Gone Visiting – Monday Road Trip, Jingle, Jangle, Jungle

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In 2014, when I participated in the A to Z Blog Challenge, they had a neat feature for the post-challenge period called the A to Z Road Trip.  Visiting other blogs in the list and commenting allowed the participant to hit blogs they didn’t get to during the challenge itself.  While I’m not sure if they’ll have this for the 2016 challenge, I figured what the hay, I’ll do it on my own.

My visit today is to a blog called Jingle, Jangle, Jungle: a blog about music, artists, and the stories behind them.

The theme for this year is “Women In Music.”  Wow!  What a neat idea.  Plus, this blogger finished all their posts in February – a feat in and of itself, I might add.  Even a death in the family and a serious fall didn’t deter from the challenge itself, and that’s even more impressive.  Sort of takes all the excuses for not writing and throws them out the window.  This is, all things considered, a good thing.

Happy blogging!

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

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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 wrong  But it’s like we’re bleeding to death with no blood coming out.  And it’s incredibly difficult to talk about, because, after all, there’s nothing tangible that’s wrong.  If we say something to the wrong person, we risk further blockage, requiring us to practice vigilant self-care in selecting our friends.  I remember I told someone I was having a block, and she guffawed a loud bark.  “A blocked Noony isn’t the same as anyone else blocked.”  Only, it is, and I was, and damn it, it’s hard to get support.

Apropos of which, if you are feeling tuck, or clotted, or a vague yearning to make or write something, honor that and get help.  The Artist’s Way is a great resource, as is a good therapist.  So is taking a class or meeting with a friend to make or write something, no matter how small.

But my point in writing this is to say, there’s been forward movement.  In December, we did “Six Geese Laid – A Holiday Fable,” set in the world of the Chicagoland Shifters  In March, I was accepted to the Romance Divas Mentor Boot Camp and get to work with bestselling author Violet Vaughn.

In working with Violet, I’ve gotten Cat’s Cradle up on Apple and Barnes and Noble.  I’m working on Kobo and ARe (All Romance eBooks).  CreateSpace is nearly ready; I just have to fix the footers.

I know in business, speed to market is critical to success and sometimes a key differentiator between success and failure.  I feel like I did everything wrong with our indie launch, but it’s taught me some important lessons:

  1. Just show up.  You can’t get the job done if you don’t get to work.
  2. “Right” is none of my business.  Just do the next task.
  3. Blockage is real.  I am not lazy, I’m blocked.
  4. I can get unblocked.
  5. Blocks are a normal part of the artist’s life.
  6. Asking for help is a sign of strength, especially when it doesn’t feel like it.
  7. It’s hard to work a full time job, have a functioning family, be a writer, and an indie author.  That’s a lot of balls to keep in the air.
  8. I like challenges.  The December gym challenge got me to the gym 25 days in a row, and the April A to Z Blog Challenge got me blogging daily on three blogs, plus two team blogs and guest posts.
  9. Sometimes, you need to just fucking do it.  I started a Facebook group for Writer Zen Garden – I kept waiting for the right time and realized if I kept doing that, I’d wait forever.
  10. PTSD and anorexia suck.  In case you were wondering.

The moral of this story, or the “key takeaway” in corpspeak, is that the only failure is not getting back up.  In July, I got Cat’s Cradle up on Amazon. I still haven’t figured out what stopped me putting it on the other vendor sites, but something did.  Self-sabotage, most likely.  Rather than sit and reflect on that, I can work with Violet and other writer friends and move forward, however slowly, to get it out on the other sites.  I’m still not finished, but each experience teaches me something.  For example, next time, I may hire someone to do the uploads.  It is probably worth the money to pay them to do it quickly and efficiently, rather than this eight month lag-time and shame-fest that I’ve been drowning in.

If you’re reading this and seeing any echoes of your own experience, know this:  just start now.  Start where you are, today.  Make something.  Write some words.  And most of all, forgive yourself for yesterday.  We can only control where we are now, int eh present day.  So own it, own your dream, and own your progress.

We can do this.

Write on.

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…  Yeah, yeah.  Thank you, Dos Equis man.  But seriously, this cold stinks.  So I was frantically trying to keep up with my daily challenge posts, which I usually forward-posted on the weekend so I’d have time to visit my fellow challengers each day.  But as it got down to the wire, and I got sicker and sicker, it got harder and harder to do.

And then the last day came.

I was a day behind!  Oh noes!  But never fear, I’ve got at least three challenge prep trips to the zoo under my belt, plus all my other zoo trips if needed, to make my final challenge post of Z Is For Zebra.

