Thursday, September 26, 2013

Historic Slater Park II

In my previous post about Slater Park, I mentioned that there is a Looff carousel there. I only included one picture and said that I would have to do a post just on it soon. Well, here it is - not so soon since that post was over a year ago, but better late than never.  The Looff carousel that is in Slater Park was built in 1895 and was first installed in New York state, but it was moved to its permanent home at the park in 1910. I recently took a walk in the park and stopped at the Farmer's Market they have there on Sundays, and the carousel was open so got some more pictures.  Enjoy!

Even though this carousel is really cool I decided I didn't like as much as the Crescent Park Carousel, which is also a Looff, because none of the animals go up and down!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Changing Colors

For the first time, Wednesday morning it was in the high 30s when I got up.  Brrr.  Not that cold the last couple of mornings and the temperatures have ended near 80 in the afternoons, but the times we have been down into the 40s overnight has started the process.  There are a couple of trees in the neighborhood that are always the first to change colors and the process has started.

There are even a few leaves to rake up.

However, those few trees are the exception rather than the rule.  There are still flowers blooming (although sometimes there are more dead blooms, than fresh ones).

And in the case of the majority of trees, while occasionally there are a few leaves that have gone rogue (by starting to change color), the leaves are still a lovely green.

It is after all still September.  And even though a few of the neighbors have already got their Halloween Trick or Treat signs out...

it's still a little early.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vivid Viverrids

Binturongs are sometimes called bearcats, but they are neither cats nor bears.  They are, however, part of the viverrid family of cat-like animals, some of which look similar to cats and are related to the feline family.. Binturongs are the members that look least like a cat, looking somewhat and acting more like a raccoon. Like raccoons, binturongs are tree-dwellers and the largest member of the viverrid family weighting up to 70 pounds.

Source:  Wikipedia

Found in southeast Asia, it prefers heavily forested areas and are active both day and night.  Its diet consists of small mammals, birds, insects, fish and fruit, however, figs are a preferred prey.  Binturongs can live up to 25 years old, especially in captivity. While not related, its temperament is more like that of a badger and can be somewhat ill tempered not making it a good candidate for a pet.

Another viverrid is the genet.  Nearly all species of genets live in Africa except for the Common Genet which can also be found in Southwestern Europe and parts of the Middle East.  Exactly how many subspecies there are is under debate, but all are nocturnal, secretive little guys and mice and squirrels are favorite menu items.

Common Genet    Source: Wikipedia

Genets are great climbers and have quick reflexes.  They are the only member of the vivverid family that can stand on their hind legs.  Like cats, genets scent mark their territory and can purr.

Thierry's genet    Source: Wikipedia

For more imformation, pictures and a video of genets, click here.

Civets are another member of the this vivid family.  Most civets live in tropical Asia, but because of their nocturnal nature not a lot is known about some species.  Civets are sometimes referred to as toddycats.  The most well-known species of civet is the African civet.

Source:  Wikipedia

The African civet has disproportionately large hindquarters like a hyena and is also recognizable by its mohawk-style crest along its spine.It seems to be put together by spare parts completed by its leopard spotted coat and raccoon banded eyes.  Its diet includes small mammals, bird eggs, carrion, and even poisonous snakes and insects.

Asian palm civet    Source: Wikipedia

Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, Massachusetts has a binturong. I visited there several years ago and I found their binturong a very interesting character.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Nap Time!

I watched some football on Saturday afternoon, but for the kitties (as usual) it was nap time!

Tippi, Pugsley and Yoda



Dolly and Violet


After our official overnight low of 43 and high of 65 on Friday, all of us luxuriated in the sunshine and warmth of our Saturday high of 77!  Napping was the perfect way to spend a lazy September afternoon.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Autumn On Its Way

The heat came on this morning!  The thermostat was set at 58.  Temperatures in the 40s when I got up (we barely made it to a high of 70 yesterday and we'll get to about that again today).  Long sleeves and warmer jammies along with socks are the order of the day (and last night) along with hot oatmeal and chai on the menu for breakfast. The shades are up, letting the sun in to warm the house a little faster and the windows are closed, for now.  I've noticed increased flocks of geese flying overhead, although around here the winter is usually mild enough that they stay all year long.   The first NFL game of the season was on last night.  Go Broncos!  Normal temperatures rebound to the high to mid seventies tomorrow and the rest of the week.   It's not here quite yet, but last night's chill is warning us that fall is on its way.

Source:  Wikipedia

Lightness in Autumn
By Robert Fitzgerald

The rake is like a wand or fan,   
With bamboo springing in a span   
To catch the leaves that I amass   
In bushels on the evening grass.

I reckon how the wind behaves   
And rake them lightly into waves   
And rake the waves upon a pile,   
Then stop my raking for a while.

The sun is down, the air is blue,   
And soon the fingers will be, too,   
But there are children to appease   
With ducking in those leafy seas.

So loudly rummaging their bed
On the dry billows of the dead,
They are not warned at four and three   
Of natural mortality.

Before their supper they require   
A dragon field of yellow fire
To light and toast them in the gloom.   
So much for old earth’s ashen doom.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Threatening Thunderstorms

We've had rain for the past few days and more rain is expected tomorrow. We need the rain, but not the grumbling thunder that comes with it.  A couple of my cats do not like storms.  Maybe it sounds too much like a dog growling. Pugsley is one, who most likely got the fear of storms from his mom, who at one time was an outside cat before I gave her a home. Thunderstorms are rolling through right now - not at all to Pugsley's liking and he hides under my chair when the rumble bumbles start.

Thunder Storm

© Kathleen M. Martin

As thunder rumbled, wondered I:
How come this grumble from the sky?
And lightning flashed and tore asunder,
This very sky that I stand under!
Hot and humid was the day,
In that sticky summer way;
And hot air thought it would be wise,
To take its stifling clouds and rise.
And so the clouds of cumulus,
Gave themselves and upward thrust.
At break-neck speed, they did collide,
With cold air on the other side.
Hello! Said hot air to the cold,
(Which made the clouds upset, I'm told.)
For at their tops, in their defense,
They carried anvils, quite immense.
But hot air flashed cold air a smile,
Which could be seen for many miles;
And cold air cried in great delight,
Which shook the sky with force and might.
Clouds, unimpressed and unafraid,
Began to rain on their parade.
But people just below on earth,
Alarmed at hot and cold's great mirth,
Dropped their chores and ran for cover
To give privacy to these two lovers.
For love, although we think it warm,
Can be as violent as a storm.

Source: Thunder Storm, Rain Poems

A huge boom of thunder just sounded and Tawnya, who is not usually bothered by storms and was lying next to me, flew off the chair knocking my keyboard on the floor!  Really pouring rain so I shall end this post.  Before it's over, I might be hiding under the chair along with Pugsley!