One of the things that I enjoy about our neighborhood is the number of birds around. At any time of the day, one can hear birds singing. I believe that these babies, nesting atop one of our gutters, are house finches. With good luck, Mama will return with some food.
I spotted this bird high up in a tree in a neighbor’s backyard this morning. I believe that it is an immature hawk of some sort. It was quite large – larger than a crow – which is why it caught my eye. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good view of its facial markings, but I thought that I would share the photo anyway. Hawks are common in this area, but I don’t see them downtown very often.
Some friends and I went to Wine in the Wild last evening. Wine in the Wild is an annual fundraiser for Sunset Zoo, which is about two miles from The Morning Star. It is the first time that I have been to this event. With the B&B, it is often difficult to g0 out for an evening; but I have been working on getting out to see more of what is going on in town. We had a lovely, relaxing evening, strolling around the zoo and sipping wine.
Sunset Zoo has an interesting history. In 1929 the City of Manhattan purchased a hilltop expanse of land for a cemetery. A large area of that land was too rocky for digging graves and in 1933 was dedicated to become Sunset Zoological Park. This, of course, was during the Great Depression, and original funding for the park was provided by the WPA. Even though the zoo has been modernized over the decades, extensive stone walls and walkways built by WPA workers still form an attractive part of its hardscaping. The zoo has a working relationship with Kansas State School of Veterinary Medicine and is home to over 300 species of animals.
Below are some of the pictures that I took last night. It was hot and bright out when the event started at 7, cooler and pitch black when it ended a little after 9. Many of the animals seemed to be sleeping, but the birds put on a good showing.