Only… there were NO zebras!  Not in my March zoo trip.  Not in either December zoo trips.  Not in my last couple zoo trips.  Not in my phone.  By the time a half hour had gone by, and I was dragging and needed to go to bed, I had to face facts.

My last post of the challenge would be sans animal.

Never fear.  I am nothing if not resourceful in the face of danger!  And, there are plenty of peacock pics.  I lurve me some peacocks!  So not to be deterred on that, the last day of the challenge, my zebra post featured a peacock, a meme, and my fattest cat.

See?  And who said challenges were for the faint of heart?

But today, Dear Reader, the day of my Reflections post, I have Zebra!  Will post!  Read on, MacDuff…

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So we went to the zoo on Mother’s Day, which also happened to be my birthday.  I told my family, we must find zebras!  No worries, there are plenty of zebras.  They are always wandering around their enclosure, nibbling at hay, and being cute.

We arrived, and all we saw were butts.  Three butts.  Zebra butts.  But butts they were, and butts they remained – despite calling, and cooing, and clicking, and “Hey, you!”

We gave up, our sad intrepid little band, and made it to the okapi enclosure when it happened.

The most loud, awful, non-donkey donkey racket we’ve ever heard in our lives.  It sounded like a cross between an angry emu and a mule arguing politics.  (You think I’m kidding?)  So we trekked back to try and find what made the noise and found this lovely fellow.

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For those of you adults in the audience, even though you can’t quite see it in the shadows, it became immediately apparent why he’d been making such a god awful racket and why there was a large fence between him and the other, probably female, zebras.

It is, after all, Spring.

o.O…

As for reflections, I have these:

I like challenges, I’ve decided.  This has been a year for them.  I participated in a gym challenge in December, where I attended the gym 25 days in a row.  I participated in the A to Z Challenge on three blogs by myself, as well as two team blogs.  I did something differently this year, though; I decided to actually pick a theme that required research and collecting photographs.  I have links to my other “Reflections” posts below, but here’s a recap of what I did on this blog:

This year, I decided to do the “A to Z of the Zoo,” which I like simply because of the alliteration.  I limited myself to Brookfield Zoo, for no other reason than to give the challenge some, well, challenge.  I have lots of photographs of animals in zoos because we love to visit zoos.  In the past year, we’ve been to the zoo in Tacoma, St. Louis, and here in Chicago; plus there’s the Lincoln Park Zoo here which, while we haven’t been recently, has different animals from Brookfield.  I figured it would make it more challenging to actually find animals at Brookfield.

We had to resort to Latin binomials for some of the animals, (a “Latin binomial” is the two word name scientists give to a specific animal that tells its identification and membership in specific animal sub-groups.  This practice is known as taxonomy; not to be confused with taxidermy, the practice of stuffing dead animals.  But I digress).  We had a heck of a time finding several of the letters; for example, “J” gave us particular fits.  If we’d allowed ourselves another zoo, such as Lincoln Park, it would have been an easy matter to choose a jaguar.  But we limited ourselves specifically to Brookfield and so, on a chilly day in March, my husband and I went to the zoo with little yellow cards on which I’d printed the animals I already had, and we brainstormed the rest.

This turned out to be a ton of fun.  I’m not sure what I’ll do next year, but I think I might try something like it again because I had a ball wandering around and photographing things.  I got a lot of photographs that I didn’t use in the challenge but liked a lot; I’ll probably have those in later blog posts throughout the year.

I highly recommend the challenge to anyone who likes to blog, and even for those of us bloggers who are intermittent or unsure how to begin.  I got a lot of ideas when I visited other bloggers on the list, and look forward to my Road Trip between now and next April where I plan to visit other challengers and see what they’re doing with their blogs.

Happy blogging!


And, for your reading pleasure, here’s a list of the posts for the A to Z Challenge, The A To Z of the Zoo:

Amur Leopard – For A!

Bears Napping, Bears Pacing, Bears, Bears, Bears! B Is For Bears!

Wray-Wray’s Namesake – When You Find Your Name on a Camel

Dogs – Of the African Wild Variety

Stephen Colbert Ain’t Got Nuthin’ On Him! Or, E Is For Eagle

Too Foxy!

Number One Goose, And Giraffe Have Long Tongues

It Came From The Ocean – The Dogs of the Sea – Harbor Seals

Gettin’ Beaky With It – The Ibis In The Pond

The Bird That Wasn’t: Jambu Fruit Dove – And A Party #Giveaway

Lookit Them Feet!

The King Of The Jungle

Mexican Grey Wolves Are Sneaky

North American River Otters… Were Busy?

