Come see the crystal clear water and spotless rocks at the bear pool.
After working Sunday ’til dark, and all day yesterday, the work is done!
Click here to read about what’s involved in this project and see photos from last year’s bear pool cleaning.
Lightning Donkey is doing much better– his eye has cleared up and his hoof is getting better too, thanks to Dr. Cannedy and his much hated (by Lightning) Epsom salt soaks.
So don’t let the picture below startle you! Look closer and you will just see a very sleepy donkey completely konked out in the sun!
Lightning will often sleep in this bought-the-farm pose, and we get quite a few radio calls from the guest services desk letting us know a guest is worried about him. We always appreciate when visitors are looking out for the animals, and we always go check on them when we receive a concern, but we usually have to laugh when a donkey call comes in- just ’cause we know how Lightning likes to stretch it out and slumber!
Thanks to Ashlyn for the pic!
I saw my first “V” formation of Canada geese of this fall and it got me thinking about migratory triggers. Here in North America the days are starting to get notably shorter, sunset is now about an hour earlier than it was in June. Most animals have circadian rhythms that are tuned to environmental cues like day length. In many species, the shorter day length along with cooler temperatures is the sign of coming winter and triggers migratory behavior.
Inside the brain of mammals like ourselves lies a tiny organ called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN for short). Despite being the size of a rice grain, the SCN plays a large role in the body’s biological clock. It exerts control over other regions of the brain through nerve signals and biochemical activity and research shows that individuals with damaged SCNs have difficulty with daily sleep/wake cycles. The SCN gets input from light receptors and thus able to adjust the body’s clock to match external light patterns. The adjustment of the internal clock is gradual though (why do think that is?) and it can take a few days to adapt to a rapid change in day length. We humans call this condition “jet lag”; do you think geese feel jet lag? Birds do have a SCN but the system doesn’t work exactly that of mammals and their brain anatomy is different.
I’ve posted two questions this month, you can write your answers in the comment section if you want some feedback from me.