Traveling! It happens for me because of the intense urge to wander. Travel does keep my blood vessels pumped up with adrenaline and have always kept my breathing incredibly happy which keeps me highly elated about, throughout the travel. Besides the travel wanderlust, I have this true and strong affiliation towards Wildlife. A real strong affiliation and attraction as always, I must say.
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd.
With the aforesaid quote in context, I did see myself in the apartment and my car in the parking lot as a ship in harbor where myself and my car were quite safer and idle. That strong message slapped me in thoughts, for staying idle in the apartment back in November 2012. So yeah, I told myself “Go get adventurous!”. At all times, I would like to see myself as a ship which is meant for the sail, whenever the regular routine gets boredom.
Prior gearing up for the very first solo trip – This happened.
Lots of thoughts were running through my mind all night prior the morning I planned to take this trip solo. Although I got the driving license by undergoing proper driving classes, I wasn’t still confident enough to get all by myself to be on the road for to and fro of over 160 miles. It looked really scary initially that I had to travel solo for over 320 miles safe and secure. But when I got up in the morning, something was really building up the most needed confidence in me which I really really liked in the fresh morning times. It happened in mid November 2012 and that was the week after I got the driving license.
The windshields and windows of the car were all completely frozen by then in the early morning times. Besides this one, I wasn’t even aware about how to set up the antifreeze in the car when the windshields/windows got frozen. To be honest, I didn’t know about the availability of an antifreeze option in the car. Then I did this foolish act of pouring the hot water over the front and rear windshields and other windows. You see how stupid I was?! Poor Me! 😦 To my luck as time was passing by in the morning, temperature was slightly soaring up and Sun was quite coming up as well in the east. That came as a relief.
That soaring temperature really helped and to my good times, temperature didn’t drop. The windshields/windows didn’t freeze until I reached the Wildlife Safari Park. I just couldn’t think how I would have reacted if temperature had dropped and what would I have done in such times. Where will I go and ask for hot water? 😉 😉 Come on! I was pretty much lacking the fundamental aspect of using the Antifreeze functionality. 😦
The scare in taking the highways for the travel.
The major scare was all about traveling all alone in the Interstate highways, State highways and Changing lanes. God! That scare was completely unsettling me right before that travel. It was the nervousness which kept creeping in me right before the travel. But once I got there in the highway, all such unwanted thoughts just went volatile in seconds. All of a sudden, I did become the one who was born to drive for over hundreds of miles, highway after highway. I was like, “How long you want me to drive and travel? 1000 miles?… I can go even far beyond that!” 😉
Irrespective of the nerves which kept creeping in me very often right before the traveling times, I was pretty much determined in traveling a lot and traveling to new places thereby discovering the different flavors of beauty of nature and I love it. 🙂
Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari. ($7 Permit)
American Elk (Bull) in Elk Prairie.
When you get in the park, the first thing you are going to see is – The American Elk in the 50 acres of the open Elk Prairie. It’s the fall season when I visited the park for the very first time. Since it’s Fall, the bull elks were looking absolutely gigantic and beautiful with their big and elegant antlers. That was the first time I got to see an Elk and that too in their herd. They’re absolutely fantastic animals.
The atmosphere in the Elk Prairie was outstanding and when you capture a photo in the Elk prairie, it would look as though it was captured in the wild. The surroundings of Elk Prairie was that great. When I was driving through the Elk prairie, there were a couple of Elk which came pretty much closer to the car. It was great to see such a big and beautiful animal being that closer and I was taking photographs. That was an incredible drive thru experience. Amazing moments! 🙂
Nature of Elk Antlers – That’s Phenomenal.
Antlers are different from Horns. What we see in Elk, Mule Deer and Moose are called Antlers. Antlers do branch out which sheds every year and they regrow. But the ones we see in Bison, Buffaloes, Cows, Antelopes, Gazelles are called Horns. Horns doesn’t branch out whereas Antlers do. Horns continue to grow throughout the life of the animal but antlers get to regrow every year after it is fallen. I got to know about this antlers and horns pretty well when I was in America. An interesting stuff right? Sure it is. 😉
Antlers are generally found only on males. They’re used by males to compete with other males for earning the mating rights with females. Antlers are shed and regrown each year. Antlers are generally shed somewhere between late winter and early spring times. Antlers get to grow immediately afresh after its fallen and gets an amazing and shiny velvet coating when they starts to regrow. It continues to grow right through spring and summer.
