San Diego Surprise!

When YA and I went to San Diego last month, the second attraction on our list was the San Diego Zoo.  The zoo has a great reputation and YA has wanted to go there for years.

It was hot that day (although not as hot as the day before at the Safari Park) and due to covid, none of the zoo shuttles were running.  Like the Park, the zoo is built on the hills of San Diego, with different regions of the world represented in their own areas.  And like we did at the park, YA and I covered the whole thing during our day there.

Our first surprise was the North Sulawesi Babirusa.  Never heard of it?  Neither had we!  The last time I encountered an animal new to me was 20+ years ago on my first trip to Africa.  In Kenya I saw an okapi – a large deer that looks like a cross between a horse and a zebra.   Babirusa means “pig deer” Malaysian and have daunting looking teeth and the males also have remarkably dangerous looking upper tusks.   We didn’t see any baby babirusa but if you look online, they are very cute.

We got our second surprise about an hour later in the Africa Rocks section of the zoo.  We came upon a large empty enclosure with a sign that said “Fossa” – another animal that neither YA nor I had ever heard of.  One of the zoo employees told us that they had just cleaned the enclosure and would be putting out “lunch” for the fossa in a minute, so we stayed.  She put food all over the space so the fossa would “hunt” for it.  If you’ve every thought about what the result of a dog and cat union would be, the fossa is it.  Or maybe dog, cat and weasel?  It was beautiful with a long, luxuriant tale and looked like it would be quite a proficient hunter.  Their natural home is Madagascar and apparently they are able to bring down even the largest lemur species.

It was a great day and we were both happy to have made the acquaintance of two new animals that we had never encountered before.

Have you learned anything new lately?

55 thoughts on “San Diego Surprise!”

  1. I learned just this morning that the small town of Gwinner, ND has twice the national average of twins in its school. The Kindergarten class with 19 sudents has three sets of twins, and there are three more sets of twins in other grades.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I learned that Mabon is the Pagan name for the celebration of the Autumnal Equinox which occurs one hour from this posting.
    Trivial to me personally but important to others I want to understand.
    BTW concerning trivia, I recommend the movie Slumdog Millionaire. I watched it again last night. Absorb everything you can!

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I have not seen it. I have to admit that I was scared away by a throw-away line in Big Bang Theory many years ago about a boy being blinded with a hot spoon.


  3. i’m listening to bill bryson’s the body on tape and in 9 hours of listening i’ve got 9 hours of new stuff. i’ve heard about the heart the brain the internal stuff like lungs and intestines
    you’ve got surface area of lungs that equals 1/2 the size of a tennis court. your intestines are really 20 ‘ for small intestine and 5’ for large

    you have 60,000 miles of blood vessels and 100,000 heart beats a day.
    vitamins are needed but to many will kill you as quick as too few.

    glad i didn’t know all this stuff before. i would have been worried. as it is because of the way brains work in old folks i’ll be forgetting enough of it or filing it away under useless information until it comes up in conversation then i’ll have to google it and say oh yeah… i knew that.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I really like this book. Of course I’ve liked everything that Bill Bryson has written although I was a little worried about him taking on such a scientific topic. I needn’t have worried.


      1. he does a great job of collecting interesting stories about each facet of the presentation as he does it. it kind of reminds me of the way jken burns dissects a topic


  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    This morning I am learning just how much robins LOVE Mountain Ash tree berries. We have a holy war in the backyard occurring over the past two days over those berries. I am also learning that squirrels will hide walnuts and acorns in my potted plants for the winter. They will also chew on the Sweet Potato rhizomes exposed in said pots.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. After two critter free years, I have lost a couple of tomatoes this year, I assume to squirrels. But I have plenty of tomatoes to spare this year so I’m not gonna whine about it…too much

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Good morning.
    I’m about to rent a concrete saw and saw concrete! A new experience and I’m sure I’ll learn a few things!
    (Remodeling at a theater. New bathrooms! I’m the chairman. I’ve learned a lot about this already! Like you can order bathroom partitions online! From Multiple places! And who does suspended ceilings! And permits! PERMITS!!)

    Last week at the college I found a lighting console from 1992 that is supposed to run the lighting for a sculpture in the main atrium. It hasn’t worked in 15+ years. I did a little troubleshooting, sent the console in to be repaired (and it came back yesterday!) so the next step is seeing if the old monitor still works. Because it’s also from 1992 and kind of proprietary… I learned a lot there too!

