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Swimmming with the Wild Seals
Feb 16th, 2010 by Phoebe

Swimming with the WIld Seals

By Phoebe Wells

 

Frigid water crashes on the shore

Dark as a rain cloud

Thick as a misty day.

Monsterous waves rolling on top

of me crashing with foam.

 

Kelp clinging to the rock

Flowing like hair

Of a sea Medusa.

 

Rocks moody grey

Coated in bird droppings

Small shrubs cling on.

 

Seals glide through the water

Slick and smooth

Barking with joy

Graceful in the water

 

Just within reach

Happiness

But nervous as I look

Into their soulful eyes.

Critters down under, and even further down under
Jan 11th, 2010 by Phoebe

When we first came to Australia we stayed on a farm, and they had alpacas, cows, dogs, chickens (aka “Chucks”), dogs, cats and a lot of macadamia nut trees.

This is me and Ian feeding the bull!  Nice bull.

This is me and Ian feeding the bull! Nice bull.

This was their big French Bull.  There were 150 girl cows and only one bull.  I got to mix up his feed.  He was SO big that I was scared of him, but he was really nice and let me pet him when he was eating.

Aren't they SO cute!!!

Aren't they SO cute!!!

Next are the alpacas.  Alpacas are like small llamas but they don’t spit as much, they are very skittish, and their fur is really soft.  Alpacas like water, so when you spray them with the hose they are happy.

The rooster at the farm didn’t do his cockle-do’s early in the morning, he did them once everyone woke up so that was really nice.

One time in the morning Ian (the owner of the farm) moved the cows into the pasture behind the house.  The moowing was so loud that my mom woke up because she thought there was a cow on the back porch.

This is my favorite calf Lucky.

This is my favorite calf Lucky.

My favorite cow was a calf named Lucky.  Her mom died after she was born so we needed to hand feed her and she was very nice.  I helped mix up her milk, and after she was done eating if I would run along side her paddock she would chase me.  She also liked to lick me and her super long tongue was like sandpaper and she could wrap her whole tongue around my arm.  If my cousin Jack was an animal I think he would be a cow because he also has a super long tongue and can touch his tongue to his nose.

Me feeding Lucky.  I gave her a bucketful of milk twice a day.  She would stick her whole head in the bucket and get milk all the way up to her ears!  It was SO funny.  Sorry I didn't get a picture!

Me feeding Lucky. I gave her a bucketful of milk twice a day. She would stick her whole head in the bucket and get milk all the way up to her ears! It was SO funny. Sorry I didn't get a picture!

On the farm their were cuckobara birds who have a really loud evil sounding laugh.  Tessa sang the Cukubara  song that we learned back in Ms Pams class like a thousand times.  We also saw ibus, and they have really long beaks that they use to get grubs out of the ground.

Then we went to Brisbane and went to a koala reserve and I got to hold a koala.  Koalas are marsupials, which means they have a pouch.  They don’t get much energy from their food so they sleep a lot.  They eat only eucalyptus leaves (aka “Gum Tree leaves”), and they only eat the tips of the leaves.  There are 80 types, and they use their nose to decide which kinds to eat.  The males have white chests and have special oils that they leave on the trees to mark their territories.  Every koala looks different.  Some have dots on their backs, some of their noses look different, and their ears might have long fur or short fur.  When I held the koala, it felt very heavy for how small it was, and its fur felt very dense, thick and soft.

Me and the koala!

Me and the koala!

This is a kangaroo - see how its much bigger.  Tessa was hoping they'd be big enough to ride but their not.

This is a kangaroo - see how its much bigger. Tessa was hoping they'd be big enough to ride but their not.

Next we went in to a kangaroo enclosure and got to walk around and feed the kangaroos and wallabees.  We got to feed a baby kangaroo and pet it.  Baby kangaroos are called “joeys”.  One of the joeys was too big for its mom’s pouch but it still climbed in.  It went in head first and then turned itself around but it was so big its head, back legs and tail hung out.  It was totally folded in half and looked really funny.

See the joey folded in half in the pouch?  Its head has the ears pointing down, its legs are behind the head, and its tail is behind the foot.  Poor mama roo!

See the joey folded in half in the pouch? Its head has the ears pointing down, its legs are behind the head, and its tail is behind the foot. Poor mama roo!

Our friend Nick told us that the kangaroo is the national animal of Australia and that they are the only country that eat their national symbol.

