14 February 2009

Day at the Zoo

As a state employee, I am forced to not work every Friday. It's alright though I guess. This weekend is particularly nice because we get President's Day off as well, so it's a pretty nice weekend.

To have something interesting to post, we decided to start this year's zoo season in February. We habe a membership for the zoo and I imagine we're going to spend quite a few more days there. Especially once the bird show starts again. We wanted Ruth's Diner for Lunch, but they seem to be closed for renovations right now, so we continued up Emigration Canyon and maybe three or four miles up the road is "Sun and Moon Café", which also provided us with some good food (no pictures of that, sorry).

We decided to pretty much skip most of the zoo and go more or less straight to the Asian Highlands to see if the Tiger was a little more photo-cooperative today. As we would find out later, the Tiger was not even out, but oh well. We came across this little guy, who seemed a little out of place.

Right past the kangaroo is a building that has some reptiles and small monkeys (not together in the same cage, that would be scary) and birds. We found this little squirrel monkey enjoying all the visitors passing through. He would run to his food, grab a little piece of carrot and run up to the window, holding himself up while eating his food. After finishing, he would run back and get more. I think he had fun looking at all the people. He didn't seem to understand the concept that we were there to see him and not for him to stare at us. Oh well. I'd probably be bored too.

Right outside the reptile house was the gray wolf, but he didn't want to pose and as soon as I was able to get a shot past or through the fence, he would walk off into the upper hills and hide. Past that is the Amur Leopard. There are only about 35 or 40 left in the wild. Zoos across the world are doing their part to keep them around a little longer. I hope they are successful.

Magpies love the zoo as much as they love any other part of the valley. This was on the southern edge of the zoo. There's not even any exhibit yet. Thought the magpies are interesting enough though. A lot of people don't like magpies because they steal eggs and young birds and eat them, but I like them. They are smart. With some patience, they can even learn to speak.

Right across from the zoo is the "This is the Place Heritage Park". If you are mormon, this might be worth a visit. But if you are mormon, you probably already know about it. If you are not mormon, it's really not worth a visit. Supposedly Brigham Young stood at this place and on the edge of the valley and decided "This is the Place" to build a city. Right on the edge of a salty lake. But California was already taken, so you got to take what's left. But in the end, Salt Lake City is a pretty nice place to live, so thanks Brigham, for picking this.


Acara is the daughter of Eli and Eve and was born at the Hogle Zoo May 7th 2005. Like every 3-and-a-half-year old, she likes to torment her father by pulling his hair and hanging from the ceiling and kicking him. Here, she's pretty peacefully eating a playing card.

Coming out of the primate building, we found this peacock. Peacocks run around all of the Hogle Zoo. I wonder if they can fly. And if they could, why they don't just take off. But maybe they just like it there too much. I suspect they can at least jump very high because you sometimes find them on top of the buildings. Anyways, this one was on top of a fence, enjoying the sun. He let me get up to about 6 to 8 feet close, watching my every move to make sure I wasn't getting too close. It's only the male peacocks that look so good. Females just have a little green against what is mostly gray, but nothing like this. Somehow in human evolution (yes, evolution, I said it) this got lost and it's the females wearing all the color. Weird.

Aflac! But in those ads, I think it's a goose, not a swan. But this expression made me wait for that annoying quack.

The pelicans were just getting fed when we were there. One of them was a little weird. He caught all the fish in his beak and then dropped them almost like he didn't want to eat, but again catch the next one that was thrown. Weird little guy. I don't think it was this one though. This one seems to like the fish.

More pelican-fish-interaction. Not really all that interactive for the fish though. If you look closely, you can see the eye of the fish pushing against the skin of the bottom part of the beak. I don't know what it's called. Pouch?

For formatting reasons, I made the images here a little smaller then they really are. You can get a 500 pixel version by clicking on it. They are also on my home page photo album and I am going to also put some on my flickr.

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