Monday, June 8, 2015

Last field trip of the year

Biscuit and his class went on their last field trip of the year Friday. We were also leaving Friday to go to my parents' house for the weekend. So when we found out that the field trip was an hour away from our home, and in the direction of my parents' house, Jeff and I took the day off and signed up to be chaperones.

Friday morning, we took Biscuit to school then packed up the car and hit the road. Then when the field trip was over, we signed out Biscuit and went on our way. That put us at my parents' house several hours before we usually get there. We always have the whole family over for Saturday night dinner while we're there. But since we got there so early, we all gathered Friday night, too. It was a nice treat.

The field trip location was a drive-through safari-type place. You can drive your own car through, although after seeing the horns on some of the longhorn steers, bison and Scottish Highland cattle, I can't imagine while anyone would want to! Can't you just see the scratches in your car paint?!

For groups, they have wagons pulled by three big, beautiful farm horses. The wagons have a bench down either side and one down the middle. Biscuit's class had more parents in attendance than any other class, so we were all sitting comfy cozy on our wagon.

The animals included longhorn steers, Highland Scottish cattle, bison, water buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, potbellied pigs, several kinds of deer, llamas, goats, sheep, guineas, rheas, ostriches, emus and more.

The guy who drove our wagon explained all the rules to the kids. They're strict about how they should feed the animals and which ones can get feed and which ones shouldn't. They also talk a lot about where the animals come from and their habitats and how they take care of them.

It's springtime, so there have been lots of babies born in the past couple of months. Two baby bison were born and one of the mamas didn't take to being a mother. So the one baby was found alone and hungry. The crew there slowly moved the herd of bison to where the baby was, and still, its mama didn't step forward to claim it. But the mama who was already nursing her baby adopted the orphan and has been nursing both babies. They said that bison mamas usually only have enough milk for one baby, so they've been watching closely and can step in to bottle feed one of the babies if need be.

It wasn't all sad stories, though. Our wagon driver was a cut-up with a wry sense of humor.

One of the kids asked, "So where do you even GET a giraffe?"

The driver, without a smile, said, "Oh, there's a special back room at the pet store for the African animals."

The kid's eyes got real big, like he couldn't figure out whether to believe him or not.

I asked Biscuit if he wanted to feed the giraffes. "No, thank you," he said. "I'd like to just watch."

The driver said, "There's nothing to be scared of. The worse thing that will happen is that one of them will snatch you up and put you in the barn. We'll find you after a couple of days, though."

I wish I had a picture of Biscuit's reaction.

"You know I'm kidding, right?" the driver asked.

Biscuit smiled at him, but he still looked at little nervous.

The kids seemed to have a good time, and of course, here are a ton of photos from the day:

Each kindergarten class has different color T-shirts they wear for
special occasions or field trips. Biscuit's class is orange. But since I
was on the wagon with the orange class, I ended up taking
pictures of some of the other classes. This was the red class.

Water buffalo. They didn't come out of the water. As
the day got hotter, I was jealous of their cool retreat.

A rhea mama and baby.

Look at those eyelashes!

About halfway through the tour, there was a wide-open field that
was very scenic. If it had been a little cooler, this part would've
been more enjoyable. As it was, the top of my head got sunburned!

This peacock was strutting around with his feathers splayed.

And then he showed me his butt.

Have you ever heard a peacock's tail vibrations? They fan out their
feathers to attract mates, then they vibrate their feathers.
If you're standing close, you can hear the vibrations, but they
also produce a low-pitch sound that is not audible to humans.

This picture if a little blurry, but I had to include it just for the hair!

Six kids from Biscuit's class got signed out by their parents, and
we all gave each other secret signals to say that we were going
to hang out for a while after the buses left. So the six kids played
together for about an hour while the parents relaxed and chatted.

If there's a porthole, you have to poke your head through it. It's the law.

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