Archive for Baltimore

Baltimore zoo on an overcast day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 23, 2012 by schwitters57

My city’s zoo is located in Druid Hill Park, a beautiful big city park established in the 1870’s.

Like Central Park, Druid Hill was at the northern edges of urban development at the time of its establishment. The northern end of the park, which contains some of the oldest forest growth in the state of Maryland, has never been landscaped, but rather left as a natural wooded habitat.The southern end of the park was a popular destination for city dwellers for a number of decades. Druid Hill Lake, the park’s most notable waterway, was constructed in 1863 and remains one of the largest earthen-dammed lakes in the country.  Many of the park’s older fountains and man-made ponds have been drained, allowing nature to reclaim those areas.

When I first moved to Baltimore I lived about four blocks away from the park.  The townhouses in the area are regal.  The apartment I lived in was inside a three story tall townhouse with 14 foot ceilings, marble fireplaces, turreted rooftops & stained glass windows.  Sadly the poverty of the area was rife. But I’m way off track. The zoo is the star of Druid Hill Park, housed in a lovely, turn of the century compound with updated installations for the animals living there.

A Demoiselle crane

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Snowy owl

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African penguins

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An African leopard

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Saddle-billed stork

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Roseate spoonbill

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It was feeding time for the penguins so I got a bit carried away.

clouds in early spring

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2012 by schwitters57

Walking the dogs this morning on Father Hooper Field @ Chesterfield and Harford Road, I looked up and saw the most beautiful cloud formations.  I think these are Altocumulus clouds. They are mid-level clouds, spanning from between 6,000 feet up to 20,000 feet into the atmosphere.  They are composed of water droplets, unless it’s cold enough to freeze the droplets into ice crystals.

Altocumulus clouds usually form by convection in an unstable layer aloft, which may result from the gradual lifting of air in advance of a cold front. The presence of altocumulus clouds on a warm and humid summer morning is commonly followed by thunderstorms later in the day.  I got this information from the Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences @ the Univ. of Ill., Urbana-champaign.

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