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Showing posts with label Churchill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Churchill. Show all posts

Sunday 10 February 2019

Year of The Pig

Chinese Zodiac Pig Sign
  1. Hawaiian Pigs
  2. Babirusa
  3. CNE Pigs
  4. Miss Piggy
  5. Miss Piggy
  6. Red River Hog
  7. Tamworth Pigs
  8. Pig Pot at the ROM
  9. Pigman at the Campbell House
  10. Warthogs
  People born in the Year of the Pig are said to be thoughtful, polite, reliable, courageous and ready to help others.  They can also be naive, and self-indulgent.  2019 is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac.  To celebrate here are 10 of our favourite swine encounters. Oink Oink.

1 ) Hawaiian Pigs
Mini Pigs At Dan's Green House in Maui

Dan's Green House is located in the town of Lahaina, on the island of Maui, in Hawaii.  They have exotic plants and rare birds as well as mini pigs.  We got a chance to spend some time with these two little guys.  Aren't they just the cutest?

2)  Babirusa
Babirusa with a keeper at the Toronto Zoo.

Speaking of cute, we are sorry but babirusa are just the opposite.  They have long legs, weird curvy tusks and look like all of their hair just fell out.  They are only found on a few islands in Indonesia and are unforgettable.  We saw this pair at the Toronto Zoo.

3)  CNE Pigs
Pig feeding her litter at Canadian National Exhibition.

When the Canadian National Exhibition comes to Toronto at the end of each summer so does "The Farm".  You can experience the sights and smells of livestock.  There are always lots of pigs and usually one big sow who spends her day constantly feeding her litter of piglets.

4)  Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy in Wedding Gown at Museum of The Moving Image.

In Queens, New York the Museum of the Moving Image has a Jim Henson Exhibition.  Miss Piggy is one of our favourite Muppets and favourite pigs.  Here she is in her wedding gown ready for her big day.

5)  Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy Plane crash site in Churchill Manitoba.

This Miss Piggy is a crashed freight plane.  It can be found in Churchill, Manitoba still sitting where it crashed in 1979.  Miss Piggy the Muppet made her debut in 1974.  We have read that the plane is named after Miss Piggy because it was overloaded or it once carried a cargo of pigs.

Front of Miss Piggy Plane in Churchill Manitoba.

 We think it should be called Miss Piggy because of its flat snout.

Miss Piggy plane engine in Churchill Manitoba.

  By the way Miss Piggy, your engine is way over here.  Also watch out for polar bears hiding amongst the rocks and wreckage.

6)  Red River Hog
Red River Hog At The Toronto Zoo.

The red river hog is a colourful African pig.  We like its whiskers and red coat.  It turns out that we have a fondness for animals with red coloured fur.

7)  Tamworth Pigs
Tamworth Pigs At Riverdale Farm.

Based on our previously professed love of red furred anuimals you can see why we like Tamworth pigs.  They are one of the oldest breeds of pigs.  You can also see the curly little tail in the photo above that makes pigs even more appealing.  These pigs are from Toronto's Riverdale Farm.

8)  Pig Pot at the ROM
Pig Shaped Pot At The Royal Ontario Museum

This pig shaped vessel was at the Royal Ontario Museum.  We imagine it could be filled with some sort of liquid which could then be poured out of the spout in the snout.  We didn't make note of what was listed as its intended purpose and often the museum uncovers artifacts whose purpose is only assumed.

9 ) Pigman at the Campbell House
Campbell House Museum.

We took this photo of the Campbell House Museum in Toronto.  The Campbell House was built in 1822 and was actually moved to where it sits today.  Looking at our photo later we noticed something odd.

Man Dressed Like A Pig At The Campbell House in Toronto

There was a well dressed pig man on the grounds.  We hope he was there for an event or promotion at the museum. 

10 ) Warthogs
Warthogs At A Waterhole In Greater Kruger Park.

We took a trip to Africa and encountered many wild warthogs.  We watched them come and go at a waterhole in Greater Kruger in South Africa.  We also watched them mow the lawn in Zimbabwe beside the mighty Zambezi River.

A Warthog Kneels On The Grass At A'Zambezi Lodge.

Because warthogs have such short necks they usually have to kneel down on their front legs to eat grass.  In the video below, various African animals eat beside a waterhole until the warthogs come and take over.

New Year Celebrations At Scarborough Town Centre.

  That is our list of favourite pigs.  We took part in some celebrations at the Scarborough Town Centre for the Chinese New Year.  You can celebrate and enjoy pigs all year long.