At the sanctuary there were also a lot of wild turkeys walking around.  We also saw really big lizards and wambats.  Tessa thinks they are adorable.  I think they look like furry pigs with falt furry snouts, but I do have to admit that they are cute.

In Australia, they protect everything – koalas, turkeys, and even crows.  It seems that the only thing you are allowed to kill is the cane toad.  (Not that I was looking from something to kill)

Next we went to Noosa heads and there I saw a giant hunter spider.  If you spread out your fingers, it went from finger tip to finger tip but they are harmless.  I did learn though that 9 of the 10 most deadly animals in the world are from Australia, like the box jellyfish, the blue ringed octopus, and a bunch of their snakes.

We are now in New Zealand and it is the weirdest thing – they didn’t have any land mammals until the Maoris brought some over, and then the Europeans brought more.  So far I have been to a bunch of museums here in New Zealand so I have seen a LOT of stuffed animals.  The only real animals I have seen are cows and SHEEP!  There are sheep everywhere!

I will take some pictures of them and post them soon!  Bye!

Pandas, pandas, and more…
Oct 31st, 2009 by Phoebe
At the Chengdu Panda Reserve

At the Chengdu Panda Reserve

Yesterday (editor’s note – this actually happened on Oct 17th, but we are a bit behind in posting!), Tessa, Dad and I went to see the pandas.  Since we went there we learned that there are only 1000 pandas currently existing in the wild.  Pandas are very interesting.  Did you now that if pandas have two babies typically only one will survive? Also female pandas are only fertile 2-3 days every year.

A baby panda in an incubator.  Some of the babies were even smaller than this but I couldn't really get pictures of them.

A baby panda in an incubator. Some of the babies were even smaller than this but I couldn't really get pictures of them.

 Pandas are very playful animals.  When we went to see them they were climbing and swinging.  I had so much fun.  Pandas, unlike other animals have a projection in their wrist which works as an opposing thumb.  It helps them eat their food.

Two pandas wrestling.  They were very playful and really fun to watch!

Two pandas wrestling. They were very playful and really fun to watch!

 Pandas live in the bamboo forests of China.  Pandas eat about 80 different types of Bamboo but prefer 27 types. Since people are moving into the panda’s habitat they are becoming extinct.

This panda was climbing up to poke and bother another panda. He was a trouble maker!

This panda was climbing up to poke and bother another panda. He was a trouble maker!

 The “red pandas” were also in the Chengdu Panda Reserve even though they are in the fox family not really in the panda family.  I thought that the red pandas were less playful than the real pandas.  They have a mane-like fur around their head and have striped tails. A “Red Panda” is not really a panda but they are still really cute!

"Red Panda" isn't it SO cute!

"Red Panda" isn't it SO cute!

The day before I went to the Chengdu Zoo and they had one panda there and he was laying on his back with bamboo piled up on his belly and was eating away.  He was the panda version of Homer Simpson.  We also saw a huge tiger called a Siberian Tiger and it was much much bigger than the other tigers.  We also saw an elephant that was so so big we almost didn’t believe it was a real elephant. 

 

I think the pandas get more room in the zoo because the Chinese people honor them more, but the tigers were in 12 x 20 foot concrete cage and they were all pacing and did not seem very happy.  I was very sad for the cats.  There were also bears.  They were very cute.  The fur around their head was like a big big puffy mane.  When they walked on their back leg they wobbled and hobbled because they had very short back legs.  The enclosure were very wide open and anyone could fall in very easily.  The walls of the enclosures had big slits in them so kids could put their feet in them and look over the low wall.  All of the bears were begging for food and many people were throwing them junk food, which is very bad for them.  The big Asian black bears could catch the food out of the air but the Sun Bears could not and the food bonked them in the head.

Our paparazzi!
Oct 7th, 2009 by Phoebe
This little girl's parents stopped the us at least 3 times to take our picture

This little girl's parents stopped the us at least 3 times to take our picture

The little girl was so cute that we took her picture too!  A lot of the parents of kids this old want us to be in a picture with their little little kids, but they are usually terrified of us and cry.  This little girl loved us and even knew how to do "peace"

The little girl was so cute that we took her picture too! A lot of the parents of kids this old want us to be in a picture with their little little kids, but they are usually terrified of us and cry. This little girl loved us and even knew how to do "peace"

You know how in the States we’re just regular kids?  Well here it like we’re super movie stars or something! 

We were just in Tian’anmen Sqauare the other day (with about 300,000 of our closet Chinese friends – my mom and dad said there were at least that many people) and in that whole we only saw about 10 people who weren’t Chinese – including US!  None of them were kids either!