    The zoo sounds like fun!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I learned not to do this again. And to rent a better concrete cutting saw. And not to get the jackhammer point stuck in the cement. And to have more help. Preferably younger help.
      And that this is going to take longer than anticipated.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Thankfully I am learning every day! I sit here now awaiting my next assignment to a VA facility in Chillicothe, Ohio the first capital of the state. As I do so, I have let my bird people explore beyond their aviary for the first time. Learning the character of four people at once is a challenge. I probably should have put these updates in a blog. Sorry.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. its funny how rarely critters turn out to be jerks. instead of wondering if you have a me me me or a territorial pig they all just have quirky personalities. wouldnt it be refreshing if people were that way too

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Good morning all! Well, since March I have learned some Spanish but not enough. I have reviewed some French but also not enough. I have been reading some books in my own collection that I never finished. I read Catch-22 all the way through for the first time. I still can’t stand that book. I learned some new crochet stitches and patterns including the “Virus Shawl” pattern and the “Star afghan” pattern. I learned a new-to-me guitar picking pattern and I love it. I learned that a baritone ukulele is identical to the highest four strings on a guitar, making it really, really easy to play, and the picking pattern I learned works well on the ukulele too. I learned that peppermint oil keeps yellow jackets away from hummingbird feeders for awhile.
    In the face of hatred, I am learning more and more about courage, forgiveness and compassion. They are the hardest lessons of all.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. god for you krista, i love that you finished a book you hated. says something about dedication.
      i got permission to abort all books that you dont want to finish because there are soooooo many more that you do

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I know, but I can be very self-indulgent when it comes to reading so I was trying to be disciplined about reading it. I really couldn’t stand it. Catch-22 is the most maddening thing. It really is.


  8. I am just finishing my fourth online class in two months. I have learned that they are not very challenging—nothing like I remember real college courses as having been. Most of them are set up to be undertaken over the course of 6-8 weeks but I blast through them in 1-2. I suppose I have learned a few things from them but the things I’ve learned are mostly specific facts and names and not general principles, so it matters little how much I retain.
    Still, it’s diverting and I’m enjoying it.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Two through the Harvard online platform called edX:
        “Tangible Things: Discovering History Through Artworks, Artifacts, Scientific Specimens, and the Stuff Around You”

        And an archived course called “Book Sleuthing: the Nineteenth Century”

        And two from Coursera:
        “Words Spun Out of Images: Visual and Literary Culture in Nineteenth Century Japan” through the University of Tokyo
        and “Seeing Through Photographs” through the Museum of Modern Art.

        The edX Tangible Things course was the most work, with a lot of writing, at least the way I did it. Many of the online students did considerably less. My final paper for that course was about 3,000 words and in total I wrote about 8,000.
        The archived class was one where all I could do is watch the video presentations and read the text. There was no intercommunication with other students.

        The Coursera classes have been mostly videos and reading with no obligatory writing and a few quizzes.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. I originally planned to just audit the edX class for free, since the certificate means nothing to me, but discovered that without the certificate track, you only get to participate in half the course. By the time that was apparent, I had already started working on the final project and was too invested to just drop it. I was much more involved with the edX course but that was because of all the input I contributed.

          The Coursera courses were mostly video lectures and readings and the same whether you are doing it for credit or not.

          Liked by 2 people

  9. We learned that we should have done this much sooner in the season: Put the bikes on back of car, drove 20 miles to Rushford, which is one town on the Root River Bike Trail, and biked 10 miles round trip, much of it through foresty terrain where you could here nothing but nature. It was perfect weather – high 70s. We really needed that, and will try it again next week, I hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. my high school girlfriend move to rushford/houston and it was gorgeous. i really love that country. i met a guy who was a world traveler and opinionated rich guy who when learning i was from minnesota made it a point to say his favorite place on the planet was a little place i had certainly never heard of . it was rushford and i told him about my girlfriends dad who bought 20 homestreads to raise charlet cattle in the 70’s and how much i loved the beautiful rolling hills and countryside. he was amazed and said he would have to talk to his buddies and certainly they would know of such a huge development

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I’ve learned that vitamin D is not really a vitamin, it’s a hormone. Produced by the kidneys. Also, it is suspected that vitamin D deficiency can be a risk factor for developing serious complications from exposure to coronavirus.

    Liked by 4 people

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