Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font

Archive for 'animals'

Devil Dog #cute #animals

We saw this dog while we were walking in Vava’u, Tonga. He craned his neck to see us and seemed to be guarding this partially built house. He looked a bit like a devil dog with his glowing eyes.

Devil Dog, Tonga

My Curls Are Natural. It’s True, I’m Telling You! #cute #animals

I took this photo at the local A & P show. This fellow was a bit of a poser with his cute curls.

Angora Goat

Don’t Stare at Me! I’m Having a Bad Hair Day #cute #animals

Camera Critters

I snapped this shot at the local agricultural show. When I was deciding on a photo to post this one made me smile. With all the humidity around here recently my hair is all over the place like this!

Highland Cow

The Tasmanian Devil, Australia #travel

During our recent visit to Tasmania, I was determined to see a Tasmanian devil. I have seen them before, and they fascinated me with their grunting and growling and their surly, cantankerous  natures. I knew that the population of devils has experienced difficulties during the last ten years, and I wanted to see them again.

A Tasmanian devil is a stocky black or brown mammal, about the size of a cat. They have short back legs and since their front legs are slightly longer this gives them an ambling gait. They are carnivorous and have powerful jaws and sharp teeth, used to tear apart their prey of snakes, birds, fish and carrion.

IMG_0836

Early settlers named them devils because of their spine-chilling growls that filled the night. At one time, farmers thought that they attacked their livestock, and the population was almost wiped out. Once they became a protected species the numbers of devil increased until the mid 1990s. A large number of devil died with an illness called devil facial tumor. It is a type of cancer that made lumps form on the animals’ heads. Once they were infected the tumors made it difficult for the devils to eat and they died in the thousands. Captive breeding programs have saved the species from extinction but they are still vulnerable.

We visited Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where they take in injured animals. In most cases, they attempt to release animals into the wild, although they have a few animals that are unable to live in the wild due to ongoing injuries or problems. Along with Tasmanian devils, they had lots of kangaroos, wombats, emus and koalas. Hubby and I loved our visit here. The staff and keepers were friendly and helpful and answered loads of questions. Their enthusiasm was infectious.

IMG_0853

IMG_0854

IMG_0848

IMG_0843

What do you think? Would you like to come face-to-face with one?

13 Animals and Birds that Mate for Life

Thursday Thirteen

As a romance author, I believe in happy relationships and happy endings. I live them everyday while write and reading my books. While some humans are monogamous, there is an equal number of those who cheat or move on to another partner for one reason or another.

The other day I was thinking about this and wondered what other animals or birds mated for life.

Thirteen Animals and Birds that Mate for Life

1. Swans

2. Wolves, which makes the werewolf the perfect hero/heroine in a romance novel.

3. Penguins

4. Gibbon Apes

5. Barn owls

6. Brolga cranes

7. Pigeons

8. Cockroaches

9. Bald Eagle

10. Termites

11. French Angel fish

12. Royal NZ Albatross

Albatros Colony

13. Atlantic puffin

Like humans there are exceptions with the above birds and animals, but generally the creatures in this list stay with the same mate throughout their lives.

You already know I adore a happy ever after story. When you read a book featuring romantic elements, do you enjoy cliffhanger endings, or do you like all the plot strands to tie up and the characters to walk off into the sunset together?

A Tourist Paparazzi at the Zoo!

A few months ago hubby and I were in Sydney. It was a gorgeous day, and we decided to visit Taronga Zoo. We caught the ferry across the harbor and at the other side rode up the cable car to the top of the hill. The view from the zoo is incredible, especially from the giraffe enclosure.

Room With a View

Room with a view for the giraffes.

I joined the rest of the tourist paparazzi and roamed the zoo taking photos.

Kookobura

First up was this kookaburra. He didn’t seem to mind posing.

Koala 

Mr. Koola wasn’t very cooperative. In fact, he was a bit grumpy.

MountainSheep

Mr. Mountain Sheep was cooperative.

Meerkat

So was Mr. Meerkat

Meerkat 2

For a time. Then he turned his back and refused to pose.

Snow Leopard

Mr. Snow Leopard just wanted to snooze…

We had a fun visit, despite the uncooperative animals. Taronga zoo is in a gorgeous position, although comfortable shoes are a must.

Tell me about your favorite zoo experience.

Thirteen Favorite Animal Encounters

Thursday Thirteen

Regular visitors to my blog will know how much I enjoy travel. When the travel is combined with seeing animals in their natural habitat, I’m there because there is something very special about viewing animals on their home turf.

