Friday, December 31, 2010

I said I would and I did!

Way last January 1st I visited the Salt Lake City Hogel Zoo, and saw just a few of the unlit "Zoo Lights!" creations. I vowed that next Christmas season I would see them in all their glory.
Last night I kept that vow...and went in below freezing temperatures to check it all out.

I had mentioned going to see them to Rachel during our Christmas celebration, she remembered that and yesterday text messaged me wanting to know if I had gone yet.
Happily I hadn' we all went together as a family event (after Bernie did a hard sell job on Jeff who really wanted to stay home and watch football on TV.  There is a reason God made Tivo, and this was one of them!)
We have been to several Christmas Light displays over the years, but the Zoo's display was quite different:  All the lights were animal themed, and the animals (or in this case, the plants) were often animated to perform  real life animal activities.
Who would of thunk to have a Venus flycatcher snapping down a bug as a light display?
Not me...

The lights ranged from cozy "Baby and Mama" animals cuddling to boy pleasing scorpions fighting overhead.

The big creepy spider actually wasn't such a boy pleaser for our boy.

He absolutely hates spiders, and refused to have his picture taken in front of this display.

A gorilla troop rocked out, with the daddy, mommy and baby gorillas each having their own motions.

A graceful peacock's tail fanned out slowly and finished with the addition of the blue "eyes" on each tail feather.

This guy held a banana with his tail; the banana popped out of it's peel and landed in the monkey's opened mouth.

The Mommy and Baby animations were especially cute.

Mom takes a bath...

Then Baby gets a squirt!
(Especially since the Zoo's baby elephant Zuri was house behind this display for daytime viewing.)

Perching panther watched us with a slowly wagging tail.

Other big cats pursued their dinner.

Snacking on a tree worked for other animal's dinner.

I really liked this shy turtle...

Who poked his head out...

And nibbled on a bit of light formed greenery.

Mommy and Baby giraffe cuddles...

Newlywed cuddles...

Baby zebra looks about to head off for mischief...

The rabbit made it safely down a hole before he could become supper.

A busy "underwater" scene with swimming sharks and turtles and fanning sea shells.

A komoto dragon's kiss was returned by Mr. B.

The bear chose the wrong critter to chase...after the "spray", his eyes crossed and his tongue hung out!

The eagle swooped down from a tree, dove into a blue running "light" stream and snagged a big fish, which he took up to a tree top to enjoy.
Big Alaskan wildlife in lights looked was a very impressive display!

Another favorite: Animal team work to place the star atop the tree. See the parrot atop the elephant getting the star from the ostrich?

The snake finishes the job!

You might remember my first zoo trip where I watched a Mama Tiger putting up with her three tiger boy cubs.

They are still in the zoo, but looking all grown up now.

I was taking their picture through glass; they were only a foot or so away from me at times.

Those paws were just huge and only inches away from me!

The tigers were sleeping in their shelter when we walked up. They suddenly all woke up and got active!

The zoo keepers had given them a big piece of cardboard to "stimulate" them and encourage play.
This tiger was busy tearing the cardboard sheet to shreds.

It was about 20 degree F. outside, and there were heat lamps about, but it was nice to step into an inside exhibit to warm up a bit too.

This skink had the most elegant salad made of fresh raspberries, oranges and green leaves to enjoy.  Apparently he is a vegetarian, save an occasional bug.
Bernie (who used to collect reptiles in high school) informed me that "they can really bite if you stick your finger in their mouth, they can even bite off your finger!"
Naturally that begged the question: Why would you be putting your finger in its mouth anyway?

Drowsy porcupines...

A turtle with stars on its back.

Old looking lizards...

A sleepy owl who barely opened one eye to check me out.

I remember him from my last visit, love his huge ears!

The kitten in the basket is actually a wild cat who probably would tear you up if you tried to pet it.
We wondered if it would like to chase a laser light though...maybe next trip we will sneak one in and give it a try.
Can you imaging tigers chasing a laser light like house cats love to do?

Love that face....

Another "looks cuddly, but it is not" kitty.

I wish such colorful squirrels would visit my yard!

I suppose there was someplace with lots of birds to see...we didn't see them though.  The lighted bird scene was good enough for us.

(Now don't you think this was a great double date night?)

Sometimes you just have to pull your head out of the sand...

And take a look around to see what is happening in the local area if you want to catch all the fun.

Yes, keep your eyes open; you never know what things might smack you upside the head and make your life more fun!

So right now as I type this big snowflakes are falling again.  We have several ideas about how we could spend our New Years Eve...the outside temperature is to be no higher than 15 degrees today, and around 3 degrees tonight. 

Most of the outdoor New Year's Eve events will carry on without us, but I am sure we will figure out a way to have fun anyway.

I'll look forward to seeing you all in God's blessed next year!