Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Zoo, Birds of Prey and the rest of August...

As home educators things here quieten down in August, it is the school holidays and all the places we love to visit become very busy. We have found lots of places put the entrance prices up in August and we think you get far better value for money and everywhere is much less busy in September. So usually we harvest, forage, preserve and the children do some work on various projects and crafts close to their heart or current interests, we also plan and look forward to all our Autumn adventures. This year, however, to take advantage of spells of good weather we have made a few day trips, my son has had the time of his life at a bird of prey display.

We sat in the front row and had some very close encounters with a number of very beautiful birds, a common buzzard stopped to eat on the fence just inches in front of us, looked us directly in the eye and then flew off over our heads wafting our hair with it's wings. My son was in raptures... he had never been this close to the birds he loves so much, little did he know a large vulture was weaving its way through the audience. It made me jump a little when it came under my seat, around my legs and looked up at us...but it was such a thrill to see up close and gave my son a day he will never forget. The photograph below is of a larger vulture than the one which passed through the audience, a ruppell's griffen vulture.

At the zoo my daughter was very eager to see her favourite animal, the giraffe and we had to race all the way around to their enclosure first. They have had three giraffe births this year. It was the first time she has been to a zoo, that she can remember, we have recently been to a sea life centre and a reptile park so it was more than a little exiting to see much larger animals. She was quite disappointed to find she wouldn't be allowed to cuddle or stroke the giraffes but we bought her a soft toy one from the gift shop at the end of the day to bring home and love. A keeper in the reptile house also brought out a bearded dragon for the children to look at much closer and to see what it felt like, which brought many smiles to their faces.

In the farm area they enjoyed looking at the animals and posing on a tractor before milking a fake cow, this was obviously a very enjoyable activity as I think they half filled the bucket. So I expect we'll have two very willing volunteers if we ever get a goat.

The excursions are still being talked about here my daughter had a 'great day' and everyone is now looking forward to the Autumn days out... we have a really full itinerary with lots of suggestions for many places to visit.
All of the above photographs were taken by my lovely husband.

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