Monday, May 12, 2008

Carnival of the Animals

I rock my new earrings... non?

We had a wonderful Mother's Day.

It began with being offered special, hand-made gifts by the resident seven-year-old, who simply could. not. wait. past 6.30 am to show me all the things she had been working so hard to complete.

At a more reasonable hour (8.30) I was brought a delicious breakfast-in-bed, made specially by the husband and children.

Then, it was off for a delightful day at the Zoo.

Among our favourite sights were:

The giraffes... one of which treated us to a truly magnificent gallop around his field. I have never before seen a giraffe RUN at top-speed... The grace with which this animal moved was truly astounding. Even more surprising was the fact that, even though she was covering a tremendous amount of ground, because of her enormous size, it looked to us as though she was moving in slow-motion. To see such things on television is one thing, but to see it live, right in front of your eyes, is a truly memorable experience.

The lions... who roared appreciatively when a keeper arrived with their mid-day meal.

The gorillas, who had to beat-out Charles the magnificent silver-backed patriarch of the "family" to get their share of the vegetables scattered about the enclosure. (While Charles staunchly refused to be photographed and stomped off to hide, the other gorillas seemed to watch us with as much interest as we had in them.)

A spell-binding aquarium exhibit (I can't wait until next weekend, when the BRAND NEW aquarium, which will include sea-life from Australia, will open!)

But by far, THESE GUYS were the most wonderful sight of all. The two enormous hippos are Wee Three's absolute "BEST THING" about the zoo... Yesterday, it was though the show they put on was entirely for us. The waddled around on land and posed for photos: I think this one even smiled:

Then, when a keeper began tossing huge, red apples into the water, they lumbered in for a swim and a snack. It is incredible to watch an animal that is so lugubrious and clumsy on land, suddenly turn into an agile and graceful swimmer. A swimmer, however, without many table manners... The slorping and chomping that ensued upon the discovery of each apple bobbing in the water sent the girlies into fits of giggles... Wee Three was probably right, when she noted that her Grandma and Grandpa would NOT have approved...

This didn't seem to bother the hippo much, however.

Yes, when it comes right down to it, to heck with manners... And, if only humans could enjoy a mid-afternoon nap in a warm, sticky mud-puddle, we would all probably be a lot better off.

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day, surrounded by the people (and other creatures) you love best. I know we sure did.


canape said...

You absolutely rock your new earrings!

Happy Mother's Day to you (a wee bit late)!

mrinz said...

What a lovely memorable day you had. How lucky you are to have such a well stocked zoo handy to you. The animals are amazing.

I know what you mean about the grace of the giraffe. I saw some at a wildlife park in Melbourne, at Werribee,it was the first time I had ever seen them run. We also saw one drink from a pond and that was fascinating to see it splay out its front legs to reach the water.

SciFi Dad said...

We have yet to make our first visit of the non-snowy season. I can't wait to see the new aquarium.

Although for me, it's all about the orangutans. There's this one spot where they hang out, and it's just a sheet of glass between you and them, and you can watch them and see how similar they are to us.

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Happy belated Mother's Day!
Sounds like a perfect day to me :)

Karly said...

What an awesome day! Your zoo sounds so much nicer than ours. Ours takes about 10 minutes to get through the whole thing.

painted maypole said...

i clearly remember the first time we saw giraffes run - at the zoo in Seattle. NOw we see them run at a local wildlife park... they run right up to the wagon and eat right our of your hand.

we have several favorite songs about hippos, but none at our zoo.

Tismee2 said...

I love seeing wild animals. I cuold spend hours just watching them go about their daily business.

Haven't been to a zoo as such in years - although I have been to Animal Kingdom and Busch Gardens in Florida which is the same thing I guess.

Happy belated Mother's Day by the way. It's in March in the UK so I forgot!

shauna said...

Happy Belated Mother's Day. And I love your animal pictures--we're headed to the zoo tomorrow with my daughter's kindergarten class and I'm excited!

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