Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day Trip to Reptile Zoo

Summer feels like it is quickly drawing to a close and it feels like Jeff and I are scrambling to spend some quality time together since the bathroom reno threw the beginning off quite a bit. One of the things we wanted to do this summer was re-visit the Indian River Reptile Zoo.

We had visited the Indian River Reptile Zoo a few years after it opened and have read there were numerous additions since then. The reptile zoo is east of Peterborough on highway #7. They have over 200 reptiles on display including snakes, turtles, lizards, one alligator, and one crocodile. They are Canada's only accredited reptile zoo and also house Canada's largest exhibit of rattlesnakes.

One of the first things we saw was their miniature version of Stonehenge, visible from the parking lot. You could walk up to them and sit on some of rocks but I chose the from the parking lot perspective. It's pretty (and sparkly) but I came for reptiles!


Jeff paid our entry fee ($10 each for adults ) while I looked around the gift shop which was full of stuffed animals, candles, and other items the zoo uses for fund raising. We learned from the cashier that there was going to be a presentation at the new barn in fifteen minutes so after a quick potty break we headed out the back and over to the barn.

Just outside the barn were some foot high enclosures where we got a good look at the African Spurred Tortoise... or the Red Footed Tortoise. We couldn't really tell them apart. This little guy was sharing the enclosure with at least ten other ones all roughly the size of the palm of my hand. It was really cool to be able to hover over them.


The presentation was orated by Lacey who has been with the reptile zoo for three and half years. She provided an introduction to reptiles with the help of Sheila the Lizard, Speedy the Turtle, and Friendly the Python.



Yep! I petted friendly. And Jeff took this flattering photo of me doing:


Here's a video blurb of Lacey introducing us to friendly:

video

After the presentation we left the barn and visited a few of the tortoises who live in an outside pen. They were surprisingly speedy! As you can see from this video:



They have beautiful shells:



Here's a close-up of the Alligator in his indoor habitat. You could never get this close to one in the wild. Even though there was glass between us I still had a heebie jeebie racing around my back. After I took this picture he winked at me. Ok, he didn't wink, he closed one eye. I went around to the other side and his other eye was open. I purposefully didn't use flash but I think he might have thought one was coming.



The crocodile was either in or he was out and both times he wasn't up for having his picture taken but he does have an awesome backside. The tip of his nose is out of the water toward the outdoor exit. We couldn't decide if he was catching some of the breeze or not.



On the way out we noticed one of the staff crawling in the back window to clean the alligator's pen (we had wondered earlier why there was no water). What a creepy job that would be. You'll notice that he keeps the garbage can between him and the alligator. We were told that this alligator is pretty sulky when people are in his enclosure and there's never been a problem. He tends to move to the opposite end. The crocodile is a little more aggressive with his space so they always have two people clean -- one always on look out.




Overall, we both had a great time and will definitely go back again in the future. If it was closer (we had to drive 1 1/2 hours to get there) we'd probably go more often and take guests when they came to visit. We have a nephew who is totally in love with reptiles who would love this. We'd like to go back again when it is cooler (and my ankle is better) and walk the nature trail.

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Topic Links
* Visit the Reptile Zoo online

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fat Asses and Skinny Bitches Kind of Day

I was having a great day today. It usually is when I'm having a great day that someone seems to go out of their way to make sure it stops. So you think I wouldn't be surprised but I was.

After physio I had a couple errands, one of them was stopping at the grocery store to pick up bananas, canned tuna, and chicken breasts. I didn't even get a basket. I was walking down the last half of the isle leading up to the checkout when the voices of a few girls suddenly came into my radar.

"Is my ass that fat?" asked one. As I moved into line at the check out they stepped in behind me. Another replied.

"You could wrap me around your ass two or three times and your ass still wouldn't be as fat as hers." With the inflection she used on hers, I knew she was referring to me.

Yes, I have a fat ass. Duh! No rocket scientist needed for that. But there is still no excuse for being so incredibly rude. There are two words to describe what I felt at that moment: dumbfounded and angry.

