Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Poem for Wednesday and Baltimore Penguins

A Bird Songs
By Christina Rossetti

It’s a year almost that I have not seen her:
Oh, last summer green things were greener,
Brambles fewer, the blue sky bluer.

It’s surely summer, for there’s a swallow:
Come one swallow, his mate will follow,
The bird race quicken and wheel and thicken.

Oh happy swallow whose mate will follow
O’er height, o’er hollow! I’d be a swallow,
To build this weather one nest together.


I had a most excellent Tuesday even though the car was in the shop and needed a few hundred dollars' worth of maintenance. Paul got up early and worked from home so that in the mid-afternoon, we could drive to Baltimore for the Maryland Zoo's Penguin Coast grand opening for penguin parents, a.k.a. people who have adopted penguins at the zoo!

The main purpose of the new enclosure is breeding and conservation, but it also lets visitors get closer to the penguins. The zoo is closed this week to prepare for the exhibit's opening to the public, so the penguin parents had it to ourselves. We got free carousel and train rides (something we'd never done before!) plus cookies and popcorn and a tour of the facility.

As penguin adopters, we were invited to the grand opening of Penguin Coast before the public could visit this weekend.

We got there just as the penguins were being fed.

I don't speak penguin but they appeared quite happy with their new home.

The enclosure is designed to have the kind of rocky coast and buildings that they would live among in Africa.

Plus it has a wave tank...

...that goes over the underwater viewing area so visitors can stand under the water.

There were games and science activities for kids...

...and we got to meet penguin ambassador Winnie!

We picked up the car on the way home from Baltimore and had chili for dinner. Then we watched the excellent Finding Your Roots on PBS (Stephen King, Gloria Reuben, Courtney B. Vance) before the season premiere of Agents of SHIELD (awesome opening, snore as soon as Skye appeared) and the second episode of Forever (still liking, like the women as much as Ioan)!

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