Saturday, April 13, 2013

Zoo day!

Usually we go to the zoo with at least 5 other families.  While that is fun, there's usually an agenda to follow and we always feel rushed.  Today we got to do and see exactly what we wanted.  Of course for my little loves that meant we had to start at the park. :)  And for little Ms K, this was her first time walking around a public place, so that was to be celebrated.  We soon made a beeline all the way to the back of the zoo where the elephants live.  How fun! She was plucking bits of grass from the ground with her trunk and eating it.  It was fascinating to watch.  Then the big girls saw the elephant statue around the corner and made a run for it.  We're busy around here.  Can you tell?

 Next we strolled around the zoo, completely at random and met some new and old friends.  We are major flamingo fans around here, so they were a requirement.  We found this strange reptile called the Mali Uromastyx.  That's one strange looking lizard.  It's got what looks like armor plating on its tail. The black bears (they look brown to me, but whatever) were taking a break from their semi-hibernation to enjoy the sunshine and they came right up to the glass/fence.  It was great.  This little guy seemed to be chomping on grass, too.  To each his own.  Almost at the last moment we went to see the giant tortoises.  And they're huge.  The tortoise in this picture was one of the "babies" and it must've weighed over 100 lbs.  The older two are about 100 years old.  I'd have to check my facts on that, but it's what I remember from previous visits.  It was such a nice day to be at the zoo.  A little cooler and windy, but so bright and sunny and just a perfect zoo walk day.

Last, but most certainly not least, were the SKUNK MONKIES!!!  And, yes, that exactly how it is said and spelled.  They're actually black and white Colobus monkeys, but my nephew dubbed them "skunk monkies" at our last visit and that is what they will always be called.  You can see why they would say that, I'm sure.  These guys are usually quite expressive and playful.  In fact, my niece played a game of "Monkey See, Monkey Do" with them a year or so ago.  Today, they looked a bit sad. Maybe they weren't happy about being separated.  Two were in the yard and the one my girls call the "Mama Skunk Monkey" was in the inside playhouse, apparently locked in.

Of course there were other animals.  These were just our favorites and what I managed to remember to snap a photo of.  I'm kicking myself over the hippopotamus.  Nearly every time we go to the zoo, he is sleeping in his water hole or inside with the staff.  Today, he was having a nap in the mud early in our visit.  When we made our loop around, he was swimming laps, making snorting sounds when he came up for air, and even gave us a sort of roar.  It was so fun.  Ms. K tried to jump the fence to get to him because she was so excited about him.  Each time he would come to the surface, he would wiggle his ears.  I think I enjoyed that more than the kids.  And enjoying life like a child is important.

I love the freedom of homeschooling.  We didn't make a plan for this field trip.  We didn't have to send permission slips to parents.  We didn't have to re-schedule for weather.  We just completed our morning school work and chores and left.  And we had a great time!  I hope we can enjoy more of this during the summer.

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