Immediately following the above statement was a shush followed by giggling and a "I don't care."

Obviously, I felt they were talking about me. And if they weren't it was definitely some fattie in the immediate vicinity. Still rude and still uncalled for.

Now, I know I'm fat. But for another woman to be so incredibly rude really threw me. I wanted to turn around and say something so badly, and as an afterthought I probably should of. But at the time all I could think was if I turn around I will be arrested for battery and embarrass my husband (no he wasn't there but he'd have to come and bail me out).

A minute or so later the one with the mouth went past me to get a box for the groceries they were buying. And I immediately thought, there is a girl who thinks her shit doesn't stink. I bagged up my things and left. As I was pulling out and saw the girl with the mouth full of disrespect, I had my first look at the other two women she was with; another young slim girl and a slightly overweight older woman, probably one of the girl's moms. This seemed to bother me even more.

I've never been a fan of Mo'Nique's stand up comedy (but I love her movies) mainly because of her use of the term "skinny bitches". Something about it has always bothered me because, let's face it, not all skinny women can be clumped into one category like that just like fat women shouldn't be. But for the first time I feel like I truly understand what she means by "skinny bitches" because today I definitely had my first run in with one.

Now to let it go and get on with the rest of my day!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Sticking Out Your Neck

I came across a great quote today:
"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out." ~James Bryant Conant
I'm a totally visual person. I often relate difficult scenarios/decisions to taking a deep breath and stepping off a ledge but I think this one is much better. No?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

OMG! Book Giveaway

My online friend Keris Stainton has her first young adult book in print. Della Says: OMG! was published by Orchard Books in May of this year but because Keris lives in the U.K. the book wasn't immediately available here. Actually, it still isn't available on Amazon.com (boo) unless you own a Kindle and it's sold out at Amazon.ca where I bought two copies. One for myself and one for a blog giveaway right here. Yeah!
About the Book: Don't miss this fantastic debut novel - Keris Stainton is a fabulously contemporary, witty and fresh new voice who teen girls will adore. Della's over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party -- but then she discovers her diary has disappeared...When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della's distraught -- how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?

About the Author: Keris Stainton is a new, incredibly promising young writer, with a magazine journalist background and with her finger firmly on the pulse of what rocks in a teen girl's world. She co-edits the online reading group Chicklish ("Reader, I snogged him...") -- www.chicklish.co.uk. Keris also has her own books blog (fiveminutespeace.co.uk) in addition to her original blog -- www.keris-stainton.com.
Prize Details:
  • One copy of Della Says: OMG!
  • Retail value: $10
How to Enter:

For this giveaway there is the option of one to four entries. To get four entries you must leave a separate comment below for each method following these directions. You must include a contact email. To avoid your email getting spammed use this format: imagery [at] cogeco [dot] ca:
  • Main entry: This one is a must to enter. Leave a comment below telling us if you have ever kept a diary and worried about someone reading it. Easy peasy!
  • Second entry: Leave a comment below after you follow Keris on facebook. Include your facebook address in comment.
  • Third entry: Leave a comment below after you follow Keris on twitter. Include your twitter name in comment.
  • Bonus: Leave a comment below after you follow BigGirlBlue on twitter. Include your twitter name in comment.
Stipulations:

One entry per person is allowed -- suspicious entries with the same IP address will be deleted without notice. The lucky winner will be chosen from the comments at random, using random.org, on August 30, 2010 at 3 pm EST. This giveaway is sponsored by BigGirlBlue and I will be mailing the giveaway after the email and mailing address of the winner have been confirmed by myself (so make sure you enter the right email). This giveaway is open to person 18 years and older living in the United States or Canada only. Void where prohibited by law. The winner will have two weeks to claim the prize; after which time it will be rewarded to someone else.

UPDATE: The winner was announced in the comments below. Congratulations to Suzanne Culp-Veldpaus.


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Topic Links
* Keris Stainton's official website
* Della Says: OMG! on Kindle