February 16, 2010

'Ailuropoda mellanoleuca'

    One of my regrets from traveling was missing the chance to see China.  I don't mean Hong Kong, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, or fields of never ending rice patties.  No no no, what I missed out on was hunting for the elusive creature of China!

    Now, I don't mean bang bang with a huge spark and projectile.  I'm talking a grand expedition, an epic adventure, a quest to the mysterious hidden mountains.  The living spaces of the wondrous Ailuropoda melanoleuca, which by the way means "cat-foot black and white".  Oh yes, this vicious creature stalks its pray on quiet feet likened to a cat, and it's powerful jaws capable of tearing through the tough, chewy, fibrous parts of... bamboo???

    Well folks, I don't need China!  That's right, rather than a safari into the wilds of Asia, one simply needs to learn how to navigate a concrete steel jungle, looming towers and spires of apartment buildings, winding river-like subways and dangerous metallic creatures with bright white lights.  After an unknown amount of subterranean travel time, one would reemerge from the bowels of the Earth to find oneself a few blocks from Starbucks - a most important stop for warmth on these cold snowy days.  Then onwards across the street to the National Zoo in Washington D.C.

    I have tried to see the pandas many a times.  After the nth attempt during the warm months, I finally tried after a snow storm.  Huzzah! Who knew that pandas needed snow to encourage them to romp outside!!!!!   And here he is... Tian Tian