I couldn’t resist.
More from the Denver Zoo
Photos edited using Topaz Studio
We arrived at the lion area as they were setting out their..dinner.
I liked the black and white effect.
This effect is called Faded Glory (below)
There were two bears and both were sound asleep. The rock pillow doesn’t look very comfortable.
Expressionism effect (below)
I saw this beautiful bird at the Denver Zoo. I forgot to take a photo of the name so, I have no idea what kind of bird this is. (If anyone knows the name, please share in the comments) These were taken through the glass of the enclosure. They came out better than I expected.
I am not sure the look on it’s face would qualify as happiness (below). Maybe it’s doing an angry blue bird impression.
I have been posting about predator problems with my chickens. Recently we lost a young chicken and an adult chicken, most likely to raccoons and a fox or coyote. They are being kept strictly in their coops and enclosed run areas now. They do not like this and tend to start pecking at one another. I add different things to the coop hoping to distract them from this behavior.
When I was in Denver, Colorado, I went to the Denver Zoo with some friends. They had an exhibit called DINOS! Live at Denver Zoo . They have 21 life-size animatronic dinosaurs. They were very cool. Two caught my eye due to their bird like qualities.
First was the Citipati (pg 5)
It stood about 5-6 feet tall and were very protective of their nests. If you click the name, it will take you to the pdf with facts about the dinosaurs in the exhibit. I put the page number by the name. The Citipati photo in the pdf even shows a chicken for comparison. If we had a few of these, I don’t think we would have the predator problems. 😉
The other feathered dinosaur was the Utahraptor (pg 8). It was huge! It was about 23 feet long and weighed about 500 pounds. It had feathers, long sickle like claws and hunted in packs. Scientists think they were warm blooded and protective of its eggs. I would rather not have one of these around. We might be dinner, as they were carnivores. Yikes!
On my visit to Colorado, I had the pleasure of visiting the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. It was a wonderful day of hiking, spending time with great friends, taking photos and enjoying nature. I will start with the beautiful red rocks the park is known for. This is a view from the visitors center looking out towards the park. The visitors center has wonderful exhibits about the park, the rock formations, flora and fauna and the history of the area.
Starting our exploration of the park on the Perkins Central garden Trail.
The scenery was breathtaking and this was just the first trail we explored. There were signs for rock climbing posted throughout the park, but did not see anyone climbing that day. This are also had another formation they simply call White Rock, but that is for another day. 🙂
The first day in Colorado we went to Garden of the Gods. After a morning of hiking and photos, we stopped for lunch at the Colorado Mountain Brewery.
The atmosphere is much like a sports bar with sports playing on the big screens above the bar, tables scatter throughout the pub, some areas with more intimate seating and outdoor seating as well. They have a nice selection of beer and food. I chose a stout from their brewery called Monumental Stout. The description had me at coffee, as one of my favorite seasonal beers back home is a Coffee Stout.
From their website:
The Stout begins with a rich, roasted coffee bouquet and progresses through an array of milk and dark chocolate flavors. Beautiful medium body malt finish. ABV ~ 7.9%
Sounds good, right. It was! At first sip,there was a strong roasted coffee taste (slightly bitter),but had a nice smooth finish.
I also tried one of their Colorado Mountain Brewery specialties – Bison Poppers. These were jalapeños stuffed with ground buffalo and cream cheese. Then it is wrapped in a thin pastry dough and dipped in a batter their menu says is their Ole ’59er Amber Ale Batter and fried. It was so good! Not too spicy, and had a wonderful crispy texture. The sauce was slightly sweet and complemented the mild spiciness of the jalapeños.
Unfortunately we will not be able to go back and try more from their menu. If we venture to Colorado Springs again, I would definitely go back.
I visited Blanco Gardens recently and their Mist flowers are blooming. The bees and butterflies love them. I bought a plant last year from Blanco Gardens and right now they are covered with butterflies. They are easy to grow and have spread throughout their section of the garden.
Yesterday I posted an update on the new fall chickens we are raising and that we lost one to a predator. Hungry wildlife finds all the places we miss when critter proofing a coop. I reinforced the area around the mobile coop with heavy paving blocks and rocks. The larger coop is more protected and I will be relieved when they are big enough to live with the older hens.
I set up our game camera last night and checked on them periodically through the night too. I wasn’t surprised to see a raccoon in the first clip. I knew from the holes dug to get in the coop from the night before that it was something with small paws and strong., but I really thought it was a opossum. The second video confirms my suspicions. You can see the opossum walking on the other side of the coop.
It appears about 3 seconds into the video below.
It appears that the reinforcing worked. The young chickens have yet o learn to go into the top area and roost. I am not sure why. I see from the videos that I have a couple of areas that I need to work on today, just in case.
The chicks came home with us on August 25, 2017. Our first foray into raising chickens in the fall. It has been nice that keeping them warm has not been an issue. I had forgotten how fast they grow. Here they are on September 04, 2017 12 days old. They are already losing the fluff and feathering out.
It didn’t take them long to decide they wanted to see the great big world outside the brooder tank. I got our old mobile coop ready and took them out there during the day when it was warm while I cleaned their brooder. This was very different from the spring chickens we have raised. I would need to place them in a kennel while I cleaned because it was too cold to take them outside.
They loved going into the mobile coop. As soon as they were a bit bigger, I moved them there with a pet carrier filled with hay, so they could go in at night. As they get bigger they will be able to climb into the roosting area.
Here they are September 28, 2017 . Thirty-six days old. They have grown a lot and they are changing color. The golden sex links are getting more color, kind of a reddish blond and cream. The red sex links are turning a deeper red with some brown and black on their wings.
This is the only one with a prominent comb at the moment.
I love the coloring on this one, a lovely golden color.
We can’t put the chicks with the older hens yet, they are too small and I have seen the chickens attack birds at the bird feeder. We also read that this breed does not mix flocks well. We will see.
Leave it to hungry predators to show you where the weak spots are in your coop. The mobile coop doesn’t have much ground protection due to it being mobile. The large coop has hardware cloth extending past the bottom, out two feet, covered in dirt and then large rocks. This has kept the digging predators at bay so far. Our little chicks were not so lucky. We lost one of the red sex links last night some time. The digging looked small, possibly a possum. Our predators are possums, raccoons, and foxes. I have spent the morning reinforcing the area around the base of the mobile coop. I will be glad when the girls are big enough to go in with the older chickens.
I had the pleasure of visiting my sister of the heart in Blanco, Texas yesterday. we always make time to visit Blanco gardens. Amelia had some beautiful fall flowers. The red and yellow gerbera daisies were some of my favorites.
Also this beautiful pansy
If you get a chance, stop by and say hello and pick up some fall color for your garden.
Address: 500 Main St, Blanco, TX 78606