We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
[Marianne Williamson]

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A birthday - and a brand new ending?

Saturday (August 11th) was my 34th birthday.

You know you're a mummy when you go out with hubby and son to choose a birthday present for yourself and come home with a pair of cute cherry-red boots and 10 Little Golden Books ~ and you're perfectly satisfied!

On a side note: I can't stand reading The Poky Little Puppy - negative, punishment based message all the way through, and then a grammatical double negative at the end... uggh! That one's going on eBay. Our favourites are The Colour Kittens and Where Do Kisses Come From... which have momentarily ousted Wombat's previous favourites - The Little Red Caboose, The Little Red Hen and Goodnight Little Bear (that last one has been amazing for awakening Wombat's imagination - as I read it, he acts out all the things Daddy Bear does while searching for Little Bear.)

On Sunday, we took Wombat for a birthday picnic to Symbio Wildlife Gardens. My Mum and brother came along as well, and despite some threatening-looking clouds, we had a lovely day. I hope you won't mind a long post with lots of photos - it might make up for my absence lately!

First, here is my darling Wombat enjoying his new boots.

He and I had a great time feeding the peacock that was wandering around the picnic area. I could spend hours staring at peacocks - they really are a walking embodiment of my favourite colour!

After lunch, we went for a walk to look at all the animals. My Mum fell in love with the Marmosets, who had apparently been sitting up against the glass talking to her just a few minutes before, but who suddenly became shy when the camera arrived.

The Meerkats were very cute as well, though Yeti thought it was a bit rough that they didn't have at least one wall that the humans didn't have access to. They seemed to like him, as wherever he stood, they would come running over and look up at him.

They weren't too impressed by the cold weather, either - but they did look gorgeous sunning themselves under their little heat lamps!

The most recent editions to the park were a pair of Red Pandas. They were busy having their lunch of fruit - looking very much like a cross between a cat and a bear - I have more photos of them climbing through their trees, but don't want to bore you totally ;P

There were lots of Australian native animals too. A pair of koalas who were quite friendly and climbed down to see Wombat (who was sitting on my shoulders at the time).

A very sleepy pair of Tasmanian Devils.

Lots of kangaroos and wallabies, many of whom had Joeys in their pouches.

Wombat particularly liked this female Eclectus parrot - the main aviary was closed for renovation, so we didn't get to see most of the birds. He didn't like the male so much, because it clung to the bars and squarwked at him ;P

Yeti's favourites were the two Eagles - though he would have liked very much to have seen Arnie, their Barking Owl, who must have been in the closed-off aviary.

Printing off the map of the park from their website entitled you to one free bag of critter food. I will spare you all the photos of feeding the sheep and other domestic animals. Here are some very greedy deer, who kept trying to snatch the whole bag of food in one go. Yeti hung onto ours, but another group nearby lost theirs within seconds! Wombat was too scared to feed them directly (probably a good thing as they would have taken his fingers off!) but he picked up little bits of food (and stones) off the ground and threw them in, and was quite happy that he was doing his bit to help.

Some of the kangaroos were also keen to get at the food, though most were happier to stay in the background. The camel seemed to be telling us he wanted some better sand to roll in - as dustbowls go, it was hardpacked and didn't seem as comfortable as it could have been.

At the end of the day we got to pat this fluffy little Dingo and watch him running around like any little puppy, which was the highlight of Wombat's day.
Here is Wombat with Yeti and my brother - the photo is unfortunately out of focus, but is the only reasonable shot I got of my brother, who was generally trying to stay in the background.

All in all it was a very fun family day out - and we are going back there in about a week, to take my mother-in-law.

In fact, there's a chance you might be hearing quite a lot more about Symbio. In our recent discussions about long-term goals and where we want to build our future, Yeti and I have decided that when we move from here, we need to move into a business - something that will provide the lifestyle we want for raising children. As we were leaving, Yeti asked the owner if Symbio was for sale - he said he had been working there seven days a week for seven years and was ready for a break. It is all just a big maybe at the moment, but we are seriously considering becoming zoo-owners! It would suit all of us down to the ground (except perhaps MIL, but it is only ten minutes drive from one of her favourite beaches, so there's a chance of convincing her to live nearby if not with us)! Yeti is overflowing with ideas for landscaping and improving the gardens (Steff, if this does happen, we are going to be having some long discussions with you about habitat enrichment!!!) and there would be lots of legal and administrative work for me as part of keeping it running and sourcing funding... I'll let you know what happens when we go back - at the moment there are just lots of unanswered questions but it is a quietly exciting possibility.


Steff said...

we HATED goodnight bear - we felt it sent the message you could act up when you went to bed (there are alot of stories like that) and didnt want to concept to enter kaelyns head - I find that you have to be quite particular about books (and nursery rhymes too - 3 blind mice just sends shivers up me as does the old woman who lived in the shoe) Our favorite books are "kiss kiss" & "kisses for daddy"

rather than "another" wildlife park how about a dedicated childrens zoo/farm - I find they are very rare in sydney are they are absolutly fantastic - and who is your bigest market for animals?? you can do kids parties and everything....
want to write more but A is deciding she wants food now because she couldnt get to sleep for an hour and is now hungry

Mama Pajama said...

Wow. I love all the beautiful pictures of the animals! Looks like you all had a terrific time!