Z is for Zoo

Sea lions at the central park zoo
On a recent beautifully warm weekend day, we decided to check out the Central Park Zoo. We had never been there before and weren’t sure what to expect. Here’s a beautiful tile mosaic in the subway station.
Fifth avenue tile mosaic in

Right in the middle of the zoo are the sea lions.

Sea lions at Central Park zoo

The bigger, lighter brown one was trying to sleep, but the smaller, darker one woke it up and tried to convince it join in the little show it was putting on for the crowd. They got into a little barking match, then the big one went back to sleep.

Sea lions at the central park

Can you see the snow leopard? It’s sleeping on its side, its head is to the left of the tree.

Snow leopard at the

There’s also a snow monkey exhibit. We were lucky to see this monkey walking along the rocks.

Snow monkey at the central park zoo

And between rocks, and across the water.

Snow monkey at the central park zoo

I didn’t get a great pic of the grizzly bears, but they were impressive. Huge! And scary to think there are parts of the country where these giants are roaming around the woods.

Grizzly bears at the central park

Inside the warmest, steamiest part of the zoo (it’s meant to simulate the rainforest) is a collection of exotic birds, bats, monkeys, and a few other critters. Like this blue and yellow macaw.

Blue and yellow macaw

Back outside, the little sea lion was showing off again. We saw it start to climb to the top of this rock pile and were surprised when it got all the way up.

Sea lion at the

Then surprised again when it looked like it wanted to jump into the water.

Sea lion

Splash!

Sea lion splashes into the water at the central park z

It was a nice day out for us. We don’t get into New York as often as we’d like, especially with the kids, and it was nice that everything went smoothly.

This concludes the A to Z Challenge. I had fun with it again this year. I enjoyed meeting new bloggers and reading your blogs. Thanks for your comments and for making this a fun challenge!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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Y is for Yarrow

Pink or purple yarrow

I don’t know if you’d call this purple yarrow or pink. It’s a pretty flower that looks great in bouquets or in a garden, such as these flowers that I saw at a farm.

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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X is for tktktk

Sun shining behind a cloud,In the field of journalism, tktktk is a placeholder meaning “to come.” It’s inserted into a story when you intend to add something later. It could be a quote, a date, a name, etc–usually something you need to double check or research. The combination of “tk” rarely appears in normal words, so a tktktk in a story will get flagged by spellcheck, letting you know that something is missing, whereas “insert date” would not (and might even end up in the final version of the story if everyone is in a rush while editing that day, haha).

Why talk about this today? Because I can’t think of anything for X. I think I hit my peak last year with X is for X Marks the Spot. That’s as good as it gets in my frame of mind right now, and there’s nothing I can do about it but try to add something later. So, be sure to come back again sometime and enjoy the brilliance of whatever that idea turns out to be. Prepare to be amazed when you find out that X is for tktktk!

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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W is for White Marble Corridor

Monochrome path station, NYC train

Several times during recent years, I have traveled through the PATH station at the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan and watched it go through different stages of construction. Each time, I have marveled at this beautiful, airy station as it slowly unfolded. White marble, high ceilings, and the unique structure gives the impression that you’re walking through a dream. Maybe you fell asleep on the train, and your subconscious is playing with the idea of walking through the lobby of a museum dedicated to displaying the giant skeletons of ancient mythical creatures.

2015-11-05 01.34.06

The West Concourse of the World Trade Center PATH station is now called the World Trade Center Transportation Hub because it connects the PATH to several subway lines and includes new pedestrian walkways. The station, created to replace the World Trade Center station that was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, was designed by Santiago Calatrava. He and his project have come under fire in the New York press for being delayed and overbudget. This article, The Glorious Boondoggle, discusses the controversy, as well as this article.

The design has also been mocked for its look, which is intended to represent a bird taking flight. Critics have had fun with this one, calling it “a turkey skeleton after it’s been stripped clean at Thanksgiving,” and saying that it “looks like the inside of some fantastically large (but immaculately clean) marine organism” here. They say this, of course, after praising the beauty and majesty of the space.

WTC path station west concourse

Parts of it have been opened over the past year or two, and according to this article, it seems that the station’s centerpiece, the Oculus, opened to the public last month. The photos of the finished Oculus in the article are exciting, and I can’t wait to see this in person.

Even walking through the station in a limited capacity, with jersey barriers, fences, and bright orange construction barrels marring the view, I leave awe-struck and inspired by this dreamy place that is unlike any other normal, functional, (mostly concrete) train station on my journeys into the city. It’s going to be amazing to walk through the completed space.

Sculpture at Brookfield place and WTC path station

Here’s one more dreamy version of the white marble corridor.

NYC train station, path station West

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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V is for Vegetation, Dried 2

Dried flowers, goldenrod, teasel

Same topic as last year for V.

Dried thistle

I love dried flowers and plants and I think it’s because they are similar to abandoned places–even though they are past their prime in the traditional sense, they still have their own kind of beauty.

Dried flowers, Queen Anne lace, teasel

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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U is for Urchin

Monochrome urchin

This is an urchin I saw at the pet store last year. It’s in somber monochrome now, but in the link are some colorful photos of the many creatures I saw on my visit.

I submitted it to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness a while back but never posted it on my own site. Here’s a link to the most recent MM, in case you’re curious.

Same with this photo below. It appeared in MM, but never here.

Dry leaf

I like the A to Z Challenge because for some reason it helps me get caught up on posts that I’ve been wanting to do but never seem to get around to doing.

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

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T is for Tea Party

Plastic 80s toys, little people, yes setToys from the 80s have come out to play.

It’s time for a tea party!

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

A to Z Challenge badge

S is for Setcreasea

Found this plant at the garden center last summer: Setcreasea pallida ‘Purple Heart.’ Looked good in the pot next to Dusty Miller and the bright orange begonias. This was the first day that we planted it at home.

Setcreasea purple, dusty Miller, begonias

One day the plants were visited by a praying mantis. I was so excited! Finally, something to help control the aphids!

Praying mantis on orange begonia

The little pink flowers last maybe half a day. Sometimes only a few hours.

Setcreasea purple, begonias, Dusty Miller, basil, container garden

Later in the summer, everything was growing over the sides of the pot.

Setcreasea purple, begonias, Dusty Miller, container garden

At the end of the summer, I had to cut it back before I attempted to bring it in for the winter. These cuttings lasted for a couple weeks in the vase. This was surprising because they seemed delicate and I had assumed they would wilt quickly.
Purple leaves setcresea
Now, I’m not sure if the plants are still alive. I think they are, but I won’t be sure until it’s warm enough to put them back outside. During the winter, the leaves turned green, which I read was normal when they don’t get enough sunlight. Many parts of the plants have died off, but I think there are still a few vines of life clinging to the pot. Time will tell.

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

A to Z Challenge badge

R is for Remember Me

Broken Tombstone in revolutionary war cemetery
After flesh dies
And stone breaks,
After life tries
And death takes,
Remember me.

When hopes end and fires rend
When silence reigns on frozen plains
Remember me.

Before the last hill shakes
And the last heart breaks,
Before the last ship sails
And the last bloom pales,
Before the last tree falls
And the last song calls,
Remember me.

Before the last ones know
They’ve seen the last winds blow,
Before void and rhyme shift to swallow time
Remember me
Remember me
Remember me