The Secret Forest-Dweller

So Many P’s, So Little Time

The Q Files

Six Inch Thick Skin

Been Waiting ALL Month For This!

The Trouble With Tigers

What Izzit!? – Today It’s Uromastyx!

Varanids, Varanids Everywhere!

Water Dragon!

Xtreme Birds

Yes, It’s Snow Leopards!

Zebras Aren’t For Riding


Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.  I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago.  Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year.  Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports.  Join the conversation!

The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of Noon & Wilder); the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland.  Check it out!

My friends who are participating in the challenge:

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

Zebras Aren’t For Riding

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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?

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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 in any of the three prep trips, not in my prior zoo trips, nowhere on my computer.  There’s a possibility some may be hidden on my phone, but I’ve already spent the last half hour looking and technically, the challenge ended yesterday.

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I think Boria has the right idea, it’s time for a nap.  I hate getting spring colds, don’t you?  I have no energy and I fall behind in my wordcount – like for this challenge.  But I’m truly pleased you’ve traveled the month with me, Dear Reader, and visited me as I explore The A to Z of the Zoo.

And remember, May 9th is the A to Z Reflections Post Day, and the Linky List is open from May 9 to May 13.  Keep an eye on the main A to Z Blog Challenge page for more info and updates, and of course come back here on the 9th for my reflections on my various posts.  Also, if you’ve visited me and I haven’t responded or visited back, please forgive me; I’ve had a nasty cold and do plan to catch up to everyone over the coming days, I promise!


Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.  I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago.  Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year.  Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports.  Join the conversation!

The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of Noon & Wilder); the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland.  Check it out!

My friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and I’ll add you!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

Yes, It’s Snow Leopards!

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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 actually not from my A to Z prep trips.  They’re from one of three visits to the zoo we took last year in April, before the two snow leopard cubs were born.  Here you get to see Mamma and Papa before they were a mamma or a papa.

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They sleep just like my cats!

Their feet are WAY bigger, though.  Holy Jebus, look at those toe beans!

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Aww.

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Oh look!  One’s waking up!

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~squeak~

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~double-squeak~

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Holy crap, these are majestic animals!

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You know, I’ve seen that exact same expression on my house cats’ face.  I wanted to stare, but making eye contact is considered rude, so I looked down.  But man.  Sent chills down my spine.

Tomorrow, it will…


Oh, fine, for you literalists:

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Mee-deep.  Mee-deep.

So, who is this fellow?

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Yellow-spotte… HEY! HONEY! I FOUND A Y!

Keep your voice down, will ya?

Then I noticed something.

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The Yellow-Spotted Climbing Toad is, in fact, green.

And that’s not even on cold medicine, Dear Reader.

Tomorrow, it’s the Pièce De Résistance – Z!  (Psst – it’s actually later this afternoon, since I’m late an’ all, but hey.  Keeping up appearances, right? Right!)


Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.  I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago.  Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year.  Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports.  Join the conversation!

The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of Noon & Wilder); the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland.  Check it out!

My friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and I’ll add you!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

Xtreme Birds

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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.

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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 and a male, but I don’t know for sure.  I said, joking, “Aww, are you gonna take that?”  Not a second after I spoke, the displaced condor rushed the victor and a ten minute battle ensued.

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At one point, one of the birds’ wingtips banged the cage and made a very loud sound, like something heavy hitting it.  It became immediately apparent why their cage is as sturdy as it is.

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The wingspan is stunning.

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So are their eyes.  Except the bars got in the way…

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And in this one, a branch…

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And then the other one caught up and whammo!

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Holy she-it.

Maybe we could go look at the penguins next?

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This one looks like art.  You can suddenly see where the majesty of some First Nations’ bird costumes come from, nu?

Majestic fricken animals.

But no, I do NOT want to pet them.

I did, however, in my not-stage voice, comment to my husband after a few minutes of watching the fight, “I wonder if this is a marital spat or foreplay?”

What I didn’t realize is that a family with younger children had walked up behind us, and I got quite the glare from the father.

Oops.


Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.  I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago.  Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year.  Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports.  Join the conversation!

The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of Noon & Wilder); the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland.  Check it out!

My friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and I’ll add you!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

Water Dragon!

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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.

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Pretty impressive breath-holding skillz, nu?

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Hmm.  Watcha got there, human?

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He looks like he’s plotting something, doesn’t he? o.O…

I’m sort of on the mend from my cold, so with luck, my post will get up tomorrow sort of on time-ish.  😛  Watch, I’ll get all better, just in time for the end of the challenge.  Tomorrow it’s “Y,” and Saturday is “Z!”  Then it’s on to the wrap-posts where we get to share what we learned from the challenge.