Map of Our World
Post # 241

Saturday 15 April 2017

Bunny Rabbit Hare

Black Bunny.
  1. Lop-Eared Rabbit
  2. Bugs Bunny
  3. Flemish Giant Rabbit
  4. Arctic Hare
  5. Lionhead Rabbit
  6. Rabbit Balloon
  7. Tortoise & Hare
  8. Cute Bunnies
  9. Chocolate Bunnies
  10. Eastern Cottontail
  This Easter weekend we thought it would be a good time to take a look at our top 10 bunny encounters.  Here they are in no particular order.

1 ) Lop-Eared Rabbit
Lop-Eared Bunny.

A friend of ours used to care for a very cute lop-eared bunny.  A lop-eared bunny is a bunny whose long ears hang (we guess you could say lop) down.  You will notice all of the other bunnies in this blog post have ears that stand straight up or sit back on top of their heads. 

2)  Bugs Bunny
What's Up Doc?

One of the all-time favourite bunnies is Bugs Bunny from the Looney Tunes cartoons.  He is among a short list of animated characters to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The outline drawing of Bugs Bunny (above) was in the Warner Brothers Studio's Museum.

Bugs Bunny's Star.

3)  Flemish Giant Rabbit
G'Day Big Bunny.

From Bugs Bunny we go to Big Bunny.  A Flemish giant rabbit can weigh up to 10 kg and grow to about 30 inches long.  It is one of the largest domesticated rabbits.  The bunny above was at the Toronto Zoo for a short time and shared an enclosure with the wombats and wallabies.  Perhaps it had outgrown its previous living space.

4)  Arctic Hare
Arctic Hare.

While we were in Churchill, Manitoba we spotted this hare just across the road from our lodge.  While it may not be the smartest thing to do in polar bear territory at night, we headed outside to try and get a closer look.  Luckily, he stood still long enough for us to get the picture above.  It took us some time to determine if this was an arctic hare or a snowshoe hare as both inhabit Churchill. We read about one having bigger feet or ears than the other.  Some reports said that one has bigger eyes or fluffier fur.  We made our determination by the black on the ears.  As far as we can tell arctic hares (like this one) have black just on the top tip of their ears while snowshoe hares have a black edge that may cover the tip, but runs further along the ear as well.

5)  Lionhead Rabbit

A lionhead rabbit is bred to have a mane around its face like a lion.  They end up looking like little balls of fur with ears. We wondered how they can even see where they are hopping.  When taking pictures, the bunny below did flash us a look from beneath all that fur just to let us know he was in there. The lionhead above is from Prickly Ball Farm and the lionhead below is from Far Enough Farm.

Lionhead Rabbit.

6)  Rabbit Balloon
Silver Bunny.

Artist Jeff Koons had a piece of his art appear in Toronto's Nuit Blanche 2009.  It was simply named Rabbit Balloon.  It featured a giant shiny silver bunny that was floating inside the Eaton Centre.  This bunny also once floated in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2007.

7)  Tortoise & Hare
Boston's Tortoise & The Hare Statue.

In Boston's Copley Square is a sculpture of a tortoise and a hare.  It was installed as a tribute to runner's of the famous Boston Marathon. It is based on the popular fable of The Tortoise & the Hare. The fable tells the story of a rabbit who was so confident in his ability to outrun the tortoise that during a race he ran ahead and took a nap.  While he napped the tortoise passed by heading for the finish line.  The hare finally awoke and tried to catch up, but it was too late.

The Hare.

8)  Cute Bunnies
Grey White Bunny.

We think that all rabbits are cute.  There is something special about a tiny bunny that you can pick up and hold in your hands while it sits quietly twitching its little nose.  These cuties are from the Toronto Zoo kid's section and from Jungle Cat World.

Grey Bunny.
Cute Dans Le Fruit.

9)  Chocolate Bunnies
Teuscher Truffle Bunny.

Chocolate shaped like eggs is good.  Chocolate shaped like bunnies is good.  This bunny above is a box from Teuscher Chocolates and hides a chocolate truffle in its belly.  We like chocolate.

10) Eastern Cottontail
Backyard Bunny.

The one rabbit that we have encountered the most is the eastern cottontail.  Actually we have eaten more chocolate bunnies and watched more Bugs Bunny cartoons than we have had encounters with eastern cottontails.  Let's try that again.  The eastern cottontail is the wild rabbit that we have encountered the most.  Sometimes when you least expect it you look out into the yard and there is one munching away on something.  Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail!

Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo (Australasia Pavilion) , Toronto Zoo (Kids Zoo) , Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park , Prickly Ball Farm , Lazy Bear Lodge , Far Enough Farm
Teuscher Toronto
Tortoise & Hare , Eaton Centre
Hollywood Walk of Fame

Post # 171

Friday 20 January 2017

Ptarmigans & Buntings

The Ptweet Ptweet of Ptarmigans on the Ptundra.

