Denver’s Downtown Aquarium

We went to the aquarium.

Going to the Aquarium

Going to the Aquarium

My humans told me the aquarium has many species of fish, otters, turtles, and many creatures that live in the sea.  I am so excited to go.  Through the glass, I will be able to see what the fish see under water.

Humans are always hungry, so first we go to the restaurant.  This is no ordinary restaurant.  From all tables and booths we see an aquarium, built just for the restaurant.  Hundreds of fish swim constantly.  Homer, my favorite grouper, swims and then stops and stares at me.

My friend, Homer the grouper

My friend, Homer the grouper

Fascinating, but a little creepy.  My family laughs and thinks he is so cute.  Guess he is.

Waldo is a bright green eel.

Waldo the eel swimming with water bubbles

Waldo the eel swimming with water bubbles

He seems to stay in a certain area of the aquarium.  He is by the kid’s party area and sometimes swims closer to our booth.  He is long with no fins and glides through the water.  Waldo is my favorite because green is one of my favorite colors.

This restaurant specializes in seafood.  I think that is strange.  We come to see fish and they want us to eat fish.  The food was very good.  My humans stayed in the restaurant a long time eating, laughing and watching the fish.  After they ate, we walked around the dining area to see other fish in the dining room aquarium. IMG_3720 You can go to the restaurant without paying to go to the aquarium.  Maybe we will stop there for lunch some day.  This was a happy place for me.

Leaving the restaurant, we went through the gift shop and then bought tickets for the aquarium.  There are so many exhibits, each with an aquarium and lots of sea creatures.  My mom and Soapy’s mom loved the small otters.  We saw the desert exhibit.  Complete with rattlesnakes.  The snake’s head was actually kind of cute, especially since he was behind the glass and could not touch us.

This rattlesnake is watching me watch him

This rattlesnake is watching me watch him

I do not want a snake to bite me.

In the rainforest exhibit we saw piranhas.  Lots of them.  They can eat a cow really fast.  Again, thankful for the glass separating us.  We saw starfish, more eels, gray and silver fish, fish with yellow tails, big fish, small fish and other sea creatures.

One exhibit showed how flash floods happen.  They occur very fast during periods of heavy rains.  The water rushes out of the mountains so fast and so strong, the water carries everything and everybody away.  Flash floods can carry cars, animals and people.  People die in these floods, so be careful during heavy rains in the mountains.  Climb high, you cannot run or drive fast enough.  And, take your duck to safety also.  We cannot swim fast enough to escape.

Just when I, Zeb the duck, thought I had seen about every fish, we came to an exhibit, under renovation, but with a tiger in the cage.  Tigers in the aquarium???  My mom loved it.  She thinks tigers are fascinating animals.  Soon we came to a huge aquarium with the sharks.

Sharks!!

Sharks!!

Wow!  These guys are big.  We stayed there awhile listening to the shark information and just watching these huge animals.  Sharks were swimming in the ocean when dinosaurs walked on the earth.

At the end of our aquarium explorations, several stingray were in a shallow pool

Stingray

Stingray

and we could touch them.  What a fun finale.

Resting after exploring the aquarium

Resting after exploring the aquarium

To learn more visit www.aquariumrestaurants.com   I will look for you next time I visit Denver’s Downtown Aquarium.

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Wildlife Sanctuary in Colorado

Lions and tigers and bears, oh yes.  Sunday we all went to the Wildlife Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.  It was wonderful.  We saw so many wild animals and none of them in small cages.  It was great—and safe.

Wildlife Sanctuary with JB Duck, Soapy Duck and Zeb Duck

Wildlife Sanctuary with JB Duck, Soapy Duck and Zeb Duck

This wildlife sanctuary provides homes and care for rescued wild animals.  They seem to have mostly lions, tigers,

Lounging Tiger

Lounging Tiger

bears, and wolfs.

Wolf at rest

Wolf at rest

But we also saw a camel and several llamas.

After arriving and paying the admission fee, we paid $15 per adult; we walked on the elevated walkway.  The walkway is about a mile long.  We looked down on the animals.  The animals have areas of several acres to roam.  With people above them the animals are not afraid, nor were we.  The animal areas have balls, water areas, structures the animals may climb and tunnels in the ground.

