ANIMAL BLOGGING WITH DILL THE CAT

ANIMAL BLOGGING WITH DILL THE CAT
ENGAGE.  EXPLORE.  ENTERTAIN.  EDUCATE.  ENTHUSE.

Hello!  Thank you for visiting Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat! As a self taught photographer and animal enthusiast, combining the two Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat highlights the work of S. Mason. Our first visitor was from India. Since then, from around the world, Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat, viewers have come. Welcome indeed!    
                                             
 
Somalia, Russia, Canada, Japan, Venezuela, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Romania, United Arab Emirates,  Latvia, Australia, Ireland,United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, Ireland, Ukraine, Philippines, Japan, Denmark, Columbia, Sweden, Turkey, Ghana, Panama, Netherlands, Jordan, Morocco, Brazil, Chine, Spain, Belgium, South Africa, Pakistan, Poland, Italy, Georgia, South Korea, France, Germany, Russia, Germany, Canada, Romania, Finland, New Zealand, Israel, Belarus, Vietnam, Lithuania, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Croatia, Argentina, Mexico, Switzerland, Singapore, Moldova, Mongolia, Bahamas, Norway, Taiwan, Portugal, Czech Republic, Bangladesh, Luxembourg, Estonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Guyana, Peru, Bulgaria, Burundi, Iraq, Guernsey, Macau, Austria, Guatemala, Romania,  Saudi Arabia, Fiji, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Greece, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Costa Rica, Angola, Qatar, Ecuador, Honduras, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Maldives, Aruba, Chile, Bulgaria, Algeria, Turks & Caicos Islands, El Salvador, Malta, Hungary, Jamaica, Egypt, Mauritius, Aruba, Algeria, Barbados, Nepal, Cambodia, Cyprus, Pakistan, Iraq, Argentina, and Japan.
 
 
                                                                          
THIS SIGN IS LOCATED NEAR THE ENTRY OF DENVER ZOO.  WE WISH MORE BUSINESS WOULD DO THE SAME. AS FOR ANIMAL BLOGGING WITH DILL THE CAT WE WILL POST THIS SIGN UNTIL THE CALENDER SAYS AUTUMN.

THE ARK - On Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat

Our Best Day Ever At The Zoo (the link at the top of the page on the sidebar) inspired us to name this section - THE ARK ON ANIMAL BLOGGING WITH DILL THE CAT.
                                                                                     

              Membership Connects People To Their Passion
If you have not done so, at Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat, we urge you to check out the websites of zoos or other animal facilities in your area to see the benefits they offer with membership.  Chances are there are more benefits than you may realize.  One of the many benefits of being a member at Denver Zoo is designated days for early entry into the zoo.  As members we recently went to the zoo early in the morning to avoid the heat later in the day.  The air was cool and Denver Zoo have a forestry of trees for shade. We had a great time.  The following are some pictures of our visit.  
                                                                          

A DENVER ZOO SIGN AT ITS ENTRY
We so appreciated seeing this sign placed where it is impossible to miss! 
 
 
ALL OVER THE ZOO ARE FREE ROAMING RABBITS.
 
WHILE WALKING WE CAME ACROSS CHARLIE, A POT BELLY PIG, WHO WAS BEING WALKED TO HIS "JOB".  CHARLIE IS JUST ONE OF MANY ANIMALS IN THE DENVER ZOO WILDLIFE SHOW.

THE TEXTURE OF THIS LACED TREE TRUNK IS BEAUTIFUL.

      THERE IS BEAUTY IN THIS EMERALD TREE BOA.
 
IT IS JUST IMPOSSIBLE TO VISIT DENVER ZOO AND NOT COME AWAY WITH AN AWARENESS, AN INSIGHT, AN EDUCATION ABOUT THE CREATURES WE SHARE THE PLANT WITH.  CHARLIE WAS THERE AND SO WAS THIS HUGE, COLORFUL KING VULTURE AND AN LARGE OWL (OH THOSE EYES) AMONG OTHERS.    
 
 

 
MEMBERSHIP CONNECTS PEOPLE TO THEIR PASSION. 
 
