Tag Archives: Henry Doorly Zoo

Venturing out of Siouxland, Lee Simmons Safari Park, Ashland, NE

13 May

Venturing out to the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Venturing out of Siouxland in recent weeks has not been totally difficult as in many places around the country, but still done with a little trepidation and awareness. On a weekend, which I don’t know what possessed me as opposed doing this during the week, I took a drive out west past Omaha, NE to visit the Lee Simmons Safari Park in Ashland, an offshoot of the Henry Doorly Zoo. It was a nice weekend and many other folk had the same idea. Normally at this park folk can park and stay and watch the animals there, but because of the coronavirus the park is currently only allowing drive through visitation.

Venturing out to the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors in vehicles snake their way past a herd of bison at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On my way out of the park I asked one of the attending park personnel how many people had visited and he responded he didn’t know the total, but roughly there were 400 vehicles every hour entering. I later told friends I had not seen this kind of bumper to bumper traffic since living in the Los Angeles area in the 1990’s. But still, people were patient and gracious, giving everyone a chance to stop and watch and photograph animals as we all snaked our way through the acreage.

Pelicans relax at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Venturing out to the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There are a variety of animals, although not as much as at the zoo proper. And on this particular day the animals seemed to cooperate and allow a look at a large number of people adjusting to a different way of spending leisure time.

Kids stick their head out of the top of a vehicle to better see animals at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Children poke their heads out of a sunroof and door window to better see the bison at a pond at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bald eagle in an aviary enclosure at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Parts of Nebraska are beginning a soft reopening. Time will tell how that is going. Venturing out is desirable, but staying healthy has a stronger pull to walking about and into who knows what. Maybe some road trips onto the backroads of Iowa and Nebraska, just to take a look and see what one should visit again when the coast is clear.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A pelican “waves” at visitors driving through  the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Animals roam free at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Enjoying a drive through at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Animals relax as people driver through the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Signage directs visitors to see the animals and find other places at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park, a part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Ashland, NE Saturday April 18, 2020,(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Thinking of Warmer days in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

1 Apr

It’s always unseasonable warm in the butterfly house at the Henry Doorly Zoo even on an unseasonably warm day in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Maybe because I like many others in Siouxland and elsewhere have been house bound a while and will continue to do so during this disruptive virus episode that I am looking forward to days ahead. Although I am never lucky enough to come across the multitude of butterflies that are in the Henry Doorly Zoo’s butterfly conservatory. At least during the day I was there it was a pleasantly warm day, 50’s thus not so terribly hot within the area the butterflies are kept as doing the summer months.

It’s always unseasonable warm in the butterfly house at the Henry Doorly Zoo even on an unseasonably warm day in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s fun to watch the graceful little creatures flit from one area to another feeding and just hanging out. I always find a challenge in photographing them without bumping into someone else as my eyes are glued to the camera’s viewfinder following the quick little creatures moving about.

It’s always unseasonable warm in the butterfly house at the Henry Doorly Zoo even on an unseasonably warm day in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Just when it seems they come to rest and will stay in one place a moment or took for the autofocus to kick in, no, they are off again following their own muse that keeps them afloat and flittering here and there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

It’s always unseasonable warm in the butterfly house at the Henry Doorly Zoo even on an unseasonably warm day in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Simple Images in Siouxland, Omaha, NE

20 Mar

A street car on display at the Durham Museum in Omaha, NE Tuesday, March 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes as the saying goes (KISS), it’s a good dictum to follow. I find myself trying to always tell a story with the photos I share but realize that some photos are of themselves something simple, no storyline, just a moment’s glance and pondering of what I have seen. Good, bad or indifferent, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. And then there is that bonus when colors magically coordinate.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A saffron finch perched inside an indoor area at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Srping Cleaning in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

16 Mar

A swam does a little preening as it dips and rolls in the water during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

On a recent visit to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE, it was a warm February day for winter. Siouxland doesn’t always get a lot of those and so it was pleasant. And fun to see one of the zoo’s animals taking advantage and doing a little spring cleaning of its owns while the warm day lasted.

