Saturday, August 9, 2008

Petting Zoo

Today the temperature was a bit cooler than it has been in a long time, so we decided to celebrate by taking Calvin to a cute little local petting zoo. It's in the middle of the city, so we didn't have incredibly high expectations, but it actually turned out to be a lot of fun. They had a great selection of farm animals, but also had zebra, camels, monkeys, reptiles, lemurs, a potbelly pig, and some other things I can't remember. Calvin touched most of them. Here were the highlights:

Fed the goats and baby lambs. Calvin seemed overwhelmed by all of the noise and movement, but he did like that we gave him little pellets of food that they licked right off of his palm. Except when he closed his pudgy fist, and one goat tried to chew on his little fingers.

For some reason the birds were his favorites - the ostriches, ducks, swans, geese, and parrots. He kept poking at a big swan and she snapped his finger. I freaked out a little, but it didn't seem to faze him. This picture is of him chasing them.

Love was in the air. Mom, I posted this one for you. When we lived in Israel, we had this 3 story apartment, and the ground level led out onto a big stone patio with a huge fence around it, and various trees and bushes growing around the edges. When we moved in, we inherited these two huge turtles that already lived out there. They were fun to watch, but every so often my mom would get really worked up because the big boy turtle would chase the little girl turtle, climb on top of her, and start doing his thing. The little girl turtle would try desperately to get away, and when she finally managed to struggle free, he would just chase her down and crawl back on top of her.

My mom would get so upset. She'd go outside, yank the male turtle off of the female, and put him as far away from the other turtle as possible, all the while yelling, "Leave her alone you big bully, if she says no, she says no!" and other things that are inappropriate to write on my rated PG blog site. She was, of course, mostly kidding, but it was hilarious that she took it so personally. I don't think it occurred to her that she was messing with the Circle of Life. Anyway, that's what was happening at the zoo today. He'd jump on, she'd wriggle away and run, he'd chase her down, and on and on it went. I felt sad for the little chica that she didn't have a 5ft tall spitfire woman to protect her from the boorish male forcing himself upon her.

The highlight by far was the wagon ride. They load everyone up, and then travel through this wilderness area where zebra, camels, deer, elk, yaks, buffalo, ostriches, llamas, and some random other wildlife come right up to the wagon where you can feed them. The tour guide stops and let's everyone play with them for a while before proceeding with the tour. Calvin loved it.
One camel was especially friendly and stuck his head clear into the wagon, letting Calvin put his fingers inside his nostrils and grab his ears. There was also a water buffalo rubbing up against the wagon who ripped Calvin's shoe off. He was delighted. I'm sure he thought the whole tour was set up just for him.

Not sure why the potbellied pig was in with a big turtle at the bottom of the macaw cage, but they seemed to LOVE each other. They kept rubbing against each other and following each other around. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Besides THIS:

He loved the spider monkeys. They were some of the most active of the animals, and he loved watching them swing and jump around their cage. He kept trying to reach them - probably because he could relate to them most.