 
 



The Unicorn in Captivity from the Unicorn Tapestries

Phoenix, Dragons, and an Unicorn
While checking out different countries national animals we were pleasantly surprised to discover several countries actually have mythological creatures for their national animals.  The following is not inclusive of all but it is certainly interesting! Scotland embraces the unicorn as their national animal, China the  Chinese dragon, Czech Republic the double-tailed lion, Greece the Phoenix, and Bhutan has the Druk,  the Thunder Dragon.        

 
 

 A Fruit That Sounds Like It’s A Fantasy -- Pink Lemons!

It is actually real and it’s called a Variegated Pink Eureka Lemon tree.  The rind is yellow with green stripes and the flesh of the lemons is pink!  This image comes from the Tree Center.
 


                                                   IMAGINE…
Rolly Pollies bugs. BB bugs  Armadillo bugs.  The woodlouse, who rolls into balls and lives under garden rocks have a lot of nicknames.  Now imagine if you will a specie of woodlouse over a hundred times larger than the biggest woodlouse you have ever seen.   
 
                                                            SUMMER!
                                                                     

                                                                   

Photography Is My Heartbeat - "The best kind of photograph I like to take is an animal I don't have a picture of yet."

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer. 
                                                                                               Ansel Adams
                                                                                                                                                     
                                               
During Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo by moving my camera intentionally I was able to create a swirl of lights that appear as if they are swimming in the night sky. 
                                                                  
                                  MY PHOTOGRAPHY ZOO TIPS
                                                                       
    
                                                                                                                                             
MORE OF MY PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS                              
                                                           
Baby animals- many zoos have a special viewing of baby animals that is not intrusive to their well-being yet allows people to see them as they would not be able to do so otherwise.
Make sure you have some money with you for taking pictures. Currency placed next to  smaller creatures helps put their size in scale.                                                            
                                                 
Timing is the key. Be patient when taking a photograph but be ready.
Practice with your pets because they are always around.
Get to know your camera’s setting, experiment with them.
Before you throw away a picture check to be sure within it, if cropped, a picture exist.
Make back up copies of your photography.
A backyard is a great place to look for pictures.
             
Having more than one camera helps
Pay close attention to your surroundings. 
Take pictures often!                                                       
Take your camera everywhere you go.
Weather conditions play a big part if an animal is more active or not, depending on the animal, such as polar bears.
Play around with different angles such as this a picture I took of an iris in our yard.            
                                                                       
                                       
                       
 
Please be sure to read a viewer's comments of sharing his photography tips!  Thank you for sharing. 

MUSEUMS ARE VIRTUAL LIBRARIES

                                                                                                                                                      
              Museums Are Virtual Libraries

                                                                                 
Museums are virtual libraries. There isn't another place where so many things that truly are beyond the scope of expectations of ever witnessing in a lifetime exist. Museums are also virtual because it is not about 'looking' but rather experiencing. When the current Denver Museum of Nature and Science (located in City Park) was built it was structured around the prior museum before it.  Thus inside the museum today is the intact older DMNS museum.  The above picture was taken inside the entrance of the museum, and what is now a wall was once the exterior building of the original museum. Of the many windows, the glass was removed and replaced with art. We also appreciate that the museum has an energy, a vibe of its own, and a sense of humor. There are elves and gnomes hidden throughout the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for you to find.    
                      
                                                  
           CREATURES OF THE LIGHT EXHIBITION
As members of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science one of the many benefits is being the first to see new exhibits. Creatures Of The Light was beautiful and inspiring. There was so much to discover, to become aware of until one can almost feel like a stranger in the world we live in.  Included in the exhibit was a live desert hairy scorpion that lives the Arizona desert.  Mimicking his nighttime environment, he actually glows.  We also learned about a tiny plankton called dinoflagellates, about the size of a pinhead, and they gather together in the millions. They moves with things in their environment  such as waves created by boats, and during the dark hours of nights their presence light up the water so blue it looks electric. Should Creatures Of The Light come to your area make it a point to see it!                                                 





THE ARK KEEPERS – On Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat

During a visit to Denver Zoo hearing two zookeepers experiences, their conversation stayed with us all the way home, and inspired us to change the name of The Keyboard to The Ark Keepers – on Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat. We won’t use their names because not realizing then how their words impacted us we did not ask for permission but as this is being written we would like to quote just a segment of what Ark Keepers do by quoting T regarding  how profound the caretaking of animals is, “Sometimes we become their parents.” 