A swam does a little preening as it dips and rolls in the water during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A swam does a little preening as it dips and rolls in the water during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A swam does a little preening as it dips and rolls in the water during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

And like many other zoo visitors checking out the sites, one in particular seemed to have lunch on its mind. I am certain this guy/gal was not a resident and wondered if it enjoyed its stay and got any snacks for its trouble.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A raptor, not one of the zoo animals, watches from a tree top during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Enjoying some sunshine and warmth in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

2 Mar

A cheetah takes a nap in the sunshine in its outdoor enclosure during an unseasonably warm day where temperatures almost reached 60 degrees at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It seems everyone is waiting for an early spring, and enjoying those days that bring a little extra warmth in February and sunshine to the area. All creatures like to enjoy a peaceful moment and take in the surroundings.

A cheetah suns itself on a rock in its outdoor enclosure during an unseasonably warm day where temperatures almost reached 60 degrees at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A cheetah rolls in the grass during an unseasonably warm day where temperatures almost reached 60 degrees at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While recently visiting the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE not many animals were outside their indoor enclosures. But the few who did venture out wasted no time in enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperatures. According the rodent, Phil, spring should be arriving soon. Early March maybe, but in Siouxland as elsewhere, there are always those sudden spring snow storms that might delight school children but only illicit groans from adults. Patience is a virtue, but sometimes that is in short supply.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Visitors watch a sealion sun itself on a rock in its enclosure during an unseasonably warm day where temperatures almost reached 60 degrees at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A white rhino stands outside its enclosure during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Dreaming of Catnaps in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

1 Feb

A lion rests in the shade on a particularly hot day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Mother Nature is teasing Siouxland residents in the next week or with promising temperatures in the high 30’s, which would be nice if some of the ice from previous recent rainfall, snow, then more rain and freezing temps have accounted for 2-3 inches thick coatings on sidewalks around the area. Walking becomes a sport as one tries to balance and smoothly glide to a destination. And I can’t say that I have fared so well.

Some days I think a daylong catnap is in order. Much like some of the bigger cats I saw at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE this fall. Hot days are meant for snoozing and the animals have limited means to escape the heat until the sun goes down.

A lion rests in the shade on a particularly hot day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A lion rests in the shade on a particularly hot day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On extremely cold days during the winter I feel like that myself in reverse. Not venturing outside if I can be so lucky and patiently waiting for March and maybe temperatures in the 50’s. One can always dream a bit. A slow day to cherish and time spent pondering.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A snow leopard using a rock for a pillow as it naps on a hot fall day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A hot fall day deserves a long nap by this cheetah at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Feeding Time in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

16 Jan

One possibly sleepy California sea lion misses out on treats on the other side of the enclosure at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is an old adage about snoozing and losing, and I think it applies equally well to animals. Visiting the Henry Doorly Zoo this past summer south of Siouxland in Omaha, NE, I happened into the zoo at the right time and found it was feeding time for some of the creatures. Zoo personnel were training and feeding their sea lion charges as well as entertaining those watching.

Visitors watch zoo personnel feed California sea lions at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A California sea lion moves in to slightly nuzzle a ball held by zoo personnel at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The seals approached and did some aquatic tricks before receiving their treat. Some tricks in water and others out of water. It was interesting in watching as the zoo people worked with the animals. It was also interesting to see the folk who were watching took a while before walking closer to watch along the railing allowing spectators fairly close proximity to see what what going on.

After performing a minor response to a zoo personnel a California sea lion is rewarded at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But like ball players having a bad day on the diamond, as quick and agile as the sea lions are, they didn’t always manage on the first toss to capture their treat. But once in the water, they certainly acquired it on the second try.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A near miss by a California sea lion of a snack at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

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