Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Rainy Day at the Zoo

Today was unseasonably warm for January - it got up to 55!  It rained and thunderstormed all night last night, so most of our snow is gone.  The ground is sodden and the sidewalks and driveways are awash with flowing water, but we had to get outside to do something since it might not be this warm again until April.  The forecast for today showed rain in the late afternoon, so I thought we could sneak in a quick trip to the zoo before the rain started.  Ha ha.  The weather was lovely while we were driving to the zoo, but once we got there, it started misting.  Then it got foggy, then it started drizzling, and finally thunderstorming.  Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in the various houses.

First stop - primate house!  Amelia stopped to show me where we live on the globe - I think the girls like spinning the globe more than they like the primates.  We had the house entirely to ourselves today, which was great.  And all the animals were inside, so we got to see them up close.  This chimpanzee came up to the glass to give us a big smile:

Megan wanted to go in the rain forest house, where we saw this beautiful Brazilian tanager.  We left the bird area quickly because the macaws started shrieking and the noise freaked the girls out.

The otters weren't outside today, which was a big disappointment to the girls, because the otters are usually their favorite animals.  But the polar bear was out pacing around:

We stopped to see the prairie dogs, who mostly showed good sense by staying hidden in their burrows.  This bison was chilling out on a lump of snow, probably to avoid the quagmire that was the rest of his exhibit.

Then we had to stop and take a look at the map to figure out how to get to the giraffe house.

As we were walking there, it started thunderstorming:

So we ducked into the reptile house, where Megan enjoyed looking at the frogs:

Amelia had fun looking through the microscope at the different types of feathers, bones and skins:

A docent came out with a box of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and told the girls all about them.  We learned that cockroaches breath through small holes down the edges of their shells.  Did you know that?  Then she got one out of the box, and we all got to pet it.  The shell was very hard, and the idea of petting a huge cockroach was seriously disturbing.  Both girls tried it, but Amelia really didn't like it.

We spent a while looking at the giant tortoises, because a zookeeper was inside the exhibit trying to get the tortoise to come to her to get a tasty sweet potato snack.  Amelia said that the tortoises were not very good listeners.

We finally got to the giraffe house during a break in the rain, where we ran into Amelia's preschool friend Ava, and spent at least 5 minutes watching the giraffes while we waited for the rain to die down again.  Amelia noticed that giraffes even have spots on their tails.

And then we gave up and headed to the car:

We had a fun time in spite of the rain!

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