Thursday, May 2, 2013

a walk on the wild side

Today we ventured about an hour from home to a family-operated, small scale zoo. I hate to even call it a zoo though, because it's so much better. It's really a very interactive, get-up-close animal sanctuary. 

I take Ian and Lily on our annual visit to the park every May in celebration of another homeschool year coming to an official end. Although we still have about a month of lessons left (and many days of learning throughout the summer), schooling has become much more relaxed, allowing for more of an unschooling approach. This is what usually  unfolds during this last month as we spend more time outdoors learning about garden things and insects and birds and animals and nature in general. I do believe that it's my favorite month of our homeschooling year. 

Ian's favorite part of the park was the bird sanctuary. Tiny containers of food can be purchased to feed the birds, and the birds will actually fly to your hand and eat right out of your palm. We were surrounded by birds, and I'm not quite sure how we all made it out without even a drop of bird poo-poo on us!

Lily fell in love with the baby pygmy goat that had just been born a week prior. It was so precious. It sucked on her finger just like it was nursing from its mama. Lily was in love and kept asking me if we could buy it.  

I was rather partial to the alpacas. Oh my, I have wanted a couple of alpacas for a couple of years and that desire was just reconfirmed today. The two alpacas that they had in the petting area were spring babies. They were just so docile and sweet and they let me scratch them and admire their amazingly butter-soft fleece. Oh, and yes, one of my reasons for wanting alpacas is for their fleece. I have used 100% alpaca yarn before (just picked more up last week from a different source) and it is the most amazingly soft and cozy yarn. I have dreams of owning my own alpacas and then spinning and dyeing their fleece into beautiful yarn to be enjoyed by others. 

They also had the cutest little kid (baby goat) in the petting area as well. This little fella followed me around trying to munch on everything from my sweater to my jeans to my bracelet to my camera case. It also had fun chewing a bit on Ian. He thought it was hilarious, of course. As fun as it was, I don't think I could raise goats. I think they may be a bit too destructive for my tastes! But it was fun to play with this one!

Oh, and the picture Brad took of me and the birds? Those are kookaburras. I always liked kookaburras; they've always reminded me of a song I used to sing when I was young, "Kookaburra lives in an old gum tree, eating all the gum drops he can see. Stop kookaburra! Stop kookaburra! Leave some there for me!"

Anyway, I got them all worked up. I used my chicken call on them; the call I use to call my chickens over when I bring scraps out to them. It's a little trill of sorts. And those kookaburras, who were previously as quiet as could be, started laughing up a very loud storm. Their bird call actually sounds like very loud, very hideous laughing and cackling and their little bodies shake a bit just like ours do when we have a hearty laugh. 

Today was much-needed. A nice day of rest and enjoyment of God's miraculous and amazing creation on a just as amazing and beautiful spring day. 

I appreciate your kind comments from my last blog post. Your prayers mean so much to our family. And if there is anything I can pray for you about, please leave a comment or contact me via the "contact me" tab at the top of my blog.

Many blessings! 


Staci said...

The photos are beautiful as always. I love animal sanctuary's - the animals always seem so happy and content. I, as well, am in love with alpaca's and cannot wait to have the property to house them. The bird area looks amazing! Those orange cheeks on those sweet little things make you want to pinch them oh so gently. :) Looks like you all had a wonderful time.

Wendi said...

Looks like a great place to visit.