Monday with a Side of Zoo

I was thinking about doing a post about unshelving, moving, and reshelving an approximate (but barely over-estimated) 860 pounds of 130-year old, rotting-cowhide bound county tax records this morning, but I’m too busy sneezing orange after several hours of breathing in history’s dandruff, so y’all are getting some pictures of our Saturday zoo trip.

Watson hadn’t been to the semi-local zoo, yet, and my husband found four free passes, so we decided to go early in the morning to avoid the worst of the heat before lunch.  Naturally, our early is never as early as it could be—three of us are Wessons by birth—but we managed to arrive just in time to feed the giraffes, which was amazingly cool.

 Janie decided that she was too old to need her mother to be with her and Sunny decided her Aunt Watson needed to hold her while she held out the lettuce, so I stifled my disappointment and took photos:


Feeding things was the theme of the day—our next stop was the petting zoo where many retrofitted bubblegum machines dispense grain for a quarter, right next to a handy change machine and several bacterial gel dispensers, because goat tongues, ugh.


 Next up was the Australian exhibit where, armed only with two small cups of nectar, our intrepid band entered the Lorikeet habitat and was the instant focus of the thirty-plus inhabitants. 

You know that hunker-down-and-wiggle thing cats do when they’re about to pounce?  Birds do that, too, with a bit more head-bobbing, and when twenty of them do it at once, it’s an experience . . . and then it gets interesting.  Six of them landed on me at once—presumably, they miss the baobabs—but Sunny’s pink hat was also a perch of choice.


 You can’t tell, but Sunny is actually grinning like a loon here and telling everyone she’s fine.


Yes, my nail polish is sparkly blue and yes, it matches the blue of the bird very nicely.

 We did not feed the lions, for obvious reasons, but we deeply sympathized with them.  Imagine dealing with 97F weather and 80% humidity while wearing fur coats:

 Our next stop was a train ride, because we had a couple of free tickets and some of us wanted to sit down and catch a breeze or two.  Sunny did not want to sit down, so I handed her my camera as a distraction.  The memory card now has forty-seven images that look like this, proving that there was no mix-up at the hospital:


But also a few that look like this, so there might be hope :


We were all hungry, so on our way out, we hit the Rainforest Room, which is interactive and also air-conditioned—this might be an oxymoron, but at that point we didn’t much care because it was tropical enough outside, thank you.  

Unfortunately, none of the photos came out, as the animals are all behind glass and I’m lucky enough not to have my  hand in all the shots without fiddling with flashes and exposures.  But let me tell you, the underside of a tree frog that’s stuck itself to a pane of glass is easily one of the weirdest things I’ve seen at a zoo.*

I’d share a bit more, but most of the photos after this were of small children whining about being hungry and hot and adults who were whining—in a much more mature way—about who was going to to carry the smallest child, who had gone stubbornly limp, to the car and/or grip the half-melted steering wheel.**

Plus, it’s becoming difficult to type because I can’t reach some of the keys without moving my arms, which are starting to ache from moving all that history about fifteen feet to the left and around a sharp corner so the installers can upgrade our compact shelving. 

Happy Monday.  Pass the Advil and the tissues, would you?


*I suggest here that if you try to track down an image of the underside of a tree frog, don’t google “tree frog bottom.”  You have been warned.

**And, a little later, the record number of ginormous, empty, diet Pepsi glasses circling my placemat at our second-favorite burger joint.  The hiccups later that afternoon were epic.


17 thoughts on “Monday with a Side of Zoo

  1. have i ever mentioned my zoo-key story?

    we took the kids to the zoo a few years back and were hanging near the zebras when i spotted a sign toward the other end their area that read “Zookeys”

    it was hot and i had lost all desire to be there (not that i started with that much). there were a couple of zebras off to the side that were away from the rest of the pact near the sign i had spotted. they were sitting on the ground and appeared to have been rolling around in the dirt because their black and white zebra stripes looked more like grey and dusty brown. i walked a few steps ahead to take a closer look at what i thought was a different breed of zebras. “Look guys, these aren’t zebras–they’re zookeys.”

    my husband looked at me like he was trying to figure out if i was joking or not. my daughter, who was old enough to read at this point said, “what? there’s no zookey animal.”

    the Zookeys sign was for visitors that had invested in the special Zoo (pause) Key that allowed you to insert a key in the small box under the sign and hear a quick summary of whatever animal you were looking at–which at the time happened to be Zebras, not Zookeys.

    this is one of those things in our marriage that i will hear about for the rest of my life. one of my husband’s most favorite thing to do on a road trip is slow down and say, “Look, is that a herd of zookeys over there?”

    • I’ve been there, Josephine—oh, i have so been there. All you can do is wait for your beloved spouse to pull something just as odd so you can bring it up in rebuttal . . .

      On the other hand, I think there should be herds of zookeys roaming around somewhere. I’ll bet they’re orange or green striped and can swing with long arms from tree to tree . . .

      (the Kookoopants Zookeys have peacock feathers, but not in the usual places)

  2. Isn’t collection shifting FUN?
    I love zoos, and yours is the second trip I’ve heard about in as many weeks without being able to go myself. One of the main reasons we went to St. Louis on our honeymoon was so I could go to the zoo. Now I guess I’ve got to plan a visit. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Depends on the collection—there aren’t a lot of paperbacks in the archives. 🙂

      We try to visit a zoo or an aquarium everywhere we go—even when hte kids aren’t with us. But my “home zoo” will always be Cincinnati’s.

  3. What a Monday. Just thinking about all the dust you encountered makes my nose twitch and my skin give a little wiggle. But at least the zoo trip Saturday was an overall success. I’ve been wanting to take my goddaughter to the zoo, but it’s just been too hot. But it’s finally cooling down so this reminder came at a good time. 🙂

  4. For the record, the giraffe head was as big – maybe bigger – than Sunny.

    Alas, not allowed to give skritches to the giraffes…

  5. How cool that you can feed the giraffes!!! I’ve never seen one that up close and personal. I imagine their eyes are gorgeous.

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s