Entries in Animals (5)
The funny thing about chickens is they don't stay still. Fortunately one of my plethera of shots came out focused!
Maddy and I hiked up Humpback rock, a steep but short hike just outside the Shenandoah National Park. The leaves were already starting to change.
It was fun to see the period actors too. This was a laborious way to make apple butter. The chicken was also one of the method actors.
This fawn followed his instincts to "hide" by staying still. Unfortunately, the fawn chose a spot right next to the road. Luckily, survival of the fittest doesn't mean much here in our suburban neighborhood. Note the snap peas we offered this little one.
The Patara Elephant Camp starts with a narrative of the role Thai elephants and the forest played in the economy and keeping the peace in Thailand, a country without a history of occupation. Unfortunately, the elephant and the forest suffered and have continued to decline. The camp targets to develop sustainable growth in the forest and the elephant population, and educate visitors on proper care for elephants. For example, elephants have incredible sensitive feet, which is why elephants in the city develop stress related conditions.
Apparently poop is quite telling. It should be moist and smell earthy (pleasant smelling, really). Here, Sophie initially declines to palpate the poop, but she came around later.
We also learned to teach our elephants to play dead - you know, fool the poachers. Well, not really, but they were well trained and with simple tactile and verbal commands they knelt and laid down.
Of course taking care of an elephant includes a wash. They love the water, and willingly cooperated with our efforts to clean them.
We road bareback. When using a saddle or blanket, rocks and debris get caught under the saddle or blanket, causing skin breakdown. It took a little getting used to, but we loved riding on the neck.
Of course elephants need water...
...and a swim.
We visited Jeff King, 4x Iditarod Champion while in Denali. What an incredible tour - both informational and fun. Jeff projects the right mix of Alaskan bravado, dog sledding expertise, and humility. The tour starts with a "puppy" experience, where visitors get to handle the puppies. Apparently holding the puppies helps to socialized them.
The pups are not only unbelievable cute and cuddly, but they smelled like hay. Very cool morning and highly recommended tour. We had to fleece Maddy to make sure she did not take a puppy when we left.