animals

Posted by Ellen

"Highland Cattle," by Scotch-Irish painter Alfred Grey, 1887.

Posted by Ellen

In hopes of fostering the development of medical science in Russia, Peter the Great scoured the West for natural history objects: taxidermy, live birds and insects, botanical and anatomical illustrations, and paraphernalia associated with monsters. Albertus Seba, a wealthy Dutch pharmacist and traveler, had amassed the largest natural history collection of the mid-18th century. Peter bought all of Seba's objects and library, including this book of colored zoological plates, and installed everything in St. Petersburg, where it became the nucleus of the Russian national collections.

The book is currently in the Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas.

Posted by Ellen

Our neighbor Carolyn Duffy poses for a snapshot along Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, with her dogs Max and Toby. The big dog, Max, must really like Fairmount Park because he is notorious for making all the decisions with respect to where they'll go on walks and how long they'll stay out. He weighs well over a hundred pounds, and if he doesn't want to go somewhere, it's probably just as well if you don't bother trying to go there.

Posted by Ellen

Part of "Fox Games" (1989), a sprawling, life-sized installation at the Denver Art Museum by Sandy Skoglund.

Posted by Ellen

These ducklings are in Nepal, but they don't know that.

Posted by Ellen

These horses were attending to one another in the schoolyard in the village of Ghorepani. The roof on the schoolhouse, like all the other roofs in Ghorepani, is painted blue. A few kilometers back down the mountain, in the village of Ghandruk, all the roofs are painted white.

Posted by Ellen

On Highway 26 the other day, just outside of Dubois, Wyoming, in the Wind River Range, this grizzly and her cub crossed the road and scooted up the snowbank while Hank tried to snap her picture.

The snow thereabouts was still four feet deep in mid-May, which is why Hank and his friend Pat found themselves scurrying along Highway 26, south of Yellowstone, on their way back east from Montana. All over Yellowstone and the Tetons, late spring avalanches were closing highways, and the boys found their way blocked repeatedly; they backtracked, looped southward, backtracked again, looped further south, and finally broke out onto the plains.

 

Posted by Ellen

Not all of these menhaden are going to escape from the big bird–but then again, some of them will live to swim another day. Or if not another day, maybe at least till lunchtime?

The bird is a female least bittern, and she was fishing last week in Horsepen Bayou, near Pasadena, Texas.

Posted by Ellen

A billboard in a Nepali village along a popular trekking route hints at the animal life to be found in that part of the Himalayas. We saw pheasants and lemurs just as illustrated, but no leopards or sloth bears.

Missing from the billboard but definitely present in the underbrush: mongooses.

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Posted by Ellen

Fifteenth-century pilgrims to the Middle East, upon returning to Europe in 1486, published an account of their journey. "These animals were faithfully painted just as we saw them in the Holy Land," they reported. "Giraffe. Crocodile. Indian goat. Unicorn. Camel. Salamander. The name of this one is not known."