91, 90, 90, 91, 92, 91 - that's the temperature forecast for my week, in centigrade. Some of you crazies out there actually like it that hot, but, as I already said, you're gonzo, wacko, round-the-bend kind of loony. Anyway, in spite of the forecast, we headed off to the zoo (or zoological park) this morning. The temperature was supposed to rise one degree for every twelve minutes we were there. It was hot.
We have a beautiful zoological park (or zoo) about 30 minutes from us. It's huge and sprawling and hot. We went in the Africa entrance today and it felt like, well, Africa. They do a good job like that, making you feel as if you're actually walking through one of the vast African savannahs, making you wonder whether you'll get out alive.
We saw pink-bottomed baboons, silverback gorillas, yellow- and red-footed tortoises, scarlet ibises, and many more colorful and diverse animals. There's a surprising amount of diversity in the animal kingdom, it would appear. And a lot of colors. You don't hear brown used in many descriptions though. So when the animals are brown, they give them funny and interesting names. For example, there's this eensy-teensy-weensy deer called Kirk's Dik-Dik. Now, I don't know who this Kirk fellow is, but the other biologists are getting some mileage off of that one.
So here I am pushing the stroller up this mountain range they've built the zoological park/zoo upon. (I've included the map - you can see a Class-5 climb as well as two HC, or Above Classification, mountains.) So walking through Africa is a tiring proposition. I was bent over the handlebars of the stroller like a domestique dying on the slopes of L'Alpe D'Huez. Sweat dripping off the tip of my nose. Shirt soaked. (I do sweat occasionally - not sure if I've mentioned that before or not. It may have something to do with my being big-boned, but who knows.) And of course I was the only one sweating in the entire park. On the way back down the hill, I carried the Raccoon on my shoulders and completely soaked his crotch from my hair - or he soaked my hair from his crotch, I'm really not sure which way it was. Fortunately, when you're that hot it doesn't really matter. Getting out alive is the goal. And getting out alive with your slew of children is the icing on the cake.
Speaking of which, we once had a mutt named Kid who would lead her puppies out onto the back 10 and would, inevitably, come back missing a few pups. "Go get your babies, Kid. Go get 'em," we'd say encouragingly. But now that I have children, I better understand the little dog. Especially when one of the kids, I won't mention the yellow-haired child's name, sits down in the middle of the sidewalk and begins making much ado about nothing. You pick her up and make her come and she screams so loudly that people start giving you those I-wonder-if-that-fat-sweaty-man-is-stealing-that-sweet-golden- haired-child looks. Hey, Lady, my smile suggests, Go a couple rounds with her. Be my guest. And buy her a freaking lemonade Icee while you're at it.
Anyway, it is a long haul for little people.
It's a long haul for big people too, but once your shirt becomes completely soaked it simply looks as if you've stepped under one of the many misting posts stationed in various places around the zoo (or zoological park) exclusively on the North American side of the park - so you're cool. (Even though you're hot.)
We had fun. Now that Laura and Sophie are home, it's kinda like Every Day Is Saturday®.