Sunday, January 25, 2009


Headed out this morning to visit the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and was a bit surprised to see the sign board announcing Lu's birthday! I have missed it the last several years. But I knew it wasn't today, but tomorrow! Good for me they posted early, for it is indeed tomorrow and I am going to try to make it this year! They make Lu a big cake, a real cake, with frosting and everything- and he really likes it! I am told it is in the shape of a tire, his favorite plaything. Lu will be turning 49.

After greeting the lounging Lu, I moved about the walkway and grabbed some shots of various animals. The big cat was right up front, which is unusual but then I learned they have introduced a male and she is basically wanting to be as far away from him as possible, even to the extent of putting up with the gawking humans!

I moved on to find my brood of Black Bellied Whistlers that I have been visiting since they were born last year and always good to see them. They apparently had just come from a swim and were shaking their feathers and grooming in preparation for a nap.

Nice shot of one of the small red foxes that has staked out a regular location in their new larger enclosure, and next to it, where the wild turkeys used to be, they have added two new Red Wolves! These came from another zoo, and are not used to the new place, pacing continuously at the far end, reacting to every twig snap and human, not to mention the roar of the occasional motorcycle on the road just behind the trees that back their enclosure. I didn't get a shot of them. I did inquire as to the disposition of the turkeys that had previously been housed in that enclosure and was told that they had been moved in with the deer, but that a wild bobcat had climbed the fence and eaten all but one, the one with the big attitude, who I learned is called Damien, (how appropriate!) and expressed that attitude to the park rangers as well as myself. Every visit, Damien would stalk me as I moved across the front of the enclosure, stopping to spread his fan tail to threaten me off of his turf... it was quite interesting, and explains why he alone survived the attack. He is now in an isolation enclosure while they decide what to do with him to keep him safely housed and I am told because of his antagonistic attitude, it takes two rangers to enter to feed him.

Over to the manatee area, I was just in time to see one of the birds catch and manage to slip a fish down its gullet! That was it, and I headed on out, taking the walkway back to the front of the park on rt 19, and catching a couple of shots of the boats on Pepper Creek on the way.



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