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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Two Freyas and Some Critters

So the print copy of, "Freya and Hairy Goddess," is now available on Amazon.  Cyrano wanted to show the pair of Freya paperbacks off for you because he feels they complement his pretty ginger coat very well.

I think they look very nice together as a pair too!

The digital copies are still available for 99US cents each, so don't be put off because the paperbacks are dearer.  I just make them available for those of us who haven't yet taken to e-readers.

We've had some cooler weather this last week so Andyroo and I took ourselves off to the Perth Zoo.  I haven't been there in probably twenty years, since I went sketching there with a Uni drawing class, and was amazed at how much they've improved it in that time.  Perth Zoo tries very hard to be the sort of zoo to be proud of.  They do a lot of enrichment with their animals, they have good breeding programmes, and the environments they create for their charges are really good.  Having grown up rather an aficionado of the books of Gerald Durrell (read him if you haven't!) I know that zoo animals can be kept happy if the right conditions can be met for their individual needs.  I'm not sure the zoo is achieving that for every animal, but they are doing their best to do so.

I have to make a special mention of the gardens that surround and grow into all the exhibit areas there.  The trees are magnificent!  I reckon that if you were a gardener by trade, it would be one of the best places in Perth to work.

Was particularly happy to see Tricia, who has been at the zoo longer than I've been alive, for many years all alone, but who now has a younger girl to keep her company, lots of fun things to do, and bull elephant next door to keep her interested.  Standing near her was an amazing feeling.  She radiates calm.  They say horses can do this to you too, though I think it depends on the horse, but elephants seem to radiate even larger. Tricia was anyway.  She seemed very contented. She was still daubed with bright patches of paint from her last painting session, which she apparently really enjoys. :)

Another favorite to visit were the Meerkats.  Reminded me of the cheeky mutated ones I wrote into my kids' book, Dog Slobber.  :) They may be living in captivity, but they still set a watch person, who took the job very seriously. Do you see him or her up on top of the 'termite mound'?

I loved seeing the rhinos too.  Amazing heads.  Little eye so low, ears so high.  It was good to be around such big animals, with me about to write another book with megafauna in it, the sequel to Land of Fire.  Think I might call it Land of Giants.  

Many thanks to Andyroo for snapping these pics with his phone while I was busy being mesmerised by beasties.  I love 'em all!

I was rather charmed by this little guy in the nocturnal house.  He's a fat-tailed Dunnart, and apparently his range extends to around here, but being as he's a nocturnal and tiny critter, I've never seen one, or even knew there might be one here! He looks a lot mouse-like, but he's actually a tiny Marsupial, who keeps excess fat in his tail ready for hard times.  He was so cute and busy, hop-scurrying around his little territory.

Tiger holds a special place in my inner landscape, so I was very pleased when this guy decided to wake up and come walk up and down beside the glass for me.
Durrell says that big cats (unlike the more active canines) do well in captivity because they are essentially happy to lie around all day as long as they are well fed. I think this guy would have liked a bit more room though.

Still, I'm not one who believes that 'freedom' is all that great.  If it was why don't more humans cast off their clothes, their shelters, their medical aid and their incomes and go live in the forest from their wits?  It's hard, uncomfortable and sometimes downright horrible, that's why!  At least this fellow hasn't been trapped and killed to help some dickhead who turns up his nose at viagra get a stiffy.

Going to be very hot, around 40C the next few days, so we're expecting some call-outs for the Brigade. Wish me luck, because I might need it.  At those temperatures, I might melt before I hit the fireground!

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