Monday, January 04, 2010

Most of it was all happening at the zoo...

Sunday afternoon.

Sunny weather.

Need to get out and walk.

What to do?

Go see The Hogle Zoo.


Because it was there!

More specifically, because I have been wanting to see Baby Zuri since she was born in August.

(Now how Mom Christie got mixed up with a guy from Pittsburgh...well, I think it was a long distance romance to say the least. She is probably still wondering how she got pregnant!)

Christie wasn't too interested in making eye contact, and baby Zuri was sacked out. I've seen footage of Zuri romping about with her big flappy African elephant ears and she is simply A-dor-able!
Next to the elephant enclosure was this little sign.
Apparently you pushed a button and got to smell elephant smells.
I've smelled elephant smells...I used to work at the San Diego Zoo. I wouldn't ever go out of my way to push a button to get a snoot full of that odor!
The funniest part? The button had been pushed so often it was broken. I wonder how many young boys had taken turns pushing the button, smelling, and saying EWWWW....
Rambling around the zoo was interesting . A lot of the enclosures were inside and had great window views close to the animals. And in this case, of the zoo keeper as well.
Other enclosures had plastic covered chain link fencing. At first I was thought that Hogle needed to update to the moat style enclosures like the San Diego Zoo has.
But then I realized that with a moat, you can't get this close to the animals. I was about four feet from this handsome kitty cat with the most gorgeous blue eyes.
The San Diego zoo never has zebras in the snow. Hogle does...score a point for that lovely scene!

I would guess there were maybe 30 people visiting the zoo while I was there. We tended to keep bumping into each felt rather chummy.

The girl in the rosy colored jacket made me smile. She skipped and pranced and begged to go see the "Polar Berries" next.

Apparently the Hogle Zoo doesn't have Polar Berries, or Polar Bears either for that matter.

(I later asked if I had missed seeing the hippos. I was informed that their one and only hippo "Moe" was wintering in a zoo with better facilities and three flirtation female hippos. I think Moe must be very, very happy this winter...)

The penguins were having a fine day.

I asked them what they thought about global warming.

They shook their heads and walked away from me. Interpret that as you will...

All the zoos are big on guilt trips for children. I'm not sure what the children of Salt Lake City might have done to decrease tiger habitat, or how they could aid in preventing several other animal's possible extinction. While I appreciate the need for education, it seemed like every where I went there were announcements like this one.

Now this is more like it! The menu looked terrific...with lots of Asian foods that would be fun to try.

The area around the tigers and snow leopards was built to mimic a Tibetan village.

Only nicer I suspect. The prayer flags were colorful. Funny... I didn't see any appreciation for other religious practices from other areas.

A printed prayer that flaps in the breeze: a rather poetic concept. Wonder if anyone has done any studies on the success of those prayers like they have of Judeo-Christian prayers.

The snow leopards were really enjoying the sunshine instead of the snow below their perch.

Isn't that a really lovely tail dangling there? Those two sleep scrunched faces look a lot like Tigs when he is sleeping.

(I admit it...I would LOVE to go scritch those kitties and sleep with them. )

Mother Tiger....

Had every reason to be zonked out.
Triplet boys...and they apparently are now at that exhausting age where they get into EVERYTHING!

Two of them were munching snow, jumping up on the roof of the little shelter, chewing on branches, swatting each other...on and on it went while Mom just laid there looking at me like she would kill for a baby sitter and a chance to get out and meet with a friend.

I watched as one of the boys turned and eyed the small tree, put out a tentative paw, and then gingerly tried to climb up a branch.

In a flash Mom Tiger rolled over and was facing the cub with a "You get down from there RIGHT NOW!" expression that I knew all too well from my own years of raising a boy.

Yup, she had eyes on the back of her head all right when it came to seeing potentially foolish behavior.

Apparently the Hogle Zoo is quite a fertile place to be. The baby giraffe was just too cute.

The giraffe barn had two stories so you could go upstairs and be at eye level with the critters.

Upside down Christmas trees had been hung about to amuse and feed the giraffes. I wish I could say the piney scent was released, instead, truth be told, I don't think I have ever been in a more revolting smelling barn in my life. The floors were clean, but pee-yu. If the scent could be bottled it could be used for a miracle cure for appetite.

I guess I had never been in an enclosed area with giraffes before. Next time I will know better!

The meerkats that didn't make the television show. Well, at least they got a gig at the zoo. That's kind of like being on TV, right?

I've never seen an owl in the wild. This screech owl was as interested at looking at me as I was at him.

Another critter that seemed to be interested at looking at me.
One of my favorite pictures of the day. Aren't those ears something else?

If I ever see a porcupine in the wild I will totally FREAK OUT! They do look nice here though.

I waved back. What a cutie! What a hair do!

