Tag Archives: snakes

Picture of the Moment—The Gathering

Picture of the Moment

Just a small group of friends enjoying the beautiful weather.

I titled this, “The Gathering.”

The Gathering

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Zoey the Cool Cat

The story behind Zoey the Cool Cat

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I grew up in the farming and ranching community of Kingsville, Texas, population 23,000 or so. My family, however, were railroaders with Missouri Pacific Railroad until my third oldest uncle bought a ton of land and created his own ranch.

I’ve had every kind of pet you can possibly imagine — Great Horned Owl, Screech Owl family, snakes, pigs, horses, cattle, fish, dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, mice, even a monkey which I eventually had to give up to the San Antonio Zoo.

My favorite pets were always dogs. My first was Bosco, a mutt. Then I had Bougher, a Welsh corghi. Then it was a pair of purebred beagles, Union and Pacific (named after the Union Pacific Railroad). Then Sugar, a chow/besenji mix, and Penny, a long-haired dachshund.

Penny and Sugar

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sugar rode on the back of my motorcyle with me.

Sugar ready to go biking

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I disappeared from College Station, Texas, on April 15, 1993, letting only one friend know what I was doing. He came down from Waco, Texas, and took the two dogs. I took off in my 1989 Ford Mustang GT for who knows where, eventually winding up in San Diego. I never went back to Texas. Midlife crisis, I am here.

I didn’t have any pets from 1993 to 2006. On Thanksgiving Day 2006, a feral black cat came to visit me. I gave her food and milk; she accepted everything and then took off. Nothing like eating and running.

She returned on Christmas Eve. I guess she understood human holidays. I gave her more food and milk; this time she stayed. Jim named her Sophie.

Sophie on fence

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

We tried to make Sophie into an indoor cat. She was happy being inside until the sun went down. Then she would howl and howl until we opened the door to let her out. She’d come back the next morning and scratch on our bedroom window to let us know that she was back and wanted in. Sometimes she’d bring us a gopher, or snake, or rat, or bird………… Typical cat.

On September 19, 2007, in the wee hours of the morning, Sophie was hit and killed by a car. A black cat on a black asphalt road in the black of night. I knew it would happen eventually. A neighborhood lady found her smashed body, removed her nametag, wrapped her in some old towels, and called to tell me what had happened. I went and got Sophie from the side of the road and gave her a proper burial. Unfortunately, I unwrapped the towels to make sure that it was our Sophie. It was, but it was the most gruesome sight I have ever seen. I was devastated.

You can see more pictures of Sophie at her memorial web site.

That afternoon Jim and I went down to the El Cajon Animal Shelter to get a cat……….. an indoor cat. We settled on Zoey, with the name spelled Zoe. We were not able to pick her up until 24 hours later. I added the Y to Zoe to create Zoey, so that it would rhyme in sight and sound with Joey. Makes sense.

Zoey had been with us about three hours when she took this position in the chair in which I sit at this very moment:

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“What a cool cat!” I remarked, and after that it was always “Zoey the Cool Cat.”

I am now officially a cat person.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPETS are short posts about anything and everything.
Each SNIPPETS will have at leasst one picture.
After all, this is Russel Ray Photos.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray (that’s me!)Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Albino burmese python at the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo’s albino burmese python

Out & About San Diego

Pictures copyright 2010 by Russel Ray Photos

In my opinion, the best time to go to the San Diego Zoo is at 9:00 a.m. when it opens. It’s not very crowded and the wildlife is up and at ’em, looking for food from the Zookeepers or looking for the best spot to lay out in the sun for the rest of the day.

Usually I go to the Zoo alone because none of my friends are morning people and I dislike the afternoon crowds since you can’t see the wildlife.

I’m making new friends…..

This morning I took my weekly trip to the San Diego Zoo but went with a group of about twenty members of the Pacific Photographic Society, a meetup group. Much more enjoyable.

In two hours I took 158 pictures. Since I had accidentally left my Canon 550D on the RAW picture setting instead of RAW + JPEG, it took me the rest of the day to process those 158 RAW pictures. Live and learn.

Here are some pictures of the Zoo’s albino burmese python:

Albino burmese python at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2010 by Russel Ray Photos

Albino burmese python at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2010 by Russel Ray Photos

Albino burmese python at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2010 by Russel Ray Photos

Albino burmese python at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2010 by Russel Ray Photos

The Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) is the largest of the Indian pythons and one of the largest snakes in the world. They average about twelve feet long but can get up to nineteen feet long in the wild. The resident at the San Diego Zoo is eighteen feet long.

Although they are native to India and Southeast Asia, they have taken up residence in Florida, specifically the Everglades, due to owners releasing their too-large-for-the-home snakes into the wild but mostly due to a breeding facility that destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. They are now considered an invasive species in Florida due to their apparent hunger for foxes, rabbits, raccoons, opossums, and even deer. Since 1992, sightings of raccoons and opossums are down by around 99%, and white-tailed deer signtings are down by about 94%.

Please, people, if you have a pet that you no longer want — dog, cat, snake, lizard, fish, whatever — first approach the business you bought it from. Many of them will take it back, some of them even paying you for its return. If the business is out of business, contact your local wildlife organization and they will help you. It’s cruel to dump an unwanted pet in the wild.

Pictures copyright 2010 by Russel Ray Photos

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat