Thursday, August 26, 2010

A month of Columbus Zoo trips

We hung out this August at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium every Monday while Nathan went to KinderZoo. Below are scenes from our fabulous zoo!

Flying foxes are Nate's favorite.

The polar bear exhibit is amazing. The bears have a huge amount of space, as well as giving the guests an opportunity to view from above and below. These incredible creatures are my favorites.

The Roos don't do much, though now and then one will hop out on the path in front of you.

One pissed off lorikeet...got there just as Zack's cup was empty.

Orangutan, deep in thought...

I love the flamingos! Last summer we had a whole nursery of young ones, courtesy of the San Diego Zoo, which shipped a crate of eggs to our zoo.

I don't remember what these wacky birds are called. This was part of the Animal Encounter Village, something new they started last summer. It is lots of up close and hands-on animal viewing, with little talks given by the keepers about the animals.

Beco, with his mama Phoebe and aunt Connie. Beco and his older brother Bodhi are Asian elephants, and were both born at the Columbus Zoo. They are proof that Central Ohio can love a couple of baby elephants just as much as our beloved Buckeyes, I think.

A sweet little owl, at the village.

Baby Misha, with one of her human surrogate moms. As part of the Columbus Zoo's Surrogacy Program, eventually one of the interested adult female gorillas will be paired with Misha, whose own mother could not care for her. While we were there, we could actually see one of the females from the next area peeking through a window and watching her.

Yes, you can see Manatees in central Ohio! The manatees that stay at our zoo are usually either orphan babies or injured animals. All but a couple of the manatees that have been here over the years have been or will be returned to Florida to live in the wild.


I am pretty sure these tortoises have been there since I was a kid.

Wild boys, having sought sustenance, prepare for further explorations. We are quite spoiled here in Columbus, with the top zoo in the nation (I think we basically take turns with San Diego!) I am looking forward to a few cold weather trips with Nathan now that Zack has started back to school.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hummingbirds!

While at Lake Hope State Park, we participated in a hummingbird feeding experience. What this basically entails was a talk from the ranger, followed by 2 hours of holding little vials of sugar water in the air and hoping the hummingbirds came down out of the trees. At an hour and a half of the birds going only to the same guy over and over, we let our extraordinarily patient kids off the hook, and went inside the shop to buy a hummingbird feeder of our own to take home.


And we are so glad we did.


These little birds are everywhere in our backyard now. We did see a few buzzing around before vacation, but now we have a nightly show back there.


I like watching the sunset with these little guys.

We learned something important at the state park: that it is a federal crime to hold or capture any part of a hummingbird or its nest, including feathers and eggs, without a permit. I am glad I learned that, because I am pretty sure we have a nest in the bushes and I was all set to check it out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm going to start writing again :-)

It's been over five years, roughly since my mom died, since I've written anything. I was never published, but I loved writing. Just in the last two months I got a yen, and decided that I'm going to participate in National Novel Writing Month in November. I didn't know what I was going to write about, but I knew I'd write. Then, out of the blue a muse wandered up to me from my past and now I can't stop writing! I am so inspired by the memories from this one crazy summer. Writing was really the thing I loved more than anything and just the work I've done in the last week, well, it feels like I've come home after a long absence.

Wish me luck!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Scenes from Hocking Hills















I know I've gone overboard with vacation pix this week, but I can't help it! The Hocking Hills, Lake Hope and Zaleski State Forest areas are amazing beauty spots, and I just had to share. Have an amazing weekend, and get out and see a bit of your patch of Earth!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Found some good junk on vacation

My patient guys always let me have an hour or so to scan the Logan Antique Mall in Logan, Ohio, when we are on our way home from the Hocking Hills.


They have some pretty good junk here.

They have a great variety of vendors, so you get everything from higher end antiques to affordable, funky, and quirky collectibles.

When a store calls itself an "antique" store, I am sometimes afraid to go in and get my heart set on something that I can't afford. Happily the prices here vary, and chances are you can always find something interesting for not a lot of money. I found a lonely looking box of vintage linens for a mere $2.00.

This was $4, and looks great in my house.

Additionally, this store is located with a collection of all things tourist for this region called REmpel's Grove---they have a petting zoo, canoe livery, ice cream shop, an awesome little buffet restaurant, a craft mall, and a glass outlet.

The glass outlet sells mainly overstocks and seconds of American made glass and china, and they sell Fiestaware!!! So we picked up some plates for like $5 each!!! Love them! We'll probably go back to get a second color next time we are down that way.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A happy vacation accident

While driving around the Hocking Hills, I glanced up at the sign for my old summer camp, Camp Otterbein!

My first couple summers were spent in this very cabin!

The lake seemed so much bigger then!

Prayer circle

Dining lodge, again seemed so much bigger then!

Thanks to the staff for letting me run around like a hysterical maniac with tears in my eyes while I took pictures of everything! Summer camp was the thing I looked forward to more than anything else when I was a kid, and I had some of my most memorable experiences here!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Our Unplugged Vacation

Every summer we, as a family, require a little unplugged time. Two parents, two boys, and five days with no tv, computer or mobile phone access. This year we rented a cabin at Lake Hope State Park and spent a little time doing things that don't require electricity, or wireless, like...

Exploring

Canoeing

Swimming

Making food in fire

Learning

Hiking

Growing

Picnicking

Practicing patience

Discovering

Climbing

Roasting

Creating

Capturing

Laughing and Loving