Friday, April 30, 2021

Zest and Zoo #AtoZChallenge #SkywatchFriday

It's the last day of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!  I survived once again, but am ending without too much Zest.

I feel tired.  Blogging challenges usually energize me, but not this time. Perhaps its all the up and down weather here in New York State - winter, spring, winter, spring.  After a 81F (27 C) day yesterday, we may get snow tomorrow night.

But the sky is waiting, and so is the letter Z.

Those here for Skywatch Friday, please scroll to the end for some sky shots.

Animal Adventure Park is (their description) "an interactive educational animal park" which went viral several years ago when they set up a webcam to allow fans to monitor the pregnancy of their giraffe, April. 1.2 million people (including me) watched the birth.

Sadly, April passed away earlier this year.   

Because I need a "Z", I am going to describe Animal Adventure as a zoo.  I also realize that many believe that zoos are not healthy places for the animals who live there.  It is true that a giraffe, in nature, would never be able to survive a New York winter, nor would it live in a fenced enclosure.

There are no easy answers here, but one thing I like about Animal Adventure is the commitment the Patch family that owns it has to conservation and publicizing the "silent extinction" of various species, including reticulated girffes.  Additionally, they are attentive  to the needs of visitors to their facility, including children with autism. (The owners have a special needs daughter)

I have visited Animal Adventure twice.  These pictures are from my last visit, in 2020.

Not sure if any of these giraffes were April.  At the time I visited, interactions were limited due to COVID.

That must feel nice.

Animal Adventure is a lot more than giraffes.  I will finish this short visit off with an animal sculpture.

But besides the letter "Z" we are also here for some sky pictures of New York State. 

Two sunsets - the first, from November 20, 2020 - sunset over the Susquehanna.

December 11, 2020.

And finally, Owego, New York war monument and spring color, earlier this week before spring disappeared.

I'm regaining some of my zest, sharing these pictures of natural beauty with you.

Joining Yogi and the other skywatchers who participate in #SkywatchFriday.

"Z" day in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  My theme this year was "New York State" and I thank each and every person who visited to check out my posts.  May you all have a wonderful rest of 2021, and I invite those not familiar with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge to visit some of the many bloggers who participated this year. 


  1. My kids visited our zoo this winter on a nice day but all the animals were inside. Quite disappointing, but makes sense that a tropical animal would not like the cold here.

  2. Oh, and congratulations on finishing the challenge.

  3. ...spring seems to always be a tug-a-war between winter and summer!

  4. Congratulations, you made it! :)

  5. Alana,

    First off, CONGRATULATIONS! You did a fabulous job this year with your theme and I enjoyed the chair side travels through New York with your virtual photo tour of various cities in your area.

    All A2Zers are probably out of zest about now, including myself. I, for one, am happy to see the challenge come to an end. I'm zapped of energy and am ready for recharge but I suspect I won't get fully charged until I know I've completed all tasks I failed to get done during the month.

    Knoxville has a zoo. We've only been twice and I really would like to go again but timing hasn't been the best. I'd rather go when schools are still in session either late spring or early to mid fall. Maybe things will be back to normal this fall and we can plan a trip. Animals are meant to live in their own environment. Animals in captivity while some survive and others don't, I have to question, what kind of life is that for these often times big critters? I can't even stand the thoughts of dogs and cats confined indoors much less a rhino or lion behind tight, fenced quarters. But...there's no way many of us would get a chance to see God's wonderful creations up close than to go to a zoo. I do believe God wants us to enjoy and admire these beautiful, interesting critters. It's conflicting to the mind, isn't it?

    That's sad to read about April the giraffe's death. Thanks for sharing your series with us this month and I do appreciate your visits, my friend. You're dah-bomb!

    Zonk Looney Tunes A-Z Art Sketch

  6. I remember watching those April pregnancy webcams, it was fascinating and I was hooked. I'd heard she'd passed away recently, so sad.

  7. I remember watching April give birth! I'm sad that she's gone now.
    I love these pictures, Alana! I can just imagine sitting on that bench and having a giraffe head suddenly pop up!
    Beautiful sunsets! And we're having the same winter/spring/winter/spring conundrum here. Sigh.
    Mother Nature, just make up your mind!

  8. I was sad when I heard about April, I remembered how much you enjoyed blogging about her awhile back.

  9. Your sky photos are always spectacular.

  10. Gorgeous skies. Congrats on surviving the A-Z challenge! San Diego has both Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo. Of the two, both the animals and the visitors seemed a lot happier at Safari Park.

  11. Awwww poor April- I bet she is missed! Great photos too. Take care! And thanks for visiting!

  12. Yes, zoos are a mixed reaction now. Many, at least in the US, also do rehabilitation and education (although how much education is a "show" where the animals are just dragged out of kennels, paraded around a stage and have audience members up to pat them?). They are so much better to the animals than when I was little. That leads to so much less animal viewing for the people though. The lion might be sighted lazing in the grass the same color as he is, or maybe it's just a rock! Still, far better than what I saw, a lion pacing in a little cage, with a shelf to lay on during the day. Then, the "lion house," where at specific times a day the big cats were indoors and people could watch them feed. I do miss buying little packets of fish for the sea lions. They seemed to be having fun.
    Congratulations! Take a well deserved break!

  13. Congratulations on completing the Challenge! You had a good theme this year!

  14. You did great with Z, now time to rest and restore your zest ;)
    Congratulations on completing the challenge!

  15. Hi Alana - congratulations on finishing the A-Z ... certainly the weather is odd - but so often it is ... it's May Day - but welcome cold showers here! Loved the photos et al ... all the best - Hilary

  16. I was sad to read about April. I remember hearing of her death. We're having similar weather. It was in the 90s the last two days, and today it's barely 70. At least we won't have heat this weekend. Whew.


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