Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Encounters with an ostrich and other animals

Mom visited the boys and I for Thanksgiving which was really nice. We damn near didn't get the turkey cooked because it was still partially frozen. Once we managed a quick thaw, I actually forgot to turn the roaster on. After an hour, Mom discovered that mistake. Still, we ate high on the hog and had a great time. I've seemed up the teal sweater and am working on several projects. Today, I am not going to show you those :) Instead, you're going to see pictures my son took from our visit to Fossil Rim in Glen Rose, TX. Fossil Rim is a conservation park where you get to drive through and view free roaming animals from your car. We had a wonderful time and learned a lot about the animals we saw too. Still, the most memorable part was our first animal encounter. Directly after driving in, we stopped to look at this ostrich who promptly strutted and swayed his way to our car. The next thing I knew, I was face to face with this lovely big bird who was looking quite insistently at me. Apparently, I was too slow for the impatient bird because before I knew it he had stuck his head IN THE CAR and tried to yank the bag of feed out. I sat flustered and uselessly telling the ostrich to shoo. Mom, on the other hand, grabbed the bag of feed threw some to him and told me to hit the accelerator and move on. If it had been left up to me, I would probably have sat there till he got in the car with us. So we moved on past numerous deer and wildebeasts until we came to some zebra. Let me tell you, they are bold and quite used to getting fed. As the car ahead of me pulled forward, I noticed one particular zebra parked herself directly in the middle of the road. She had a very determined look on her face and was pregnant to boot. She absolutely would not budge until we threw her some feed. Let me tell you, the look on her face meant business! Next, we came to the giraffes. I have decided I love giraffes. They're so interesting and majestic. That was something I didn't realize until I was looking up at one up close. Nothing makes you feel like you are very small in the grand scheme of things than to look up into the eyes of such a big animal. We also saw a wolf (the wolf was in a fenced in habitat). It's so easy to think of those animals unrealistically when they are so eager to come close to you in order to get a treat. With the wolf, you had to be extremely quiet. (Of course we could not get near him and certainly no feeding was allowed) He was interested but very weary of human interaction. It was a poignant reminder that these animals are wild animals. Unfortunately, we have this opportunity to interact with them because their habitats have been encroached upon by development or they have been hunted into near extinction. That makes me very sad because we are losing a valuable part of our environment. All in all, we had a wonderful day an the kids learned a lot about the animals and why conservation is so very important. So, if you have a conservancy nearby, go to it, If you can't go, make a donation to support it. It's worth it. Here are just a few of the photos my oldest son took from our visit there.
(By the way, just to be clear, the conservancy at Fossil Rim had strict rules about our interactions with the animals. No touching or hand feeding was allowed, People were to stay in their vehicle at all times. No horn honking or driving off of the trail. One very small bag of feed per car with no exceptions to avoid overfeeding. Of course, we were reminded that all of the animals were indeed wild and not domesticated just because they were familiar with human interactions.)

Till later, Alicia


mrspao said...

Wow! What a great opportunity. I would have been a bit scared by the ostrich though :) Glad your mom managed to have the presence of mind to distract her/him!

Anonymous said...

You are tagged.

So sorry. Ummm... Merry Christmas!