Red pandas

My local zoo just received two red pandas.  The zoo is undergoing a facelift – better and larger spaces for the animals with a more natural environment.  They also are getting a few new animals and sending some away to other zoos.

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These red pandas are a welcome addition. They certainly are cute, and so many people including children as young as three excitedly asked zookeepers questions.

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Red pandas are endangered with less than ten thousand in the wild.  Their natural home is in the Himalayans, and deforestation is the main culprit for their low population numbers.

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They seem to be closer in relation to a raccoon rather than a giant panda!

IMG_2409Their fur is a beautiful color and fluffy which sadly make them a popular hunting target in the wild.

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They spend their days in the treetops, and are most active at night.

IMG_2410Zoos are involved in conservation of the species.  The Knoxville Zoo in the US is considered the premier place in North America for red panda conservation.

IMG_2408All photos taken by me at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY.

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Autumn in NY

The mid-Atlantic and Northeast are rightfully famous for their autumn colors.  Tour busses regularly go along our highways in October bringing “leaf peepers” with their cameras.  They visit the state parks, but miss out on the quiet local parks.

At the start of the month, before you go leaf peeping, get a pumpkin!

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IMG_6385Even the tiny park by my house begins to lay out a welcome carpet of royal gold and red in mid-October.

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The Erie Canal becomes a quiet place after the busy summer, but if you bring a warm hat and gloves, you can still enjoy taking to the water.

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Hiking paths can be empty in the local parks, as people rush to the more famous sites to see the colors.

IMG_6386By the end of October, the bright reds hint the brief season is quickly coming to an end.

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Until next year!

 

(photos are my own)

 

 

Summer in the Finger Lakes

IMG_4675Sunrises and sunsets can be very dramatic in the Finger Lakes region, but this sunrise might have been one of the most beautiful I have seen.  This summer has brought rain and thunderstorms, which has given us some fantastic cloud formations.

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And, rainbows.  So many rainbows.  We had double rainbows three evenings in a row.

IMG_4907This past weekend there were two Lavender festivals.  I attended the one in Skaneateles.  It was as if I transported myself to Provence.

IMG_6040My favorite summer activity here is fruit picking.  Cherries for $2.49 a pound.  Western NY is actually the second most agriculturally rich area in the USA – in terms of variety and abundance – Sonoma, CA is ahead of us.

I love to travel, but home is pretty great at this time of year.

(photos are my own)