Zeb the Ducks visits the Colorado Railroad Museum

I, Zeb the Duck, went with mom and a friend to Golden, Colorado.   We went to the Colorado Railroad Museum.

Welcome to the Railroad Museum

Welcome to the Railroad Museum

This is a great museum.   There are lots of things to see and do inside and so many trains outside.   I like train engines.

Zeb is on a train engine!

Zeb is on a train engine!

This is a big engine.   Now let’s go to the kitchen.

Riding trains makes me hungry.

Riding trains makes me hungry.

An special car is needed to prepare the food.   Nice stove,

Can cook lots of food

Can cook lots of food

but don’t turn it on now!    Where should I sleep?   Here is the bunk car.

It would be fun to sleep on a moving train

It would be fun to sleep on a moving train

I like it!    Number 191 is the oldest preserved steam locomotive in Colorado.

191.   Large steam locomotive

191. Large steam locomotive

Trains really are a lot bigger than ducks.   What is this?

Truck or train?   With a goose?

Truck or train? With a goose?

One of the Galloping Goose trains from the Rio Grande Southern.   A little like a truck and a little like a train.   Very nice.  Here is a park on the museum grounds.

Very nice park

Very nice park

It even has a miniature train.   Moving along to see more train cars, here is the car for the US. Mail.

The mail must go through

The mail must go through

Mail was sorted as the train moved across the country.

Sorting mail quickly

Sorting mail quickly

It needed to be ready to deliver at the next town.   Remember that Colorado has mountains and mountains have snow.

Must keep the train tracks clear of snow drifts

Must keep the train tracks clear of snow drifts

This is a snow fighter.   This rotary plow is similar to a giant snowblower.   You can learn more about this museum at http://www.ColoradoRailroadMuseum.org    You will enjoy a visit to this museum.   I really liked it.

So many trains here.   I love it

So many trains here. I love it

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Happy Memorial Day 2015

Today is Memorial Day.   Memorial Day weekend is the traditional beginning of summer.   However, Denver and other areas of the United States are not experiencing summer weather.

Memorial Day is a day to honor American soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  It is a long tradition to wear red poppies to honor those who died in war.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks and our humans, honor and respect all who served and those now  serving o protect our freedom and our way of life.

Enjoy this holiday and pause to remember those we honor.

Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck Admire Oceanic Art at the Denver Art Museum

Today we visited the third level of the Hamilton Building to view Oceanic Art.

Let's go inside

Let’s go inside

We have been visiting the Art Museum frequently this spring.   May in Denver this year has been very rainy, cloudy and cool.   Many days in the 40 and 50 degree range.   Flooding is a concern again.   Even though we are ducks, we Colorado Ducks have become accustomed to warm, sunny days.   The Oceanic Art focused on the Art of Bark Cloth.    These belts from Papua New Guinea are gorgeous.

Look at these belts!

Look at these belts!

We ducks like them.   Each belt is made of a single, springy coil of bark.   The outer surface is engraved with elaborate geometric and figurative designs and further enhanced by rubbing with white or colored pigments.   Young men wore these belts during ceremonies to indicate their status.    The loincloth is great.   A lot of work was done to create this.

Loincloth from Papua, New Guinea

Loincloth from Papua, New Guinea

This loincloth , from Papua New Guinea, was made around 1930 and is made of bark and paint.    Look at this skirt.

A skirt

A skirt

It is also from Papua New Guinea and is made from bark, shell, feather and seed.   Probably worn around 1900.   Bark Cloth is really made from tree bark.   Women pound the thin strips of bark with these beaters.

Beaters used to turn bark to cloth

Beaters used to turn bark to cloth

Women used beaters like these four, to pound and flatten narrow strips of bark into large and flatten pieces.   Many of the beaters have patterns engraved on the them.  During the beating process, the beaters leave designs on the bark cloth.   Bark Cloth is so much a part of life  that a postage stamp was issued to honor Bark Cloth.

Celebrate tapa or bark cloth

Celebrate tapa or bark cloth

WOW!!    The stamp depicts Jacques Combet’s Making Tapa Cloth.   This postage stamp is from the French territory Wallis and Futuna.  This is the first full body mask that we ducks have seen.   It is from the Asmat region, Papua New Guinea.   This is a Jipae Mask from the mid 1980s.

Full body mask

Full body mask

The mask is made of bark, wood, paint, shell and feather.  Among the Asmat, deceased male ancestors are respected, but also feared.   Their uncontrolled spirits can cause harm to the community.   Out of view of the women, skilled male artists create full body masks by intertwining narrow fibers made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree.   Each mask is named for an ancestor.  As they are worn and danced throughout the village, everyone has the opportunity to interact with them one last time.     Look at these pieces of cloth.

Bark cloth ready to use

Bark cloth ready to use

Hard to remember that they started as tree bark.    Masks like this sure are big.

Huge eyes on dance mask

Huge eyes on dance mask

This is a dance mask, from New Britain, Papua New Guinea.   Made of bark, cane and paint, it was worn in the early 1900s.  The artists stretch bark cloth over bamboo foundations in the shape of fantastical animals with large open mouths and protruding tongues.   They paint oversized eyes on the front and bold geometric motifs on the back using bright red, back and white pigments.   These masks serve multiple purposes as they are used in ceremonies to honor the dead and to celebrate.   We were fascinated by the picture of people wearing these masks in New Guinea

Celebrating a plentiful harvest

Celebrating a plentiful harvest

to celebrate a bountiful harvest.      When you visit the Denver Art Museum, we hope you look at the Oceanic Art display.   They have videos of people making bark cloth.   We think you will find it fascinating also.   For more information visit  www.DenverArtMuseum.org   See you there!

