Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Today it has been snowing and blowing, with temperatures holding in the upper 20's and windchills in the single digits.  Brrrrr.....

But I guess this little guy thought it was a fine day to visit the bird feeder in the front yard.

It's not the first time he's come to the feeder, and I've seen and heard his drumming several times on the trees in the backyard.

I found a very nice Ohio bird guide in pdf form that has nice photos and a quick summary of each bird. Here is the description given for the red-bellied woodpecker:

"This big, extroverted and conspicuous
woodpecker is easily lured to backyard
feeders, and its loud rolling churr calls are
heard throughout Ohio woodlands. The
common name is not very appropriate; the
faint blush of reddish pigment on the breast is
barely visible. After the downy woodpecker
and possibly the Northern flicker, this is the
most common Ohio woodpecker."

Our usual feeder friends are sparrows, finches, bluejays, juncos, and cardinals, so it was nice to see someone different today. I'm hoping he'll make a regular appearance this winter.  Thankfully, I was able to get these pictures through the front window so I could stay nice and warm inside on this wintery day.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Rainforest at The Cleveland Zoo

We took a little trip up to the Cleveland Zoo 
to spend some time in The Rainforest.  

Monday was a great day to go since it was in the low 40's and there were hardly any people there.

The low temperature was hardly a concern though since it's a pleasant and humid 80 degrees
 inside, which made for a nice winter get-away.

BigJ and LittleJ starting down the path through the forest.
It leads to a hidden spiral staircase to the upper level.

Here are a few of the animals that were on exhibit.
This chameleon was on the move, slowly and carefully to the top. 
Their front "hands" are so interesting in the way they grip around the branch.
I have to say, I really enjoyed watching the anteaters in this exhibit.
They are amazingly weird looking creatures!!
Can you believe this snake?
I was very surprised when it opened it's mouth like that!
We also saw bats, crocodiles, porcupines, poison dart frogs, different types of monkeys, birds, and fish, and the orangutans.

 I ♥ the zoo. And since we have zoo passes, we'll be heading back there soon before they expire early summer.  This was definitely a fun adventure on a cold winter day, and another favorite Ohio field trip!