Saturday, July 18, 2009

Rosy at Como Zoo!

Rosy smelling the roses
Isn't this "Tweety" ice cream treat a riot?
Sparky with trainer during his show

Rosy at the carousel
This is after the ride. I made it!

What a treat it was to take Rosy to the Como Park, Zoo and Conservatory today. The only zoo she had ever gone to before was the Minnesota Zoo - a school trip while in first grade. Until today, she had never seen a giraffe or zebra!

We started out in the conservatory where she was excited to see papaya growing on a tree. She told me she likes papaya. I pointed out the bananas and other fruits. He eyes were delighted to see the beautiful fish in the ponds. Then we went to the south room, the part of the conservatory where Hans and Rachel were married. I pointed out the spot where they stood and the area where I sat. Today the flowers in the gardens were roses, geraniums, petunias, and there were beautiful water lilies in the pond. There again, she loved seeing the fish coming to the surface, their mouths wide open, expecting to be fed.

After walking through the Fern Room and the Rain Forest, we went into the butterfly tent. We saw many butterflies, but because it was so chilly today, none of them were in flight, but clung to the flowers and the screen walls of the tent. I was able to take a few photos of them on flowers.

In the Primates building we got to see the baby orangutan, not far from the mama. The mama had just put on a black t-shirt before we arrived, according to one of the visitors. Funny mama. The papa was chewing on some grass. What a cute? family.

My favorite zoo animals are the African animals. We got to see zebras, ostriches, and of course, my very favorite - the giraffes. The building that houses the giraffes (all but the new baby, born May 3 of this year, were outside), has a measuring stick on the outside - measured in feet. So when one of the male giraffes was standing there, it was easy to see he is 15 feet tall.

I told Rosy the giraffes can run very fast, when necessary. They are quiet, graceful animals. I showed her the giraffe that was a baby when Josiah and Annika visited Como Zoo back in the winter of 2007. She's still smaller than the adults, but not like the new baby in the building. The new baby, not quite 3 months old yet, is about 6 feet tall. I pointed out the baby's long eye lashes to Rosy. Then Rosy noticed her tongue was purple on the end and further inside it was pink. I told her that is because the giraffe must stretch out its tongue to eat its food. Because it reaches out so far, the purple part is protected from drying out.

Next we went into the Large Cat building. Inside we saw a lion and a lioness. The lioness walked past us and then lay down on the floor. The lion who had been lying down, got up and came close to the window where we were standing. Rosy asked me I could take a picture of him, which I did. Then I put my face right up to the glass, leaning down to his level. He surprised me and others watching by butting his face right up to mine. His big nose and eyes were only inches from mine. It was really neat. One man commented that he had never seen that before, to which I commented, "If the glass hadn't been between us, I never would have done that!" Outside the building we saw the snow leopards and the tigers. They are impressive animals.

What's next, well lunch and then watching the performance of Sparky, the seal. Now that was fun! About 15 minutes before the show, loud music began playing over the speakers. The crowds began to gather, filling up the seating area. Minutes before Sparky's appearance, the old song Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolli Lolli Lolli, Lollipop started up. It has a fun beat, and the audience really got into it, singing and singing. I think Rosy was surprised that I knew the song. Then Sparky took the stage. He with his trainer did some cute antics. I'm sure Rosy had never seen a performing seal before.

We finished our activities at the zoo by riding the merry-go-round. This is a treasure for St. Paul. The merry-go-round was built in 1914. Each horse is carved totally from wood. The horses and their decorations have all been painted their original colors. It is totally restored. For $1.50, you can get a nice ride, lasting about 8 to 10 minutes. Volunteers monitor those getting on and off the horses. It wasn't easy for me to mount my horse, and once on it, I hung on tight because they go really fast. The delightful music comes from the original automated drums, cymbals and organ, which has also been restored. Rosy and I had a blast riding this beautiful carousel. What a great time we had together!


MamaD4 said...

I'm glad that you weren't spun off the carousel! :)

We'll have to take the kids there next time we're in Minnesota.

Pat said...

I love Como Zoo. I remember going there with your family when you came to visit. We were young. I think Mom has pictures of us around Monkey Island. Good for you for going on the "scary carousel."

Sarita said...

I haven't ridden that merry-go-round (I can't seem to spell carousel) since it was at the fair. Rosy just keeps getting bigger and more beautiful! I'm pretty sure it would freak Relia out right now, maybe Peder and I will have to add that to our stay-cation to do list

C. Randy said...

Wow-Super! I'm glad to hear you had a good time at the (Como) zoo - what a treat for Rosie (too - besides you! :). I remember when we took our boys there, back in the early 80's when they were really young, but we weren't impressed. (if I remember correctly...) care of the animals seemed pathetic at best, so I never cared to go back. But, I'm glad to hear they've made some worthwhile improvements :) groovy!