Summer-like spring in May

Hello! I want to say a sincere thank you to everyone who shared their heartfelt thoughts on zoos with me! I'm glad you guys enjoyed the very first post about enchanting Tenerife and I can assure you there's plenty more where that came from. For example a truly mountainous post about Mount Teide, a spectacular volcano. Its 3718-metre elevation makes Tenerife the tenth highest island in the whole world and you can get a brief glimpse of it here. But that's just a quick teaser for you and today's post is more like a native photo post or why not an ode to picturesque Estonian nature? One group of photos comes from the most idyllic walk ever and the other from our very own and very viridescent garden and greenhouse.

So, for starters a few words about that idyllic walk we took in the territory of a huge local arboretum on May 8. It was one of the most beautiful and also one of the hottest spring Sundays and somewhere in the middle of all my enthusiasm and excitement I fell in love with the place and wanted to move there. By the way, if some of you don't know what an arboretum is then Wikipedia kindly explains it's a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study. Anyway, all those mighty larches, firs, spruces, pines, countless other trees and lower flora were truly beautiful. And for the first time in my life I saw that baby cones were red! Some of them even looked like strawberries or raspberries and you can only imagine my childish excitement. The husband already knew about red baby cones since forever and was only chuckling over my big discovery. But I guess it's true that you live and learn.

Now, the second group of photos consists of some sunny snaps taken at home between May 4 and May 15, all chronologically sorted and shortly explained as well.
1 - The reddish-pinkish outcome of my latest visit to the hairdresser on April 29. And my favourite little furball decorating (or saving?) my silly selfies with his serious expressions and dignity (May 4).
2 - A tomato fragment from the greenhouse and another one from a lush flowerbed (May 11).
3 - My very first attempt to grow sweet potato and the majority of my main gardening tools, inherited from the grandmothers (May 11).
4 & 5 - One of my two baby spruces I have in that lush flowerbed behind those yellow blooms (May 11).
6 - Elvis gone with the wind (May 11).
7 & 8 - One of my favourite and most relaxing places at home - the greenhouse! By the way, I was photographing the Tenerife haul while taking those quick snaps, thence the suspicious basket (May 15).

So I hope you guys enjoyed this photo post... BUT in other news - life lately has been insanely busy. We do a lot at home but still have even more in store. And my big birthday is coming soon! This time I'm going to celebrate it in another town at a sweet little café and as a huge bonus I will not have to cook or clean anything! I'm also waiting for the St John's weekend which brings entirely 4 free days for the working people this year. And one more thing - I must catch up with The Vampire Diaries as soon as possible! My season 7 stopped when we went to Spain which means I have 5 episodes to watch!! Which is pretty exciting actually. Anyway, I'll see you already in the next post. Maybe it will be about Spanish Mount Teide or maybe about our May 21 road trip to Latvia or why not a versatile Tenerife haul. I guess we'll see! Or which one of them would you like to read next? Let me know!


Loro Parque Tenerife

Hola! My first post about terrific Tenerife is finally in front of you and it's entirely dedicated to April 18, a very exciting and educational day in Loro Parque. Loro Parque means "parrot park" in Spanish since it was initially planned as a parrot paradise or "parrots only" park. But today it's a whopping 13.5-ha zoo located on the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz, and it houses a truly extensive and diverse reserve of animal and plant species.

Loro Parque was opened in 1972 on 1.3 ha with 150 parrots and today it is home to 4000 parrots from 350 species and subspecies, as well as many other animals and birds like red panda, white tiger, innumerable quantity of different penguins, a family of chimpanzees, good old suricates and many many more. Loro Parque's parrot collection is the largest in the whole wide world and makes the park one of the main references in the study and conservation of those beautiful creatures.

There even is a very special zone called the Baby Station that shows visitors the care of teeny-tiny baby parrots and other chicks hatched at the zoo. And believe me when I say it's definitely one of the most touching sights I've ever seen in my life. Just look at those half-naked, fragile, wonderful little miracles! They were my biggest favourites besides the huge penguin community and fascinating rays in the shark tunnel.

Loro Parque holds the largest indoor penguin exhibition in the world and the longest shark tunnel in Europe and those two were truly breathtaking. Real snow, a huge iceberg and hundreds of penguins (Chinstrap, Gentoo, Humboldt, King, Rockhopper...) were in front of us and through this penguin site I found out there were as many as 17 species of penguins worldwide. I can say I was fairly enraptured when I saw approximately 1/3 of all those different species at once. They're just truly awesome, aren't they? But the shark tunnel was fascinating as well because how many of us have seen a dangerous shark so closely, floating and swimming above our heads?

Solomons cockatoo (born 24.03.2016) and Eleonora cockatoo (born 27.03.2016)
Pink cockatoo
Rainbow lorikeets
Golden pheasant
Cattle egret

What we didn't approve were the animal shows and we did not attend any. Orcas (or killer whales), sea lions, dolphins and parrots perform in shows throughout the day and maybe parrots enjoy performing but when you do some research about captive orcas the outcome is sad and scary - Wikipedia link. The captive orca attacks list from the previous link contains entirely three that happened in Loro Parque and unfortunately one young orca trainer died. After the research I added watching a 2013 American documentary called Blackfish (IMDb link) in my to-do list.

But all in all I still loved our Tenerife zoo experience and so did my husband. I was amazed again and again: when I saw all those wonderful penguins, the sweetest baby parrots and various fascinating sea creatures. Also adult parrots and other exotic birds were flying freely above our heads and around us in one special bird area. And what was unusual - there was no zoo smell at all. That was a first for us, after visiting four different zoos in Estonia, Finland, Latvia (see my post about it here) and Czech Republic (see my post here). Oh and I bought that sunny/silly 1€ cap because Puerto de la Cruz was a bit rainy at first.

Anyway, picking the best photos for today's post was a real challenge for me because I had to choose from more than 300 zoo pictures (my Olympus E-520 photos+the husband's action camera photos+Nokia Lumia 735 photos)! So I really hope you enjoyed the selection and my first Tenerife story in general. Oh and by the way, we both filmed quite a lot during our trip so there is a relatively strong possibility that eventually you're going to see some Tenerife videos through this blog. Let me know what you think about that and I'll see you already in the next post!