The Zoo and Mushu

It was an absolutely beautiful day here! It must have gotten close to 67 or 68 degrees, and it has been COLD for quite a while. Today SHOULD have been a quilting day for Jennifer and I, but it was just too pretty to stay inside so we decided to take the kids to the zoo.

Here the four kids are sitting on a baby elephant statue in front of the zoo. I think every kid and quite a few adults that come to the zoo have to sit on this elephant. The finish is quite worn off on top from all the little bottoms that have sat there.

The big highlight was the playground. There is a really awesome tree there, a perfect climbing tree, that also shows a lot of wear. Mini-me and Munchie both like to get up in the tree and since I took my camera this time, I took their picture. The other picture shows Jennifer watching three of the kids on a teeter-totter type thing. The kids all had a great time. We actually made it most of the way through the zoo as a lot of the animals are put in warm places for the winter.

One of my favorite animals are the tigers. Once Mini-me and Munchie and I got there early enough in the morning that we actually got to see them feed the tigers. That was COOL! That is the most I have ever seen them move other than to pace the fence. They are beautiful creatures. Mini-me likes the crocodiles and the snakes. And, naturally, we saw ducks and geese there so he had to “shoot” some…LOL.
I don’t know who was more tired after we finished, the kids or Jenn and I! (I am actually NOT fooling myself – it was Jenn and I!).
Mini-me, Munchie, and I went to Mema’s (my mom) after the zoo. Mom was up feeding the horses, so we helped with that, then Mini-me pestered Mom for some marshmallows. [Seems Dad had fed him some marshmallows while babysitting them when I was in a meeting. He NEVER forgets a source of candy, marshmallows, or sweets. He has definitely inherited my family’s sweet tooth! Munchie is like Jeff and can take them or leave them – more often leave them.] The long and short of it is we had to go inside so Mini-me could check out the marshmallow situation and both could get a drink. He also knew EXACTLY which cupboard Grandpa kept them in and made sure to point out to Mema where they were…LOL. So the kids ate some marshmallows while Mom and I talked.
Mom and Dad are going to visit Dad’s mom, Helen, in Arizona for a few days, so Mom and I had to discuss “horsekeeping” items as the kids and I will feed while they are gone. I also need to haul some manure from the stalls and get it on my gardens SOON or it will be too late for this year. I had toyed with the idea of doing it today, but the zoo won out. Jeff had the truck anyway……
A close friend, Cathy, asked why I hadn’t posted any pictures of Mushu, our Oriental Firebelly Toad. Hadn’t had time????? She laughed.
So Cathy, since you haven’t got to meet him yet – here is Mushu the Magnificent AKA Cinderella, Ribbit, and other names the kids come up with at times.
I had to clean his home out today, so that was the best time to photograph him. You can see how the toads got their name from the bright orange and black stripes on his belly. His top side is a mixture of brown and green with the black stripes. Ain’t he cute?! He is actually about an inch and a half long from the tip of his nose to his bony bottom.

You can see in this first picture his “home” after I took it apart to clean it. It is a Backyard Safari Habitat and can be used for things like frogs or bugs. Mema got it and Mushu for the kids for Christmas. Mom and my brother, Bob, also got each of the kids “bug vacuums” for backyard safaris. I can see this summer we might have some interesting critters in the house….LOL.

The other pictures are of Mushu waiting around for me to clean his house. He actually tried to escape on me tonight and jumped out of my hand on to the floor. Not good, Mushu… least he didn’t end up squashed!

The last photo shows him in his pounce position. I read on-line that fire-bellied toads can very rarely be trained to eat from your hand…..Mushu will almost attack when you put a cricket in there! It is great to watch…and hard not to flinch when he jumps and grabs a cricket off your hand.
The only problem is that those darn little crickets are expensive! Mushu is small enough we have found he can eat the pinhead crickets really well. Small crickets would be fine, but the closest local supplier’s small crickets are almost grasshoppers! “Mush” just can’t choke those down. So, I am looking for an alternative for crickets. I am trying mealworms, but I am not sure how that will work.

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