04 July 2012

STL adventures: the zoo

Happy Independence Day, everyone! I hope you enjoy your mid-week holiday, even if all the fireworks celebrations are cancelled due to the heat and drought and you’re stuck eating leftovers because nobody is willing to man the grill. Huddling in air conditioning: another American tradition!

In the holiday spirit, I thought I’d talk about another of our exploring-the-city adventures that Mr. P and I experienced recently, on a much milder day than today: the St. Louis zoo! The zoo here is in Forest Park, less than five minutes from our apartment, and it is FREE. Free free free. You guys know how I love FREE.

So Mr. P and I slathered on the sunscreen, grabbed my telephoto lens, and spent a pleasant morning with the animals. And by that I don’t mean the fifty thousand school/summer groups of small children that were also there, but these:

We spent a long time in the indoor butterfly garden, where we learned the different butterflies like to hang out in certain parts of the atrium on certain plants. I could’ve spent all day in there watching them in their “neighborhoods”.

This was my first time getting to take my telephoto lens to the zoo, and I was thrilled with the shots I was able to get.

I also could’ve spent all day watching the elephants. ELEPHANTS ARE SO COOL, YOU GUYS. With their trunks and their... doing stuff with their trunks? They had several large exhibit spaces where they mix n’ match different individuals in the same herd, so we got to see the different family dynamics. That’s an “auntie” elephant (an adult female in the herd who cares for other mother’s young) feeding one of the younger members of the herd.

But here’s a baaaaaabeeeeee! A baby elephaaaaaaaaaant! There are few things in this world that make me giggle and clap as much as baby zoo animals.

This ape looks sad, but he was enjoying hanging out by the glass and watching/playing with a little girl gesticulating at him. Maybe he gets a kick out of little humans like I get a kick out of little animals.

It was cool enough that most of the animals were walking around, but I only got a clear shot of this guy after it flopped to the ground.

The penguins were stinky. Did not like.

In contrast, I really want to snuggle with this grizzly bear. Look at its soft fuzzy neck! I want to bury my face in it. Mrrrmrmrmrrr.

Gene Simmons bear!

Those are just a few of the animals we saw in the couple of hours we spent there, because I am a very slow zoo visitor. I like to stand and watch each animal until Mr. P drags me away. So, we only saw about half the zoo before I got hungry and decided to head back home.

But hey – it’s five minutes away, and did I mention it’s FREE? We’ll have to finish the other half another day! Perhaps on a holiday not quite as hot as this one.