The GGA Project -- Day #361 "I'd Like More Time With the Giant Beetles & Tarantula, Please"

I bet you're wondering what this

might have to do with these

or this

Well, friends, these are some of the few animal-related things to be seen at the zoo--when you go at night that is.

Today's New Activity: Zoo Lights!

When my Mom asked me today what I was writing about for my blog and I told her it was the Zoo Lights, she was shocked.  "You've never done that before?!" she said.  Well, I guess we can't all be cutting edge.  I'd never even heard of it until a few weeks ago, and I really wasn't sure what to expect from it, but it's pretty much like it sounds: they put a bunch of lights up at the zoo and we go look at the lights.  That's about it.  Apparently zoos the nation over do it, but it was definitely new to me.

On the way there I'd started to wonder if the animals would be up and about, though I had a hard time imagining how we'd be able to see them.  Anyway they weren't.  There was one little light show, and the rest of the Zoo Lights experience was simply stationary decorations and the thrill of being at the zoo at night.  And that WAS a thrill.  It was pretty freaking cold, so we had to take measures to stay warm, but that kind of added to the fun.  Getting bundled up and being out at night in December is FUN.

But that's not to say that the reptile and insects huts, their thermostats set to a toasty 76 degrees, weren't a super welcome refuge.  I've never been so grateful for the chance to observe the actions of 18 overgrown beetles lying around on top of each other, or an enclosure full of Walking Sticks so motionless it was impossible to say for sure whether or not they were even alive.  And that was just as well, because Monkey was loving those critters.  Even the giant tarantula didn't solicit so much as a flinch.  I think he might have crawled right into the mass of ants behind glass and been pretty content.  For a while, anyway...

What I like about the rare occasions when I take Kalil out at night (Christmas in the Park is really the only other previous example that comes to mind, aside from the times we're simply driving home from somebody's house after dark), is that doing so gives me the same kind of rush that being out after dark did when I myself was a kid.  I remember my parents used to take Kris and I to their church choir practice at night when we were kids, and we'd be dressed in footed pajamas.  It always felt like such a privilege to be out when we were supposed to be in, such a thrill to see what happened in the outside world when we would normally already be in bed, or at least finishing up bedtime stories. Being out tonight I felt like a kid again too--so happy to be doing something special and outside the normal routine, and with good company to boot!

While the zoo lights wasn't the most exhilarating spectacle I've ever taken in, it was definitely worthwhile.  And any spectacle that affords me the chance to see Monkey in awe is exhilarating enough for me.  With fun, joyful companionship, warm apple cider, and the opportunity to put an end to my wondering about what a centipede looks like up close, I'd say the Zoo Lights was a pretty good call!  :)

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