But I’m jumping the gun.  For now, Dear Reader, Happy “X!” Or, wait a minute, I’m a day behind, aren’t I?  Happy “W!”


Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.  I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago.  Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year.  Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports.  Join the conversation!

The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of Noon & Wilder); the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland.  Check it out!

My friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and I’ll add you!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

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, there’s a journal specifically dedicated to varanids, otherwise known as monitor lizards.  Its address is interesting too, since it’s http://www.varanidae.org/.  My husband tells me that one common factor among herps, or people who like reptiles and snakes, is that they have a wide vocabulary in Latin for the animals they love.  I’ve seen this in action at a herpsoc meeting, or Chicago Herpetological Society, when a tattooed biker carried on a conversation with a PhD’d biologist from the University of Chicago who’d come to visit.

Okay, so.  Today’s post is my Ode to Cold Medicine or, What To Show You When I Already Showed My Varanid Pics

This is my idea of a pet.  I can hug it, and love it, and call it George.  Or, in this case, Coyote.

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Alternatively known as Snappy the Snarlmuffin and Big Dumazz.

She is not, however, at the zoo.  Nor, for that matter, a varanid.

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This, however, is a varanid, and he’s our friendly local Argus Monitor.  I found a picture of him from last year, so even if I’ve already shown you his existence, you haven’t seen this photo.  Take that, Dayquill.

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This very excited peacock was displaying near one of the cafes.  They have a private area where they are fed and can hang out without being pestered by passers by.  In this case, though, he was being annoyed by a small boy of about twelve.

My husband studied this, and the adults all standing around watching the little boy edge closer and closer – despite signs all over the place asking parents not to allow their children to do this – and calmly said to me, “You know, that’s a threat display.”

The mother promptly whisked her little boykin up and stalked away in a huff.

The peacock, on the other hand, was quite relieved.

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While trying to find other monitor lizards for you, since today’s post is about varanids, I found this lovely shot from last year.  Inne adorable!?

Oh fine, he’s not a varanid.

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THERE!  Happynow?  You can get an idea of the massive muscles involved in his tail, when you realize that the girth of his tail rivals that of his haunches.  They can use the tail as a weapon for defense, if needed.

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Okay, one more.  Remember in my okapi post how I said I couldn’t find my other okapi shots?  Well, I still can’t; one of my zoo trips’ photos are all jumbled up and out of order.  But I found this one and just had to share it with you because it’s such an unusual animal.  This is the first time I’d ever seen an okapi; I didn’t even know what it was called.  I must have stood there a good five minutes without saying anything, just trying to figure out what the heck I was looking at.  A giraffezebra?  A zebraff?  A baby giraffe?  Can’t be; wrong color.  Look at his ears!  Is it a he?  Are those horns?  His tongue is black!  Like a giraffe.  Maybe a weird hybrid giraffe thingie?

Like I said, Dear Reader.  Cold medicine.  It’s what’s for dinner.


Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.  I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago.  Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year.  Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports.  Join the conversation!

The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of Noon & Wilder); the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland.  Check it out!

My friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and I’ll add you!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

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:

2016-04-25 ACN Pic 1

Cute little bugger, inne?  His other name is “Spiny-Tailed Lizard,” because he’s got a spiny tail.

2016-04-25 ACN Pic 2

Pugnacious stance, nu?

2016-04-25 ACN Pic 3

My husband, the reptile whisperer.  He put his hand down slowly to attract the attention of the lizard.

2016-04-25 ACN Pic 4

Of which there are two… o.O…

2016-04-25 ACN Pic 5

I took this one to show off his spiny tail; but look at the bottom right of the photo.  Sneaky!

Tomorrow it’s the letter V.  What in the heck shall I pick for V?


Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge. If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too. If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment. I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago. Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year. Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports. Join the conversation!

The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of Noon & Wilder); the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland. Check it out!

My friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and I’ll add you!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

The Trouble with Tigers

2016-04-23 Pic 1

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.

2016-04-23 Pic 2

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 this is the papa with tail or the daughter without, and he didn’t get up to wander around on our visit.

One amusing tidbit is that one visit while we were watching him, the tram went by.  The tram tours are narrated by the driver, and this particular driver had a heavy Southern accent.  He described this tiger as the “Armor” Tiger instead of Amur Tiger.

Sorry today’s post is tardy (another T word – hey!), this cold is kicking my butt.  I hope to get back on track tomorrow.  Sleep well!


Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.  I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago.  Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year.  Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports.  Join the conversation!

The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of Noon & Wilder); the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland.  Check it out!

My friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and I’ll add you!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!