Here are some of my favorite animal encounters:

Thirteen Favorite and Memorable Animal Encounters

1. Camel – I like camels, and I’ve met quite a few during my travels through the Middle East and Asia, but my favorite meeting was in Egypt. We met up with a herd of camels consisting of mothers and juveniles. Once we mounted our camels, we ambled along with the rest of the herd. It was fun and relaxing. This juvenile camel was very curious and wanted to investigate me at close quarters.

Shell's Camel, Egypt 

2. Giraffe – During a visit to Kenya we visited a giraffe reserve, not far from Nairobi. There you can feed the giraffes and observe them at close quarters. I’ll never forget their abrasive tongues and the feel of giraffe slobber. It was a fun visit!

Giraffe_nairobi

3. Whale – I’ve been whale watching in lots of different locations including Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Alaska and Maine. These huge creatures are majestic, and it’s always thrilling to see them in person. This photo of a sperm whale was taken near Kaikoura in New Zealand.

Sperm Whale

4. Baboon – We stayed in cabins in Uganda, and they had a small shop where they sold chocolate including Mars bars. The local kids selling slingshots at the gate should have clued us in. Those baboons went around in gangs, and the animals actually mugged some of the people in our group and stole their Mars bars.

5. Dolphin – I went for a day trip from Auckland to dolphin watch. Once we found the dolphins we spent ages watching them play and surf the bow water.

6. Alpaca – These guys just have so much character. I’d love to own one of these. I guess I need to get some land first.

ChattyAlpaca

7. Moose – Hubby and I came across a queue of cars when we were driving through the Grand Teton area. They had stopped to check out this bull moose that was calmly grazing while tourists clicked photos.

GrandTeton_moose

8. Rhino – When we visited Chitwan National Park in Nepal, we were privileged to see this rhino and baby. It was worth crawling out of our beds early in the morning.

Rhino & baby, Chitwan National Park

9. Snake – We don’t have snakes in New Zealand so any encounter is memorable. Hubby was playing a round of golf on Lindeman Island, which is in the Whitsunday group in Australia. We’d been told there were no snakes on the island. Someone should have told the snake I almost stood on while striding down the fairway! I started looking where I was walking after that.

10. Takahe – It was thought the takahe, one of New Zealand’s native flightless birds was extinct but they were rediscovered in 1945. They’re still very endangered, and are now mostly on offshore islands, which are pest free.

Takahe

11. Elephants – we’ve seen elephants in Africa and also in Asia. They’re such cool creatures. This photo of the baby elephant was taken in Kenya.

Baby elephant, kenya

12. Panda – We visited China two years ago. I wanted  to walk on the Great Wall, see the terracotta soldiers and visit the panda. Not only did I see the panda, I got to hold one. The money raised from tourists goes back into the care and research of pandas. It was worth every dollar.

Panda Shelley

13. Gorilla – My number one animal encounter was with gorillas in Rwanda. I cannot begin to express how magical this was but can still feel the awe and excitement as I watched these animals in the wild. I have an essay about our gorilla encounter on my website.

Gorilla, Rwanda

Do you have a memorable animal encounter to share?

A Dose of Cute Animals

Since I’m deep in edit territory I thought I’d give you cute today with some of the animal photos I’ve taken over the years.

Frog

“Hey, what are you staring at?”

Pony at Farmers' Market

“Aw, why can’t I have a more modern style?”

Alpaca

“Who are you calling baldy? Have you looked in the mirror lately?”

Highland Cow

“My hairdresser said this is the latest style at the farm.”

Okay – put your captioning skills to work. Give me your captions for these photos.

Thirteen Groups of Animals

Thursday Thirteen

This week my husband and I, plus several of the other drivers on one of our local roads, had to stop for about twenty geese to cross the road. This started a conversation about what a group of geese is called. According to an online page of the Christchurch library, I discovered that geese come in gaggles, clutches, flocks, lines, skeins, nides or wedges.

The perfect topic for a TT, I thought.

Thirteen Animal Groups

1. Crocodiles – bask or a nest

2. Flamingoes – stand

3. Ferrets – business

4. Goldfish – troubling

5. Grasshoppers – cloud

6. Hedgehogs – nest or an array

7. Hippopotami – bloat, school, pod or herd

8. Leopards – leap

9. Lice – flock

10. Midges – bite

11. Cockroaches – intrusion

12. Owls – parliament or a stare

13. Tigers – ambush

I don’t know how they come up with the group names, but it struck me how appropriate some of them are – hippo/bloat. They match perfectly. I’m not sure how ravens ended up with unkindness though. That one doesn’t seem to fit. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

My question to you – if authors and readers came in groups the same way as animals, what do you think they’d be named?

Do I Have To Stay?

Camera Critters

I took this photo at the local A & P show. The donkey was in the kid’s petting area and he looked as if he desperately wanted to escape their wandering hands.

Donkey

To see more animal photos visit Camera Critters