December 31st, 2010

green little review

Poem for Friday, MD Zoo, Garden of Lights

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We have been out from morning till late in the evening -- first at the Maryland Zoo, where most of the animals are still in their outdoor exhibits despite the chilly weather, then at the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens in Druid Hill Park next to the zoo, then for a quick food stop, then at Wheaton Regional Park's Garden of Lights, and finally at dinner at the mall with gblvr who was unexpectedly in my area replacing a computer battery so I got the unexpected pleasure of seeing her! The zoo is not at all crowded at this time of year, so although not all the animals are in their outdoor enclosures, anyone visiting gets to see the ones that are practically as private visitors. We went through the African and Arctic regions, where the leopards, rhinos, foxes, and snowy owls were all awake and active, as well as the playful elephants and chimpanzees (plus we saw deer in the woods on the tram getting to the animals, though no prairie dogs waiting for the tram). The conservatory is right near the zoo, so we went to see the poinsettia display, which is arranged around historic Baltimore storefronts. The camera lens fogged up very badly there and in the indoor monkey enclosure at the zoo, but it was nice and warm for a few minutes.

There was a lot of traffic on I-95, and we realized that our timing might be good to arrive at Brookside Gardens right when the light show was opening for the evening (we've missed it the past two years because there were hour-long waits just to get into the parking lots). We were a bit early, so we stopped in a grocery store to grab some things we needed and arrived at the park just as the main parking lot was opening for the evening, at which point it was very easy to park and walk through the gardens unimpeded by crowds. We visited the model train exhibit in the conservatory there and went on the winter garden walk, which was chilly but beautiful with all the mini-light creatures in the otherwise empty fountains and mini-light geese and turtles in the pond. Then we headed toward home and dinner, at which point I had talked to gblvr, and once the kids heard I might be going to the mall, they wanted to come have Subway and Sbarro instead of leftovers. So we all had dinner together, gblvr and I did a bit of girly shopping, then I came home with my family and watched the very fun Tennessee-North Carolina double-overtime in the Music City Bowl.

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