April 2012 – The Zoo

April started out with General Conference and then the children’s Spring Break (and Bryan took some time off work – yay!).  What a great way to start a month!

We took the break opportunity to visit the zoo as a family, thanks to a friend who helped me get tickets through our library.  :)  Unfortunately, I forgot our nice camera.  But we were able to get some pictures with Bryan’s phone and my iPod.  The nice pictures were mostly from Bryan’s phone – my pictures didn’t turn out very well.  That’s why a few of these are very blurry.  Oh well.  :)  We didn’t start pictures until we were almost done, but here is what we have:

I have a soft spot for moms and babies so seeing these two made me really want a picture.  Mine didn’t turn out well, but thankfully Bryan got one too.  :)

Of course, then the children saw the gorilla statue and had to climb it and get pictures:

Jonathan doing a Tarzan imitation

Kathryn being sweet. Good thing Daddy packed snacks or else she wouldn't have been nearly so sweet...

Group photo I guess. I love Emma's smile in this one!

And the better quality photo courtesy of Bryan. :)

Abby chose not to join in the gorilla climbing. She's too mature for that. ;)

Then we moved on to the rhinosaurus.  This was the animal the children had been wanting to see from the very beginning.  I can’t remember why they were so interested in it that day, but they were obsessed.

Reading the plaque and looking for the rhino. It was actually kind of hiding for a while.

Finally, a view of the elusive rhino.

Then the lemurs and we were planning to be done.  It wasn’t exactly a cool day outside.  :)  But first, more posing!

About this point, I realized that we didn’t have any picture of Bryan on this outing.  So I took a picture of the Bryan while he was busy photographing the “kids as lemurs” photos.  He’s usually pretty elusive when I try to get a picture of him so this was a good moment to do so.  :)

I like how he is crouching down a bit to get the correct height so the photo is straight, not angled downward.  He’s good at thinking about things like that.  I also like how you can see Abby passed out in the stroller.  A family trip to the zoo meant she didn’t get her nap at home so she had to improvise.  :)

And another one of Bryan.  He pushed the stroller a lot.  I appreciated that.  :)

Then we were ready to go.  Except Katie somehow missed an animal (I honestly can’t remember which one actually) and absolutely had to see it.  Or else her day was horrible.  And yes, she does say “horrible”.  So I took pity on her (since I’d forgotten that she’d said she’d wanted to see it earlier and hadn’t pointed it out as I should have) and took her back.  And then on the way to rendezvous with Bryan again, I happened to see a bird house.  A place where you can go in and actually have the birds flying around you.  The kids’ biggest disappointment with the zoo was that they couldn’t touch or really get near any of the animals, so how could we pass up this chance?  So our zoo visit got extended, despite the heat and parental desire for air conditioning.  :)

The zoo sold seed sticks for $1 at the entrance.  Good business idea – not too pricey (but many times more than the actual cost of the food, I’m sure!) and people pay to feed the animals for the zoo.  :)

The birds weren’t terribly hungry, but the children did get a few to nibble.  :)

Kathryn and Jonathan

I didn’t get to join in at the beginning because strollers weren’t allowed in the exhibit and I was not going to change this:

But she woke up soon anyway.

The wide-eyed expression makes me smile. :)

Bryan had an advantage over the children.  Actually, over most people there.  He could reach into the higher tree branches where some of the birds were hiding from the craziness of children on the ground.  And he didn’t flail the seed stick around.  That was also a definite advantage.  :)

Here’s some more bird feeding, from my view:

Apparently Emma's stick was popular.

I had to reiterate the purpose of the fence to Emma.  :)  If you look closely at this picture, you’ll see Jonathan has 3 sticks now.  He collected at least 5, probably closer to 10.  There were signs around the area asking people to please throw away their sticks to “keep the area clean” (i.e. not allow those who hadn’t paid to make use of the chance to feed the birds too).  Not everyone had paid attention to those signs and Jonathan jumped on the opportunity.  :)

Then I realized that I wasn’t in any of the day’s pictures.  So Bryan took this one of me:

He did a great job – I really like it!  :)

And then we headed home.  And, unsurprisingly, this was Kathryn’s response:

It was a long, tiring, fun day.  :)


And, on a side note, putting together this post was a very interesting study of my and Bryan’s photography techniques.  I don’t know that we’ve had another instance were we were both taking pictures of the same event.  Bryan had much fewer pictures than I did, but they were almost all great and many made it into this post.  I had a ton of pictures – most of them, well, not so great.  My philosophy tends to be “take a lot of pictures and hopefully at least one will turn out!”  I’m lucky we have digital cameras.  :)  I need to learn some techniques from Bryan though.  He does get some really good shots, without all the excess.  :)

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