Posts Tagged ‘zoo’

A Rainy Day in Madison

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

I woke up to the sound of rain against the window. It was the first time in a long time I had heard rain calling me outside. I lay in my bed listening and for the first time it became real. I knew I was very far from home; I knew that I was no longer in California and would not be returning for quite some time. In many ways this whole trip has been so surreal. A strange mixture between road trip and living in a bunch of different states. I bounce from one location to the next, usually with someone I know waiting at the end of my drive so it never feels like I am truly alone. But this morning I woke up and felt alone. I felt far from my friends, family, and all that was familiar to me. I felt it ringing in the rain drops like a vibrating siren and each drop sang out the sound of total strangeness. It was an odd moment, of finally letting it sink in that I wasn’t going home, at least not for a while. I had to make a home wherever I could find it now.

For now home is with my Aunt in Madison but even that is not for long. I pulled my tired body from bed and looked outside at the cardinal on the bird feeder below, unfazed by the rain and even more vibrant in it. The roads ran like rivers and the fall leaves had been glued to my car like some child’s scrapbook of autumn.

On our way to explore Madison we first stopped to get some really great coffee and Colectivo. A roomy coffee shop with huge windows, bright furniture, and great study spaces, Colectivo was definitely instantly on my favorite coffee spot list.

IMG_9630 IMG_9637

I took my coffee out into the cold rain to warm my fingers as we explored the state capital building. It was truly a magnificent piece of architecture and I loved escaping from the rain under their marbled ceilings and fancy decor.
IMG_9724  IMG_9652  IMG_9643

It was quite the place and the square that it sat in was surrounded by adorable shops and fantastic restaurants.

After we had circled the captial building a few times, marveling at the architecture from every angle, we drove through the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Going through campuses that are closer to the east coast always impress me because they are so thoroughly different from west coast campuses. The buildings are older, crafted from beautiful stone or brick and much more ornate than the average west coast campus building. I love my alma mater but I cannot help comparing the architecture between campuses and I was thoroughly impressed with the Madison campus.

At the far end of campus we stopped at the Allen Centennial Gardens, a small enclosure of nature next to an old historic home. The gardens, though small, were marvelous. Even in the rain, the vibrant crops like kale, colorful swiss chard, and of course corn, were incredibly beautiful.

IMG_9759  IMG_9706  IMG_9698

There were some really unique looking flowers, like the ones below, that lit up the entire park with vivid colors. IMG_9697

IMG_9699

IMG_9678  IMG_9682  IMG_9679  IMG_9687

From boardwalks to koi ponds, gazebos to vegetable gardens the entire garden was surprisingly entertaining. After marveling at the entire complex we continued on our way.

We decided to poke in at the Henry Villa Zoo. It was a fun little zoo but the alligator was by far my favorite. I had been taking pictures of the fall leaf littered pool, not realizing it was an alligator enclosure until afterwards when I looked at my pictures. It surprised me so much that I hadn’t even noticed the alligator lying quietly below the leaves.

There were also some adorable little badgers having a fun time digging around in the mud, which was pretty quintessential for all of Wisconsin. Go Badgers :)

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

After the zoo, my aunt and I parted ways for a bit and I went off on my own to the University’s Arboretum for a hike. It was pretty, but also pretty marshy so my hike kept getting cut short by closed pathways. But what I did see was quite nice; the variety of different trail landscapes that I set foot on in just the few short miles I was able to hike was staggering. It was a wonderfully diverse park filled with prairies, lakes, and flowers.

IMG_9765

Processed with VSCOcam with kk1 preset

IMG_9740 IMG_9748

We finished out day with a sunset mini walk along some overgrown boardwalks next to Lake Monona. Stepping over a natural bubbling spring, we walked along the creaking old wooden planks along the rim of the lake watching the sky turn pink under wispy clouds. IMG_9754 IMG_9755

It was a good first day in Madison (finished with some really great pizza) but I am finding myself growing more and more tired as each day passes. Michigan is only one day away of driving from where I am now and I can feel the closeness in my road wearied bones. I have been traveling now for exactly two weeks and I have been alone for one week; it feels like a lifetime.

A good rest is in order soon and I know it awaits me on the shores of Lake Superior, so close yet so far from where I am now. For now, there is still more work to be done, more things to see, and always another adventure around the corner.

0

Meerkat

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Because everyone needs a little meerkat in their day…

 

0
Tags: , ,
Posted in Photos |

Tiger

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

A tiger is an extraordinary animal. Strong, powerful, graceful, and dangerous. Not to mention beautiful, the tiger is an embodiment of the savagery of nature that man attempts to tame.

It is sad to see these majestic animals in a zoo, but I am still glad that I was able to see them. It makes me wonder what it would be like to face these animals in the wild as I have seen wolves, coyotes and foxes. How different would this big cat be? Would I be filled with terror or awe as I stared into the mar of these magnificent creatures?

Someday I would like to say that I have done just that. looked this beast in the eye without bars between us. Only then could I or anyone really understand the breadth of the difference between the lives we lead in the city and the life of the creatures in the wild.

For now I will just have to do with looking deep into this creatures eyes as bars separate us.

1
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Photos, Thoughts |

Emu

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Because I have so many photos from our zoo adventure I am going to break ti down for each animal we saw. The first is the Emu. An incredible creepy and slightly gross bird. Similar to an ostrich but weirder. There is only one thing I enjoy about emus, their eyes. They have such brightly colored eyes and it is there only redeeming feature to me.

Within an animals eyes lies all their beauty.

1
Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Photos, Travel Updates |

Update

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts… again. Life is hectic right now as my senior year brings me closer and closer to IB Exams. I have been working hard to catch up on my schooling after being gone for a week in Yellowstone.

However I got away from the hustle and bustle with some friends and took a road trip down to Cal Poly to see my brother. We went to the zoo and just hung out. More info on that will be coming over the next couple of days. I am hoping I will soon be back on track with posting. So here is a photo to tide you over, a funny look into the (inappropriate) life of Meerkats. (notice the guy just kind of chilling in the back ground watching).

1

Baboon

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Baboons are a very strange, colorful, and robust animal. They are very fun to photograph because they have such amazing colors in the strangest of places which I am sure I won’t have to mention because everyone is fully aware of that already.

Yes, he is scratching his butt.

I really enjoyed the females the most even though the men have such interesting looks I liked the females better. Their hair looked almost like it had been crimped and dyed with yellow.  Their eyes are the most amazing par, wide and yellow. They were fascinating to watch.

0
Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Photos |

The Dik-Dik

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Let me introduce to you a very strange animal called a dik-dik.Yes, its name is dik-dik. The even funnier part is what this animal actually is, a deer like animal that is only about a two foot long. An antelope named for its shrill call that actually sounds like “dik dik” or “zik zik”. Probably one of the strangest animals I have ever seen, I had heard about them before but never expected to see one in person when I went to the San Francisco Zoo. I am very glad I got to see one, and now you can too.

0