Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This is the first lioness we saw.  We actually saw her the evening before when it was overcast and stormy but the sunshine shows her off a little better.  There didn't appear to be any other lions or lioness in the area.  She seems to not have a care in the world - but wait. . .

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Standing Tall

This is the Reticulated Giraffe which we saw in Samburu National Park along with all the other animals and birds I've shown so far.  Later you'll see two other types of giraffe, each of which lives in a different area of Kenya.

This big boy has 11 vertebra in his neck and is most vulnerable when he has to drop his head to drink water.  That's a lot of weight and it isn't easy to lift it in a hurry.  That's when the hyenas strike.  We saw and held one of the femur bones in Nairobi and it is big and heavy which makes for a pretty good weapon.

It feeds 16-20 hours a day so that's pretty much a full-time activity.  We saw some at night and they were munching away.

Later we'll see a Rothchild and Masai giraffe.  They all have distinctive markings and some variations in their horns.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Safety In Numbers

The baboons were always in groups of at least twelve with all ages/sizes represented.  The photo above shows the sentinel who is on guard and spreads the word if danger is sensed.  We saw him fall out of the tree when he misjudged the strength of a branch onto which he jumped.  Our guide said that happens a lot. He didn't seem to be injured in any way but looked a little sheepish as he picked himself up and walked away.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Beautiful Blue

This is the Vulturine Guineafowl which is about 24" in length.  They have a beautiful iridescent blue on their chest and neck that this photo doesn't capture but all those spots on their back certainly make for good camoflauge.  These birds stay on the ground during the day but roost in the trees at night.  We saw them in all three parks that we visited.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


The sleek and majestic cheetah can run up to 70 miles an hour, faster than any other animal.  But they can't maintain that speed for very long or they overheat.  This one was taking his time, ambling along but wary.  We found him later at the river's edge.  It's amazing how almost perfectly round his spots are.

Friday, November 25, 2011

And who doesn't love . . . .

. . . the elephants.  We saw lots of them - single, doubles, groups, mama with baby.  Their ears flap and their trunks seem to be constantly moving.  And did I mention that they are HUGE?!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

And lots of unique birds

This is the Kori Bustard.  He's rather large and seemed to travel alone.  Seems likek all those feathers on his neck would get in the way but I imagine he's rather proud of them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Too Cute!

The cubs came out of hiding and allowed their photo to be taken.  Aren't they cute?!  These photos were actually taken the day after the photo I showed yesterday.  It was such a good hiding place for the cubs that Mama wasn't about to go anywhere else.  These were the youngest/smallest cubs we saw.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Her Magesty

This is the first lioness we saw and we found her in the evening on our first safari.  Tomorrow I'll show you photos of her two cubs but right now they are hiding in the bushes.

It's amazing how unconcerned the animals are regarding the vans, people and clicking cameras.  Most  are not at all frightened and continue with what they are doing.  And I was surprised at how close to the road they stay.  Binoculars really  aren't needed.

Monday, November 21, 2011


There are many species of antelope in Kenya and this is one of the impalas.  Looks like those horns could do some damage.  But he's a handsome guy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting Around

This was our mode of transportation while we were in Kenya and that's our driver/tour guide.  Marcos was excellent - knowledgeable with a sense of humor.  He told us not only about the animals but also about the countryside through which we passed, local customs, etc.  His English was excellent and he kept the van immaculate.  There are rather rigorous requirements for the guides which include a college degree.

As you can see, the top popped up so we could stand inside to take photos.  The only time we were out of the van was at the curio shops, having a picnic lunch or in the camps.

Marcos told us that the vans last for three years and this one was in its first year.  They do take quite a beating on the rough roads.

We were forewarned by previous visitors to Africa that the dust was terrible.  However, we experienced a bit of rain and had almost no dust.  Yea!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Little Guys

These are dikdiks, named after the sound they create.  They stand about 15 inches at the shoulder and weigh about 10 pounds and are a member of the antelope family.  They are unique in that they never need a drink of water,  receiving sufficient liquid from the plants they eat.  They mate for life and when one of them dies, the other commits suicide.  They are cute, huh?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Not My Favorite

There are various types of primates in Africa.  These are on the small side (I don't know specifically what kind they are) and they were running around in the camp.  We stayed in tent camps (quite luxurious as you'll see later) and there was always a string to knot to hold the zipper pulls together so the monkeys couldn't get inside the tent.  I was always sure the string was tied as I certainly didn't want them taking things.  I also have a personal aversion to monkey after being "attacked" by some when I was about 14 years old.  A friend and I were walking through the park when the monkeys from the zoo ran at us and started squawking and jumping on us.  One of us had a paper bag and they tore that open and started taking things out.  The zoo keeper (who let them out while he cleaned cages) chased them off with a broom eventually.  We weren't hurt but it obviously left a long-term impression.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Those Are Horns!