Even as life long zoo members our experience of a private tour of Denver Zoo made us realize a worthy zoo is truly another form of an ark.  It awaken us to a wider world of what it entails to care for animals, and thus we sometimes call a zoo staff, The Ark Keepers.  

   
            Majestic.  Beautiful.  Strong. Enduring.
                                                                          
                           Our National Mammal.

                                                                          
                The gift giving of one’s spirit animal
Have you ever considered giving the gift of one’s spirit animal?   How?  There are many organizations that are devoted to the quality of animals lives that have adoption programs.  The adoption money goes towards the care of the animal.  Select an animal that is the spirit animal to the receiver.   

                                               
                            The Unfamiliarity of Familiar Animals
 (Even the animals we know can teach us things amazing things about them.)
                                                               

POLKA-DOT EYES OF A BUTTERFLY-PHOTOGRAPHY BY S. MASON
                              

                                
A high-five from Dill to Jo's new family member, a Kai Phoenix Cobblestone,
a Plott/Pharaoh Hound mix.                                                                          
                                                        
                                             Beautiful Words
                                                                          
Some words are so beautiful they give us a reason to pause, reflect, and exhale. Such words speak to the stories of our lives. For us there are four special words that are beautiful together when driving miles of snow covered tree-lined blocks, and the title of my photography--On Our Way Home.  
                                                                    
                                                                   
                                      
          The Denver Zoo -A Centennial History

Authored by Carolyn & Don Etter, commissioned by the Denver Zoological Foundation, Cover to Cover Designed, designed by Jody Chapel- Roberts Rinehart Publisher


On March 14, 2016 a copy of The Denver Zoo -A Centennial History was gifted to S. Mason from Rachel, Matt, and Connie from Denver Zoo. As we looked through the pages at the stunning photographs, reading random passages along the way, each passage a gem of accounts, we were also in awe of such a complete history of the Denver Zoo in one book. The more we read, the past becoming new knowledge, it was like being introduced to the Denver Zoo for the first time. Such irony--from the beginning the Denver Zoo seedlings were from visionaries and we suspect those visionaries would be pleasantly and proudly surprised if they could see the Denver Zoo today. Reading The Denver Zoo-A Centennial History is a rich experience. A beautiful book, a beautiful gifting, thank you Matt, Connie, and Rachel, three very special people.  


                                                       
                                             
With a certificate of appreciation, Connie, Matt, and Rachel also worked in a fluid team spirit to create a very thoughtful resource book of the Denver Zoo that is very much appreciated. The copyrighted covers are a footprint of a lion, and an elephant trunk.

"Thank you" is just the threshold of our gratitude.
 



                      
                                                
                The Chateau of Thoiry, Vince                  
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/07/rhino-shot-dead-by-poachers-at-french-zoo

Per Wikipedia -- Located in the village of Thoiry, France The Chateau of Thoiry covers 370 acres that includes a castle that was built in the 16th century, botanical gardens, and a zoo where Vince, a rare white rhino, endangered, resided. The news of Vince’s butchery was so horrific the very digestion of such a heinous act had to be taken in small doses of reality for it was so shocking.

Poachers are monsters among us that are beyond comprehension of their deranged capabilities. They are a soulless predatory cancer against the world.

At Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat in America we join the chorus with the rest of the planet to express to the zoo and France we grieve with you.


And to the staff specifically who are the caretakers of the ark, (for all zoos dedicated to animals are truly arks) our prayers and thoughts are with you today and beyond.    
      
