October 3rd, 2010


Poem for Sunday and National Zoo Conservation Institute

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dementordelta is here so we can go to the Pennsylvania Renfaire together on Sunday, so I will make this quick! My family went on Saturday to the National Zoo's Autumn Conservation Festival at the Smithsonian's Conservation Institute in Front Royal, where the zoo breeds critically endangered species and researches wildlife habitats. Some of the animals, like the clouded leopards and the rare birds, can only be viewed at specific times even during visiting weekends, but we managed to see both, and the red pandas and bison even deigned to wake up and walk around for us. Plus we went to see Pops, the oldest kiwi in captivity, and his keepers.

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Since the festival ran only till 3 p.m., we had a picnic, then headed to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, where we stopped at the visitor center, several overlooks, and one of the camping stores for drinks. The trees were just starting to turn red and yellow, and the weather was gorgeous -- 60s, brilliant sunshine, late summer wildflowers, birds soaring on the breeze. We came home and had pumpkin peanut soup, and now Delta and I are watching some second season Merlin and she brought chocolate and pumpkin-cream cheese cake with her so life is very good.