These animals have all been rescued from abusive situations.

Bear happy at home

Bear happy at home

The animals have never lived in the wild and they never will.  These formerly caged animals do not have the survival instincts of the wild animals.  This is their final home.

Tiger enjoying a meal

Tiger enjoying a meal

The Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place to visit and learn how the animals live and play.

This lion was one of 25 rescued from Bolivian zoos.  He is inside, but his door is open.  Shortly after this photo he went outside again.  Freedom he never knew before coming to the Wildlife Sanctuary.

Lion rescued from Bolivia.  Is he talking to us??

Lion rescued from Bolivia. Is he talking to us??

We three Colorado Traveling Ducks thought it was great and we believe that you will enjoy visiting here.  Please visit www.wildanimalsanctuary.org   To learn about this Wildlife Sanctuary and see the amazing photos and stories available.

We 3 ducks hope to see you here soon.

We 3 ducks hope to see you here soon.

This is a wonderful place for people and for animals that had been without hope before being rescued.  Please visit and tell all your friends.

FESTIVAL OF SCARECROWS

WOW!  I saw so many scarecrows Saturday.  I didn’t even know what a scarecrow was a few days ago.

I am on a scarecrow

I am on a scarecrow

Olde Arvada had scarecrows all over Olde Arvada Square Saturday. IMG_4356 IMG_4359I learned that scarecrows could be placed in fields to scare the crows away from the fields.  The ones I saw were so cute.  Not at all scary.

Guess the crows didn’t think the scarecrows were scary either.  There was a man walking around with a straw hat and a crow on his shoulder.  Here he is judging the pumpkin pie eating contest.

He has a crow on his shoulder

He has a crow on his shoulder

Contestants cannot use hands to eat.  Quite a messy event.

Pumpkins were on the ground, pumpkins were decorated for HalloweenIMG_4365IMG_4381 and there was a contest for best pumpkin dish.  Ducks were not allowed to judge the food.  Too bad.  It all looked delicious.

Gunnysacks were available for races.  This was new to me.  Kids, and parents, stand in a gunnysack and try to run.

Getting a little help

Getting a little help

Looked crazy, but everybody seemed to be having fun.  As I attend more festivals I am sure I will see more of these games.  Remember, I was only born this summer.

A tractor pulled a hay wagon and the kids and parents could ride on the hay wagon.

This looks fun

This looks fun

We even saw a few alpacas.  The alpacas, similar to llamas, were adorable.  A mom and a young alpaca posed for pictures.

Baby alpaca watching me

Baby alpaca watching me

Mom alpaca had her head in straw

Mom alpaca had her head in straw

They sure have long necks.

Alpaca.  Long neck and so sweet

Alpaca. Long neck and so sweet

Lots of booths at the festival.  Many selling souvenirs and many selling food and beverages.  The pulled pork sure smelled good.  They had mom’s favorite kettle corn booth.  I enjoyed it also.

Barney the Dinosaur

The parade begins

The parade begins

led the parade of children (and adults) in costumes.

I love butterflies

I love butterflies

This was so much fun.  So many costumes.  Mom said this was for Halloween.  I have never experienced Halloween, but I am looking forward to it.  I hope you were there Saturday.  It was a great annual festival.

Festival of Scarecrows

Festival of Scarecrows

Love Those Golden Aspen

Yesterday we saw more golden aspen!  Turning on Squaw Pass Road, we saw this huge meadow.  IMG_4346It is Jefferson County Open Space property.  Often the elk herds graze and lounge here.  So glad this place is safe for elk now and in the future.

There were beautiful gold aspen trees, fabulous among the evergreen trees, on the mountain side beneath the Colorado’s sky.  Here are a few photos of aspen.

Gorgeous aspen and energetic biker.

Gorgeous aspen and energetic biker.

Also, many of the aspen leaves are falling, so mom put me in some leaves.

Me, sitting in aspen leaves

Me, sitting in aspen leaves

The mountains also had many pine needles.  Yep, pine needles and pinecones also fall.  The ground feels soft and spongy with all the pine needles.

