Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We're going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo...

After a relaxing day on Saturday, Steve and I met up with Emily and Jason to go to the National Zoo in D.C. We wanted to see the lion cubs who were going to be allowed out for a short while. It was great to have Steve back on the scene and I'm pleased we're still friends. We've always got on well and shared a silly sense of humor and my friends enjoy his company too. We rushed into the zoo and soon the others joined us.
The lion cubs weren't out yet but Dad was enjoying the sunshine and quiet, readying himself for the soon to come boisterous bundles of fur that would disrupt his peaceful world. We wandered over to the monkey house for a while and avoided a orangutan that was defecating onto the pathway below his perch on the ropes strung over our heads. I'm not a big fan of monkeys. I was very pleased when we left and went back to the Big Cats pens where the lion cubs had been let out to play. They had to undergo training before being allowed out into the outside area  
The place was packed with people trying to get photos and the cubs were a joy to watch, constantly up to tricks and annoying all the parents. Here's just a few of the photos I took.
We met some of the DCist crowd whose cameras were also snapping furiously, Eric joined our group and we moved on to the Amazonia house which Jason had insisted we see.
This was a building with a mini rain forest inside, fronds hanging down into creeks and ponds with skates and huge fish, an aquarium area and learning center.
Some of the anemones and jellyfish.
We checked out the fishes and turtles and then went upstairs to the forest.
This was an amazing area, it really did feel like a rain forest inside. There were birds flying around and during the summer months there would be butterflies too. We strolled between the trees and learned from our guide about what we were experiencing. I was just very pleased that the environment wasn't replicated exactly as there was a noticeable absence of mosquitoes. The little tree frog was the size of my thumb nail and harmless because he blended in with his surroundings. Apparently only the brightly colored frogs are poisonous as they have no camouflage.
 We investigated the learning center which was amazing, filled with quiet nooks to study in, with tables and shelves loaded with books and glass cases full of specimens. They had a sign on this table forbidding anyone to touch the light. Did I? Of course!
 The grand entrance to the Reptile House.
I forgot to see what this big chap was called, I was so entranced with watching him enjoy his shower. He was almost smiling.
A pretty python and some turtles that looked like they were begging to have their photo taken. We'd been at the Zoo for a few hours by now and still had lots to see but tummies were growling and beer cravings were starting to gnaw. So we headed up the road to a place called Comet.
 Looks like the conversation ground to a halt here but really we had lots to say. This was a great restaurant with the tables looking like table tennis tables, a disco 'ball' made from a cinder block and some of the best pizza I've ever eaten along with a superb beer menu. It had been a fun day and I had nearly 500 photos to process!
This last gallery is of more animal stars, the ones that actually posed for the camera. Enjoy!

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