Monday, July 25, 2005

A Sunday at the Zoo

Sunday was a GREAT day, for the most part, even though it was thundering and lightning and pouring when I woke up in the morning. Mass was Mass, but unlike last week, the sermon made sense and Father knows enough to know that singing is not his forte. And Fr. also used me as an example in his sermon. I think I blushed bright red. No, he didn't use me as an example of what not to do. Thanks for thinking that. ;-) I happen to think that Fr. O is just the cutest thing ever (he's 78 years old, for the record), and I have a tendency to be a tad disrespectful and call him Cutey. When I'm feeling respectful, I call him Fr. Cutey – yes, to his face. During his sermon, he gestured to me and something about me calling him Cutey. He said, "I don't see what she sees, like most of us don't see the good in ourselves, but she's showing me God's love by letting me know that I am loved." Or something to that effect. After Mass, he asked me if I minded that he pointed me out during church. I told him, No, of course. Like I've said before, it's a very small church/congregation and it's not like I don't know everybody there. And I'll continue to call him Cutey, because he is.

Even though it was still raining and looked positively threatening outside, YS and I decided we were still going to the Zoo anyway. And by the time we got there, it was just barely raining and to our amazement there were a number of cars in the parking lot. Guess we're not the only nutcases in the city. After not even an hour, the rain stopped completely and it got quite hot, and we were walking around the Zoo with my rain jackets tied around our waists.

The purpose of this trip to the Detroit Zoo was to see the new rhinos. We haven't had rhinos since they had to put Rudy to sleep way back in 2001. Only Tamba was out, but it was enough for me. I got to see a rhino yesterday, people!!! You have no idea how excited I was. I watched him walking around for quite a while. At one point, he even wallowed in his mud puddle. I kept encouraging him to roll in it, but he just sat in it. We ended up doing damn near the whole Zoo twice. A friend of my sister's was going to join us but he originally had to work until noon. When YS called him to find out if he was joining us, he told her that he had a meeting from 12:00 to 1:00 but he would call us when he got out. He finally called around 2:00 and we met him at the front of the Zoo (YS went to the car to dump the jackets, as we totally didn't need them by now) and while we waited we bought sunblock at the gift shop as we were frying by this point.

We also got to watch the polar bear rescued from the Mexican circus last year, Bahrle with her new baby daughter (she's 5 months old now), Talini. Bahrle and Talini were playing in the pool and they were so cute and having such fun. When we first saw Bahrle she was pacing on the side of the pool and that's when we noticed Talini was in the pool. Bahrle just walked along next to her for a bit and then she got in herself. I think polar bears are so cute when they pop their heads up from under the water and the water streams off them and their cute little ears stick straight out and they stick their noses into the air. Talini even got out a few times and did the polar bear belly flop back into the pool. So so so cute!!!

I'm glad that YS and I got there early as the weather hadn't gotten truly scorching yet right after the massive rainstorm, so the animals were very active. The tiger siblings were playing and chasing each other around. We even saw one get out of the pool. The lions were up and active, too, which is tough because they are typical cats and sleep a lot! The snow monkeys were as cute as always. We always seem to have snow monkey babies and they're so damn cute as they follow their mom around and race up the trees and the rocks. So damn nimble. The white-ruffed lemurs were acting all freaky and making this horrible screeching noise. Quite disturbing actually. We got to see the baby wolverines that were the center of quite a controversy early on in their lives. As some of you might not know the wolverine is the mascot of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. When the two babies were born, somebody thought it would be cute to name them Bucky and Sparty (cutesy names of Ann Arbor's arch rivals from Ohio State – Buckeyes, and Michigan State – Spartans). I thought it was very cute, and I went to UofM (but not Ann Arbor). Apparently, Michigan fans have ZERO sense of humor and people who have given money in the past threatened to withhold the funds this year (when they're absolutely desperate for money with the City of Detroit being in very deep financial trouble, because they're paying for the Mayor to stay in swanky hotels and drink expensive champagne), so they changed the names. The Zoo capitulated to the humorless people and changed the names to something related to trees, I think. At any rate, the baby wolverines were pretty damn cute, which is saying something since a full grown wolverine is definitely NOT cute.

We also saw the usual suspects: Giraffes (so freaking cool), hippo (yuck), Grevy's zebras, Oryxes, a tapir, capybara, anteaters, bald eagles, white lipped deer, Bactrian camels, ostriches, emus, pudu, tree kangaroo, red panda (so cute), regular kangaroos, prairie dogs (always great fun to watch), seals, harp seal (only one in captivity – rescued), assorted birds about which I care nothing – turkey vultures, flamingoes, peacocks, peahens, peacock/hen chicks, grizzlies, black bear, Syrian brown bear, coati, chimpanzees, Diana monkey, mandrill, lion-tailed macaques (but I think they should be called lion-maned macaques), Siberian Sun the thoroughbred horse saved from the glue factory, peccaries (where the seals and sea lions used to live) and ….ooooh!!!!

Gorillas!!! Sunshine, our silverback, who usually sits in the one place where you totally can't see him because he's damn smart, was sitting right next to the viewing window. He is so freaking cool and huge and just cool. I know, I said it twice, but, fuck, he's amazing. We think he was sitting there because it was out of the sun and the air conditioning might have made the glass cool to lean against. I just stood there and watched him and just took all of his magnificence in. His demeanor did not invite hugs, but I wanted to hug him, nonetheless. Things got moved around at the zoo since I was last year and somehow there was a Diana monkey and a mandrill in with Sunshine, but no other gorillas. YS remembered hearing that Cora, a female gorilla, had died. We got three other male gorillas from some other zoo (brothers, I think) and one of them tried to usurp Sunshine's position as silverback. Uh, the attempt to overthrow Sunshine failed miserably and apparently during the fight Sunshine broke the other gorilla's back, so now they are kept very much separated. Sunshine was outside yesterday while the three reprobates were inside, and I think they would have switched them around last night, so Sunshine got the air conditioning for sleeping. For the record, Sunshine is much larger than the three brothers, so God only knows what they were thinking!!!

We didn't make it into the Wildlife Interpretative Gallery which is only worthwhile because to get out of the gallery (which is pretty damn boring, I find) is to go through the butterfly garden. If conditions are right, butterflies will land on you which is pretty freaking cool. Not as cool as kissing a sting ray or Tamba or hugging Sunshine, but pretty darn cool.

I got a bit of sun yesterday but considering that I didn't put sunblock on for the first two hours and then only put on SPF 30, I think it's pretty good that I'm really not that red at all, essentially just added to my base tan.

There was more to the Sunday, but it was pretty darn boring as it consisted of driving with YS out to Camp Dearborn, snarfing down a bit of food, wandering all over CD to see how it's changed since we had last been there (it's a lot smaller than when I was a kid, and they no longer make real cotton candy at the Canteen, just that crap that comes ready made in a foil bag) and then going home, showering and then sweltering in my bed. If it's as damn hot tonight as it was last night, I'm sleeping in the living room which is a lot cooler!!!

I think I'm over my funk of last week. I wasn't even PMSing, so there is just no explanation for my depression. Thanks for all the nice and helpful comments. I appreciated them.


At Tuesday, 26 July, 2005, Blogger JulieU. said...

I've never been to the zoo...or any zoo as far as I can remember. The smell of exotic animal poop really freaks me out.


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