Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday, July 26 ~The Wilds~

Sara, Matt and Evie came up for the weekend and we finally made it to the Wilds.  It has changed a bit since I was there last.  We arrived around 11:30 after a late breakfast at Bob Evan's in Zanesville.  Our Open Air Tour wasn't scheduled to leave until 12:30 so we signed up for the Animal Encounters Program.  We saw an Eastern Screech Owl, an Opossum, a tortoise and a 2-toed sloth.  Evie really enjoyed it and even touched the opossum before we left.
Eastern Screech Owl

Virginia Oppusum

Two-toed sloth

We boarded our bus at 12:30 and for the next 2 1/2 hours we rode through the pastures viewing some of the most critically endangered species on the planet and a few that have come back from the brink of near extinction.  It was getting rather warm towards the end of our tour so some of the animals were laying down but we had good views of most of the animals and a few even came up and stuck their noses in the bus.  If you haven't been to The Wilds it is certainly worth the hour and a half drive to Zanesville for a most unique experience.  They also offer horseback riding and ziplines.  You can find out more at their website

This is one of the closed air-conditioned buses, we did the open-air bus seen later in this post
Pe're David's deer at the swimming hole

Bactrian camels posing in the middle of the road
Bactrian camels have two humps like the letter B.  Dromedary camels like the ones at the zoo for camel rides are one-humped dromedary camels, think letter D

Persian Onager donkeys, native to Iraq and Iran

Sichuan Takins are probably my favorite animals at the Wilds. They can be found in the same dense bamboo forests as the Giant Panda. (Western China)  I believe they are in the goat family.

Another Pe're David's deer with itchy antlers

Prezwalski's Wild Horses


another Fringe-earred Oryx
Grevy's Zebra


one of two baby giraffes in the field
Southern White Rhino

Simitar Horned Oryx
Indochina Sika Deer
The Yurts on Nomad Ridge
Greater One-horned Asian Rhino

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday, July 7 ~Family Cookout/Kayaking (cont.)~

Trish snapped a few pics on her phone as we neared home so I thought I would share them here.  We had 6 boats on the water, 4 full sized kayaks, 1 small sit on top kayak and a large canoe.  Daniel took the canoe with Lillie.  Asher and Luke started together on the small kayak but between jousting with the paddles and falling in twice, Luke ended up in the canoe and Asher continued by himself on the kayak.  He did pretty good until he hit the riffle in front of our house where he got hung up for a short time.  I had Lily with me and Matt took Evie with him.  Bob and Adam each had their own kayaks.  As I stated in the earlier post, the water was at perfect level and has never been this high that I can remember in July.  We have had some years that the participants in this Darby float would walk almost the entire distance because the water would be so low.  Great time, weather was great, cool (78*) and with enough breeze to keep the insects at bay.

Asher, hung up on the rocks

Dad to the rescue!

Last Monday, Mark Staffan and I did a 3 hour float starting on the Little Darby up near Plumwood at the new Nature Preserve on Arthur-Bradley Rd.  That was a really nice trip, so very quiet because we were further away from Rts. 29 & 42 and the interstate.  We saw herons, wood ducks (mom had at least 14 babies), two deer (one fawn was standing right next to the waters edge) and I had seen a large muskrat the night before when I was checking out the put in spot.  We did have to portage twice around large fallen trees but once again the water was great.  With the exception that it was too muddy for fishing according to Mark.  Once again I forgot my camera so I only have 3 pics from my phone.

Lots of trails and ample parking. Check for ticks when you get out.  And I do wish they had easier access to the creek.