Friday, September 19, 2008

Field Trip Day

Yesterday we took a fieldtrip to the Zoo. I know, you are all laughing, thinking, "Field trip? You homeschool. What's a fieldtrip? Just a day you don't want to do their lessons?" Well, yes, pretty much, but k12 is constantly sending out info. for various fieldtrips and seems to like the idea of your kids still getting them. I think it has been fairly taxing on my kids having all this learning forced upon them each morning and we all needed a "fieldtrip." Plus, we did try to make it as fieldtrippy as possible. Mike bought them little snacks and lunches the night before. We dropped him off at work early in the morning and headed to the This is the Place Monument.

I have been to the Hogle Zoo a million times in my life and never once walked across the street to the This is the Place Monument. What kind of a Mormon am I? Anyway, I was impressed and my kids actually did learn a little History -- I had no idea there was stuff about all kinds of early explorers up there! I even got a little choked up as I read the plaque to them about Brigham Young sitting up in the wagon after being very ill, being lost in a vision for a few moments, and then simply saying, "This is the right place. Drive on." It was very moving reading that as I looked over the valley and I couldn't help but wonder if he saw it as magnificent as it has now become. Being there made his words seem so . . . well, prophetic.

We were the first ones in the zoo, and remained the lone zoo goers for the first 45 mins. or so. I was so enjoying our quiet little zoo adventure that I felt almost a bit resentful when other mothers and bus loads of children began showing up to intrude on our private little zoo (see, that does prove though that it is a legitimate fieldtrip!)

We did learn a few things. Apparently the Howler Monkey is the loudest animal. "What?" You ask. Well, me too. All I know is, Abe recognized the very ordinary little monkeys long before we got to the plaque about them, and it did indeed say they are the loudest and can be heard from three miles away. Weird. We also liked the warthog looking animals that scientists had long believed extinct until finding them in the Chaco in the 70's.

Lastly, I am pretty sure the cheetah tried to kill Abe. I'm not kidding. We looked and looked everywhere in his big savanna like area but could not find him. The girls and I walked over to the giraffes while Abe still looked. Then Abe began heading off towards the next exhibit. We turned to follow him when I heard sort of a very low whishing sound and a quite rumbling growl. I turned just in time to see the Cheetah streaking full speed towards Abe before the fence stopped him. It seriously reminded me of watching them go after a gazelle on a nature show! I could just picture him -- crouching quietly in the grass as we looked for him, inching closer and closer until the moment Abe's back was turned, and then, the sprint. For a little minute I had an image in my head of this happening in the wilds and I was very happy to have the tall fence between my son and that cheetah!
My fluffy headed Penny, as you can clearly see from these pictures, did not one bit enjoy her first visit to the zoo.


Tia Juana said...

When Lois was 3months old we took her to the zoo and she was crying and it was really freaky to see all the "cats" suddenly come to life over the cry of the wounded, helpless thing they might be able to catch and eat. One puma cat followed us along the fence and I KNEW he was going to jump it because, well, he's a puma. Talk about total freaky moment and I am so feeling for your young, innocent Abe. Oh, I must say that zoos freak me out a little just thinking about if they were to get loose and the horrid news reports after. I believe they keep those loud monkeys around to alert everyone in case there is a zoo breakout!

I am very glad you are safe and Penny was not sad - because then SHE would have been the eaten child.

Tia Juana said...

PS: There is a lot of history here where I live so feel free to come on out on a "Field Trip" - but then again, it would ruin this whole 'know ya but never met ya' thing we've got going. So never mind, invitation withdrawn.

Karen said...

Penny's smile could light up an entire city. I love "This the Place momument and the pioneer village that is up there. It really is amazing.

What area of Utah are you looking to settle in? I could give you info on what little I have on what charter schools are where.

How scary with the cheetah and your adorable son. Yes, fences are a very, very good thing.

Women Afire said...

Love that "fluffy headed Penny" - she's so grim, that one! Fun stuff.

PS - Did Abe even see the cheetah charge?

Nancy said...

No, he had no idea the cheetah was after him til my gasps. By the time he turned around it was simply standing at the fence looking at him. He seemed super duper pleased though when I told him about the cheetah trying to eat him -- like it was one of the best things that could have happened at the zoo!!

Tia -- I love that you rescinded your invitation -- all for the sake of our delicate but beautiful relationship.

Perla said...

i am always asking that question about you--that 'what kind of mormon are you?' question. haha just kidding.

what is the 'chaco'?

i love penny's exactly perfect wallace (of gromit fame) teeth. her smile makes me so happy every time i see it. i love that little girl.

jami said...

ah, we love the zoo! we tried to make it a yearly tradition to hit the hogle zoo every memorial day. we were doing pretty well until we moved. :) we loved going as soon as it opened because, like you, i like feeling like we're having our "own" zoo experience and get a little annoyed (silly, i know) that everyone else in the valley thought going on memorial day was such a great idea. :)

ps-i LOVE that tia invited you- and then changed her mind. funny. as i was reading her invite i thought "hey, there are TONS of great field tripping places out by us, too!they should come this way." and since i do know you :) my invitation would stand, knowing it wouldn't ruin any kind of relationship. :) hehe

Nancy said...

Well, Shan, you should look it up since you are generally far more informed on the world than I. However, with out looking it up, i will tell you what I think I know. The chaco is a region in S. America and I think a least part of it must be in Paraguay 'cause Mike has mentioned "The Chaco" I think if you wander too far into the chaco you stand a fair chance of being eaten by a tribe of indians of some sort, but if you aren't eaten, then, apparently, you might find an animal that looks like a warthog that was previously thought to be extinct!

Liz said...

The Zoo is always good fun. We haven't been for a while. the Lion once peed out the bars and nearly hit Meg with his aim.

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