Monday, November 21, 2005

Kewl Zoo

Yesterday, S set aside the afternoon to have lunch with some of her old Pi Phi buddies at a shore side restaurant at Lake Hefner.

After dropping her off, I took the bundled up girls to the Oklahoma City Zoo. We're fortunate enough to have a relatively good sized and well staffed natural-enviro zoo. They've done away with the concrete jungle habitats and steel-barred cages of zoos of old, and have spent mucho dinero on building/maintaining green and lush living environments for the captive beasties.

The cool temps (upper 40's - low 50's) made for some spectacular varmint viewing. Slight drizzle didn't hurt in keeping the crowds away as well, as there were maybe 20 cars in the visitors lot.

We shared the playground, the pathways, the seal viewing seating area, and the Canopy Cafe with very few other families. Mostly weekend Dad's, attempting to balance discipline with offspring bonding. More than a few of them seemed sad beneath their half-hearted smiles of forced indentured weekend servitude to their kids. I even caught one Dad looking through a Bass Pro Shops circular while his sons led him to the elephant paddock.

C tried out her new MPEG-4 video camera (birthday present via an gift cert. courtesy of her Uncle B in So Cal) and was delighted that all the animals came out for her latest foray into documentary filmmaking. Even the brown bears were out, play fighting with each other, doing their best to make a 6-year old with a new video camera happy.

The big cats emerged from their leafy forested habitats in force to celebrate the cool weather.

We found ourselves inches from a huge pacing leopard, his eyes never leaving the tasty morsel my 2 1/2 would have been to him.

The sumatran tigers were bouncy and playful -- as bouncy and playful as feline mankillers can get.

An ocelot entertained us as he stalked a cardinal that happened into his habitat. Being cooped up must have dulled his speed, since his master pounce missed the red bird by a few inches. Had he been in the wild, and had he been hungry, I'm sure that cardinal would be nuggets by now.

While watching a diver vacuum up the seal poop that was littering the bottom of the aquatic habitat, C commented that whale poop must be as big as PK was. That seemed to freak out PK -- her little brain trying to imagine looking eye-to-eye with a piece of dung.

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