05 January 2008

So the weather was remotely decent, it was a Saturday, it wasn't on an official holiday...who can guess what we did today?

Yes, off to the zoo again. This time a few more animals were out and about. First, the lorikeets. Here's one whose feathers were a bit ruffled by the rather heavy wind we experienced today:

I'm not entirely certain if this is a llama or an alpaca. Regardless, he trotted up to us, as if happy to see us.

Debra wanted to make sure I got a good photo of his ears down:

The ducks had assumedly just been fed, resulting in a veritable orgy of domestic and foreign ducks congregating around the foodstuffs.

And the red panda was out, and in a climbing mood, rather than a pacing mood. He climbed up to the top of the branch shown below, looked at us wearily, and closed his eyes, ostensibly for his afternoon nap.

My mistake for not getting the orangutans last time...here's one in a brief closeup through a window. The light is very poor inside, but I managed to get a shot of his face through the glass.

Big surprise, Overrated Kitty is still in the log. Pissy as could be expected. Still wanting to eat me.

And hooray! The binturong was out today. A note of no small sadness last time (he was put away, assumedly due to the cold), SeƱor Binturong was doing what he does best, sleeping like a pro.

Of course, our presence was a serious inconvenience, coming in the midst of his siesta.

In the Aussie birds section, the swans were a bit cheery at the lack of snow.

The sea gull from the previous post was testy but on the whole somewhat more good natured now that the water had thawed.

And these birds? What can I say...still weird as ever.

Up on the wall, a parrot-like bird with gorgeous red plumage.

And in the heavyweight class, the birds enter the emu into the contest...not a bird with which I would wish to have a spirited disagreement in person.

Australian singing dogs were out...a sort of wild dog similar to dingoes, as I recall.

And the red kangaroos were out:

The joey is visible in this photograph:

The wallabies were out as well, although hiding in the corner of their pen.

The sheep pen was littered with, what would you expect, sheep droppings, but also as you can see there is a bit of a sheep traffic jam as the flock tries to evade us by going into their pen, but finds that the gate has been closed on them.

What's the holdup, I'm sure they are wondering. Smelly but amusing animals, nonetheless.

Not the most gorgeous of God's creations, but the camels round out the Australian exhibit.

And while we paused to get a quick pretzel, as usual the peacocks were strolling around the plaza. What is with peacocks? They aren't ever exhibited as a foreign animal or anything that draws attention to them, but you find them running around in zoos, and Disneyland. Is their natural habitat theme parks?

Not a great photo, but quite a big, impressive bird...an Andean condor. Sequestered in a spot not listed on the zoo map (given that it contains pheasants and several varieties of turkey, I assumed they would name it the "Poultry Section").

Here's something I could not quite capture on film very well. We heard this before we saw it...hundreds of geese in nested V formations descending on us as we exited the zoo. Practically a tidal wave of geese. I was concerned that I did not wear my hat but thankfully it did not prove necessary. This is one of those situations when the 20 round drum magazine for the Saiga 12-gauge would prove useful. The Canadians are coming!

And finally, before leaving the zoo I had smoked a beef brisket for several hours over apple wood...then it went into the oven, and tonight while watching "The Magnificent Seven" on PBS, I got to enjoy brisket with Gates BBQ sauce and a glass of cherry melomel (a kind of mead).

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