Monday, February 20, 2012

It's a jungle out there!

Jill, Daniel, and I went to the zoo with my cousin Matt and his family. Jill had a lot of fun with her second cousins, although she never quite caught onto their names, which is unusual for her. I think it was tricky, because all of their names start with "K" or "C," so she got jumbled up. She loved them though. Tickets are half price during January and February at the Cincinnati Zoo, so how could we not go? Today was really sunny and in the 40s.

On the way to the zoo, Jill and I were listening to the radio (while Danny was sleeping). Jill kept asking me about the different lyrics, and for one she said, "Mommy, did he say 'my heart was sick'?" I replied that he did. She asked, "why was his heart sick?" I said, "well, maybe he was sad." "Why was he sad?" "I am not sure. Why do you think he was sad?" There was silence from the backseat, and I assumed that our conversation was over. Then her little voice piped up behind me, and she said, "Maybe he didn't have any friends." I replied, "that would make him sad, wouldn't it?" And she said, "yes." So I asked her, "would you be his friend?" And she said, "Yeah, I would be his friend." I thought that was really sweet.

Danny really did enjoy himself, too. I promise!

Jill kept calling the manatees "whales."
But she did sing "Barbara Manatee" for me.

Christian told the girls to act like wolves for this picture. (We were at the wolf exhibit.)
Jill obviously struggled a bit with this artistic direction.

Daniel loved the slide!
And Christian was such a good helper today! (They all were actually.)

Jill might be a bit fixated on death, or perhaps she is just unfamiliar with sleeping animals, because she was convinced that the penguins were dead. (They weren't dead.) They even blinked a few times. They barely moved at all.

Also, when we entered one exhibit that was housed in a building, Jill said with awe "Are we in Africa, Mommy?" That question was rapidly followed by "Is this a jungle?" "No, is this a rainforest?" I was racking my brain trying to figure out where she had gotten those words from. I couldn't think of any books we had read recently with them, and then I remembered that Saturday night her uncle Kyle babysat her, and they watched both Madagascar movies. So I'm assuming "Africa," "jungle," and "rainforest" must be in those cartoons. And maybe penguins pretending to be dead are, too?

I'm trying to think of what my favorite animal was. I was really impressed with the owl that you see right when you walk into the night predator building. It was huge and just stared at us. I thought its eyes were open at first, but then he opened his eyes—his magnificent eyes—and I realized that the feather coloring design on his eyelids kind of resembled eyes. Tricky. And his actual eyes were gorgeous, a brilliant orange with large black pupils. They were so pretty! But once his eyes were open, he just stared and stared. No blinking almost at all. It was very unnerving. He was just really impressive in general.

The vampire bats were freaky.

The fruit bats were huge.

At the Cincinnati Zoo, they allow the peacocks to roam freely. I think we saw six total. One of the peacocks we saw was at the giraffe habitat. He was perched up on the fence and was pretty high up. A kid startled him, and he flew down into the habitat. That really startled the giraffes. The two giraffes ran to the back of their exhibit. They had a somewhat awkward run, perhaps because their limbs are so long or perhaps because they were frightened. After a minute or so, one of the giraffes ventured back near the front toward the peacock. The giraffe did a sort of dance-stomping-thing seemingly at the peacock and then ran back to stand by the second giraffe again. Some time passed, and then he (she?) "charged" the peacock again. Then he ran back behind a tree. The peacock eventually flew back up to the fence. It was pretty funny. I don't know if giraffes are skittish in general, or if they have a general dislike for peacocks, or if it is because they are zoo giraffes and are not used to other animals invading their space, but it was a very humorous scene.

The white lions were beautiful.

Bearcats and red pandas look funny.

Sea lions make me laugh.

We had a very fun day at the zoo.

What is your favorite animal, and why?


  1. If it has a giant tail, it's a peacock. Peahens are sort of drab looking, like most female birds.

    Africa does play a large part in the Madagascar movies. And there are sneaky penguins. I would not be surprised if they pretended to be dead. They are set on escaping.

  2. Zoo's are the best! Wonderful that the second cousins got to hang out together.

  3. Fun day! I'm surprised nick and the kids didn't see you there! Bummer. I ended up having Addi much later than planned, had I known ahead of time we would have all come! Oh well, I'll plan better next time :)
    That's nice your cousin came to visit you.
    Jill is hilarious. I wanna hear her talk more!
    Oh yeah favorite animal..... Buffalo, or moose, or elk.... Maybe mountain lion, or mountain goat.....
    They need a north American section of the zoo :)


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