Thursday, June 30, 2011

What I Did on my Summer Vacation - Point Defiance

 Today mom and I went to the Point Defiance zoo and aquarium. I love this zoo, which is kind of small, because I always see a lot of animals, you can get really close to them, I think the aquarium is pretty cool, and it's included in the price of the zoo! We got there early, right when the zoo opened, and the animals were very playful. These two are year-old tiger siblings, and chased each other around their enclosure like my cats do. Their mom had been separated from them and was yowling fairly continuously.
 This siamang (?) monkey was curled up in a sun-warmed hammock and was totally zonked out. He barely opened his eyes once. I am not a huge fan of monkeys but he was really cute all curled up.
 The penguins were all lined up on a warm rock. Seriously, it's been a reaaaalllly long winter here in Seattle. It's the last day of June and we didn't even hit 70.
 The zoo has three walruses, although I only saw one today. He is freaking HUGE. Probably 15 feet long and at least 3000 pounds. He swims on his back and deliberately rubs up against the viewing window while circling his lagoon. 
The polar bear exhibit has two large bears in it. This one was standing on an underwater rock so that the water level hit him about mid-body and he stood there the entire time I watched him.
My camera does not do well with low light, so this is one of the only pictures I got in the aquarium, but I think it is really cool. The aquarium has a tank full of different kinds of sharks, as well as some massive tuna, and a really awesome seahorse exhibit.
Outside the zoo is a very well-kept garden and duck pond. There are a lot of baby ducks in various stages of development. This was one of the smallest ones, working hard to get the water out of those nooks and crannies.
The zoo and the gardens are on one small piece of Point Defiance Park, which has several miles of roads and even more miles of hiking trails and beaches. Mom and I drove the loop and about a mile in, we started seeing raccoons. And not just one or two, a LOT of least 25-30 of them. Most of them had clearly been around humans quite a lot, and they would run out to meet the cars, stand up on their hind legs, and hold out their paws for food (we didn't give them any). The first one we saw almost jumped into the car. Later, one of them ran out in front of my car (which was stopped) sat down on his butt and refused to move. I am always a little wary of wild animals that aren't afraid of humans and raccoons can be pretty vicious, but they were kind of cute. You can see the side of the car in this picture, as this raccoon walks disdainfully away...

It was at this point that my camera died completely, so that's it for pictures, but if you are ever in the Seattle area, don't overlook Tacoma. Point Defiance is just one of the really cool things to do there. 

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