Location: Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Address: Churchill Wildlife Management Area
Date: Oct 2014
Website: www.everythingchurchill.com

  Most people come to Churchill, Manitoba to see the bears.  There are also lots of interesting birds out there on the tundra.  Two that we encountered were the willow ptarmigan and the snow bunting.  We would have loved to see a snowy owl, but there is always next time.  We suspect that the owls saw us even if we didn't see them. 

  Willow ptarmigans can usually be found walking along the ground out on the tundra.  They build their nests on the ground as well.  We spotted groups of them as we surveyed the terrain looking for polar bears.  The birds had already changed into their winter plumage which made them easier to spot against the brown, rocky tundra.  Normally the birds are also brown which helps camouflage them throughout the summer months.  Soon enough the snow will come and the birds will blend back into their surroundings once more.  Willow ptarmigans are members of the grouse family and we would put their size at somewhere between an overgrown pigeon and a small turkey.

  Another bird we spotted out on the tundra is the snow bunting.  Buntings are a small songbird and love the northern climate.  They can be found anywhere up in the arctic. We spotted a bunting on the rocks (below) sitting not far from where a polar bear was digging through seaweed.  This was the only one that sat still for any length of time.

The Hitter Squares Up.

Snow Bunting Rides The Rails.

  The photograph of the bunting on the train tracks was a lucky shot as the bird only remained still for a second.  It was taken behind the Churchill train station where there were a few snow buntings flying from rail to rail.  They all had their brownish winter plumage which both sexes have this time of year.  During mating season the males will turn all white with only some black remaining on their wings.

Buntings On The Tracks.

  We enjoyed the ptarmigans from the safety of our Tundra Buggy and the snow buntings from the relative safety of the train station platform.  As always while in Churchill you have to be on the lookout for bears.  We recommend that you bird watch with a buddy.  You never know who might be watching you.

Map of Our World
 Ptarmigans , Snow Buntings

Post # 157

Thursday 10 March 2016

Tundra Buggy Tour (Day Two)

Look at That Bear There.

Location: Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Address: Churchill Wildlife Management Area
Date: Oct 2014
Website: www.everythingchurchill.com

  We were ready for the second day of our Tundra Buggy Tour.  You can read about Day One here.  Our group decided that the best course of action was to head towards where we had observed a bear digging yesterday.  Normally, we tried to travel along something that resembled a road.

A Tundra Buggy Road.

  Sometimes we had no choice but to take things off-road.  Part of the route we took seemed more like we were traveling along a stream than across the tundra. The buggy crept through the water towards our destination.

  Another Tundra Buggy was rolling along ahead of us when it suddenly stopped.  Over beside some bushes was a polar bear sleeping right out in the open.  He sort of woke up when our buggy stopped as well.  It was only to take a big yawn.

  It turns out that the buggy in front of us had stopped for more than just polar bear watching.  The day before we had been wondering what would happen if a buggy broke down or got stuck in the mud and rocks.  Turns out the answer would unfold right in front of us.  Luckily the broken buggy was on a stretch of road.  A pickup truck came by and pulled up next to the broken buggy.  One of our guides exited our buggy, took his rifle from its case and bravely strode down the road to stand guard while the repairs were completed.

Buggy Repair Churchill Style.

  Fortunately the bear was still as disinterested as ever. The repairs were completed and our guide returned to the safety of his tundra buggy.  The other buggy began to continue on its way.  This seemed to finally arouse the bear who decided it was time to take a walk across the tundra.  He walked around as we wondered if he would decide to come and check us out.  Once again we were rejected by the bear.

  We headed further along and reached the spot where a bear had been digging yesterday.  We looked along the water's edge and he was nowhere to be seen.  Perhaps he had moved on.  We went a little higher up onto a rocky plateau and then all of a sudden there he was.  He was busy chewing away on something in the grass.  It seems his digging the day before has netted him a bit of a feast.  One of our guides suggested it was most likely part of a whale, perhaps a beluga.  The bear chewed his dinner for some time and then suddenly turned his back on us.  We got the hint and our Tundra Buggy decided it was time to move on.

A Bear enjoys a bite of Beluga.
Polar Bear side profile.
 Bear Back.

  We had another great day out amongst the bears.  As we headed back we passed the buggy that had problems earlier. 

Glad you were here.

  They waved a wave that said they were all glad that our buggy drivers had come to their aid.  We waved a wave that said we were glad it didn't happen to us.  No one wanted to spend the night stuck out on the tundra.  Actually that's not true.  A night on the tundra does sound exciting, but only when it is properly planned for.

Days on the Tundra.

You can read about Day One here.

Map of Our World
Tundra Buggy Tour , Tundra Buggy Tour (Digging Bear)
Post # 100