June 23rd, 2006

little review

Poem for Friday

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Thursday morning we drove to Columbus, Ohio by way of West Virginia, reading Susan Cooper and watching Valiant in the car. We had lunch at Columbus' Deaf School Park Topiary Garden, in which bushes have been trimmed and wrapped around wire in the shapes of the figures from Georges Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. There is also a flower garden there with water and lily pads in the style of those painted by Monet.

Then we went to the Columbus Zoo. It was nearly 100 degrees, with stifling humidity, and I had a raging headache within half an hour. We went to see the penguins, of course, which were outdoors and being fed by a marine biologist who told us about the two new babies; then we went to see the reptile house and the manatees, both of which thankfully were indoors. We saw several other animals in the Australia exhibit including a baby koala bear and kangaroos, and took refuge in a terrific exhibit on nocturnal animals in a very dark building where there were active kiwis, bats, geckos, some kind of small leopard and several rodents. By the time we had made it to the gibbons, the sky was turning very dark, so we started to head back toward the front of the zoo.

Columbus proceeded to be hammered by one of the worst thunderstorms I have ever experienced, which we watched from inside the zoo gift shop along with many other damp refugees. I thought that perhaps Ohio typically has more impressive storms than we've had on the east coast or Chicago, where the hills and water tend to hamper the severity somewhat, but apparently this one was a big deal even by local standards and northern Ohio declared a state of emergency after severe flooding. When we finally escaped (into rain and temperatures which thankfully had dropped nearly 20 degrees), we arrived at our hotel to learn that the cable was out and there were reports of uprooted trees and downed power lines. So we had a quiet evening in the hotel making microwave chili and reading.

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I am still utterly fried from the heat and haven't made a dent in e-mail, comments, etc. and will be no better tomorrow as we are going to the replica of the Santa Maria and the Star Wars exhibit at the science center before going to Cincinnati to meet mamadracula. Sorry! But we are getting to see lots!