This is the oryx, a member of the antelope family.  Unlike some animals, the males stay with the herd.  They use flight to avoid predators, primarily the lions and hyenas.

Those black bands on the front legs make them look like they are wearing stockings.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

World Traveler

Perhaps you heard a rumor that I was in Africa.  It's true!  My husband and I had an amazing adventure and are now processing our many photos to prepare a photo presentation.  So we'll leave Leadville for a while and I'll take you to Africa.

I knew for sure I had arrived in Africa when we saw giraffe grazing in a field right near the airport.  We saw all kinds of animals and today I'm sharing the first animal we saw after entering the Samburu National Park - an ostrich.  They are HUGE and appear to be rather unbalanced but they get along just fine.  Saw an ostrich eggshell somewhere and it was about the size of a cantalope.  Here's a photo of the little ostrichs, too.  They certainly blend into the background so should be quite safe from predators.  I wouldn't think there are many animals who would approach that big mama!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Delaware Hotel, Leadville CO

I thought this was one of the more grand building in town.  The Delaware Hotel was built by local businessmen William, George and John Callaway in 1886.  It was designed to house stores on the sidewalk level and side with handsomely furnished rooms, office and bedrooms in the upper levels.  Among the fine features were steam heat, hot and cold running water, gas lights, baths and closets.  King was the architect of this building (haven't we heard his name several times before?)!  

Monday, November 14, 2011

City Hall, Leadville CO

This building served as the post office from 1905 until 1973.  A bit of local history says that the postmaster used the small attic window to spy on employees who delivered mail around town. Now the building is home to City Hall.  The lobby contains some historic items, one of which is a popcorn wagon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Heritage Museum, Leadville CO

Our tour of Leadville's main street continues with this view of the Heritage Museum which was home to Leadville's first library.  It was named for Andrew Carnegie who donated the funds to establish the library and it opened in January, 1904.  It served as a library until 1971.  A local person related to us that some of the librarians refused to allow youngsters to check out books as they felt the books wouldn't receive proper care.

In 1971 the building was purchased by the local historical society who now operates a museum in the building.  It houses a variety of memorabilia, including items from the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale which was nearby.  One of the more interesting exhibits is a scale model of the world's largest palace of ice built in Leadville in 1896.  The purpose of the palace was to bring tourists from Denver and other large cities to Leadville.  The project was proposed by E.W. Senior and it was built of blocks of ice estimated to weigh a total of 5,000 tons.  The ice blocks were cut from theArkansas River and the project was complete in 30 days.  No detail was spared and the palace was a sight to behold.  If you have an interest, I'm confident you can get more information online.  It sounded truly amazing, especially for the time.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Silver Dollar Saloon, Leadville CO

"The Dollar" is housed in the Clipper Building which was built in 1879.  It boasted of the first tile floor in Leadville at the time it was built and some remains intact.  The Clipper was another creation of architect King.  The Dollar has occupied this space since 1935 and is known for its ornate bar and rare diamond-dust mirrors.    The colorful photo is a closeup of the detail on the top of the building.

I imagine The Dollar has a great many tales to tell.  But maybe what happens in The Dollar, stays in The Dollar.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tabor Grand, Leadville CO

George E. King designed this building, as he did a number of others in the town.  It uses the Second Empire style and has a French Mansard roof.  The building had the only hydraulic elevation in town when it opened.  Construction began in 1884 and was finished in 1885 after H.A.W. Tabor made a financial donation.  Thus the building bears his name.

Part of the building disintegrated and renovation was done in 1989.  It reopened in 1992 with retail shops on the ground floor and housing on the upper floors.

The second photo shows a detail of the "segmentally arched" windows.

