The Zoo, A Camera, Mimi and Me!


P1030643   We have a wonderful children’s zoo here.


  P1030644(1)   The entry sets the tone for a first class experience.



  The zoo is very well maintained and landscaped, so that it is a pleasure not just for children because of the animals, but also a real treat for adults, especially ones with a camera.

Last year my friend Linda and I took Coco, Lulu and Mimi there, and Coco and Lulu had their faces painted, but Mimi wasn’t comfortable having hers done.  So, when Mimi and I went to the zoo while the girls were here a couple weeks ago (her big sisters stayed home with Papa to swim), I think she had already decided she was going to having her face painted this time.  As we looked at the animals, she would ask every so often whether we would pass the spot where the face painter was last year. 

P1030496(1)  It was a beautiful day and not really “August hot”, but it was early afternoon and some of the animals, like these bobcats, were taking their naps.


 P1030502(2)  When you enter the African Veldt, there is mist everywhere for dramatic effect.




P1030513(2)   I have no idea what kind of bird makes this type of nest, but I am really impressed considering the trouble I have making a round ball of cookie dough when the recipe calls for that, and I’m not trying to fly at the same time!


P1030523(1)   As you might expect, the ring-tailed slooths were acting, well, very slooth-ish!

P1030525   I can say, without hesitation, that this is the closest I have ever been to a lion!  There was a window that looked out into his enclosure and he was laying on a wide ledge up against the window.  There were alot of people crowding around so it was hard to get a picture, but it’s also no accident that I’m standing at the “south” end of the lion but just taking a picture of his “north” end.   Let’s just say that the position he was in, left no doubt that he was a lion and not a lioness!   Moving on …





P1030544(1)   At first glance, I wondered if this was another unusual bird’s nest …

P1030557(1)   But then a giraffe wandered up and I realized it was his version of “fast food”!

P1030558(1)   This baby giraffe can still reach the ground to eat.  A worker told us that giraffes give birth standing up and the babies are born feet first, so they are born standing up!

P1030559(2)   A worker was up on the elevated walk letting people feed this giraffe his favorite leaves.

P1030545(2)   Up on the walk, it was fun to see his head up so close.  It was huge!


P1030548(1)   Do you recognize the stripes that I had “colorized” for my post yesterday?

P1030548(1)(1)   A Photo-shopped “horse” of a different color!


P1030562(1)   It added to the “feel’ of Africa that you could hear drums off in the distance occasionally.  Then we came around a corner in the trail and saw who was playing the drums!

P1030564(1)   Not exactly the fierce natives you might invision playing the drums!

P1030565(1)   The drums were very popular with all the children, except Mimi.  She suddenly turned shy and didn’t want to try them, so I had to settle for pictures of other kids playing them.






Then we came to the face painter!

P1030578(1)x   There was no line, so Mimi immediately showed the artist how she wanted her face painted — she pointed at the butterfly.  Except ….. she didn’t want any paint on her eyelids.   Hmmm.  The artist and I agreed that the design would lose something if the eyes were left unpainted.  She could end up looking more like an owl than a butterfly!

So the artist came up with a compromise … she would paint a butterfly on one cheek and flowers on the other.  That sounded good to Mimi and me.



P1030587(1)  A very pretty butterfly! 

P1030590(1)   But, apparently, her specialty is butterflies because I wasn’t as impressed with the flower on the other cheek.  I suggested she add a second smaller one  which she was perfectly willing to do.

At about this time she mentioned that she usually sold tickets at the front gate and was just filling in for the face painter.  Yikes!  But, she hastened to add that she was an art major in college.

P1030592(1)   Okay.  Not bad.  Maybe this was going to be just lovely.

P1030593(1)   Then she painted on the really green, really heavy vine to connect the flowers and the butterfly.

P1030600(1)  Okay.  The end product wasn’t bad.  Mimi got to have her face painted, without having paint on her eyelids.   And I really did appreciate that the face painter came up with a design that worked for Mimi.  So, we left happy.



Our final stop was the seals’ pool.











A fun day at the zoo.  And lots of pictures to help us remember our visit.

12 Responses to The Zoo, A Camera, Mimi and Me!

  1. Linda says:

    I really enjoyed the tour via your pictures. You and Mimi got to see lots of neat things on your African Veldt tour. The pictures of the two cranes reminded me of one of Jack Hanna’s programs where he featured two cranes that looked just like those. Their names were Frasier and Lillith. Loved the pictures of Mimi, too. Another fun post.

  2. Hilary says:

    Wonderful photos, Sandra. Mimi sounds like the kind of child that needs to think and prepare – and not be taken offguard. She had since the last visit to think about getting her face painted but nobody warned her about playing drums! She’s awfully cute, that child.

    And I absolutely love giraffes. Aren’t they just incredibly beautiful creaturs?

  3. Sandra says:

    Linda — I’m sorry you couldn’t go with us. We really saw alot more than we did last year. The African veldt is first class. Isn’t Jake S. having a day out there soon? Maybe you and I could go and just take pictures, although you COULD ride the ponies if you wanted. 🙂 Just a thought.

    Hilary — I think your assessment of Mimi is right on — and I think she gets that trait from her Nana. Those who know me well, know that it is better to prepare me for new experiences rather than spring them on me! When I look at these pictures of her having her face painted, she looks so tentative — and that’s not her usual personality at all!

    I LOVED it that we got to see a giraffe up so close. It was just amazing to me how huge his head was! I guess, because we usually see them from afar, it’s just hard for me to remember what a really big animal a giraffe is.

  4. Margo says:

    Looks like a good time was had by all. What a wonderfully beautiful zoo. I need to find out what type of bird makes those spherical nests you photographed, I too am curious. Wonderful post and photos.

  5. Margo says:

    Okay, I just did some quick research online about the bird nests. At first I thought they were from Orioles. But with a little more research, they sure look the same as nests made by Weavers, and Weavers build nests in communal groups like this. Please, anyone who knows better, please correct me if I am wrong.

  6. Sandra says:

    Margo — You stirred my interest too, so I went looking for pictures of Weavers’ nests. They did look similar, but I certainly didn’t see any that were as perfect as the one’s I saw. Maybe the Weavers at the zoo, are the perfectionist Weavers! 🙂

  7. lesley says:

    Sandra, what a lovely day out for children, glad you had a happy day! I think the nests belong to Orioles :0)

  8. Sandra says:

    Leslie — I’m going to try to remember to call the zoo today and confirm that. This kind of question can drive me nuts — and sometimes it’s a short trip! 🙂

    Mimi and I really did have a great day. It helped make the day fun that the weather was perfect.

  9. lesley says:

    Me too lol !!
    baz says I should have been a detective…look at this link:

    Gosh, I didn’t realise it was soooo long!

  10. Sandra says:

    Leslie — I called the zoo and they said they were Weaver’s nests. But, I looked at the link you provided, and they certainly DO look like the orioles’ nests. Thanks for the link, but I hope you don’t mind — I took off some of it. It went off the edge of the screen, and I’m always afraid that something unusual like that will lock up my blog! (And, because I’m so un-saavy re. the computer, I live in fear of things like that that I can’t fix!) 🙂

  11. Sleepless in OL says:

    With such a beautiful face (Mimi’s) the painter had an extremely wonderful canvas in which to paint. It is no wonder the result was fantastic she began with the best!

  12. Sandra says:

    Sleepless — You’re “preaching to the choir”! But then you and I both might be a little prejudiced! 🙂

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