Nice bird...I do like birds with red feathers.
Another baby at the zoo!

Awww...isn't he sweet? Wonder why they didn't give him (her?) a name.

If it is a girl I think they should name her "Anna".

Like "Anna and the King of Siam".

Reflective water....and a shadowy figure below.

It's the baby Siamese Crocodiles Mom!!!!
And she is smirking because she doesn't have to put up with her baby's hijinks's like the Mama Tiger does.

This little miss was fascinated by the crocodile. It positively gave me the willies. She was so fearless...and I felt like grabbing her away so the croc couldn't get her.

Oh how deep our primitive instincts go.

Looks like a regular old cat to me...but of course it isn't. Still...I'll bet it would love a catnip mouse to play with.

The tail on this turquoise lizard was so elegant and gracefully curled.

More cats that looked like regular old cats to me. They touched noses, swatted at each other and generally behaved just like Tiggie and Hart do.

Love those stripy legs and big big eyes.

Given a chance...this little girl would have been grabbing herself a kitty cat. And those kitty cats would have been outta there in a blink.

Thank goodness all the snake encounters on my walks in Houston's forest trails have me over my scream and shudder response. I was fascinated watching this rattler as he rubbed his head against rocks and branches to begin the process of shedding his skin. The fresh skin on the head was so bright I wished I could have waited around to see the entire body freed of the old dull skin.

Hi there! (A sweet little non-venomous king snake coming at me for a closer look).
Can't help it....doesn't the loopy wad of green snake look luscious with water drops spangling its bright green skin? I sort of wish I could of touched it. Just barely...just a little touch.

Drying noodles? Ropey taffy?

That's right...waddle away rapidly and pretend it wasn't you....

The kangaroo exhibit was next to the exhibits I showed in the last pictures. They would bounce up and look in from outside while us humans would be looking outside from the inside. Sometimes it was hard to tell who was on exhibit: us, the kangaroos or the animal inside the exhibit.

All zoos seem to have peacocks. And they all seem to enjoy snitching sandwiches from unsuspecting hands. I never get tired of their amazing beauty.

Hogel had wild turkeys on the grounds as well. I'll have to ask my dad what is the deal with that tassle on their chests.

I was really ready to kick myself when I realized that the last night for Zoo Lights was on New Years Eve...and I had missed the event. All over the zoo were elaborate sculptures of animals, some of which obviously were animated on times while others were three dimensional. The last three years the zoo has had the sculptures up during the Christmas season, but are not sure if they will continue the tradition. If they will be at the top of my Christmas list of things to go see next year.

Now that's a totally different door handle for ya!

And that looks like a great place to eat. I had stopped at one little snack shop and was amazed at their prices: Three dollars for a hamburger, two for a hot dog. The San Diego Zoo charges a lot more than that for chow.

Speaking of chow...

The fruit bats were totally all over their food. Gone bananas you could they stuck their entire bodies inside the bananas that were strung as part of fruity garland.

I could almost see how people get entralled with fruit bats and could carry them around in their pockets. Almost....they are cute and all...but still not as cute as kittens.

When I first saw the exhibit, I thought the winged creatures were sparrows, then butterflies.
It was really dark, and my flash reflected off the glass. Sorry the pictures weren't better. Maybe you had better come see them in person....(smile)

The zoo had a playground too.

Wouldn't this egg make a great place to take a kid's picture every year, in summer, as a naked baby at first?

The bald eagle ruffled his feathers at me as if he was cold. I found that gesture unconvincing after seeing his brethern in Alaska. This ain't cold, birdy dude. This is just Utah!

The San Diego Zoo's horticultural collection is worth more than their animal collection. The Hogle Zoo had interesting flora as well.I'd like to know what this plant is called with the red clumps at the end of spindly branches.
A closer look...

And up close. Pretty and different, huh?

And so ended my first visit to the Salt Lake City Zoo.

I'm thinking it might not be my last visit...

I'd love to be a zoo keeper for a day. I'll be happy to do anything...anything at all!

Well, except sweep out the giraffe barn that is.


Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Go for'd be a great zoo keeper for a day!

Thanks for taking us along on your visit to the zoo. Some great pic's...from zebras in the snow to bright green snakes!

Vicki said...

Oh, you make a day at the zoo lots more fun than any day I've experienced! I absolutely love your commentary! ;)

That tree with the red clusters at the end of the branches is a sumac. They grow in the wild in the southeast (and I'm sure in other parts of the country, too) and have fabulous fall color. The red "berries" hang around through most of the winter.

Lovella ♥ said...

YOu would be a fantastic zoo keeper. I can just imagine you chatting it up with the children and the grown ups too.
I still can't get over how much your city has to offer.
I was just saying to Terry.. . can we take the trailer a little south west do you think?