Friday, August 26, 2011

The ZOO!! by Uncle Michael

On Tuesday night, I get a text from Susan that says: "Zoo?!" She had mentioned maybe bringing the kids down to go to the National Zoo but I found this message confusing. But before I could respond...

So then I inquire: Are you telling or asking?

So we talk about it and agree that Thursday she'll come down with the kids and we'll go to the zoo.

Thursday morning I'm watching the news and it says it's going to start raining around noon and rain until 5pm. At 8am, I get this text:

I called her immediately and she says: "Did you just hear thunder, too?" I tell her about the forecast and she says "Greeley's really been looking forward to this, so let me ask her: Greeley, do you want to go today in the rain or tomorrow when it might be nicer? (Pause) She says today, in the rain." O-ka-ay! Here we go!*

After I got off the phone my roommate looked out the window and said "It looks like it's going to POUR." I text Susan to say maybe she should make an executive decision and postpone the trip. (I didn't add - but meant to - that I knew that would cause a Greeley meltdown.) I took a nap on the couch, woke up and saw this text:


I prepare myself for the trip (camera, spare/dry shirts, umbrella) and sit down to wait. Two-and-a-half hours after the "donkey kong" message I get a phone call: "Uh, I'm lost."

Luckily, she was only blocks away and I guided her easily right to the curb out front and then I joined the party. Of course it started to actually pour rain just as she pulled up. Perfect.

I drove us to the zoo and we began our tour.

As you can see, it was already quite damp as we entered.

Atlee was a little behind because one of her flip flops had broken just that morning. The long, dragging sweats? That's just business as usual.

"I just gotta get a stone outta my shoe!"

Here we are in the small mammal house.

I focused on the people, so you don't see any animals. I think there was a tamarind in this space.

"Hey, whatter you guys lookin' at??"

Back outside, it was pouring again. Over by the bird house, there were DUCKS! Tons and tons of DUCKS!

I tried to get Atlee in with the ducks.

"Hey! It's a big bird!"

"How can we climb on it?!"

"I got up first!"

I would have posted the one of her smiling but the smile looked more like a grimace.

Greeley just wanted to be up there. She didn't need a picture. It seemed like the second she got up she said: "Ok, now I need some help down."

Owls! (The picture looked better on my display screen. I took one with flash but they were too far away so it was dark.)

Lookin' at birds.

We were a little confused about this bird, who seemed to be loose. A man who was taking pictures revealed that he was a "something"-crowned heron, which a sign told us nest by choice on the zoo grounds.

A vulture. Isn't this a perfect angle for a vulture? He made think of a mobster.

This might be a rhea; I can't remember. I didn't make notes.

As you might have noticed from the last picture, the rain had returned in full force. But the flamingos were so lovely, I could have stood there all day.

See how the water is all puckered? Thousands of fat raindrops, falling with a fury.

Bye, flamingos!

Maybe these were the rheas. I just remember they were grey.

This was the sloth bear area. I think here they could see his black butt up on the rocks. As I got there, he slothed his butt away.

Shea: "Eh; he's gone."

We could find no sign of him in the whole area. We figured he must be a special attraction because he had a huge area and there was even a stone bleacher area of sorts.

Here's Gree and Atlee on the bleachers.

The point of this picture is to show both the girls chewing on their hair. I thought later that I should have taken a picture of the three of us because I do that, too.

"Look!" said Greeley.

But you know the part of the trip everyone enjoyed the most??


These are owls. I don't know what house this is. Could be the mammal house (but I thought we already went through there. These are Burrowing Owls. I don't have any pictures of the reptile house because we loosed Emmy there and I spent the time chasing him. It would have made for some great video but I didn't think of it at the time; I was just trying to contain him. Ape house? Same thing. (I split my time with Greeley, who was freezing in the air conditioned buildings.)(After the mister? Shocking!!)

MORE MISTING!!!Do you like the mist, Emmy?"Get me outta here!"

All in all - and even with the giant walk uphill at the end of the day - it was fun.

Edited to Add: Oh, right - at then end there was some "sleep-puking." But I'll skip that.

*After we agreed on the zoo, Susan gave the phone to Greeley because she wanted to talk to me and immediately I hear this little quiet voice say "I luv you." Then Emerson was squawking in the background and apparently wanted to get on the phone, too, so she gave the phone to him and I said "Hello. Is that Emmy?" Silence. Susan took the phone back and said "So he squawks for the phone and then when I give it to him he gets this shy look on his face. 'I didn't expect someone to talk back to me!'"