Leaving for the first time with the thought I may, but for a few short days, never come back to the province I Have so warmly called home for the past 13 years.
Nova Scotia, you have left me with memories I could never have thought of having and images I could never have imagined taking. My interest in a long held hobby was rekindled with the amazing array of colour and subjects across the whole of the province and photography remains for me today my prime medium of expression. Words are coming a little easier these days.
In my last long visit to the Zoo in Aylesford I once again spent much of my time in front of the gibbons cage and in observing the great variety of cloven and clawed beasts of the Oaklawn Farm Zoo.
The pony paddock has a great mixture of Shetlands, miniatures donkeys and llamas. These little guys, and they are very small compared to their standard versions, rip around the fields in crazy pursuit of one another usually for the purposes of, incidently, growing the herd.
They are usually pretty independent and trying to get a decent picture through the fence takes some patience.
Thinking it may some new treat of corn they eyed my monopod extension warily as I snapped some closeups with the camera timer.
The sale of yearly foals to local miniature horse breeders helps to offset the cost of feeding the animals during the colder winter months.
Gail Rogerson, along with Ron Rogerson her husband, are owners of Oaklawn Farm Zoo and have worked tirelessly for the past 30 or so years, without government grants or assistance, to provide an amazing family experience for locals and tourists here in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.
Gail is seen here scratching the back of who may be the next king of the hill as Gail and Ron bring new lions to the compound in which a generation of the original pride and visitor have evolved. New carefully chosen stock and new visitors alike have come to view the evolving pride in their spacious compound.
All of the new lions have been hand raised and are new to the zoo and show a pecking order only to newly introduced lion members. They are handled cautiously but with confidence by a number of the zoo staff.
Flowers and flower gardens have always been central to the Rogersons’ idea of makes a trip to the zoo a rich and interesting experience. The gardens are annually refurbished with new and different varieties and each animal display has a special floral element to enhance a trip to the zoo. Since sharing roots and cuttings in our first community in Ontario in the early 60s’ they have dug and planted their way into the hearts of thousands.
The side door and entrance way for the staff and for anyone needing advice on their dog or chicken always has the most interesting people crossing paths, many taking the time to sit, usually with Ron taking his sage advice on some matter. Gail is always in motion and rarely will sit down anywhere.