By late summer, the antlers shed their velvet coating and it attains fully grown stage thereby becoming sharpened and polished. These fully grown strong antlers help these Bull Elks to fight for establishing dominance. The antlers gets weaken when winter starts and the bulls lose them either in the late winter or early spring. And the annual antler growth cycle goes on year after year for the bulls.
Mule Deer (White Tails) in Deer Woods.
Deer Woods is right after you leave the Elk Prairie in the park. Though you could see the deer pretty much closer here in the woods, sighting Mule deer here didn’t excite me much but seeing such Mule deer in the wild is what the excitement is all about. You have to see their unique and cautious behavior in the wild. I say that because as I have seen that live in the wild. I love these animals in the wild. They just beautify the Wild and Woods. 🙂
American White Pelicans in Pelican Wetlands.
It was pretty much cold in Fall and hence the pelicans didn’t make any contact with water and they were all staying away from the wetlands. They were feeling the cold for sure. It was pretty much easier for me to get down from the car and take some closer photographs of these beautiful birds. Pelicans were absolutely photography-friendly for sure. 😉
Gray Wolf in Wolf Canyon.
Have you seen a wolf pack hunting? No? Yeah! You wouldn’t want to miss that one. That’s one of the things in the wild I would love to see. A wolf pack is like a family and they doesn’t like relatives. I’m serious and they doesn’t like it. Any other wolf apart from the family is looking to take away a hunt from their turf? I’m telling you, they’re dead. A wolf pack is that interesting. They get really ferocious. You can see all that happening in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Wolf packs are predominantly seen in the winter season in Yellowstone.
But here in the Wildlife Safari Park in Nebraska, you can see the Gray Wolf here. They were all absolutely active although they were housed in Wolf Canyon here in the park. That’s going to be a great sight if you’re going to watch them hunting in the wild.
Black Bear in the Bear Woods.
Can you see that thick black fur beneath the trees right there? That’s a black bear taking a nap in the afternoon. Bears are winter hibernating animals. Bears doesn’t like cold and you don’t get to see them in the wild when winter is on. A Park Ranger told that there was a Brown Bear and a Black Bear the woods. Only Black Bear seemed to be visible in the woods and the Brown guy might have gone somewhere deeper in the woods by then.
Sandhill Crane Spotting in Crane Meadows.
Crane Meadows is the place in the Wildlife Safari Park for spotting Sandhill Cranes. But I didn’t see one. Instead I saw a few White Swans and lots of Canadian Geese and nothing much here. I have heard that to see a flock of Sandhill Cranes would be a great sight to look at. But I didn’t get to see one here. They might have migrated.
American Elk (Cow) in Elk Plains.
For some reason, these Cow Elk in the Elk Plains had been separated from the Bull Elk in the Elk Prairie. No idea why the park management do this! There must be solid reasons in doing so.
American Bison in Bison Plains.
40 Bison in these 40 acre of bison plains must be a great place for the bison herd in the Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari. Bison may look calm and composed but they are dangerous animals. When bison gets angry, they may charge your car when you get closer. Please be watchful when you’re in the park for the safari.
Stopped by Pottawatomie State Lake, Kansas.
I was getting back to the city Wamego from Ashland in Nebraska (Wildlife Safari Park) and I was stunned to see this spectacular sunset times on my right when I was driving by this lake in the highway KS 99. At the next instant I did pull over the car by the lake and started capturing the beautiful times of the sunset by this Pottawatomie State Lake. This lake was around 20 miles from the city Wamego.
Beautiful Twilight Times in the town Louisville, Kansas.
When the Sun was getting beneath horizon, the lights it triggered over the clouds and the atmosphere were incredible and absolutely colorful. It was so heavenly to drive in such beautiful twilight times all through the highway KS 99 until I reached the city Wamego. This town Louisville was beautified by then which is just 3.5 miles away from Wamego. Such a heavenly evening! 🙂
That was my first ever solo trip and I enjoyed my solitude of driving over 320 miles, being on Wildlife Safari and photographing the animals. A splendid experience.
Where did you make your first ever solo trip to? What’s your story?