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.
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.
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.
The sleek black and yellow birds swam, jumped and vocalized as they enjoyed their lunch of dead fish. .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Red River Pig Mother with spotted baby
Zebras strolling around their enclosure
A Misty Waterfall in the Rain Forest
Yellow Bird tending to its’ home
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.
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.
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