Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy birthday to me!  I’m 60 years old today.  I actually woke up feeling sorry for myself because I was “house-bound” on my birthday and couldn’t get out into nature.  I did my morning ablutions stuff, feeling weepy, and went into the kitchen to make myself a pot of coffee… and found on the kitchen table a birthday card from Marty, along with a bottle of my favorite Pink Moscato wine AND the keys to his classic car telling me to use it for the day if I wanted to.  [[That’s like getting the keys to the Millenium Falcon for the day!]] Woo-hoo!  I literally burst into tears.

I decided to go to the Sacramento Zoo.  I figured there wouldn’t be a lot of people there on a Thursday, AND I’d get to add more critters to my “1000 Species” list for the year.  Yes, I’m counting zoo animals.  ((I also figured that if I had any problems with the car, I’d be close enough for a tow home without too much expense.))  It took a little while to get used to driving the Reatta but I think I did well.  I accidentally set off the alarm on it though, and it took me a few seconds to figure out how to make it shut up (put the key in the door lock).  Had lots of people staring at me – especially as I was in my zombie-hoodie at the time…

When I first walked into the zoo, there were a bunch of docents hanging around inviting people to come into their presentation room by the front gate.  (I didn’t eve known that was there.)  And I got to see and touch a Rainbow Boa, a hedgehog (which was actually on my “bucket list”, right under wanting to touch a live whale), and a Blue-Tongued Skink.  Happy birthday to me!  I also got to see the new baby Duiker (born in November) and the Wallaby, and got to watch the lion triplets play with their mom and dad.  So cute!  While I was getting photos of the Wallaby, there was a docent there talking about kangaroos and how hard it was to get shots of the Wallaby because he was so shy.  I showed her some on my camera, and she said, “Wow!  When did you get those!”  I told her, “Just now… He’s right over there.”  Hah-ha-ha!

The baby Duiker was up and running around after mom.  He doesn’t have the stripe of yellow fur down his back yet and is brown over-all, but he already has his little horns and his top-knot of reddish-brown hair.  Dad was off in another pen by himself.

I think the lion cubs know how darling they are because every time they make an appearance, they put on show for the crowd.  Today they were pouncing and rolling all over each other, grabbing their daddy’s tail, and trying to knock mom over.  At one point, the dad picked one of the cubs off up, set him off to the side and smacked him in the head with his paw.  Behave!  While I was watching the cubs, I felt someone bump in next to my left calf.  It was a little kid who was fascinated by the pins on my carry-all camera bag… so I gave her my Zoo pin.  (Marty did something unexpected and nice for me, so I did something unexpected and nice for someone else… Pay it forward, people.)

The Jaguar was off exhibit while I was there, but I got some good close-ups of the Snow Leopard and the Tiger.  The Snow Leopard walked right down the side of her enclosure and sat on the rocks with her paws hanging down in front of her, totally chillin’.  And the tiger was sitting on his ledge by the window of his enclosure. I got some shots of him through the bamboo on the front of his enclosure, too; he is sooo handsome.  His son, CJ, was sent off to another zoo late last year to he’s an “empty-nester” right now.  Doesn’t seem to mind.

I got some short video snippets of the Wolf’s Guenon baby swinging from his mama’s tail; the lion cubs playing; the flamingoes doing their open-winged greeting; and the Mallards having a quickie in the flamingo pond.  I took so many photos that I literally filled up the entire memory card on my camera; over 1100 photos.  I’d never done that before. Yikes!

I walked around for about three hours and would’ve stayed a little longer if my camera wasn’t filled to capacity.  When I got home, I baked some chicken and had that with mashed potatoes and asparagus (one of my favorite meals).  The only thing I DIDN’T have for my birthday like I usually do was a cherry pie.  Maybe I can get that over the weekend.  It was a nice day – thanks mostly to Marty who let me use his classic car.