Monday, June 10, 2013

Fun with Animals...

I had a hard time deciding which camera to pack for our quick trip this past weekend. My old Rebel is smaller and much lighter, but since upgrading to my 60D a couple years ago, I'm spoiled with the ability to still get good quality images in low light settings. In the end I went with the 60D knowing some of our photos would be taken in darker, interior locations. Turns out I didn't take near as many photos as I would have expected to take due to the rainy day. Thank goodness for my old, water resistant Eastpak backpack that comes on most ambulatory adventures with us. As you can see, rain or no rain, we had a good time bumming around with the animals.

These two are practically attached at the hip when they are together. It's hard to remember sometimes that almost 4 years separate them. It also cracks Scott and I up with how comfortable Lexi is with her older cousin because she is scared to death to talk to the volleyball players that Scott coached this past year who are the same age.

Scott and I were trying to be silly with momma giraffe. She got tired of waiting for me to get the right perspective and waked right off Scott's hand as I snapped this. Still makes me smile.

We're thinking we would like to plant one of these varieties of trees in our backyard once they are made available to the public. Shade and yard decoration all wrapped up in one neat little package...

There is a gorgeous sensory garden at the zoo, complete with lovely rain blocking arbors. A zoo keeper had a few tropical birds out in the garden, who didn't seem bothered by the sprinkles at all.

One of the areas that I enjoy the most at the Omaha zoo is the primate houses. The gorillas are amazing to watch. I really think I could sit and watch them all day. The intelligence in those eyes...

These birds, and their crazy head feathers, crack me up.

We are also big fans of the big cats. I love how no matter their size, cats will always sleep in a box if you provide them with one.

Brea was the first who showed signs of wilting. She stayed up much later than normal Friday night, which I'm sure was a factor as she's usually our early to bed kid. Luckily she's easy to please and along the way we found little treats to get her through...Aunt Kathleen got her a hotdog, Uncle Jason offered up his lap for some snuggles, and a new small stuffed river otter purchased at the aquarium gift shop helped distract her from her fatigue as she showed him all the sites we visited after he joined our family.

Why is it my husband always insists on being silly when I point the camera in his direction? Obviously he's the fun half...

Short sitting breaks got more frequent as the day progressed...

The aquarium still proves to be my favorite attractions at Henry Doorly. (Although the new butterfly house is pretty awesome too!) I love the new expanded jellyfish area since I was last through a few years ago. The colors, the textures, the fluidity of movement all mesmerize me. These big orange jellyfish look upside in photos, but this is actually how they were swimming. I wonder if this is how they always swim or if it's a result of how they are fed or the direction of the current in the man-made home? (Yes, these are the nerdy questions that go through my head. Just like the lengthy discussion we had after we watched a zoo keeper switch out the blood dishes in the vampire bat display. I wonder what type of blood they feed? How do they get it...liquid or powdered that needs dehydrated? Are the platelets removed or is an anti-coagulant added as the old trays she was removing wasn't clotted at all? So many questions...)

This little display of upside down jellyfish was pretty cool. It's like a jellyfish garden.

It was a day well spent. I'm glad that we finally made good on our "we should meet in Omaha for a weekend sometime" plans, and that so many family members were able to join the fun. Just as Scott and I talk about trips taken during our childhoods, I'm sure this will be one the girls think back on with good memories for years to come.


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