Wednesday, January 23, 2013

S is for Snowy Owl...and other critters at the zoo

Most of us. This time Luke is behind the camera.
This past weekend, we had two days of the most gorgeous January weather.  60 degrees, sunny...the kind of weather that makes you say, "We HAVE to do something outside, the weather is too beautiful to waste."  Just last week, I had blogged about how much I missed being able to go to a playground because the weather had been so crummy, and I knew it was going to turn bitterly cold for the rest of this week (the temperatures have struggled to get out of the teens).  It just seemed absolutely urgent that we do something fun outdoors.  So we went to the zoo!

About an hour from us is the Cape May Park and Zoo.  Jude, Damien and I went there last spring, and had a wonderful time in the park -- we enjoyed the playground so much that we never made it into the zoo.  We decided to go there.  First we went in the zoo, and then spent an hour on the playgrounds before heading home.

I was really surprised at all the animals that were out - although the day was warm, it was still January.  The bird area was just behind the entrance gate. The first animal we saw was this proud Snowy Owl.

We also saw peacocks and peahens...

and two bald eagles.

Next up were some larger animals...

The first big guy was a bison.  According to Neal, if you have enough ground for him to live on, the US Government will give you a bison -- for free!  I'm not exactly sold on a bison in my back yard (we have a total of 19 acres), but it's a neat idea.  No, he couldn't bring this guy home, either.

We also saw some camelids, including this adorable alpaca.

And then a giant lion.  Despite two fences between him and the lion, Jude was scared.

There were lots of waterfowl as well.  Hundreds of ducks and several swans swam in multiple little ponds.  Matthew remarked that he did not think they were really part of the zoo...they were just there for the free food.

Which is entirely possible, considering the zoo keeper had to keep chasing the ducks and swans away from the capybara's dinner.

We walked through the "African Savannah" and saw a big giraffe--Jude's favorite.  He "read" to me all about the mama and baby giraffes on the sign by the exhibit.

We wandered to the Reptile and Amphibian House.  Jude was antsy to go in.  First were some small tree frogs, and some turtles...and then some bigger snakes and finally an alligator.  He wasn't interested in seeing what was on the other side of the building...I think after watching the animals get bigger and bigger, he was afraid of what he'd find!  Neal took him outside while Damien and I looked at the turtles. 

One of the last animals we saw was this tiger.  It's all perspective...when you're a tiger, you need a whole tree for a toothpick.

After the animals, it was time for the playground.  It was a more of a metaphorical zoo.  But everyone had fun!


Next time, I will remember that this is a "Picnic Park."  When we went last spring, I had packed a picnic lunch for us, and we ate after the playground.  Jude reminded me of this, and was mad that I had "forgotten" to bring food.  Next time we go, I will make sure to pack a snack bag!

S is also for Sharing.  Linking up with Marcy at Ben & Me.
The Schoolhouse Review Crew is also studying nature in winter.  Come see what is in everyone's "backyards."

Adventure Fridays

Looking for a great, inexpensive, homeschool-friendly field trip? Check out Adventure Fridays and see where others are going!


  1. Great pictures! I would have been scared of that lion too! I'm over from TOS:) Following you now!

  2. We went to the Zoo yesterday - mainly because we had a crazy 76 degree day in the Midwest and I called an impromptu field trip! Looks like you had fun. Your pictures make me think I ought to let my 12 year old loose with my camera!!
    Visiting from the crew!

  3. What great pictures! I love the animal shots.

  4. I absolutely love the snow owl picture!

  5. Pinned to the Wildlife Wednesday board for Master Books :) thanks for linking up - link as many as you'd like!

  6. What a fun day! Thanks for linking up!


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