This is the first of three posts documenting three separate visits to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The purpose of these posts is twofold; first, these photos were taken before I had this blog and hence have not been properly documented for posterity, and second, perhaps one can see the progression of my photographic skills, such as they are.
By the way, all of these are taken with the Nikon D100. The main thing to take from that is that the photos are “only” 6MB and hence most are not all that much larger than what you see by clicking on them, but if you want to see the full-size versions, they will be in THIS SmugMug Gallery. The only reason to visit the SmugMug gallery is to see all 78 photos in the series . . . but, for them not wanting to read my ramblings, there’s also a gallery at the bottom of the post.
Also, unlike most of my posts, these photos are not presented sequentially.
First off, we have Henrietta Longface. She’s very comfortable on the rocks . . .
Henrietta is rightly proud of her little one, Springlight. He tests well above average in rock sense and attracts lots of compliments from passing visitors.
As proud as she is, Ms. Longface — this being her first offspring — is still quite protective of the little guy.
Next up, we have Wilbur Densefur.
As a youngster, Wilbur was quite the party animal. Life of the party, he was, but life took its toll on his spirit. These days, he’s quite the grouch and if only he had a lawn, he’d be telling you to get off it.
Meet Adrianna Longtooth . . .
. . . and her pal, Dean Shortmane . . .
They are practically joined at the hip, but they do occasionally have biting arguments . . .
. . . that actually leave a mark . . .
Adrianna is getting on in years, and she don’t see too good . . .
. . . she also don’t hear too good . . . I mean, she stand there looking as if she’s paying attention . . .
. . . but just when you get to the crux of your story . . .
. . . you realize she’s thinking what a fine morsel Springlight would make as a snack.
Meanwhile, Sammy Holdwood is contemplating the state of the world.
Sammy is an avid follower of the political scene but about eight years ago he made a tremendous and sad blunder; he started watching Cable News. Paranoia, depression, fear, and desperation are Sammy’s main pastimes now, along with a healthy dose of distrust for people running the zoo. Sammy is afraid they will come to steal his bananas and force him to eat broccoli. Sammy hates broccoli.
Albert Sadface is more concerned with the state of the entertainment industry. He finds current television and movie offerings aimed well below his intellect and sophistication. He’s not opposed to slapstick, but what today passes for comedy sinks levels below anything that’s even remotely funny and entertaining.
Albert now wonders if he’s destined to live out the rest of his life on favorite reruns and old movies or if he should get a lobotomy so as to enjoy the current offerings of prime time television and box-office movies.
Juliet Showself long ago gave up on mainstream entertainment as too repetitive and unimaginative.
Her young, Spic and Span, are growing up with books, but before you think how wonderful that is, they are reading Steven King. I expect nothing short of Jack Torrence wannabes.
. . . but don’t tell Juliet; she thinks they’re going to be lawyers or — failing that — decorative extras at some zoo or other. You can see the pride in her eyes. Also, conceit.
She’s very conscious of the pecking order and thinks she’s the peak beak of this zoo.
David “Baldy” Arancio knows better. He’s checked out all the other beaks in the zoo and will tell you — even if you don’t ask — of his endowment. Why, he’ll tell you he could practically run for office just on that qualification, as many other have.
Meanwhile, Frankie “Slim” Silverband thinks it’s all about being nuanced and sophisticated . . .
. . . poor sot; little does he know the world has changed; dumb, loud, and crude are in,
Mabel Liveshort knows nothing of all these goings on.
Seriously, who can blame her. This kind of stuff has been going on for a long time before her brief time here and will continue on long after she is but a memory.
“Stop and smell the flowers” is her motto, and she lives it with gusto . . .
Unfortunately, not many have that luxury; their time here is long enough to be affected by elected officials acting like elephant turds.
Sorry . . . Peter Tusks, is it? I didn’t mean anything by that; in fact, elephant turd is quite the prize fertilizer, so the metaphor doesn’t exactly ring true.
Where was I? Oh, yeah . . . most everyone is kind of down these days; they know they are watching something big happening, and while they can’t exactly quantify it, they know it’s bad.
Dino Durante’s look should tell you all you need to know.
Still, Dino got nothing on Angel Combover. Angel has the misfortune of looking a bit like a certain someone currently doing their best to screw up things for the human race.
Angel stopped going out, tired of all the attention.
Ted Holdbranch mirrors the concern of most primates. In a precarious position, his main concern is just holding on, but worries any little thing will shake him off his perch and knock him down a few pegs.
Bryce Bushbrow, on the other hand, don’t give a fu . . . doesn’t care. He figures he’s got it made. Long ago, he figured you just got to look the part and people will buy into whatever you’re selling, and he’s selling confidence and self-importance.
I tell you who I envy . . . Melinda Storkly. Melinda just worries about looking pretty. She worked out, you see, that looks are more important than substance. No one is ever going to see her with hat hair and frumpled plumage. Nossirree . . . looks got her where she is, and looks will carry her the rest of the way.
Morgan Longsnouth thinks that’s unfair.
By accident of birth, “making it” for him will be nigh-impossible. He knows, as certain as wind blows and rain falls, that his kind will toil — nose to the ground — for the rest of his own life and the lives of his children’s children’s childrens.
It galls even more when he sees how non-caring the fat cats seem about his plight . . .
Look at them there, oblivious to the luxury they enjoy. Oh, that he could but for a moment experience similar abandonment of worries.
The Longneck clan also has it pretty good. It seems a world made to the benefit of the tall and slim.
But, the Longnecks argue, it’s not their fault they were born such.
Besides, they continue, woodlicking is not all that’s cracked up to be . . .
What? . . . it’s how we stay slim!
OK, OK, we lick the wood, and people give us crackers . . .
Wink, wink . . .
Meanwhile, Stan “Deadbeat” Featherbrown is still looking for a decent job. Of course, he’s been looking for the better part of this century. Apparently, nothing is good enough for him.
. . . he sure do like to preen, though . . .
The Scavengers clan, on the other hand, don’t care much about looks.
Roughly 890 feet in elevation above the zoo and lording above the menagerie is Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun . . .
From there, you can see most of Colorado Springs and surrounding communities
That’s a lot greener a countryside than at the time I left last year. After eleven years of drought, most of the landscape showed a bit more of tan and less green.
That golf course is the Broadmoor Golf Club. I never played there, mostly because I would have had to wear a collared shirt.
Here are the long view and zoom of Garden of the Gods . . .
It don’t look like much from here, but I think I did a post on it . . . yes, HERE.
Here’s a view of downtown Colorado Springs.
Last but not least, looking up the starway leading up to the top of the shrine . . .
Eh, it don’t look as interesting here as it did in real life.
For them interested in only the photos:
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