May 29th, 2006  |  Published in old and busted

PeacockThe best part of having a zoo membership so far is the sense of leisure involved in a trip. We took Ben today, arriving at the gates at about 9:30. It wasn’t very crowded at that point, and we got to use the shorter members’ line.

Knowing that the next year of visits are paid for makes it a lot easier to just go and not worry about much of anything: If an exhibit is crowded today, it’ll probably be okay next time, or the next. If a picture didn’t work out so well, there’s a good chance it’ll come out fine next time.

Since it was pretty overcast this morning, I think we had a little more luck seeing the animals moving around and coming out of their shelters.

Today’s unfortunate learning experience came when we took the zoo train. Ben really likes riding on the Max, but he wasn’t ready for the noise and clatter of the steam engine, so he spent most of the ride with his head in Al’s lap. I coaxed him out briefly by letting him play with the camera, but every time the whistle blew he’d bury his head again. Live and learn.

ButterflyThe “Winged Wonders” butterfly exhibit is open now, and that’s well worth visiting. Besides all the butterflies hanging around the habitat, there’s a case with chrysalises in various stages of development. We didn’t spot any opening up, but there was one butterfly that had already emerged and seemed to be resting up to fly elsewhere. Ben’s daycare just hatched and released a bunch of butterflies, so he’s been pretty aware of “bummer-byes,” so it was cool for him to get to see more.

He also got pretty close to the hooded vulture in the aviary before Al snagged his collar.

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