It was a crazy, wonderful, beautiful day in the Greater Phoenix area. Clean, clear, and cool. I grabbed my rake and headed first for the front yard, where I cleaned up piles of pine needles I'd left last evening. It got dark too early and I had to quit raking. Once I completed my work, I jumped in my red Kia Soul and headed for a favorite shopping area on McDowell Road in Avondale. On the way, I passed fields of lush green sorghum, and stopped to take a few shots. I stopped further south and took some shots of a huge cotton field, but those pix didn't turn out that well. On to shopping, then back north. I drove through the Glendale Industrial Park to check out the duck and goose population in one of the ponds. Got a few good shots, but my favorites, the white-crested ducks, were missing, as were all geese. The city had emptied the pond recently and perhaps they bring back the various species at different times. Or not. I'm going over tomorrow morning when the sun is lower in the sky, and hope to get a few really good shots. Back to work, then time for lunch. Front door wide open. Cats parked contentedly at the front door watching birds, people, vehicles, and who knows what else. All through the day, I kept thinking of my son, Ron Simpson, who celebrated his birthday today. He is something special. Happy Birthday again, Ron! I didn't have to close the house up until late this afternoon. Eighty-four inside was a bit much.
This week, Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium won the Chairman's Award from Westmarc, a nonprofit that recognizes outstanding contributions to the image, lifestyle, and economic development of the West Valley. The zoo is home to Arizona's largest collection of exotic wildlife, with more than 3,000 animals representing nearly 600 species. The aquarium features 75 indoor exhibits with fish, mammals, birds, invertebrates, and reptiles in three buildings. I am among the more than 500,000 people who visit the zoo annually. I have a membership, and love to go out there and see what's new. Things are ever changing. The new aquarium is the only public aquarium between Albuquerque and San Diego. It is delightful. I love to photographs its amazing fish and use them to illustrate cards and websites. If you plan to visit the Greater Phoenix area, and like a rough and ready zoo, with several beautiful aquarium buildings and a fabulous Mexican restaurant, do consider visiting Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium.