Zooward, Ho!, Part V: Among the Slithery, Scaly, and Slimy Things

Grrr.  As if we haven’t had enough blechy weather this spring, it is starting to sprinkle AGAIN!  Sigyn and I have made a dash for the reptile house, which, though devoid of furry creatures, is at least indoors.

This is a beautifully designed facility, I must say. The background murals are quite effective.

I will admit a certain… fondness for snakes.  This handsome fellow is not nearly as good at cryptic coloring as he thinks he is.


But he color coordinates nicely with this poison arrow frog.


Usually poison arrow frogs are tiny, shy, and hard to see.  This supersized batrachian beauty, however, is downright eager to have his photo taken.

Sigyn wants to be friend with all of the animals, and it appears that they would all like to interact with her as well.


Um, dear heart, I know you think that cobra’s being friendly, but that marking on his hood isn’t a smiley face.

This lizard is just hanging around–literally.


That prehensile tail is a handy appendage.  Hmm.  I might have to gift the felines at home with something similar.  It would help them be even BETTER climbers!

These two turtles seem quite amiable.  That’s a pretty small habitat, though.  I think it needs something.


That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.


Sigh.  Hang on, sweetie.  Loki’s coming.

Looks like the alligator is in the display tank today.  Smile, Sigyn, and I’ll take your photo!


On one condition—you are not allowed to go in swimming with him.

If my beloved makes it out of here in one piece, it’ll be a miracle.

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Zooward, Ho!, Part IV: Curiosities from the Antipodes

Sigyn is quite keen to visit the Australia exhibit and study some “cuddlies from Down Under,” as she puts it.

So now the high-pitched noise you hear is my beloved squeeing at the tiny baby joey this mother kangaroo is carrying.


She’s so excited that she’s forgotten that she has a camera and could capture this precious moment.

Wait…  Something’s going on!  The mother kangaroo is fishing in her pouch and…


She’s letting Sigyn hold her baby!  Sigyn will be talking about this for months!  I have picked up the dropped camera and now have a photo to prove it really happened. 

It was only with great difficulty that I was able to pry Sigyn from the previous exhibit.

Great Frigga’s corset!  Look, my love! It is quite unusual to see a koala eschew its accustomed arboreal habitat.


It’s even rarer to find one that has evolved a removable nose!


Sly little pachyderm!


I think we’d best alert zoo staff that one of their African Savannah animals has gone walkabout…

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Zooward, Ho!, Part III: Da Bears

Not all of Midgard’s furry creatures are abundant or even common.  Panda bears, those reverse saddle shoes of the ursine world, are as rare as Thor’s clever ideas.

They’re also terribly shy.


Come on out, you four-footed Texas police cars.  My sweetie wants to take your photo.

That’s better.  Would it kill you to smile a little?


They all have the same oreofied coloration, don’t they?  However do the keepers tell them apart?


Oh.  I guess one has a bigger nose than the other.  But that’s really only useful if you see them side by side.  They’re still an awful lot alike.  Maybe that’s whey they’re critically endangered in the wild:  Every time one of the silly selectively pigmented critters sees another of its own kind, it thinks, “My, how handsome I am!  But why is China so full of mirrors?” and it develops only narcissistic feelings and no amorous intentions.

Come, Sigyn, let us leave the bicolored beasties to their own omphaloskepsis and move along to observe some large carnivores with even less melanin.


Aw, that little cub is endearing, isn’t he?  I can see why you’d want to take him home and cuddle him.  But did you know that these things grow up to eat cars?

On second thought, let’s bring the little terror tyke home.  The human female is always saying she doesn’t much like her car.  I think I can help her out with that…

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Zooward, Ho!, Part II: The Untamed African Savannah

Next on our peregrination amidst the beasts is the African Savannah exhibit.  Here is where we can observe Nature red in tooth and claw, the ancient struggle between predator and prey, where one’s next meal relies on speed, reflexes, and sheer good luck.  You’re fast or you’re lunch.  You’re wily or you’re toast.  You’re fearless or you’re—

Shy and unassuming and hoping all the zoo-goers will go away.


“If you please, Sir, Ma’am—I’d really not rather have my photo taken.”


Thank you.


Fenrir’s fleacollar!  I’d no idea that rhinoceri suffered from social anxiety.  But we shall respect its wishes and proceed.

Look, Sigyn!  There’s a giraffe!  Aren’t those your favorites? (Sigyn has some prior experience with critters of a camelopardous nature.)


This one is posing for a portrait.  Sigyn is too busy squeeing to remember that she has a camera.


Giraffe portraits secured, we have moved on to the lion habitat.  Sigyn, you must not be disappointed if you do not see any.  They are very good hiders, blending in perfectly with their surroundings.


Or perhaps not so much.   No, Sigyn, I do not think it will come for scritches.


But I could be wrong.


Sigyn, you didn’t use that herbal shampoo this morning, did you?  I think I saw catnip extract on the ingredient list…

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Zooward, Ho!, Part I: Getting There and Petting There

It doesn’t look as if it is going to rain too much today, so Sigyn and I are finally celebrating my birthday by going to the zoo.


Sigyn likes to watch animals and I like to watch Sigyn watch animals, so everyone has fun.

Except maybe the animals, if they don’t like to be watched.

Since there is a sliver of a modicum of a smidgen of sun, Sigyn is hoping for some good photos.  She has brought along her little camera, just in case.


Where do you want to start, dearest?

Silly me!  Was there really any question? Sigyn wants to begin with the petting zoo.  That is bound to be dull.

Though I will admit that this pint-sized bovine does have a rather winsome expression.


And this porker seems very friendly.  He probably thinks you have food.


Certainly I will take your photo with the piggy!  Smile and say, “Oink!”


Sigyn thinks the little pony looks sad.


Augh!  Sigyn, no!  Don’t hug it!  You don’t know where it’s been!


Sigh.  If you’re done petting, let’s go get you disinfected and check out some of the other exhibits.

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A Long-Overdue Walk in the Woods, Part II: A Few Surprises

The tree-identifying has been snoring boringly along:  yaupon holly, winged elm,  yaupon,  yaupon, post oak… one mostly-naked tree after another.

But the Park has a few surprises up its planty sleeves.

The students are losing their collective tiny mind.  The human female has told them that there are PALM trees in the Park and they think she’s crazy.


But here’s proof.  The human female is crazy, of course, but this is undeniably a palmetto.  Sigyn and I last saw these in East Texas.

Ah.  Here is a nice “pop” of color.  (That’s something the human female says.  I have no idea what she means, but this coralberry is certainly colorful.


It’s only a foot tall, though, so dangling here just doesn’t have the thrill one can get with a taller species.

At last!  Some actual non-arboreal blossoms!  Sigyn likes this camphorweed, not only because it’s flowery, but because it is her favorite cheery yellow.


It’s short too, but by the end of the season, it could be four feet tall.

(later)  We’ve been traipsing up and down all morning, and it is time for a break.

Clever Sigyn!   She has found us this lovely green and reddish resting place.

salvia lyrata

The human female says it’s cancerweed.  What an ugly name for such a delightful plant.  It’s not moss, but it’ll do in a pinch.

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