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At the very top of Art Hill in Forest Park there appears to be what I consider to be a living example of ENDURANCE. To maintain its position at the top of the hill, it looks like the tree has grown an extra hand at its base to actually grip the soil that holds it there. In other words, a tree shouting I WILL SURVIVE!
No one really enjoys growing old, and even worse older. I know I’m getting older every morning when I look in the mirror and discover all the new sags, bags and wrinkles that seemingly have appeared overnight. But while shopping in the local supermarket today I discover a birthday card I would even consider sending to myself.
VINTAGE sounds way better than OLD FART!
Starting off the final zoo segment with a display of carved wooden jungle beasts. It’s a work my nephew brought back from Lagos, Nigeria. It shows several of the animals that retired for the day before the picnic even started at the zoo. As we walked through the River’s Edge, all we saw were empty display areas. At the brand new exhibit for the Andean Bears all we saw was other zoo visitors with their noses pressed to a glass panel trying to see the two bears huddled at the back of their cave. (I can just see the mama bear asking the papa bear, “Do you think they want to sleep in our bed?”)
We lucked out an exhibit later when the black rhino began to strut around his stomping grounds shortly after we arrived and even pretend to charge the viewers. (For about two or three feet)
Unfortunately, he didn’t even scare the sacred ibis from ancient Egypt that shares part of his domain. (Hmmm, what is the plural of ibis? There were about six of them.)
It was a real nice ant hill, but the sign on the fence said that this was the home of the cheetah family. (Guess they were all lurking in the shadows and licking their lips as they decided which one of us would make the best dinner guest.)
And his friend was even messier!
Guess they’re trying to prove they’re not extinct yet. They are an endangered species in Africa, and the Saint Louis Zoo is part of a world-wide effort to keep them from disappearing. That’s why this year’s picnic was A Painted (dog) Picnic.
And LITTLE LUKE (standing next to the hippo on the bottom of the pool) decided that hippos are really BIG!!! He liked the little fishies, too.
And that brought us to the end of THE RIVER’S EDGE! There was an Elephant Enrichment Program scheduled for 6:00, but that was the time for our own enrichment … the picnic dinner! Besides we had to get to CHILDREN’S ZOO first, so the adults could watch the little kids pet the baby goats, big snakes, and guinea pigs. There are so many things for the kids to play with here, it’s hard to get the away. The adults got a special treat though, we were watching the new moma tree kangaroo and her little baby stuck his or her head out of the moma’s pouch. (Yes, I again failed to get my camera up fast enough to photograph him or her.)
Nichole with the little goats!
Luke with the big snake that was taller than he was.
(And the kids wouldn’t touch the real live Python. Guess kids really aren’t that dumb!)
And that was our annual family trip to the zoo!
But we missed the lions, tigers and bears!!!
Over the weekend the outside overnight temps dropped into the forties. Since inside heating/cooling system was still on the summer setting, Renee and I woke up to a house with a temp in low sixties. Instead of coming into my room and jumping up on my bed as usual, Renee snuggled deep into her pillows and warm blanket on the sofa in the living room. When I got up, I added her winter sweater and she spent the rest of the morning snoozing in warmth until the furnace started sending up heat.
It’s time for me to continue my visit to the Saint Louis Zoo and the ZOO PARENTS PICNIC OF 2014 with my own family. I arrived from the north entrance, so my first stop was to the INSECTORIUM. I had planned on visiting there in August right before the heat wave hit us. But it really was too hot to venture out into the broiling sun and into the park back then. Friday, however, was jacket wearing weather and I briskly walked down to the insectorium and big, bad bug that guards its door.
There are more than 300,000 species of beetles, and I have no idea which one posed for this sculpture. A good guess would be one of several possible species of rhino beetles. The insectorium has a double set of sliding doors that keep the outside bugs from becoming inside bugs. And if you have and aversion to big, hairy bugs … move quickly past the next photo.
And this one, too!
Hopefully, you can see him in the picture.
Then next exhibit was a wall-sized display featuring the insects of the south west.I passed on putting my eye up the eye-hole of the skull of the long departed bovine just to see what the Red Backed Darkling Beetle looked like. You never know what can jump out of the eye-socket of a long dead cow.
And my favorite … THE OWL EYED BUTTERFLY! This extra-large sized butterfly appears to have the eye of an owl on the underside of its wings, and when flying it looks like an owl which scares anything that would prey on it. I’ve simulated this by putting two pictures of the undersides together to give you an idea how this looks.
Here’s the full-sized photo of one side.
And you know what kids do when they meet a giant beetle on which they can climb! Featuring great-nephew and niece Jake and Nichole.
COME BACK TOMORROW FOR PART THREE – OUR JOURNEY ALONG THE RIVER’S EDGE.
FEARLESS LUKE AND THE GOLDEN COBRA
LITTLE LUKE AND THE BIG HIPPO AND LITTLE FISHES
THE LITTLE GOAT GIRL NAMED NICHOLE
JAKE AND NICHOLE THE CLIMBING COUSINS
See, you don’t need a lot of words when you have cute kids!