Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Free Zoo

Notice the blue skies in the picture above

Go ahead. Call me cheap (it's true!). Huntsville doesn't have a zoo, so we do what we can do for animal education around here!

We met our friends Aaron and Debra at Big Sping Park on Saturday for a picnic lunch. We are so happy that Aaron and Debra and their 2 precious little girls have moved back to Huntsville! Aaron and Jason went to high school together and have been friends since then. And Debra was a Space Camp counselor with me and Jason, so we've known her for a long time, too! I even caught the bouquet at their wedding (a few months before Jason proposed...).

This park is super nice and is downtown surrounded by big buildings. Think Central Park on a Mayberry level. If you've ever been there, though, you know it's beautiful and quaint and we love it! We had family pictures taken there for Owen's first birthday.

The free zoo has ducks and birds {that will eat out of your hand}, HUGE fish {I mean HUGE! We saw some with dorsal fins sticking out of the water- seriously}, birds and geese. They will all fight for your stale bread and crackers and very few have missed a meal. There is a big ol' pond and a great red bridge with picnic tables, sidewalks and big swooping trees. Here's a video of our whole group feeding the fish. Notice the calm weather.

About 10 minutes after this video, the bottom dropped out of the sky. We were back under the trees by then, so it wasn't too bad and we decided to wait it out there. It was such a great picnic and Saturday treat.

We've been to the free zoo a lot and can let you know the good ages for children.

This is Owen at 16 months- not a great age: {"Holy COW! That thing is my height!!"}

Harris at 8 months {and 9 months is good, too}- just happy to be along for the ride:

This is Owen in June {2 3/4 yrs}- now telling all the birds and ducks what to do:

And this is to show you how tame/ acclimated to people, yet still vicious the animals are. {I'm sacrificing my image in this horrible picture here}, but when we went to the free zoo in June, Jason happened to catch the moment that a duck/ goose?? bit Owen's little hand when he was taking too long to feed him! No damage, but it scared both of us. I can't imagine that animals in the wild harass humans like this, but who knows? I'm sure humans don't regularly carry bread to them, either. This is about as "wild" as we get! Look how surprised Owen is; obviously I am, too!So, if you live in or visit Huntsville, I would highly recommend the Big Spring Park downtown for a nice treat. You might get bitten, rained on or attacked by Jaws the catfish, but it's always an adventure!


Donna said...

That last picture is awesome- Owen looks like he's thinking "I know you didn't just bite me!" And mommy is clearly shocked herself! I want to get to H-town for a visit- we HAVE to get it on the calendar!

annieck said...

LOVE your free zoo!!! PERFECT!
That is so funny! I can't believe the bird bit him! WOW! cool your hubby got the shot?
Oh, and you look GREAT, btw!

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