Sometimes in life, you just have an encounter that blows your mind. Seeing animals in their natural habitats has always held a favorite place in my heart. What a surprise we had when going back to see some deer running across a field. When we returned, this is what we witnessed.
The fawns here are 4 months old (I was told by someone who knew this kind of stuff). We were just amazed that they could get down on their knees to nurse like this. Holy cow, I mean…. Oh Deer! is all I can say.
It reminded me of the another wild scene my husband and I witnessed in Denver, CO. this year. Having been on a photo safari at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, I remembered the park ranger saying that male deer and elk sniff the air to find a female who is “ready.” (And yes we did see one of these “parties” going on in the background in SD!)
I noticed two elk males sniffing in the Rockies and knew something was up, (or going down soon). I looked around to see if there were any little kids watching and then 2 males starting jumping up and rutting. I think it was about who would lead the pack because there was no hanky-panky elk style goin’ on!
Another thing on my bucket list was to visit Dinosaur National Park. The most amazing thing about this place is that it was an ancient riverbed loaded with fossils that was uplifted on an angle and some fabulously brilliant person decided to build a structure over it. This made it into a museum around the actual dig site. (See photo montage at the bottom of this blog below, that’s me touching a huge Hadrosaur femur!)
Another trip on my bucket list was going to see where the baby whales are born in Mexico. One day while at the Birch Aquarium in San Diego, I saw they were offering a 5 day motor bus trip to Baja Sud to touch the gray whales. I immediately signed up with my sister and we went. On this particular trip, there was a family (Jeremy, Carrie, Nathan and Seamus Simmons) who make a TV show entitled “Travel With Kids” and they filmed our trip. This is the family and the funniest thing was that the boys couldn’t reach the whales, so one of the guys actually dunked Nathan into the water by his ankles so he could do it! If you get CreateTv on PBS, watch for it because we are in it. We witnessed a baby whale playing with some seaweed while his mum and us were entertained. The naturalist with us said she had never seen this behavior before. I wanted to jump in and take the huge mass of it off of his eyes but he wasn’t concerned at all. But, after several other whale sightings, I got to touch one in the wild and I hyper-ventaliated afterward giggling so hard I could not breathe. (I have a video of this too but cannot figure out how to put it in the blog). Luckily my sister was in another boat so she took the photos of me with my hand on the whale. What a rush that was, especially in a boat smaller than the 14 foot, several ton whale. FYI: The whales come to the boats to scratch the barnicles off of their backs. So we get the pleasure of their company while they go under and try to rock the boat!
One more wet thing on my bucket list was to swim with the dolphins. When we went on a cruise to the Panama Canal (which was another bucket list activity as I am intrigued with locks and have been since I was a kid), my daughter and I had an opportunity to go to a special water park in Acapulco, Mexico where you could swim and even kiss the dolphins. They included a video of when the two dolphins pushed us each across the pool by our heels. Talk about breathtaking, we had to lift ourselves out of the water as high as we could or be pushed under the water to drown with the dolphins!
One wild ride, (not wild nature) on my list was to ride in a hot air balloon. I have been very fortunate and have done this three times. This photo was taken from above as our balloon was landing next to this one. My husband and granddaughter went on the last one in Calidfornia with me and we were actually above the clouds, in heaven!
My next encounter with a live animal was so thrilling but not “au natural”. I always wanted to ride an elephant, and while at the Del Mar Fair in San Diego 2 years ago, they had a “ride” for $7.00 you could take a trip around the race track on the back of a real, wirey-haired, huge pachyderm. My daughter took the pictures of me on this fabulous ride on a decked out elephant.
And please note that is a picture in the middle of me and an orangatan kissing (it’s a theme with me I guess, kiss a monkey or a dolphin, whatever!). While at the rainforest in the Cleveland Zoo, I met Lena, this lovely lady. I played with her with hand movements and imitated whatever she did. She played along with me for a half an hour (I had a bottle of bubbles with me and blew some for her to see!). When I left the building, the docent said that Lena kept looking for me. When I returned, she was visably mad and tried to hide. When I started walking away, she knocked on the window and this happened. OMG! Good thing my friend had a camera on me at that minute ’cause no one would believe this for a second!
The giraffe “leaf” feeding with the long blue tongue (and apples for gushy rhinos too) was at the Wild Animal Park. The parrot in the picture is from Dana Point, where a guy with his collection of several birds hangs out and let’s people play with them. The last time I was there though, the same bird bit me!
Whenever we see wild nature “up close and personal” like these experiences, I tell my granddaughter how lucky we are on this planet. So I beg you to go out and make a list and go for it yourself. I guess I am just a Wild Child at heart because these are the things I will remember and cherish (and glad I witnessed them), the rest of my life.