Friday, August 9, 2013

A trip to the Zoo

Sam starts school next week, and one of our friends was losing her mind a bit too, with these last couple weeks of summer making the kids a bit more bonkers than usual.  So we agreed to meet up at the Zoo on Wednesday.   I learned a few things.
One, I can take lot of pictures when Sam is distracted by another friend.  Two, Sam is like a boomerang, he runs, he comes back.  The same is not necesarily true for Christopher.  Consequently, I got a lot of amazing pictures while at the Zoo.  We picked a Great time to go.

We found the Sea Lion right when we got there.   The boys wanted to take a look right away, basically because one was in a very talkative mood.  

Turns out we learned later, the talkative one's name is Ray.  (I love when I find an employee who will tell us a bit about the different animals)  He was shot in the face, so he's got a wonky eye, but he like to stand up there and tell us about how he is the Alpha.   He didn't used to be the alpha, a bigger fella named Diego used to be, and now he hangs out by the downstairs peek a boo window entertaining the kids.  

First, I found this crazy plant along the path.  The zoo employee told me it is an Asiatic Lily, but turns out there are a ton of Asiatic lilies, they all just don't droop like this.  

Jake was happy to be at the Zoo on a cool cloudy day.  

We popped in to visit the bats, and these Fruit Bats were settling down for the day, still wiggly, but really sleepy.  

Got some neat flower pictures.  It had rained the night before, so the flowers all had some water droplets on them.  

These flowers were by the dolphin pavilion, but didn't have any names.  
Beautiful, but I don't know what they are called. 

Under the Dome - we opted not to take Jake in to the dolphin show, but we got Quite a Show from underneath.  

Jake was fascinated by the dolphins.  And because they were doing a show right above us, we got to see them moving and jumping all over the place.  My first time being underneath during a show...I think I really like it better.  

The position of these dolphins reminds me of jewelry.  

They had 3 dolphins out, and one dolphin went back and brought out some friends, and one of them was the baby that was born last year.  Still noticeably smaller than the others.  

We stopped for lunch, by a blackberry lily plant.  

Then the kids wanted to go into Oceans, to pet sharks and see penguins.  
I always love the wall of fishies too.

Sam tried to pet a shark, but as busy as they were they weren't interested in him.  

After spending a significant amount of time fighting over who got the good seats in my friend's wagon, then they decided to share the duty of pulling.  It was so historic, I had to take a picture.  

Nemo comes in and out of the anemone. My favorite of the day. 

Seahorses are sweet.  

Sam's one request was to see the penguins.  The Gentoo penguins were out and active.  And since there weren't nearly as obnoxious as had been the week prior, we got some good views. 

One even came right up to the window to check out the boys. 

I've never gotten this close, or this good of a shot at the Gentoo penguins.  

I love that I managed to get him blowing tiny bubbles. 

Sam enjoyed checking out the polar bear as he took a nap.  

It's a Muntjac.  He was out early, and very close to the fence where we could see him.  

When we arrived at the Tiger exhibit, they were doing a demonstration.  It was So Neat.  

I'd never seen a Tiger be obedient.  

That's Right Down Kitty. 

Sit Kitty.  

Stand Tall Kitty.  

He was Amazing!  And they got him to be so obedient by rewarding him with meatballs.  Ground meat spiked with vitamins, they unlock a metal chute next to the window and roll the meatball snacks down to the cats.  They explained that they keep our tigers thin and healthy, and opt not to fatten them up so much that they'll eat out of trainers hands.  They say fat cats are less healthy, though more docile towards humans.  So our Zoo keeps our tigers healthy.  They also told us they got permission (from whatever powers that be) to breed the two tigers.  This is our male, and he kept eyeing the female across the way.   

Here the tiger is eating a meatball and licking up all the meat juice from the mulch.  Just like any kitty, I thought.  Interesting bit of info, each tiger has a unique striping on his back and tail, so they can identify specific cats by pictures of their tails, just like whales and their tail flukes.  

But I  suspect this cat still may have been interested in a Sam sized snack.  

It was really humid by the time we left, hot and humid.  Both boys were riding in the wagon, plumb worn out.  And the mommies were all sweating everywhere.  I started saying I'm a Sweatball.  And Sam said he was the biggest sweatball.  And N said he was the biggest sweatball.  Turns out both boys argued the point all the way home.  Actually, I think Jake won, because he was drippy with sweat on his back from being so sweet in his bucket during our zoo visit.