Well, we did actually make it to the Syracuse Zoo this weekend, and things even worked out the way they were supposed to. The forecast Saturday morning called for rain, with clearing in the afternoon. We're about two hours away from Syracuse -- more if you stop on the Thruway for french toast sticks -- so that worked out about right. Just as we were pulling into the zoo's parking lot, the sun came out and the clouds scuttled away. The rest of the day was great.
The Rosamund Gifford Zoo is a good size for a family with a bunch of little kids to do in an afternoon, and they have some interesting animals you don't see in other zoos: markhor, yaks, big horn sheep. In other words -- animals that can stand a lot of cold. (In fact, the zoo says that many of their animals are lot more active in the fall and spring, when it's cooler.) Of course I have no pictures of any of those animals, because we stopped and watched them for a long time, and while watching them with the little boys, I couldn't take pictures. The nice thing about this zoo is that you could see a lot of the animals up close, as Pip is demonstrating with this lion:
And later, the snow leopard, which looked like he had just had a swim that didn't cool him off:
And again with the penguins. The penguins were fun because if you wiggled your fingers against the glass, they would all dive to see what was going on. (It could be that we were just tormenting them, but I choose to think that we were providing much needed entertainment.) Katydid theorized that the penguins thought the kids' fingers were fish. (She also picked up a book about penguins in the book store and has been regaling us with interesting penguin facts ever since.)
Since it is Syracuse, a large portion of the exhibits were actually inside. (Making it possible to go to the zoo 9 months out of the year. Ahem.) Gareth enjoyed the "timeline of life" exhibit, which began with fossils, included various aquariums for the age of fish, and proceeded in like fashion through insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. He also liked the indoor "Animal Adaptations" exhibit. But you couldn't use flash photography in there, and I was too busy keeping up with everyone in the dark.
Katydid was excited to see the roseate spoonbill in the bird exhibit. She took a few more pictures there. ;-) But finally, she and Andy came out to eat lunch.
After lunch, there was the elephant show. But some of us could not be pulled away from the wooden cow milking exhibit:
(Okay, so Katydid, Farmerboy, and Gareth went to pet elephants. I stayed with Pip and Pop, who milked that wooden cow dry. Can you say you milked a cow that gives water? Anyway...)
Here's where Chipmunk spent our visit.
And this is the "wild squash" we spied after the wooden cow exhibit. "Very dangerous," says Andy.
All in all, I think everyone had a good time. Even Gareth.