We found these botos, or pink Amazon River dolphins in the play yard of the Tropical Manaus Hotel in Manaus, Brazil. Although the pink coloration and long beak are typical of this dolphin, the real animals have a shorter dorsal fin, more like a hump. The play yard had other native animals in it, and I believe they were made by the talented woman who ran one of the gift shops at the hotel.
We encountered this slightly-crumbling jaguar and several other local animals at a truckstop-type gas station and store along the road to Trindade beach. I couldn't guess the location of the truckstop.
For those like me who don't speak Portuguese, one of the concepts to learn is that a "d" is sometimes pronouced the way we pronounce a "j." I don't know the rule, but in this case, the name of the town and beach are "Trin-da'-juh." Trindade (near Paraty [pronounced "Para-chi'] in Rio de Janeiro State) is a small town on a gem of a beach located several hours from Sao Paulo. We went with a group to the beach, where we attended a post-wedding party for friends and colleagues after a conference on tapir conservation in Sorocaba, Brazil, in which we had all taken part. The morning was lazy, and the tiny hotel had a second-floor deck outside the breakfast room. You can just see the roof of the rooms below at the bottom of the photo. For more photos of the area, here's what I came up with on my search of Google Images.
This photo was taken with my funky old digital, so the darker colors of the earth and houses are muddy, but the sky really did flash that brilliant blue streak under the storm clouds. That's one thing I always loved about Palisade - the storm lighting and colors were magnificent.
A beast of some date and description bites hard on this lintel from a past age in the Cluny Museum in Paris. I wish I had photographed the placard, but I didn't, so I can't give the age or background of the piece. I believe the wall is from Roman times, or maybe part Roman and part Medieval. The building itself is fascinating, having begun as a Roman bath and evolved through history, being used in the Middle Ages as an abbey, and now as a remarkably fine and unusual museum.
I'm not sure why the tree has a roof. If you enlarge the photo, you can also see the large slot down the left side of the stump. I took this photo from the car riding between Boston and Lexington, so I didn't get a chance to investigate, and I am also not sure about the location. I do love the charming New England architecture, which has a flavor all its own. And the flowers? Always delightful.
The photo above only shows what's on the other side of the very pleasant walkway, but the tourists seem to be looking at something, or is it only the bright red flowers? I believe what's on the left of the photo is the parking lot of the National Institute of Culture. If you're really interested, you can go to these coordinates (8°57'1.66"N 79°31'53.89"W) on Google Earth and see the photos others have taken, including the Institute, which has an unusual round construction on one side. You'll have to zoom down close to the center of the screen to see more than one or two photos. If you haven't played with Google Earth before, get ready for a fun and addicting ride :)
This model of one of the La Brea Tar Pits is located near where the elephants live at the San Diego Zoo. To help demonstrate how fossils are formed and found, the pool is filled with water, which then drains away to show the fossil replicas like those of the Pleistocene found in Los Angeles.
Zoos are no longer just about showing off captive animals, but the better ones are about conservation and also about education. Near the elephants is a display of Pleistocene paleontology, and one of the outdoor displays features this model horse skull, intended to appear as it might have been buried in the earth. Here the horse has been used as an example, and it's a good choice. The horse is one of the animals whose evolution is well known thanks to several circumstances. Horses lived in herds on fairly dry plains, and conditions were right throughout most of their long history for fossils to be created from their skeletons. Animals such as the tapir, which lived singly or in smaller groups and died in areas where decay was faster and the earth less ready to preserve the remains, have left less for scientists to study.
Paris ~ October 16, 2008 Outside the north gate of the Cour Carree
I didn't know what to make of this when I saw it, and I still don't know. Did someone smash the sculpture to pieces, hence the crime scene tape and the fence? Or is that part of the installation? Sometimes it's hard to tell.
Lion Country Safari near Miami, Florida ~ January 13, 2008
If this looks familiar, I used it in January on Tapirgal's Daily Image before I started a blog just for animal photos. It had been raining heavily, and the moist air collected the light from of the waning sun turning the air to gold. Yesterday's antelope picture was taken in a similar light at about the same time as this one.
All history aside, there is a beauty and genteel simplicity about rural New England that feels so different from almost anywhere I'd been before. I've always lived in the Western United States, and I love it. I love the rugged land and so much about it, but there was a specialness here among the flowering trees, green grass, and three-hundred-year-old buildings that had seen it all and seemed the wiser for it.
Rendezvous of the
Battle of Lexington
April 19, 1775
The green commemorating the skirmish is across the street, marked by several plaques and the famous Minuteman statue.
This modern-day placard is part of the interactive display of what life was like in the Middle Ages at Warwick Castle. I don't know the history of this image, but it clearly depicts a bear used for the brutal blood sport of bear-baiting. One of the towers at Warwick Castle is named Bear Tower, and some authorities believe that bears were kept in that tower. Warwick Castle is one of the places in England where bear-baiting continued until a fairly late date. The sport was very popular among all levels of society, including kings and queens, and seems to have created great mirth in the observers. This cruel activity typically pitted bears against dogs, although there are descriptions of bears being allowed to chase other animals and even people. Both bear- and bull-baiting were finally outlawed by the English Parliament in 1835.