Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Golden Eagle (?) Visits

This afternoon while Maisey and her friend had a playdate, this really, really large raptor came to rest in a tree in my backyard.  About a dozen crows gathered around it and cawwed and cawwed but failed to get it to depart, so they eventually left.  This bird stayed for over an hour.  Golden Eagle?  If you know, let me know!

Very cool to see this bird in my downtown Boise backyard.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Animals on the Island of Aruba

 I was able to find some pelicans on Aruba and get close enough for a photo.  One of the cool things I did see was pelicans fishing, right where I was snorkeling, several times.  I never get a great pelican photo, but I keep trying.

We went to Arikok National Park, to the extent the rental car allowed, and found some wild donkeys and some roaming goats.  The photo here is a silhouette of a goat on a cliff in the park, not far from the rocky cliffs above the ocean.

Luckily, I persuaded my husband to go to the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary as well.  Run by a Dutch woman with her heart in the right place, the sanctuary cares for injured wild donkeys.  Donkeys were brought to the island 500 years ago for labor, and when no longer needed were turned loose.  Many roam wild, often getting hit by cars, etc. so the sanctuary is the only option for them if injured or unable to care for themselves.  Males are neutered at the sanctuary.  Currently it has 109 donkeys.  I bought 5 bags of carrots and visited, and the photo is of one of the donkeys begging for a carrot (his name is Brad Pitt).  Very nice place to visit.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wildlife on the island of Aruba

We usually try to head to a beach somewhere, ideally on an island, for Christmas break, and beach vacations are not wildlife trips - though I love the snorkeling.  I never get good photos snorkeling though, so I've stopped trying.  I can't help notice any animals or wildlife we are lucky enough to encounter on land, however.  This year, we visited Aruba.  It had more to offer in the way of wildlife than many islands I have been to, but the culture of the island appears to be one that is geared towards partying, not nature appreciation.

Pictured here is a lizard with brilliant turquoise coloring.  I saw several of these in various sizes, and also several small brown lizards.  Also pictured is some red seedum in flower growing out of the white lava by the ocean shore in Arikok National Park, on cliffs above the ocean.