The morning dawned far too early, and woke me too often.
First, there was the alarm which was intended to wake the Golf Pro, who had to ferry Bookworm to school by 0600, so that she could board a bus bound for St. Louis and Six Flags. And then it went off again (making me hate snooze buttons, since Golf Pro had hit that one instead of off).
Then, I woke again when Golf Pro returned, having decided that he wasn't done sleeping.
Then, at last, I woke to my own alarm. Of course, it was far earlier than usual. For Kitty and I had to be at her school around the time I usually drag my weary bones from my bed. Why? For Freshman biology of course. Yes, I caved to the pressure and agreed to chaperone a bus full of high school freshmen to the zoo -- in St. Louis.
What? wasn't I just in St. Louis? well, yes. But we had to come home for a day or two, so I went back.
I was in charge of 11 students (one of whom was Kitty). I'd only met one of the kids before, but we did okay. Upon arrival, I handed out worksheets for a scavenger hunt that they were required to do. We started with bears, The American Black Bear was hiding, but the Grizzly was out with attitude
Well, maybe not so much attitude. Mostly he was placid, hanging out in the pool there despite temperatures that I, for one, found a tad lower than was comfortable.
It was damp and cool and drizzly. So I was pretty happy when our next stop was the Insectorium. I did try to take pictures of the silk spider, but it did not come out well at all. I found the displays quite interesting, but only got one picture worth sharing (and even that's questionable).
dimly seen there is the Salmon Pink Birdeater -- or a very large tarantula (legspans of up to 10"). Spiders as big as dinner plates do seem more like fiction, but these fellows do exist.
I did much better photographing birds
The new penguin home is really quite nifty. Outside, the Humbolts swim about. Inside, you've got these fellows on the right, t ... and right across the walk way we see the more familiar
Just around the bend are puffins, but they seemed to be camera shy.
The birds in the 1904 Flight Cage were much more cooperative.
That's an American Wood Duck in the back ground, and a pair of Buffle Headed ducks on the log.
Here's a Great Egret (and yes, I do think he's pretty great, but that is his name).
Though my favorites, the roseate spoonbills, were too busy showing off how stunning they looked in flight to let me get any good pictures.
I'd likely plague you with even more pictures, but the kids had gotten everything they needed from the flight cage and were eager to get to the bird house. We did pass this fellow on the way
Just outside the bird house, we met this Cinerous Vulture.
I'd never seen a vulture sit this way before. I'm guessing he was offended at having had to sit in the rain and was drying his wings, but then that's me the human talking. If I had a nine foot wing span, I'd object to carrying the extra weight they'd hold when wet.
I personally think that his wing stretches were more impressive than this King Vulture, even if he's not got the royal name
We saw many more very cool birds and critters, but I was more focused on keeping track of kids than taking pictures. Once their worksheets were finished, however, I got to turn them loose, and Kitty and I enjoyed lunch, and prowled the gift shops for the last hour or so. I even managed to sneak in a birthday present purchase while she wasn't paying attention.
I was able to knit on the bus (yay). And I would have finished that baby sweater I started on Monday night except that during the cast off row I encountered this:
We are not amused.
We are amused, however, by the magic of this design. It's a variation on Elizabeth Zimmerman's magical Baby Surprise Jacket. It looks like this, rather like I had some difficulties knitting a simple rectangle:
Some wonderful fellow worked up the adaptations to make it stockinette! I had hoped that by avoiding the yarn consumption of garter stitch I'd have enough yarn. And actually, if I'd found them before I'd knit the cuffs in garter, (or if I'd sucked it up and ripped back to do the thing in stockinette all the way) I'd have had enough to bind off and sew the two shoulder seams. But nooo...... So now I'm going to go digging through the sock/fingering stash to see if I've anything with which I can fake it for the second half of the bind off row.
Anyway, folded properly, it suddenly, mysteriously turns into this
It'll look better with a bit of blocking and some buttons.
Sigh. I don't suppose any of you have just that last bit worth of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Mountain Creek do you?