A fourth Monday means it’s time for Challenger’s Choice, open anyone taking photos with a non-traditional camera.  If you do, please consider joining us. We’re a congenial group, full of good information and ideas.  Come be part of the fun, either this week or next.  You can find the themes for each week on Sally’s site (she’s our knowledgeable hostess and challenger) or you can just go there and find links to all the entries for the week.

Recently, while spending the weekend with our older daughter,  I visited the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska.  I grew up in Omaha, but haven’t been to the zoo for many decades.  It’s an outstanding zoo, particularly for a city of under half a million.  On this particular Sunday, it happened to be Appreciation Day, so entry to the zoo was free.  We were additionally blessed in that we hit a balmy, sunny day just ahead of the Polar Vortex, a day so warm we could carry our jackets.

I really enjoyed seeing the penguins, so ungainly on land, so graceful in the water.  This first guy (in the foreground) posed unmoving for the entire time we watched, while the penguin in the back reveled in the snow under where the ice and snow was dropping from the top of the exhibit.

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 I like the somewhat Impressionistic look of this photo.

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By adding a little tweak, I got another effect I like, one that give the feeling of winter and the cold.

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If you need assistance, just push the…button?  Oddball photo op!

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The tall of it

Posted: November 22, 2014 in Animals
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The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha was ranked by Trip Adviser readers as the #1 zoo in the world in 2014.  I’m not sure that’s true, but the zoo is quite good, particularly for a city of just under half a million people, and very visitor-friendly.  The day we visited, the weather was beautiful, especially for November in the Midwest, a day so warm that we wouldn’t have needed coats.  An additional treat was that it was Appreciation Day with free admittance.

I always look forward to seeing the giraffes. They’re such an interesting combination of grace and awkwardness.  The day we visited, the giraffes were inside, feeding.

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While we were close, the glass and lights caused some inconvenient reflections.

 

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The keeper took a large push broom and gently rubbed the giraffe’s neck.  If you look closely, you can see giraffe’s mouth twisting in pleasure.  Every time the keeper stopped, the giraffe turned toward her until she started again.

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Winter snuggles deeply down

Posted: November 22, 2014 in Nature, Poetry
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Walking outside 
   I inhale crystal shards:
   sparkling, beautiful, sharp
   slicing my nose and lungs;
   wind accentuates the cold.
Birds huddle
   in puffy, feather coats
   inside bushes nearly denuded of leaves.
Squirrels draped in fur
   (would PETA member throw paint on them?)
   scamper everywhere
   heedless of the cold
   stashing nuts in places too soon forgotten.

Calendar a lie
Winter snuggles deeply down
Cold seeps into bones

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Today’s Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Angular.” This morning while walking in the park, I found these natural angle that you might enjoy.

Have a wonderful week and for all who celebrate Thanksgiving this coming Thursday, “Happy Thanksgiving!”

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In 2012, I mused about Big Brother and Viagra in advertising.  At that time, I hadn’t heard the radio ad from a doctor that promises you’ll get results right at his office.  Is that good thing?  How long do you have to stay before you can safely leave?  Who would want to be the receptionist in that waiting room?

But I digress.  Here’s a re-post of that post.  As I prefer not have to click on another link to get to what I want to read, I’m posting the original here for your reading pleasure.  Please enjoy responsibly.

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So many of the little helpful things on the internet are (or can be), if you think about them, a little creepy. Ads pop up based on things in your emails that are pulled out by something. Before I send an email, a box comes up to inform me that the word “attached” appears somewhere and did I mean to attach a file? If “they” can do this, what other information might “they” be tracking, recording and using? Great conspiracy (and reality) stuff here. But why can’t “they” figure out that I, as a female, am unlikely to want Viagra and not send me spam about it? It’s all more than a bit “1984”.

Speaking of Viagra….I always wonder….are there really that many men who need it? Would they get together for a guys’ night out, hanging around the swimming pool and sing “Viva, Viagra”? Wouldn’t they rather be at home so they don’t miss “the moment”? (Maybe I’m mixing products here, but you get the idea.) I’d also like the bathtub rights for all those Cialis people who sit out on the top of a mountain in his and hers tubs! Never quite got the connection there.

And why on earth would anyone think that insurance should pay for Viagra for prisoners???? Or for anyone, for that matter?

But the question that we’ve never been able to answer satisfactorily and causes gales of laughter every time we toss it around is how do you discreetly get to the doctor or hospital if, after four hours, you’re still “Viva-ing”? As one of our daughters said about something completely unrelated when she was very young, “I never had a problem like that before!” So very true!

I really had to struggle to get down to 100 words this week.  I hope the story didn’t suffer as a result.  But it was a story I wanted to tell and I did the best I could.  If you’d like to read more stories, click on the blue frog to access the current links to other stories.

Tirescopyright Claire Fuller

The Necklace

Police interview
18 September, 1985
_______, South Africa
Peter S.

I was taking pictures for __________ magazine when I heard shouting and screaming. Everyone ran to where a gang of men had shoved a tyre around a woman. People yelled that she was a police informant. A man, her husband, I suppose, was trying to save her, shouting it wasn’t true. Two men dragged him away. Then someone dumped gasoline over her and somebody else tossed a lighted match.

No, I didn’t get any photos. I was bloody well afraid for my own life. Don’t think I could identify anyone.

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Necklacing” was a practice that came into prominence in South Africa during the mid-1980′s.  As Wikipedia reports:

Author Lynda Schuster writes,

‘Necklacing’ represented the worst of the excesses committed in the name of the uprising. This was a particularly gruesome form of mob justice, reserved for those thought to be government collaborators, informers and black policemen. The executioners would force a car tire over the head and around the arms of the suspect, drench it in petrol, and set it alight. Immobilized, the victim burned to death.