Me sitting on pine needles with pine cones

Me sitting on pine needles with pine cones

It was fun to sit on the ground with pinecones and pine needles.

Rocky Mountains sure are rocky

Rocky Mountains sure are rocky

I love Colorado.  We can take a few hours and see so may different things.  A trip to the mountains is like a mini vacation.  Please try some of these mini vacations.  You will love them.  We return to town feeling relaxed and eager to enjoy the many offerings of the city.

We took I-70 west from Denver to Evergreen Parkway.  Then Evergreen Parkway to Squaw Pass Road.  This road goes to Idaho Springs and then you can return to Denver on I-70.

South Park, Colorado has cabins

Zeb here.  I just returned from South Park.  Yes, it is a real place in Colorado.  My friend, Dee, has a vacation home there.

Mountain cabin

Mountain cabin

It is an A frame on 10 acres.  There are lots of trees, cool rocks, and lots of space.  So peaceful and beautiful!

We took highway 285 south to South Park from Denver, stopping at a Subway in Conifer.  No restaurants near Dee’s retreat.  Walking around the estate, I sat on dead trees, in the fork of live trees

A duck in a tree

A duck in a tree

and even on huge rocks with great shapes.

Kids make shapes from clouds and I made shapes from rocks.  This looks like a giant iguana head to me.

Iguana rock with aspen in background

Iguana rock with aspen in background

I sat in a bristlecone pine tree.  These are hardy trees, growing near timber line when most other vegetation has given up because of severe climate.  These trees get really old.

Bristlecone Pine with a duck

Bristlecone Pine with a duck

The University of Colorado at Boulder says in Colorado they found a tree 2435 years old.  Many are over 1600 years.  That is old!

Also I found a tepee

Great place

Great place

and a fort made from branches.  Tepee and fort were really strong.

Cool fort and I am there

Cool fort and I am there

.

I think Dee should call this place “Many Aspen Mountain Estate”.  There are many pine trees and pine cones make the ground feel spongy, but I believe I saw thousands of aspen trees.  Love the small shimmering aspen leaves.

It was so peaceful and beautiful in the mountains of South Park.  Many Aspen Mountain Estate is about 9200 feet above sea level.

Thin, fresh air and the sun is really intense.  Eating, hiking, talking and laughing are great.  Makes humans relax and have fun.

So peaceful.  So many aspen

So peaceful. So many aspen

Ducks have fun here, too.  We had a wonderful day.  Thanks Dee!

Zeb at Home in Colorado

Now that September is over, I wonder what my home life will be.  I became part of the family in the summer, so season changes are new to me.  This is what my summer home life was like.

Hot days require cool water for ducks.  My humans agree, so we spend much time in the swimming pool.  Here I am swimming alone;

Zeb swimming

Zeb swimming

sometimes I swim with human friends and with my duck relatives.  A distant relative duck was swimming,

Distant relative swimming

Distant relative swimming

before the human swimmers arrived.   I did my part to keep this duck out of the pool.  Sometimes I lounge under this palm tree.

Palm tree in Colorado

Palm tree in Colorado

Humans need food and cold beverages on hot days, so we have both available for us and for guests.  Very convenient!  Floating on rafts, swimming with help from foam noodles treading water while visiting with friends, or harder exercise swimming is a favorite way for my humans to spend hot summer days.  I, of course, join in and am usually the star of the day.

To conserve energy and money, we have solar panels on the roof to heat the pool.  Works well and keeps my humans happier.  For all our pool needs and questions, we see Peg at Marina Pools and Spas in Lakewood, Colorado.  Our pool owner friends love her too.   Visit her at www.marinapoolspaandpatio.com

Our garden certainly is no a farm, but it is large for a city garden.  We planted tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini,

Zucchini Plant

Zucchini Plant

parsley and bell peppers of various colors.  These were purchased as small plants.  We also planted green beans, purple string beans, beets and radishes from seed.  The raspberries and strawberries come back each year.  The humans say corn takes too much space, so corn was purchased from various farm stands.  Picking and eating fresh vegetables were enjoyable, but hours of weeding were not what I expected.  Hot, back breaking labor.  This duck is anxious to get back to the pool.  I, of course, am willing to pose for photos as the garden progresses.  I am in the raspberry plant, next to some of the first raspberries.

