Sunday, July 27, 2014

Place: The Critters of San Diego zoo.....

San Diego zoo is one of the top ten zoo of the world..the beautiful creatures living here just make our day!.so we head here quite often..and I take loads of pictures of the amazing creatures.......
An Asian elephant ... I don't know why the jumbo has opened its mouth so big...chewing the food or yawning???........

One of the many reindeer with huge antler racks...

Masai giraffes having their lunch in San Diego Zoo. Is not it funny, the way they have craned their long necks? I love watching these majestic animals walk gracefully.

Saw this baby giraffe...not even a month old...

Meet Nola..one of the only five Northern white rhinoceros surviving globally...

Being the only member of the species in the safari, she has been given a companion a rhino..

Is not it deplorable that human population has exceeded 7 billion while the poor rhinoceros doesn't even have a member of its own species??
What's more shocking is that with slow breeding rate, and such a few remaining members, this species would wipe out withing decades, like many other extinct species..
While is takes millions of years for a species to evolve, reckless human activities can cause it to perish..as is the case with Nola!!!
Lets respect nature and wildlife..by taming our materialistic needs...

A handsome capybara (largest living rodent) ....

One of the many rock hyrax babies...

The rock hyrax was picture of bliss...

I love watching  meerkats......

Recently, I learned these burrowing-critters live in large groups called mobs. One member rides on a tall termite mound to safeguard their area by doing invigilator duty, while others stand erect, exposing their belly to the sun and basking in it.

Their dens were populated with the babies......for the first time, saw young meerkats...

MONKEYS and PRIMATES....
Curious capuchin monkey...

REPTILES...
A pair of gharials sun basking....

BIRDS..........
A graceful peacock roaming the arena...........

A flamingo chick being fed by its mother...

Flamingo getting splashed to beat the heat...

A brilliant one...

Open-biill stork dries feathers after a good bath in the fountain..

Fluffy bird takes  a nap (not sure of ID)...

Cock of the rock....

Ruddy duck...

There is an animal adoption scheme in this world-famous zoo to generate fund for the better conservation of these captive critters. In return, the person gets an adoption certificate and  name recorded in the fact sheet. Supporting a novel cause, indeed.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fauna: Critters at Ocean beach...

Ocean beach, San Diego is known as dog beach, for people bring their canine pets...
But, that day another pet had arrived there and drew a lots of attention from the people...Yes, a man had brought his boa to the park by the beach...
It's scale patterns were amazing....as if it was a body art...

And that docile look in the eyes...

Also many marine critters ca n be seen there.......
This afternoon, I saw unusually large number of sea birds hovering over and around the pier of Ocean beach...


It did not take long to find out why? The terns were diving and flying with beakful of fish...the fishing guys were catching mackerels and their buckets were full with many other small fish....

Past few weeks have seen millions of these 4-inch long red-orange crustaceans on the South California beaches...precisely, 'tuna crabs'....
Got to know, they inhabit the warmer waters off Mexico...due to the impact of El Nino, the oceanic currents are perturbed...and this is one of the many results...


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Photography: Aerial view of the Pacific Ocean...

A month back we had a vacation to India...As we took off from Los Angeles airport, I clicked these pictures....


Plant: Holly-leaf cherry or Catalina island cherry...

I spotted a couple of these medium-sized trees with dark green leaves near our house in San Diego and got curious about their identity.....




..In March, they bloomed profusely..

Only when they developed berries which turned crimson in summer, I got to know them. Yes, they are Catalina island cherry....a variety of cherry...

The drupes are the size of cherries, but the pits are too big to eat the skinny pulp..

I learnt, these plants abound in the Channel islands and foxes play crucial role in their dispersal....

The drupes are ripening in luscious clusters in Mission Valley area of San Diego....

I am not sure of their human food potential...I have tried some of them..with a big pit, thin pulp of mild sweetness and strong astringency, it does not hold much attraction...

But for birds like finch, sparrow and oriole...its manna from heaven..and that's reason enough to have them, apart from their deep green foliage amidst parched chaparral..



These wild cherry plants grow in ravines of chaparrals, that is why I get to see many of them by the creek and riparian regions of San Diego river...to survive in fire-prone chaparral, it has huge root burls...the food reserves of which can be used to recuperate after fire....

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