Archive for the ‘animals’ Category
Posted on January 1st, 2010 by admin. Filed under animals.
A few days ago i had the great honor of going gorilla tracking in Rwanda- one of the last places on earth to see gorillas in the wild. Since they are very peaceful animals it is possible to get very close to them and watch them as they play, eat bamboo (they get drunk on it), and clean their big coats.
As you can tell, I am a huge fan of the smallest in the family- the baby gorillas! As we approached this particular gorilla family our guide spoke to them in their language – the language that Dian Fossey studied and documented in these very mountains of Rwanda. This baby actually tried to come at us- to play- but the guide made a noise which meant “stay back.” What a sweetheart.
It was a great day- a gorgeous 5 hour treck through majestic mountain jungle. I have never been one to really get into “tracking” animals- so not sure i would do something like this every day- that said, it was truly awe-inspiring to see such gentle giants in their natural habitat… And in some way the tourism actually helps sustain and protect them from poachers and the civil war that plague this region (at least that is what they tell us to make us feel better about it, i guess…). Here’s the deal if you ever want to do it too: only 8 people are allowed to visit each family per day. There are 7 families so that means 56 people spread out in the National park per day. Once you and the park guide finally find the gorilla family you have exactly 1 hour to observe them. If you are sick you are not permitted to go. Cost for a permit is prohibitive- currently it is US$500 & it is rumored to be raising to $800 this year… so your mindset should be that this is “once in a lifetime.” You must also book in advance- even at that price they are often full and it can be difficult to get a permit. Climbing to see them is also strenuous, especially if it is cold, raining & muddy, as it was when I went.
Posted on June 12th, 2008 by admin. Filed under animals.
Elmer Otis Longfellow reflects on, and shares his innermost thoughts regarding big dogs in Alta Plaza Park.
Posted on May 25th, 2008 by admin. Filed under animals.
Elmer is a foster dog from Pets Unlimited (www.petsunlimited.org). I am told he hails from Turlock, AKA the “Central Valley” (whatever that means). He was rescued about a month ago, after nearly being put down due to illness. Elmer has pneumonia. He was in isolation for about a month recovering. I find this so hard to believe now, because he is such a sociable loveable dog. He wants to be on your lap, or on your shoulder (like a parrot!) 24/7! Still, Elmer is about 10 years old (maybe that is off though, don’t let the grey hair fool you ; ) so he is very well mannered and refined, if you will. A real distinguished gentleman. What he could teach us humans about love & manners! In addition to pneumonia he has some unknown non-contagious skin disorder which has caused him to lose all his grey hair. He may look like he has grey hair, but on closer look, you will find it is in fact grey pigment. So adorable! He gets very cold so he has this silly gold lamee cape to keep him warm. Some folks at pets unlimited think he looks like a pimp in the cape. I think he looks more like a trekie. In addition to that quirk, he often walks, hops, or runs on only 3 legs. He looks a bit like a jackalope when he does this. He may do this because his legs are sore from all the IVs he had in while really sick in the hospital– or maybe he is even arthritic- but i find that hard to believe. No matter, Elmer is both a dog & human magnet. We have been having so much fun meeting lovely people but avoiding sweet dogs, since we do not want to get them sick. This is against the grain of who Elmer is- he loves to interact, especially letting those bigs dogs know who’s boss! However, rite now Elmsie has dug under some covers- his favorite places to lay are in direct sunlight (Should he be wearing some sunscreen given his bare skin?) , or as far under a pile of blankets as he can get. He is a darling welcome bunk mate here in my studio. How am I ever going to be able to give this little guy up? Alas, Iran beckons…
- Some photos from Misrata… stories to follow.
- The Boat to Misrata (Libya): Men’s quarters vs. Women’s quarters
- Why I had to visit Misrata (Libya).
- Greetings from Benghazi, Libya
- Just another day in Cairo…