Fresh raspberries

Fresh raspberries

A rather prickly situation.  After this picture, we sampled a few.  Very good!!  Gardening in the Denver area is a challenge, since this is a semi arid climate and gardens, especially the raspberries, require a lot of water.  We use straw and grass clippings as a mulch to retain water and discourage weed growth.  Here I am in a tomato plant.

I'm in a tomato plant

I’m in a tomato plant

Don’t leave me here!!

In my backyard, there are small cracks in the cement between flagstone.  Marigold seeds get in the cracks and soon the marigolds take over.

Lots of marigolds.

Lots of marigolds.

They are much taller then I am.

Marigold invasion

Marigold invasion

Remember where I am mom!!

This is my Colorado home, and I love it, but I also love seeing new places and having new experiences.  My fellow Colorado Traveling Ducks and I will show you travel from the duck’s point of view.  Please keep reading and commenting on this blog.  Thanks.  See you again soon.

Georgetown and Guanella Pass

Zeb the duck here again.  Thursday mom and I went to Georgetown and then up Guanella Pass.  Georgetown is on I-70 west of Denver.  Like many mountain towns, they have festivals during the year, so maybe we will visit again.

Remember I told you yesterday that the aspen leaves are turning red and then gold for autumn.  And, I thought we might go for another leaf peeking drive.  We did.  I love it.  Summer was perfect, but the autumn is beautiful in a different way.  Guess I like the changing of seasons.  This is my first year, so I am just guessing.

First stop was the Georgetown Visitor’s Center.

Georgetown Visitor's Center

Georgetown Visitor’s Center

This place has everything.  Lots of information for tourists, but also a museum.  There is a big gift store.  And, the television monitors had real time traffic toward the tunnel.  This is very important, especially with winter approaching and driving in the mountains.  There has already been snow on these roads this year.

We drove through town towards Guanella Pass.

A few minutes toward the pass looking back at Georgetown

A few minutes toward the pass looking back at Georgetown

This is another place with many aspen and the gold on the mountain with green pine trees is fabulous against the bright blue Colorado sky.

Aspens and mom left me on the road

Aspens and mom left me on the road

These are some of the gorgeous golden aspen leaves.   The water is part of a hydroelectric plant.

Aspen, water and mountains.  Perfect

Aspen, water and mountains. Perfect

The creek is always refreshing and after the recent heavy rain, the rivers

Water rushing through the aspens

Water rushing through the aspens

and creeks are full and running fast.

We returned to Georgetown and visited the Art Gallery.  Very nice.

Colorado Art

Colorado Art

All the art is created by Colorado artists.  Many talented people live in Colorado.  The Happy Cooker is a nice place for lunch.

Happy Cooker.  Good food

Happy Cooker. Good food

There is outside and inside seating.  They serve breakfast and lunch all day.  We love the sandwiches.

My favorite stop was Georgetown Valley Candy Company.  They have been here many years.

Sweet and delicious.  Gifts also

Sweet and delicious. Gifts also

We had black cherry ice cream.  Yum!!  Their fudge is also wonderful.  Next a little shopping at the Santa Fe Trail shop.

Unusual jewelry, clothes and gifts.  Hurry in

Unusual jewelry, clothes and gifts. Hurry in

They are celebrating 53 years in business and most items are on sale—50% off.  Hurry!!!

Leaving town we stopped at the First Presbyterian Church.

Really old and still used today.

Really old and still used today.

This church was built in 1874.  Colorado wasn’t even a state until 1876.  That is old!  They have added to the building

See you Sunday

See you Sunday

and have church services every Sunday.

Next we saw a park.  The playground equipment was great.

Loved the slide

Loved the slide

Makes me wish I were human.  This was paid for by the Colorado Lottery.  So, buy some tickets!  The ground here looks like street pavement, but is feels like foam.  Very nice and probably very safe.  A great fountain

Love all water

Love all water

and a crazy bench.  This bench is made from a tree trunk.  I love it.

The best bench!

The best bench!

Come to Georgetown.  It took us less than an hour to get here and I know you will love it too.  I’m coming back!