Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend - Together, and at the Zoo!

We started the weekend out with hamburgers on the grill Friday night. I think I grilled those in the rain, but I can't be certain, because we ended up having a GREAT weekend together :) My daughter helped my wife put some vegetable plants in the garden on Sunday. I think I even helped a bit with the garden this year - putting that fence around it with my wife.

 I did go watch some high school baseball on Saturday and then Sunday, we went to church. Had some friends of the family over for Sunday afternoon and evening - and had a blast with them. Then, on Memorial Day, we decided to head out to our Zoo. The kids were happy to get going - even in the rain.

It was probably the best day and time to go, to be honest. By the time we got to the zoo, the rain had stopped, and it was still a bit overcast. The temps would reach 90 in our backyard later in the day, but the morning at the zoo was pretty comfortable and enjoyable - even for green eggs and ham. (Dr. Seuss statues at the zoo this month!)

No Grinches today! All the animals seemed to be up and moving or close to the fences or windows.

The amur leopard was on a rock about 10 feet from the glass (see above). And the Tiger was even up and roaming around the HUGE habitat that it has (see below).

The Takin were actually moving around and eating, too. They always seem to be laying around at our zoo, so this was a pretty good indication that the weather and time of day were perfect - which we would continue to find with ALL the animals today!

The bison roam in a fenced habitat with the pronhorn deer. It was awesome enough that when we got to the fence, the bison were within 50 feet, but then the pronghorn started to run back and forth across the hills of the habitat. Then the bison took their own jog. It. Was. Cool. :)

Next up were my favorite ... the prairie dogs. They like the sunny, hot weather better, so most of them were inside their home/holes, but there were enough out to get a few good pics. One of the little guys even stood up to pose for me :)

My daughter loves the camels. They weren't very active, but they all settled in close to the fence so we could take a good look. (They're dirty.)

As we walked around the corner, I thought I heard a wolf howl. Sure enough, this guy was a few feet from the fence, and let out a few howls, just so we could hear and get a good look at him. We eventually went into the observation area and he came pretty close to the glass, as well. My daughter said that he wasn't even as big as the neighbor dog.

Reindeer in the spring? Yep. Caribou. Their fur looks funny as it's falling off, too. But they were playing around, running back and forth - and darn close to that fence, too.

The moose seemed to be one of the only ones who didn't want to get close. Good thing I have a decent zoom. Looks like his antlers need to get going. Nothing but nubbins so far.

We ened up seeing the entire outside zoo (except the farm and Minnesota trail - which we figured we had seen enough). And we ended up back by the tiger lair. Had to take the annual picture atop the big cat. Apparently the play area at the zoo is pretty fun, too. The kids loved it - spent a little while there while mommy and daddy rested up. Even climbed a cargo net. Sat on a big ant, and road some other bugs. Nothing like a little brother-sister time to let mom and dad relax :)

That's the Lorax (below).

Apparently, he's a Dr. Seuss character. My daughter kept saying that we got to see him in real-life color! My son says that he saves the trees in his book. I'll take his word for it. 

These guys don't look like they're going to save any trees.

Everyone seemed to be napping inside the tropics trail. Oh well. I took a good picture of the napping fresh water otters. The sea otters were actually pretty playful, and so were the bears. Got to see them at the start of the day in the Grizzlie Coast. No pictures of that - sorry. But this red panda was pretty cool, too - even if he is just napping in a tree.

The turtles were up and moving around, though. And they closed out the day perfectly. Time for lunch!

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