October 4th, 2009


Poem for Sunday

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We spent most of the day in and near Front Royal, Virginia, where the National Zoo's Conservation & Research Center is located and where they were having their Autumn Conservation Festival. It was fabulous -- a long session with a zookeeper and a kiwi named Pops, a visit with the young clouded leopards who were chasing each other like kittens, a hike around the crane enclosures and down a steep hill to the bison and Przewalski's horse (the latter of whom had a genetically valuable baby but the colt was too young to be out on display). We had a picnic for lunch under a huge maple whose leaves were just starting to turn.

The facility was only open till 3 p.m., so we drove into Shenandoah National Park and followed the Skyline Drive from the top to Thornton Gap (with a brief dip below to see Marys Rock Tunnel), stopping at several of the overlooks. The weather was gorgeous and the sky was very blue. We saw a couple of deer and many, many stinkbugs, plus butterflies, a woolly bear caterpillar, and several hawks. Then we drove home by way of Buckland Farm Market, where we got corn, cheese, nuts, and various other ingredients so Paul could make a Sukkot dinner, the main course of which was peanut pumpkin soup.

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dementordelta and I are currently watching Due South (mid-season two) and Sunday we are driving up to the Pennsylvania Renfaire, since the weather promises to be much more cooperative than last weekend!