Zeb Meets Linda at the Denver Art Museum

I, Zeb the Duck, am going to the Denver Art Museum today.   This is a great museum.   The building is rather unusual also.

Let's go to the Denver Art Museum

Let’s go to the Denver Art Museum

The main entrance is in the Hamilton Building.   Mom says I will meet Linda.   This is a temporary exhibit of John DeAndrea’s three sculptures.

Let's see Linda

Let’s see Linda

One of the Art Museum employees is holding me.   Mom is not allowed to put me on anything near these sculptures.

Here we are!

Here we are!

This was a very nice man.   Linda looks so real.   How did John DeAndrea do this?

How Linda was created

How Linda was created

Well, this sign explains the process.   Very involved, I think.

Is Linda just sleeping?

Is Linda just sleeping?

Doesn’t Linda look like she will wake up and talk to us any minute?

The second sculpture is a nude with a black drape.

So life like

So life like

She also looks alive.   This exhibit is amazing.   How does he do it?

Cast in bronze?

Cast in bronze?

I really like this lady.

She looks alive

She looks alive

The last sculpture is a little different.

Two people here

Two people here

There are two people here.  Again, they look so alive and I feel they may talk to me today.

You have to see these

You have to see these

We hope you will visit the Denver Art Museum and see this exhibit.   These sculptures will be on display until June 21, 2015.    The last time they were displayed was 2009, so don’t wait too long.   Visit http://www.denverartmuseum.org   for more information.

Zeb the Duck and Soapy Smith Duck see Buffalo Near Downtown Denver

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge,

We like this wildlife refuge

We like this wildlife refuge

a 15,988 acre National Refuge, is about 8 mile northeast of downtown Denver, Colorado.   While we were there, we saw this huge buffalo.  He was on the side of the road, about 8 feet from our car.

Big and close to us

Big and close to us

He came there to drink from a puddle.  As we watched  him, he crossed in front of us and rolled in the dirt in another field.

Rolling in dirt

Rolling in dirt

There are may buffalo in the refuge.   We took this photo on a previous visit.

Part of the buffalo herd

Part of the buffalo herd

The deer are also plentiful.   This small one watches us watch her.

She is so delicate and graceful

She is so delicate and graceful

Part of the refuge has wetlands.   We previously photographed these birds swimming.

Many migrating birds stop here

Many migrating birds stop here

We like the water and the trees.

Interesting sky that morning

Interesting sky that morning

Of course, no refuge would be complete without several prairie dogs.

There are so many prairie dogs here!

There are so many prairie dogs here!

They really are cute.   The Visitor Center is very helpful.

Come inside

Come inside

We liked this buffalo.

Ducks can touch this buffalo

Ducks can touch this buffalo

The Track It sign is very informative.

Always something to learn

Always something to learn

The Rocky mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is great.   Visit http://www.fws.gov/refuges  to see a map of the United States.   Click on your state to locate wildlife refuges near you.   We like spending time here and we think you would like it also.

American Pharaoh Wins Again

Yesterday, Saturday May 16, American Pharaoh, ridden by Victor Espinoza, won the Preakness Stakes.   Two weeks ago they won the Kentucky Derby.   Will American Pharaoh and Victor Espinoza win the Belmont Park Race on June 6?   If so, American Pharaoh will be the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.    The Colorado Traveling Ducks wish American Pharaoh and Victor Espinoza the best of luck.   Who do you think will win at Belmont?

African Art at the Denver Art Museum with Zeb and Soapy

We went to the Denver Art Museum.   Our Art Museum has so much stuff.   We have a membership here, so we can go for just a short time and then do other things mom needs to do.   We, Zeb the Duck and Soapy Smith Duck, want to show you some of what we saw in the African Art exhibit.

Welcome to the African Art Exhibit

Welcome to the African Art Exhibit

This exhibit is on the 4th floor of the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building.

This mask of wood, paint and metal is from the Nafana Culture of the Ivory Coast and Ghana.

From the  Ivory Coast and Ghana in Africa

From the Ivory Coast and Ghana’s Nafana culture

Once a year dancers wear these giant masks, representing Bedu, an animal spirit that lives in the wilderness. They perform acrobatic dances, model ideal conduct and chide villagers who have misbehaved during the year. These masks feature large round faces and geometric patterns.   This harp is from Ethiopia; the drum is from the Senufo culture of the Ivory Coast.

A harp, a drum and a pot

A harp, a drum and a pot

The ceramic pot represents the Mandingo culture of Mali.   The intricate wooden door panels

Beautifully carved door panels

Beautifully carved door panels

are from the Yoruba culture of Nigeria.    This mask

What a great mask

What a great mask

represents the Farig culture of Gabon.   This Housepost was carved by Olowe, the most important artist for the royal court in the late 1920s.

A housepost

A housepost

The housepost comes from the Yoruba culture in Nigeria.   Olowe’s energetic forms create the illusion of movement.  This housepost, a warrior on horseback, supported by several women, highlights the complementary relationship between ordinary people and those in power.   Here is a Spiritual Messenger,

A spiritual messenger

A spiritual messenger

created by Francis Nnaggenda, a native of Uganda.  We think the African Art exhibit is great!  And there is more to see.

These figures

Carved figures

Carved figures

are from Yoruba culture of Nigeria.   The Democratic Republic of the Congo

Look at this mask

Look at this mask

is represented by this mask.   The wood and bone pipe is also from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Pipe from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Pipe from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

There is much to see at the Art Museum’s African Art display, but we will end with Moyo Ogundipe’s Life’s Fragile Fictions, representative of Nigeria’s Yoruba culture.

Vivid colors!

Vivid colors!

We hope you visit the Denver Art Museum or an art museum near you soon.