Thursday, March 31, 2011

Japanese Maple Blossoms

Are so beautiful! Like delicate little fuschia flowers.

The Wisconsin Eight

Though it might seem like the dust has settled in the Dairy State, the recall of 8 of the 19 Republican state Senators continues apace.

Surveys indicate that @ least 5 of them should feel more than a little worried.

Dan Kapanke,
Randy Hopper,
Luther Olsen,
Robert Cowles, and
Sheila Harsdorf

The remaining 3 are: Glenn Grothman, Alberta Darling, and Mary Lazich.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today's Sermon


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

~ William Wordsworth, 1770-1850

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Zoo ~ Great Barrier Reef Orb: The Design

If I'm counting correctly, this is the seventh biome presented in my zoo. In order, the first six were: 1) Australia, 2) Amazonia, 3) North American Prairie/Western Valley-Mountain (granted a 3 in 1 biome), 4) Appalachia, 5) Madagascar, and 6) Saharan Oasis.

This is first non-terrestrial orb.

It is my desire that visitors experience this eco-system in all of its vivid glory.

The dimensions are the same as the Saharan Oasis giving this ecosystem the general size of a modern sports arena. This would make it the single largest aquarium in the world.

Yet humbly built upon the backs of impressive predecessors and archetypes like the Beijing Aquarium in China and the Georgia Aquarium in the United States. Both of these aquariums include tanks with walk through glass passages. The difference between them and mine is the scope. The passthrough is the width of a 4 lane divided highway.

Located in the north-western quadrant of the zoo, it is found between the Madagascar and North American Prairie Orbs.

Great Barrier Reef Orb: The Reptiles

To inaugurate the biome, there is just one: The Loggerhead Sea turtle.

Great Barrier Reef Orb: The Fish

It is ridiculous to imagine that anything other than fish would make up the majority of the fauna in an aquatic biome. And in a biome of this size, it would be equally ridiculous to imagine that every or even a majority of the diverse inhabitants could be displayed in what essentially is a visual survey. The point being to whet the palette, not exhaust the patience of the reader.

And still, I think you'll be well served as to the full range of fish inhabiting the Great Barrier Reef Orb by this introduction.

And there are plenty of other creatures here, too. Of course, coral being the most prevalent. But a full range animals are included to create as real and fully realized biome as possible. Among them are Sea Cucumbers, Starfish, Anemone, Manta Shrimp, Octopi, Squid, and Clams to just scratch the surface.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Zoo ~ Sahara Oasis Orb: The Design

The Sahara Orb is one of 4 "micro-orbs", and the only one based on a terrestrial eco-system. But unlike "small" which the term Micro implies, the orb is actually the size of an average professional sports stadium with a diameter equal to one and a half American football fields.

The actual width of the biome is 138 meters. Its height is 92 meters. There are two observation stations on opposite sides of the complex.

The idea is to mimic an Oasis in the Saharan Desert, but the concept extends to include a Sahel Grassland and rock facing that mirrors examples from the desert regions of Chad.

The Sahel grassland area includes acacia trees and the oasis is surrounded with natural plantings of dates among other flora.

The orb is located in the southern area of the zoo just east of the North American Prairie-Valley-Mountain binary biome.

Saharan Oasis Orb: The Mammals

Saharan Oasis Orb: The Birds