Thursday, July 12, 2007

Going to the Zoo

Thursday morning we packed up and went to the zoo. I took the Circle Drive Pedway to see if the MVA trail north of the bridge was open. It was. So I took it. It was a much nicer route than having to pick my way through campus and over to Preston avenue and nip behind the BIG BOX SUPERMALL…

I stopped and had a closer look at the Pedway and it’s proximity to the vehicular sections of the bridge…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Those truck are awful close… anyone who takes the Senator Buckwold Bridge in the winter will know how far snow and slush can be flung by cars and trucks… let alone the high-speed snow-plow trucks! Luckily I can’t think of any reason to ever come up this way in the winter…

It certainly isn’t safe from the tossed beer bottle glass…

One little problem with the route to the zoo is where the mixed use path that runs along side Attridge Drive crosses Rever Road (the south entrance to Silverspring). There are no curb cuts on the two islands that separate traffic flow necessitating anyone on wheels (whether bike or wheelchair or wagon or whatever) to have to make some sharp turns and wander across a rather wide road a bit north of the islands and intersection – where they might not be quite as visible to traffic turning onto Rever Road.

As I passed through this intersection today on the way to the zoo a car coming from the east was making a right turn onto Rever Road and was going too fast or didn’t see me and so didn’t stop for me until he was directly beside the curb cut at the far side of the intersection. This meant I had an even tighter turn to make to get back on the trail and I didn’t quite make it – the left wheel of the chariot caught the full curb while the right took the ramp and t funny angle and the whole thing pitched over on it’s side…! No one was hurt - a little shook up and freaked out – but fine. Still… if there were curb cuts on the islands a) I would be passing through them at right angles to the curb (less likely to hit curb and less likely for the chariot to pitch over if I did), b) the car would have had to stop before them to let me go by (or just carried on and not stopped – which would have been okay as I would be on an island instead of out in the middle of a big wide road…) and c) being on the island I might have been more visible to the driver and therefore he COULD have stopped in time to let me pass…

I realize I probably should have been walking my bike – which I do about half the time I go through that intersection. Sometimes I just don’t feel like getting off. No one would ever expect a car driver to get out of his car and push it across an intersection… I walked through it on the way home.

At the zoo I finally remembered to go check out the butterfly garden.

Here is Finnegan in the Butterfly Garden. We could only find one Butterfly. There were pile of cocoons hanging from sticks in the corner… so maybe next time.

Here is the Butterfly we found.

I got a couple good pics of some critters:

One of the Burrow Owls.

The Ferringous Hawk having lunch (he took the side salad option with his rodent).

This was the first time I saw Wapiti at the zoo this year. Every time I’ve been there previously the enclosure has been empty (or they were hiding at the far, far end of it – which you can’t get to). Today there was a whoel freakin’ herd! Including this big fella

.. and this wee one.

At the duck pond we were swarmed by some very greedy geese, which freaked the kids out a bit. They were so greedy they were biting at my hand as I tried to get some seeds from the dispenser!

The other problem with zoo trips is the utter lack of decent bicycle parking. Off to the bottom left you can see the terrible concrete block tire holders they expect you to park your bike in… useless. More than useless – potentially damaging! Does anyone even make these anymore? I always have to lock up to the sign which is tough because it’s on some very big timbers – I can barely get my big bad chain around it – anyoe with a U-lock would be S.O.L….

Fun trip. We had been going weekly for w bit but have slacked off the last week or two. It was a lot less crowded (if you could ever call it “crowded”…) now that school is out and there aren’t any class trips going on. The return trip was uneventful.

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