                  

                     The Cincinnati Zoo, Harambe
      
The Cincinnati Zoo made the right and yet hellish decision. In the emotional firestorm of Harambe's death we at Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat want to extend to the Cincinnati Zoo our respects in your time of grief and great loss.  Endangered.  Beautiful.  Magnificent. Family. Harambe. His death is a collective loss of all, and though different, to the zoo itself a loss of family.    


"As a society we are quick to judge how a parent could take their eyes off of their child, and if anyone knows me, I keep a tight watch on my kids.  Accidents happen, but I am thankful that the right people were in the right place today."
                                                                The mother of the toddler

The irony is stunning.  That day, one of the 'right people' was not in the 'right place' and that person is this parent being at the zoo with the attitude 'accidents happen.'


But the following words are not about her when many people feel the same way. This is about the tragedy within this tragedy--a societal mindset (some believe) that visitors can 'accidentally' enter a zoo animal's habit.  We do not believe in the mindset under these circumstances 'accidents happen.' That kind of thinking is the breeding ground to disavow common sense behavior at a zoo, subconsciously marginalize the importance of zoo rules, and weakly alibis a lack of attentive behavior. If anything such a mindset is absolutely dangerous as we have learned by the hardest way possible.

At this point one of the worst things that can happen is to accept a societal belief a visitor can accidentally get into an animal's habit. To believe that is to prematurely accept that it will happen again. Yet if rules are followed, tempered by common sense, and attentive behavior it would not nor could not occur.

Zoo policies and rules are posted on their websites.  Many zoos have notices posted throughout the grounds as reminders.  Zoo staff members are also a resource to ask.


All zoos are different and their rules apply specific--in some cases--to their unique attributes, so check if you are unsure about anything. Before visiting a zoo talk about what is expected in behavior, and for the little ones who do not understand, use the zoo visit as a teaching tool. If rules were respected and adhered to that day Harabme would be alive.

Harabme in Swahili means pull together.  Harabme is a word used in rallying cries in Kenya. The orange sunset photograph taken by S. Mason is symbolic that Harabme's days ended too soon.



                               THE ARK KEEPERS
Even as life long zoo members our experience of a private tour of Denver Zoo made us realize a worthy zoo is truly another form of an ark.  It awaken us to a wider world of what it entails to care for animals, and thus we sometimes call a zoo staff, The Ark Keepers.  
                           THE ARK KEEPERS OF FLORIDA'S ZOOS
                                                                  
                                                                
            A WALL MURAL AT NUGG'S ICE CREAM    

lovin it!  On East Colfax in Denver we came across the art work of Delton Demarest in a wall mural at Nuggs Ice Cream. At Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat we appreciate business owners who allow artists blank slate of a wall to share their work and in doing so  enhance their business with art, and enrich their communities in the spirit of creativity!

                                                                        

                                              Marius
      The Copenhagen Zoo Is A Premature Graveyard
No two zoos are the same. But all zoos have the common thread to embrace the quality of life for animals, to protect them, and become the ambassadors of awareness and educate people of their importance. A zoo is nothing short of a testimony of our humanity. For the brutal senseless killing of Marius the giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo, this place does not deserve the title of being called a zoo. It is a monstrosity for it is a premature graveyard. To mourn Marius is to mourn all the animals in this abomination.          



                                 WHAT IS THIS ANIMAL?

There is an animal that we have heard call, a panda, a baby elephant, a pig, and something that has been engineered. It is none of those fore mentioned but it is endangered. How can it be saved when some do not know what it is?

                                                             


 
                                                                                                                            
                                                                
              
                 The Secret Life of Strawberry
        Long ago we stopped being surprised to open our front door to see unfamiliar cats sitting on the porch. They were all groomed and often collared. When we came to the door they all meowed a ‘hello’. Even our cats look at them odd, as if to say, they were not suppose to do that. They were strangers yet company. We gave them names. They answered to them. These cats have never shown any interest in ours.  But Yoshi, our cat, goes to the door when Strawberry visits and looks into our home.  Otherwise these cats only spoke to the humans of the household.

