Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wild Wildlife

I admit, I didn’t see the mantis myself. Instead, I saw a man holding his young son up as they both peered into the grasses growing alongside the path to the “Great Cats” enclosures. I was curious but didn’t want to pry—until I heard the little boy exclaim loudly to the world, “It’s a PRAYING MANTIS!!!”

Everyone else, focused on large mammals, paid no attention, and in a moment the boy and his father, too, moved on. But I stopped to observe the mantis as it made its way up and around various grasses, sometimes clinging, sometimes climbing, depending on the force of the wind that tossed the stems hither and thither.

Nor did I see the first of these three little frogs, balancing like sentinels on the lily pads of the water around Lemur Island—my mother noticed them. (She’s always had a fondness for frogs, in spite of a traumatic childhood encounter when, as she tried to chuck one under the chin, it bit her.)

But I did see this squirrel, gnawing and chittering on a tree behind the small-mammal house:

And I spotted this deer gamboling along in the vast new (and otherwise empty) elephant yard:

You’re not an elephant!” I told it, but this did not seem to make much of an impression on the ungulate.

And finally, freezing my fingers off as I took (not very good) pictures of a yellow-bellied sapsucker (the best-named bird ever), I got a decent shot of a white-breasted nuthatch:

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}


Anca said...

Gorgeous photo of the tree in autumn attire. And such a typical pose for the nuthatch, always on the fly.

Deborah Robbins said...

Hi, Olivia--

I'm a friend of your mother, who kindly told me about your site. Your photos of animals really capture their living personalities. Thanks for sharing!


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