Monday, June 29, 2009

wild things

We woke late to a light, steady rain. Nobody felt like hustling to do anything; breakfast was late, and lunch was, too. But just before 2PM the clouds parted and we saw blue sky. With the temperature hovering in that sweet spot between too cold and too warm, we headed south to the Zooquarium.

We've been going there for ages, and the kids are really too old for it now, but still, DD wanted to go. The boys did not mind. I reminded her several times that we might not get to see the hedgehog, and indeed, when we arrived, we saw that the African wildlife show had been at 10 this morning.

Fortunately for us, one of the workers there has her own very friendly hedgehog, and she brought her out for us to see. We had an extended semi-private hedgehog visit, and she was very sweet and so comfortable around people that Beth, her keeper, told us that Malaika simply won't roll up into a ball or do that adorable little sneeze-bark, she's just too friendly.

Malaika, a small, prickly angel

After our hedgehog visit, we went through the aquarium and the zoo proper. In the cool weather, all the animals were up and about, even one of the raccoons, and they are always sleeping. We saw the live animal demonstration of the great horned owl, and learned interesting things like their feathers are shaped so they can swoop down silently on their prey, and they can lift three times their weight. I was surprised to hear that Maestro, fully grown and about 8 years old, only weighs about 4 pounds. He looks a lot bigger than that, but I have to remember it's mostly feathers.

Maestro, the great horned owl

Off-exhibit, we saw several wild rabbits venturing under the fence to nibble on the greens along the zoo paths. I'm sure they feel very safe there. This baby rabbit is hands down the cutest wild thing I've ever seen.

Fearless baby bunny, enjoying clover

As for these three, they enjoyed themselves, yes, and got completely silly on the train. When they were younger, they could play on it without irony, but today they were just being goofy.


A little bit wild sometimes, yes, but wonderful.

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