Whenever we stop for my mom to take a picture of us, other people jump in front of her to take our picture, and then they line up to get in the picture with us!  Yesterday we stopped on a bridge to take a picture and I am not kidding, 10 people were in line to take pictures with us.  LOL!  I bet since we got to China about 500 people have taken our pictures!  It happened in Japan too but not as much. 

EVERYONE looks at us and points at us!  Its like we are exotic animals and like if you saw a double headed albino yak walking up the street and you wanted to take its picture. 

Another thing that is funny is that people want to say whatever English words they know, even if it doesn’t make sense.  One boy said “Hello, Hot Choc-o-late”.  Other people say “Hello, Happy Birthday” and “Hello, what is your favorite color?”   The other funny thing is that you can tell that all kids my age were taught for the olymics “Hello, and welcome to Beijing” because THEY ALL SAY IT! 

I’d write more, but I have to leave now for my next photo shoot!  LOL!!!!

My mom wanted us to stand in front of this float cause it had a Phoenix bird on it (for Phoenix!) but we ended up having to stand her for like 10 minutes because all these people lined up for pictures with us!

My mom wanted us to stand in front of this float cause it had a Phoenix bird on it (for Phoenix!) but we ended up having to stand her for like 10 minutes because all these people lined up for pictures with us!

reach out and touch FACE
Sep 28th, 2009 by Phoebe

Yesterday I was singing my favorite song “Reach Out and Touch Faith” by Depeche Mode, and then all of a sudden our taxi driver drove  so close to a person that I could have touched his face. I then blurted out- “Reach out and touch face!”

Mom says that that is the perfect way to describe driving in China.

critters
Sep 24th, 2009 by Phoebe

wild,crazy,attak,MONKEYS

koi lots and lots

at the monkey park thses monkeys were wild and not in a cage

critters
Sep 10th, 2009 by Phoebe

spoted deer

 

that’s all

Mystery Man
Sep 10th, 2009 by Phoebe

OMG there is this strange looking man following us around the world.  He shows up in the most unlikely places.  Sometimes we don’t even see him but when we download our pictures – and there he is.  He is a man of mystery, kinda looks like a Mexican wrestler (or at least what I invision a Mexican wrestler must look like – I wouldn’t know because my MOM won’t let me watch it!).   I call him… Nacho Libre…

Canadian Critter count!
Aug 16th, 2009 by Phoebe
A cute little ground squirrel (we thought it was a giant chipmunk, but its not!)

A cute little ground squirrel (we thought it was a giant chipmunk, but its not!)

Big Horn Sheep (you can tell its a boy by its horns and other things)
Big Horn Sheep (you can tell its a boy by its horns and other things)
Pippy the house sheep that thinks its a dog and let us dress it up!
Pippy the house sheep that thinks its a dog and let us dress it up!

The Rocky Mountains in Canada have lots of animals that we don’t have in Arizona, and a few that we do have.  We drove around a lot so we had lots of time to look for animals.  We really wanted to see a bear and a moose, but we never saw the moose.  Here is a list of the animals we did see:

  • 1 BLACK bear (not huge but still cool!)
  • 7 Big horn sheep
  • 1 Elk
  • 2 deer
  • 1 Pika (a tiny little rodent only found it here)
  • Pelicans (really giant pelicans in Calgary – they weree along a river where there were salmon we think)
  • Sea gulls (also in Calgary – strange)
  • 1 wild turkey
  • Hawks (a lot of them)
  • Cows (many, many, many cows….)
  • Regular sheep and one “house sheep” named Pippy (see picture)
  • alpacas (they are SO cute and I want one and my mom said we can see if Phoenix allows us to have them when we get back!)
  • chick`a` munks (as I call them) or chippy munkos (what Tessa calls them)
  • black squirrels
  • Horses
  • Thaylee (pretty fluffyhouse cat at couchsurfer’s)

 And that is all for now!

Glaciers, lakes and waterfalls
Aug 10th, 2009 by Phoebe
Beautiful Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada

Beautiful Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada

For the last couple of days I have been in the car.  We have gone to some really cool places.  We have been driving through the Rockies in Canada.  We have seen a lot of things including: glaciers, waterfalls, trains and Lake Louise.  Do you know glaciers are from the ice age?  Glaciers are compact snow in valleys of mountains.  We went through a national park that has about 400 glaciers.  We went to a glacier fed waterfall, it was the third tallest in Canada.  I also really liked the lake.  It was also glacier fed.

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