mentioned before that there are five acres in which the five giraffes have to roam, along with impalas, whom are pretty beautiful themselves.
If you can believe it, and I was hard pressed to, the weather was not too hot, with a slight breeze which felt shocking after months of weather related misery. A high wooden platform allows you to walk out among the animals in the Africa area, as well as allowing you a good view of Lemur island. At first I could not see the Ring-Tailed Lemurs, however, after close inspection, I found them in the trees.
Before I go further, and excuse me if it is jarring, but I'll forget if I don't link to this here and now. A very brief, albeit incredible, video of a humpback whale and a couple in a kayak. Don't miss it!

Having been to the zoo multiple times I felt like I'd seen most of the animals before, however, this little guy stole my heart yesterday. I feel fairly confidant I'd not seen a Klipspringer before. 
Can we just all say...awww? 

No visit is complete without a photograph of the West African Crowned Cranes...gorgeous birds.
Onward to Australia to see the kangaroo and joey, except they were hiding, so I continued on until I came to the aviary. Happy to do so, I might add. The breeze I was so eager to share with you was not without a purpose....it began raining and I don't mean sprinkling. Fortunately I'd arrived in the aviary before the heavens opened because there was a little roof there to keep about twenty five of us sort of dry. 
It rained and rained..the cockateels were flying everywhere, the ducks were making a racket, as were the children, who, by the way, surprised me with their presence as I thought they would be in school. Perhaps they were being homeschooled? After a bit, the rain lessened, and I became restless, so I went into the next section; much to my great surprise, this bird, from the Turaco family, held quite still for a photograph. 
Talk about a beauty!! Under those violet wings there are red feathers which look downright amazing when they fly. Showing you what I mean, I'll include this very blurry shot. 
According to the Wikipedia article, linked above, the crimson feathers are highly prized by the Swazi and Zulu royal families. 

The rain continued, albeit softly, as I made my way into the Lorikeet feeding area, generally chock full of people, but hardly a soul during my visit. They are darn cute birds as well.
Soaking wet is what they were! As were the emus:
Taking a wrong turn on my way to see the Jaguars, I soon regretted it because once again the heavens opened, soaking yours truly to the skin before finding shelter! I'd been scurrying by most everything else because of the rain threat; finally, after it slowed down, I did the same, eventually finding what I was looking for. Absolutely worth the trip! More often than not it is hard to spot the big cats, but not this time. In fact, they were almost too close!
Yup, right up against the wall with the big glass for viewing. One cub stayed snuggled up with Mom, while another was but a few feet away. I suspect they were happier out of the rain, as was I. Lots of oohing and aahing by everyone who saw this sweet sight!

Finally, and I suspect you are having photo fatigue at this point, one last shot of one of my favorite birds, a Sandhill Crane. I've always loved the heart shape on their head....
Having just about all I could take of the rain, I decided it was time to make my leave. Generally I hate driving during massive storms so I was delighted that during the drive home it was, what is the opposite of massive?? Tolerable, that works.

Some big headaches for Bruce, along with some victories.....he is hanging in there, but he did tell me he was tired of eating out. I feel the same after a few days, don't you?

Keeping the home fires burning,

Gail







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