     One time, a cat we named Jafar use to come into our home without solicitation. He liked to sit on laps while in a rocking chair and look at television. It was a little peculiar but people who love cats accept their idiosyncrasies as charm. The other day a new cat was sitting on our porch. Stepping outside to pet him (we assume male) he meowed and purred as though he had been waiting for the door to open. He spent a part of the morning visiting on our porch. He was given the name Strawberry. Why they come and who are their guardians, we have no idea. And surely their guardians have no idea what their cats are doing. We simply accept that, if only for one morning, we are the secrets in cats' secret lives. A couple of weeks later… South. Early this morning when we opened the door we saw Strawberry come into our yard and for the first time we discovered he walked from the south of our neighborhood. He walked on to the porch, and when we opened the door to pet him, Strawberry walked inside.

     Dill and Butter stood there, just shocked. Dill, who was in mid-step, when Strawberry entered and peeked into the living room, remained that way even when Strawberry went back outside and settled on the porch. Strawberry is in my videos, B&W.  We asked ourselves, "Should we tie a little note on Strawberry's collar and tell his guardians about Strawberry secret life?"  Time answered the question for us. Months later Strawberry does not come around as often, and we miss him and hope he is okay.  As Strawberry sometimes peeked in our windows, we now peek out to see if he is there.  
                                                                                                                                    
   
                           
Cecil
A Memory Is Another Form Of A Heartbeat
 
Even now in Cecil’s death he is more than the sum of Walter Palmer’s existence when the lion transcended into becoming a symbol of global hope and his killer is rebuked world wide. In a slow kill, slaughtered, his body mutilated, Walter Palmer claims he did not know Cecil was famous as if to say his actions would have been acceptable if it had been another lion. There are clinical terms for that kind of personality demeanor. And even now in his regret statement Palmer spoke of his ‘love’ of killing animals. Walter Palmer knew what he was doing. But all that Cecil stood for still breaths, and West Palmer’s quality of life is dead. Some of his patients are protesters. Who would want the murderous hands of this dentist touching them? Who would allow this doctor to continue earning his living through them that supports his killings? The legal cost alone, incurred by Walter Palmer, will bleed him out finically. As the governmental powers of Zimbabwe must quickly and transparently bring those associated with this heinous act to court the country itself needs to reexamine their own whoring cohort complicity when they allow any animal to be hunted--and while you are at it ban the bastard Walter Palmer from your country. Cecil--what is a memory if not another form of a heartbeat.   Even now, for the rest of us in our global grief and outrage, there is work to do. And it is amazing how much we could do by churning grief into power thus action. Louder than our loudest cries--ROAR. 
 
Support zoos and other organizations that enhance the quality of life for animals. World Lion Day is in August--please check out the link to this important organization on Dill's sidebar. Below is a link from Change Org petition regarding Cecil that we signed. Within the first 24 hours a quarter of a million people have signed.  Please consider signing and passing the petition to others.http://www.change.org/p/justice-for-cecil-the-iconic-collared-lion-slaughtered-by-trophy-hunter


    Regarding Zimbabwe's decision not to pursue legal recourse against Walter Palmer

As jarring yet numbing, and disgusting as it is to read of Zimbabwe's decision not to pursue legal recourse against Walter Palmer, it is not shocking or mildly surprising when the powers that be in Zimbabwe have their own whoring cohort complicity that allows for any animal to be hunted.  But maybe with the world wide outage of Cecil's killing, with such backing and support, Zimbabwe would do the right thing.  Instead in essence Zimbabwe's decision really is an invitation for Walter Palmer to return to their country and continue his enjoyment of killing animals. Many airlines have now banned these killed animals from their flights. With social media eyes Palmer's life will not likely never be the same. Zimbabwe's decision and Palmer's act are both a symbolic disease against humanity.    

If we do not do something to prevent it, Africa's animals, and the places in which they live, will be lost to our world, and her children, forever.  Before it is too late, we need your help to lay the foundation that will preserve this precious legacy long after we are gone.
                                                                                                 Nelson Mandela
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                         
                                                            THE BIG PICTURE
                                              
TAKEN AT DENVER ZOO AN OKAPI FEELS LIKE VELVET. THIS WAS A PART OF OUR BEST DAY EVER AT THE ZOO.