My Many Interests

Monday, August 29, 2022

Ancient Tablet Not a Smoking Gun but Still Stirs the Imagination

Comet above trees after sunset
Comet NEOWISE July 2020
by James H. Pickering 
So, they've found a stone tablet from about 13,000 years ago that points to a swarm of comets. I find the headline a little misleading as it doesn't necessarily mention an actual impact, but I still find archeological artifacts that show astronomical events from the past fascinating.

I especially love this particular find as it was unearthed at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey which is a site that is spoken about often in Ancient Alien episodes. I'm not a true believer of ancient aliens and am skeptical but I love the idea!

Check out the article below for more details about this interesting find.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Birthday Wishes!

As we get older our birthday wishes tend to get simpler. We don't actually worry about celebrating another lap around the sun, could care less about a party, and really we're just happy that we woke up.

I had all intentions of staying in my PJs on Sunday, but as I began to retire the night before, I saw a post on Facebook about a local zoo and the animals you could see. I realized that all summer, I really hadn't seen my kid because she was off making the rounds visiting grandmas, aunts and friends. School would be starting in just a few days and we really hadn't spent any time together. Oh, well. Who wanted to nap all day anyway.

The Kid and I got up bright and early and headed south to Grand Saline, known for the salt prairies southeast of town, most of which are owned by the Morton Salt company. There used to be a big old salt block in the middle of town that you could look at or lick, if you were daring, though there were signs advising against such a thing. It's not there now, or maybe too many people licked it into oblivion (photo was from last year.) We stopped off at a local eatery aptly named Salt Lickers for some grub. Serving a little Cajun and home cooking we got our fill and then proceeded on down to see the critters.

Located off in the woods, East Texas Zoo and Gator Farm is hidden from the road by a picket of trees. Once parked we walked into the main building and immediately got to see wildlife from parrots and tarantulas to lizards and hissing cockroaches! From here you purchase your tickets to gain entrance to the park and you can also purchase food to feed the animals and access to the baby room. We bought the tickets with the baby room access and some food for the animals and made our way outside.

We were just in time for feeding time. Alligator feeding time, that is. The Kid wasn't as excited as I was about it, but she gave in so I could enjoy it. We talked gator with the keeper in charge of them. They take in rescues and nuisance gators from around the area. One of the gators, 515, is from Lake Fork where Hwy 515 crosses between Yantis and Emory and he's a big old boy, but he's not the biggest. That goes to the chief of the swamp, Domino.

After feeding the gators we made our round to the other animals. It's a self tour with signs along the fences describing the animals. It was hot and early afternoon so some of the animals were in the shade snoozing. The laziest out of all of the animals were probably the kangaroos and they weren't shy about it either. Zebras, wild cats, baboons, tortoises, porcupines and many others were to be found. The tortoises are free roaming so you could actually walk up and pet one. I don't guess you have to worry about one trying to get away at the speed they move.

We hit the baby room last and got to meet Walter and Steven, a wallaby and a wallaroo. I can't remember which was which, but the wallaby was an albino with white fur and pink paws and eyes. They were accompanied by two zebu calves and a little pink screaming hairy armadillo, who wasn't screaming but enjoying a nap and appeared to be running in his dreams like a dog. We got fifteen minutes in the room with them and they were very cute and loved the petting they got. 

All in all, it was a fun visit and we got to see animals that we hadn't seen before in other zoos. We'll probably visit again when it's a bit cooler as the animals didn't like the heat either. If you fancy a nice little excursion that won't take up your whole day, visit the Grand Saline area and the East Texas Zoo and Gator Park. 

You can also visit my Facebook page for more photos.