A Day at the Zoo

Summer is here.  I know we haven’t yet reached the solstice, but the weather is summery and so are the outings coordinated by Ogden House 50+ Seniors Club.

What says summer better than a day at the Zoo?  On June 11th, a group of 50+ members journeyed through, the Canadian Wilds, Eurasia and Africa.

It was a sunny day.  A light breeze batted around the white seed packets of fluffy fuzz which fall from The Cottonwood and Poplar trees prodigiously growing around St. Georges Island.

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Upon arrival, our little group of 17 was dwarfed by the sheer number of school children, all walking in orderly lines holding hands while being directed by teachers and volunteer parents.  Their excitement was palpable, it propelled their tiny bodies forward so fast they appear blurred in some of the photos I took.

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Our first stop was the Penguin Plunge, where we enjoyed the antics of the Penguins playing in the outside pools while we waited in a short line to get inside the Penguin enclosure.   Lucky us.  Once inside we were treated to the overwhelming smell of fish and the chaos of feeding time. They don’t receive all the nutrients they need from the lifeless fish, so are given daily supplements to compensate for the lack of nutrition.

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The sleek black and yellow birds swam, jumped and vocalized as they enjoyed their lunch of dead fish.  .

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After the cool air of the Penguin Plunge the heat of the sun felt extra hot, as we trundled our way across the bridge to the picnic site.  Happily, we picked out two green tables shaded under the protection of the huge fully leafed trees.

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We sorted ourselves and took a few moments to decide where we wanted to visit first.  We had an hour and a half before lunch.  Everyone set out on their own adventures, some with buddies others on their own.  I was on the lookout for possible Calendar shoot spots. I had no preconceived plan of action, just to wander where my whim and the animals led.

The surprise of the day were the Peacocks.

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They were everywhere.  Each and every one was displaying their beautiful plumage fans. Everyone once in a while one would call, that eerie piercing caw of theirs, sending shivers down my back.

One in particular was a camera star.  He must be in love with the camera.  I observed that as long as a camera was focused in his direction, he flaunted his feathers. At one point, I put my camera down to change the lens, he brought in his fan and dropped the feathers into the beautiful trailing train.

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When I had finished the lens switch and brought the camera back up, he turned toward the camera, fluttered and fanned this tail out as wide as it would go.

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He was such a poser I had the best time snapping more shots of him than I should have.

As I travelled the African continent I encountered many of the favourite animals taking naps in the shade, walking about, relaxing with their babies or working on fixing their homes.

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0079      Resting Hippo

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0075   Red River Pig Mother with spotted baby

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0063       Sleeping Gorilla

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0086   Zebras strolling around their enclosure

Zoo w Ogden House_0035          A  Misty Waterfall in the Rain Forest

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0108       Yellow Bird tending to its’ home

Zoo Trip w Ogden House_0107          Turtle taking a stroll

It was hot on my journey through Africa, so I was happy for the break when lunch time came around.  Back at the picnic table, we were treated to Subway sandwiches, chips, cookies and Juice.

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It was a yummy meal and a welcome opportunity to sit in the shade, catch up on where the others visited and what they saw.

After lunch we had another hour and half to explore more of the micro world of the Zoo.  Since being out in the sun walking around is not my natural habitat, I chose to stay and chat with a few of the others who also enjoy a quiet visit in the shade.

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By the end of the day we were tired but satisfied with our adventures.  We piled into our vans for the short drive back to Ogden House.  Everyone had an exhilarating summer day at the Zoo. One I am sure we will want to repeat next year.

Cheryle Baker   June 2015


8 thoughts on “A DAY AT THE ZOO

  1. Hi Cheryle,
    When in my teens, I spent many an afternoon wandering through London zoo. Once in a while, catching a glimpse of Desmond Morris. In those days, I saw little wrong with the concept of animals penned, to observe and enjoy. For it was unlikely I would have seen them otherwise? Halcyon days of a Friday afternoon off, before heading to meet Friederike from her job off of New Bond Street.

    I spent as much time people watching as I did the animals. It’s similar to Art galleries. The people rush in, peer into cages, look for the sign that tells them what’s in the cage. Before rushing off to the next … exhibit?

    My afternoons were spent mostly in one spot. On a bench in some corner, where I had a good view of the creatures. I’ve been told that, Gary Larson does this at Seattle zoo? I would watch them, the animals, bored out of their skulls. Caged and lonely.

    Eventually, my mindset changed. To where I could see how pathetic these places really were. Where the “exhibits” were a popularity contest. The bigger the draw, the better their environment.

    These days, I avoid zoos or aquariums. Maybe they do help some animals? I don’t know?

    Is it better to help awareness through their use? Perhaps? Yet, I would far rather see a planet where the animals are respected and allowed to share our planet with people. One can certainly see that it helps people be happy, when they are in the facility. The look on a child’s face, etc.

    This last week, I’ve spent more time with my grandson than the last two and a half years. He is fearless of dogs and humans, yet little ants scare him. Much of it is a question of perspective, I suppose?

    Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am happy to hear you are enjoying your grandson. Children do have a wonder about them that can erase a jaded point of view.
      I don’t like zoos either. I think vets (even though they do do good) are strange people who enjoy experimenting on animals.
      I went with the group to see if there were any spots suitable for a calendar shoot. We care planning our 2017 calendar.
      What i didn’t write about was the sadness i saw in the gorillas eyes. He wasn’t sleeping, just trying to escape the situation. He is depressed and is aware of his incarceration.
      I gave up my zoo membership years ago and have been back until now. I would rather see animals free and wild.

      I wrote this piece to put in the newsletter. It will make many people happy, or at least i hope so. In love and light Cheryle

      Liked by 1 person

    • They are so beautiful. I have never seen one so close. How extraordinary it would have been to see Hera on her chariot pulled by peacocks. Thanks for reading my post. Enjoy your day and the weekend. In love and light Cheryle

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful photographs.

    I think everyone agrees that the animals would surely be happier, healthier, and more at peace in their natural habitats. Habitat loss is taking place with ever increasing acceleration on our entire planet and I wonder if zoos were to close and send all the animals ‘home’….if there would in fact be a home to go to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are spot on JoHanna. Animals should not be caged and put on display for our pleasure, or hunted into extinction. As a species we are the most destructive beings on the planet. We need to concentrate on reversing the damage we have done before it is too late. In love and light Cheryle

      Liked by 1 person

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