Sunday Box Talk – On Artistic Blocks, Fear, and Forward Movement

As many of know, I'm an author.  Last July, my coauthor Rachel Wilder and I decided to go independent with our Chicagoland Shifters series.  That's when the trouble started.  It was as though I was a creative car engine, and I ran out of oil.  I had plenty of gas, but no lubricant and the engine locked up.  Boom.  Nothing. Artistic blocks are frustrating because there's nothing visibly wron...
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The A To Z of the Zoo – A Retrospective

2016-05-09 A-to-Z Reflection [2016]
As is the custom after the A to Z Blogging Challenge, participants prepare reflections posts that discuss what they learned from the challenge, what worked, and what didn't. Plus, I have zebras. First, the Lonely Zebra That Wasn't The last week or so of April, I cause the nasty cold virus that's going around and it horse-kicked me into the barn.  I don't often get sick, but when I do...  ...
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Zebras Aren’t For Riding

2016-04-30 Pic 1
Garçon!  Where is mah ordehr!? The peacocks roam free at the Brookfield Zoo, and it's a lot of fun to run across them as they wander up and down the footpaths.  And then we came upon this brazen fellow. Is it any surprise at all that I wanted to go up and pet him? I know, Dear Reader; I know.  But sadly, on this, the last day of the challenge, I could not find ANY pictures of zebras!  Not...
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Yes, It’s Snow Leopards!

2016-04-29 Pic 1
And so, Dear Reader, I reprise my topic of a few days ago, the majestic snow leopard.  Now, don't be like that; I did actually find a "Y" animal at the zoo, the Yellow Spotted Toad; but, all due respect to my husband, I am not a herper and toads do not excite me. Besides.  The toad just sat there.  And nobody ever got eaten by a toad, so there. Moving right along... These pictures are...
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Xtreme Birds

The Andean Condor has a wingspan of over twelve feet and is one of the largest birds in the world.  He is a scavenger, a type of buzzard.  He's got black and white wings and red eyes and a really.big.beak. One day in December when we visited the zoo, we stood watching the condors and the bigger one knocked the littler one of its perch.  Now, I assume this is a mated pair, i.e. a female ...
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Water Dragon!

This, my friends, is an Australian Water Dragon!  Unfortunately, my two favorite shots of him are covered in glare from the glass in front of his enclosure, but this gives you a clear idea of what he looks like.  He's about three feet long. Pretty impressive breath-holding skillz, nu? Hmm.  Watcha got there, human? He looks like he's plotting something, doesn't he? o.O... ...
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Varanids, Varanids Everywhere!

Until I did the A to Z of the Zoo Challenge for myself, I had no idea what a varanid was.  I'd heard the term, of course; having a herper for a husband means that you'll have passing acquaintance with things like, well, herper, and varanid, and uromastix, and all sorts of other impossible Latinates that herpers use to converse about their favorite animals: herps. So what's a varanid? Well, t...
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What Izzit!?

Today It's Uromastyx! Uro-what? Yeah, that's what I said. "Honey, I need a 'U' for my A to Z challenge." Husband:  "Hmm.  How about Uromastyx?" Me:  "Huh?" "You know, Uromastyx.  C'mon, I'll show you!" And so, Dear Reader, I shall show you the letter for today: Cute little bugger, inne?  His other name is "Spiny-Tailed Lizard," because he's got a spiny tail. Pugnac...
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The Trouble with Tigers

The challenge with big cats is that they sleep twenty hours a day.  Take this fellow for instance, the Amur Tiger.  He's sleeping. A lot. He's also not the most friendly beast on the planet.  One of our visits, the zookeeper told us that he bit off his daughter's tail and killed his son, so they're obviously never on display at the same time.  I can't see closely enough to tell if th...
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Been Waiting ALL Month For This!

And this, my Dear Reader, is Sarani, the queen snow leopard of the Brookfield Zoo.  Last year, she gave birth to two female cubs, Malaya and Daania.  I love watching these majestic animals, and the viewing glass lets me be near enough to practically touch them. One of our visits in December, we found all three of them curled up on each other.  Sarani's resting her head on one of her dau...
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