Saturday, July 11, 2009

View From the Zoo

Here is a little snapshot of life at the zoo these days, minus the smell of manure, the bleating of sheep and goats, the "help" sounding screech of the peacocks, and the crowing of roosters at 5:15 in the morning. You'll have to use your imagination for those items or not...might be more enjoyable that way.

Elvis the Emu

Fun fact about emus: They dance when GI Joe whistles at them. I use the term dance loosely because they look like they are having some sort of seizure while wiggling their long necks and bodies, moving all over the place. Oh wait, that's how I look when I dance too. Another fun fact about Elvis & Priscilla (our emus), they are terrified of Aladdin the Peacock. Oh yeah they are big, bad, mean emus when new chickens, ducks, or cats enter the barnyard but throw a male peacock in the mix and they no longer rule the roost. Never mind that they are 5 times the size of the peacock. Sissies.

Pretty Kitty

This is one of many kittens running around. We have some trampy mama cats that's all I'm saying. Truth be told I'm not much of a cat person, but who can resist adorable kittens? I try not to get emotionally attached to the outside kittens but the kids name each and every one of them. Depending on the wildness of the kitten determines how inspired the name they give it is. This one for example, is pretty wild so it's name is Tabby Kitty. The tamer ones get names like BlazePaw or TBone or my personal favorite, Raven Kit. Seriously.

And Then There Were Three....

Aladdin & Jasmine the peacock couple recently became first time parents. We have been dreaming of this day since their marriage last spring. We discovered Jasmine sitting on 5 eggs in the hayloft of the old barn a little over a month ago. Since this was our first peacock birthing experience, we climbed up in the loft every couple of days to check on her and see if she needed any assistance. (Someday maybe I'll show you the pictures of me climbing up there, twasn't pretty, twasn't pretty at all.) Turns out she had it covered...literally. My google research showed that it takes about 28 days for the eggs to hatch so we waited patiently. One day 2 weeks ago when the kids went to check on her they found egg shells. Shortly after that, they discovered Mama Jasmine strutting around with 3 chicks following her. We caught them and put the 4 of them in a confined area to protect them from raccoons and other predators. Two of them must've talked back to their mama or misbehaved because they were trampled by her. Natural selection maybe? Disturbing yes? We have one chick remaining (talk about playing favorites) and have high hopes for it. We decided to take Jasmine and her chick out of the confinement as maybe that attributed to her crushing her own children. Aladdin is adjusting well to fatherhood and was camped out next to the pen. Now that they are out wandering about he can always be found nearby. He'll go socialize with the other animals in the barnyard, terrorize the emus, and then go back to be with his wife and baby. It's so sweet. I haven't seen him change any diapers yet though.

In the next installment of the "The View from the Zoo" I'll introduce you to a New Age bunny family, a smiling horse, and more. Try not to be too excited.

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