Tabor was a big name in Leadville.  H.A.W. started as a shopkeeper in Malta and hit it big when he grubstaked a number of miners in Leadville.  He also served as the postmaster and mayor of Leadville.  His first wife was Augusta whom he married in 1857.  The more famous wife, however, was his second, Baby Doe.  They married around 1880.  After some poor business investments and devaluation of silver, the Tabors' fortune disappeared.  He died in 1899 but Baby Doe spent her last 35 years living in a shack near the local Matchless Mine, which she continually attempted to restart (unsuccessfully).  She died in 1935.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Old Church, Leadville CO

Remember he second door I showed you?  (see posting on November 2)  This is Old Church and there's that door in the lower left.  The building was dedicated in December 1889.  It's English Gothic architecture built by Eugene Robitaille.  The building is now used for local cultural events.

It has a lot of charm with the tall tower and big stained glass window, don't you think?

To the right is the Visitor Center and next to that is the Furman House which I showed you yesterday - just to get your oriented.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Furman House

This colorful building is next to the Visitor Center in Leadville CO and it is a private residence (for sale when we were there but we didn't buy it).

It is an example of Queen Anne architecture.  Augustus Englebach, a foundry and machine plant manufacturer, had the house built by Francis Colohan in 1895.  A number of doctors made this their residence and office in later years.  It was also occupied by the USO during World War II.

Evelyn Furman, owner of the Tabor Opera House (which I'll show you later) became the owner in February of 1946.

It's a pretty thing, isn't it?  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Door Number Eight

This door is a mystery.  The padlock makes it appear that it  covers something of value and because it is metal, it would be strong.  But if I recall correctly, it was three feet tall or so.  It was in the same building as the previous two doors I've shown you and if we knew which building that was, we might have a clue.  But I really don't recall and can't figure it out from the information I have.  Anyone know anyone who lives in Leadville CO?  Oh, let's just let it remain a mystery.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Door Seven & The Train Ride Continues

This door was actually on the side of a long building.  I sensed that it had been there a good many years.  Perhaps my imagination ran away with me, but I pictured it as the entrance to a speakeasy or something secretive (maybe illegal?).  Nah, probably not.  Judging from the weeds, it hasn't seen a lot of activity in recent months.

The engine is now leading the train back to the depot.  There was one stop (at the water tower) on the way back and then we had the opportunity to go through both the caboose and engine.  That was an interesting addition to our trip.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Door Number Six and The End of The Line

This door reminds me of a jail.  Not only does it have bars on the window, it looks like metal bracing all around the opening.  The bricks provide a sturdy background, too.  I don't recall which building it was on.

The train photo shows the end of the line.  Since the ties and rails disappear in the gravel I was relieved that we didn't try to go any further.

In the upper left corner you can see a bit of the molybdenum (as hard to say as it is to spell) mine that is operating once again.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Door Five & The Train Ride

I thought this door was unique with the square panels but it has more interest because of the rectangular panels separating some of the squares.  The dark brown also contrasts nicely with the pale yellow.

Here is a photo of the caboose leading the train up the mountain.  Notice the snow on the peak of the mountain.  We had planned to camp out our first night in Leadville but we were saved by the campgrounds being closed for the season.  I'm sure the motel room offered a whole lot more comfort and convenience.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Door Number Four

As you can see from the position of the door handle, this fancy door is a very high one.  One has to wonder why such an unusual door was selected and where it was made.  It appears that, regardless of the height, it has only two hinges.

Today I decided to show you an entirely different photo from Leadville CO.  Our primary purpose in visiting was to ride the local train to view fall foliage.  The foliage hadn't really changed color yet but it was still a great ride.  This is the engine that pulled 10 cars up the mountains.  The caboose lead the way up and the engine led the way back.  In other words, the train didn't turn around.  While on the train there were beautiful views up and down the valley as well as views of the mountain peaks  of the mountains we traveled on.  They had a covering of fresh snow on the highest peaks.

We opted to ride in the completely open car which got a little chilly at the end when snow, followed by rain, started to fall.  But we still felt it was prime seating.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Door Number Three

This "grungy" wooden door in the entrance to a tavern.  I don't have any history on that building but I like to mentally picture miners trudging through the door after a day of work in the mines in the late 1900's.  We didn't venture inside but I imagine the interior has a lot of character, too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Door Number Two

This door is an entrance to Old Church, formerly the Presbyterian Church in Leadville CO.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Green Door

I'm taking you to Leadville, CO, a small town in the higher elevations with a rich history in mining.  There are still many historical buildings and I'll show you some of those but I also found a lot of interesting doors and that's where we'll start.

This is the first photo I took in Leadville.  I assume it is a storage shed and there was a series of three or four sets of doors similar to this one.  I was attracted to the color but also thought there was a lot of character here.