The iridescence of flight.

I came across these two stunning photographs of a Black Jacobin Hummingbird today (the photos were taken by photographer Christian Spencer).

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The iridescence is caused by sunlight shining through the wings, forming rainbow colored prisms.

The effect is simply magical.

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A very unique trip to the grocery store.

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I’ve seen all kinds of strange animals this week.  On Monday I saw the two mating black snakes at the lake.  Today I had a surprise waiting for me at the nearby Ingles supermarket.

I was loading the groceries into my car, looked up for a minute, and there by a shady area near the service road were some animals I definitely didn’t expect.  At first I wasn’t sure what they were, so I walked a little closer to get a better view.   They were llamas, grazing on the grass under the trees!  What were llamas doing here of all places?   Then I saw two trailers parked nearby, and a man who appeared to be their owner.  He said he was returning from an exotic animal show in Virginia and was letting his llamas out for air and exercise.

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I started taking pictures.  The llamas seemed friendly enough.  They came in every color–tan, brown, russet, black, greyish.  A couple of the llamas just ignored ignored me.  A few of the others looked up curiously, then got back to munching the grass.

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Never in a million years did I expect to see llamas at the grocery store.   You just never know what kind of surprises life has in store for you.

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Click on the photos to enlarge.

Your cheetah heart.

My son went to the zoo the other day and took some incredible photos, including this one of a sleepy cheetah.

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Click to enlarge.

Here are a few others.  Click photos to enlarge.

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Giraffe.

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Gorilla.

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Mom and baby elephants.

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Ringtailed lemurs.

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A lizard shedding its skin.

A very busy day.

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I got off early today and my son, his friend Ryan and my daughter came by to pick me up, and we drove out to the WNC Nature Center in East Asheville (Oteen). Four of us; four cameras popping. The day was a bit cool but otherwise perfect, and the animals had just woken up from their daytime meal and were just beginning to become active (though the cougars still seemed a bit lazy).

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I took a lot of pictures, and they are in no particular order because there are just so many. So I just peppered them throughout this post. I haven’t given them captions either. I also included some photos ofmy daughter, son, myself and Ryan. The “prism” photos of my daughter and me were a total accident–I’m not sure how that happened but they are cool so I’m posting them.

CLICK ON PHOTOS TO SEE FULL SIZE

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We wanted to see the snake and reptile house too, but they were closed for renovations. We probably spent a good two hours there. We saw all sorts of animals indigenous to this area–otters (pretty much everyone’s favorite), giant turtles, birds of prey (I got photos of the owls), wolves (they were still sleeping and are hard to see because of their camouflage), coyotes (one came right up to the fence), foxes (they were very hard to see and too far away to get good photos), cougars (the adorable male and female pair was cuddled up together), and of course the petting zoo animals (goats and donkeys). We also saw deer and a caterpillar web. I got a pretty good closeup of that. I wanted to see the black bears in action but they seemed to be AWOL today.

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We spent about two hours at the Nature Center, and then we all went to eat at O’Charley’s. My son’s friend Casey joined us. I don’t think I’ve ever been so hungry in my life. After our early dinner, we caught the 7 PM showing of Zootopia. I’m finally home, and exhausted, but in a good way. Tomorrow’s his last day here. We haven’t decided what we’re doing yet but it will probably be a less active day.

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Dexter at home in his new home.

Dexter has been living with my daughter and her boyfriend now for over a month. I think he looks very chill and happy.

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Click photo to enlarge.