The dadventure is afoot!

Lunch with old friends

We’ve been to Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan before on few occasions, but there’s just something about

feeding giraffes

that keeps us coming back year after year.

Of course, my Anna, the animal lover extraordinaire, can’t get enough of these beautiful creatures.  Who can blame her?  They’re beautiful, peaceful, quiet, charming… and taller than a house.

Anyway, the highlight of any trip to Binder Park is visiting the giraffes.  Up on a platform at one extreme edge of their grassland home, visitors can purchase giraffe crackers (?) or lettuce leaves to feed the gentle giants.  We arrived early in the day, before the crowds, and had to wait for the giraffes to notice us.  When they did, they sauntered over, greeted us with looks from those giant, soulful eyes of theirs, and proceeded to…

stick their tongues out at us.

It turns out that giraffe tongues are as remarkable as giraffe necks.  Well, almost.  Anyway, they’re long and friendly and able to manoeuvre through a rope fence with ease when they’re lunch to be had.

Oh – along the path to the giraffe feeding platform are some fun looking, but overly stereotyped, ‘African’ masks on the fence.  Anna thought she ought to mimic them, and I thought I ought to take her picture while she did it.

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22 responses

  1. Beautiful pics. I have never been so close to giraffes:)

    July 15, 2013 at 1:00 am

    • And who’d have thought I would be that close to them, here in Michigan?

      Hope you’re doing well, M!

      July 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm

  2. Beautiful pics, Sid! You take some of the coolest outings with your girls; what an awesome dad you are!

    July 15, 2013 at 3:32 am

    • Aw, thanks Juli. The thing is, you see all the cool things we do posted here, and what you don’t see are all the boringboringboring days. But this is a seriously cool outing. Seriously cool.

      July 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  3. Great shots, Sid!

    July 15, 2013 at 4:04 am

  4. Lovely pictures and precious memories, Sid:)

    July 15, 2013 at 4:40 am

    • They totally are, Peri. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, Anna or me. :)

      July 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm

  5. This post brightened my day! That last photo of the giraffe with the full-front face shot, was exactly what I saw one time as we drove through a wild safari type park in Texas decades ago. Your giraffe triggered a memory! With our windows rolled down from the extreme heat, several animal species followed our car in hopes of some peanuts or feed (which you could buy a small bag of at the entry gate). Too cheap to pay what they wanted for feed, I opted just to drive through the park and observe. Let me tell you, Ms. Giraffe was not happy that we had no food to offer. She made a horrendous grunting noise while her nose poked inside the window. For a while I thought she was determined to hold us hostage until she got a snack. Finally, she spotted the next car and moved on! An ostrich was an even scarier creature, who stuck her whole head in the car and terrorized us for what seemed an eternity! The last scare of the day was a ram that seemed to consider our car a territorial threat. He charged us twice! I have never visited a safari-type park since!

    Glad you had a safe and fun time!!

    July 15, 2013 at 11:42 am

    • Good grief, Lori! If you weren’t looking for such close encounters, that had to be quite the drive. Anna and I were talking about whether giraffes made any noise, and based on our experience could only say, nope, they don’t. But then, we WERE feeding them. :)

      Love brightening a day and calling up memories – as long they’re not too awful.

      July 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm

  6. Excellent shots of the old Camelidae Camelini Camelus even though I cannot tell whether they are Bactrianus or Dromedarius. Yeah, call me a wise guy as OF COURSE I looked that up. Good shots of your daughter as well, Sid. That does sound like a fun outing and I am hoping you are also doing good, my friend!!!!! I have seen camels in a zoo but I am always so overwhelmed by the primates and cats that I rarely remember the other critters. The only scientific name I seem to ever remember is a fossil snail named after the late, great philosopher, musician, and composer Frank Zappa called Amaurotoma zappa. I guess strange people remember strange things in taxonomy and I am strange and so was Frank. I love one of his many quotes such as “I never set out to be weird. It was always other people who called me weird” or one I take to heart “The mind is like a parachute.
    It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.”

    July 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    • An ancient snail named for Frank Zappa. That’s awesome. But, dude, you’ve mixed up camels and giraffes! Just giving you some crap for that, Louis.

      I’ve doing well the last four days or so, but that hasn’t been the case consistently of late. Ah, well. Thanks for asking. :)

      July 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

  7. What an incredible mess up. Perhaps I should leave comedy to the experts so I am appropriately leaving with another Zappa quote that seems quite pertinent while I go hide in embarrassment.

    Louis – Homo stupidious

    “Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.”

    July 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    • Hahahaha – no worries, Louis. I LIKE that Zappa quote.

      July 15, 2013 at 6:16 pm

  8. There are unlimited quotes from Zappa but one has to censor one’s self on a family-friendly blog!!!!

    July 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm

  9. Lovely post.

    But if I may ask, do you really need to feed giraffes? Nature has endowed them to take advantage of the best feeds available.


    July 18, 2013 at 8:24 am

    • I appreciate that comment, Shakti. Even after years of thought, I’m not sure how supportive I am of zoos in general. One thing zoos do that I love is provide conservation assistance to endangered and threatened wildlife. I don’t know that giraffes fall into that category, but they do offer the zoo visitors the opportunity to learn about them, and of course these magnificent animals are roaming freely throughout a sizable prairie/grassland area. They come to the visitors as they wish, and otherwise eat as wild giraffes do.

      Thanks for visiting and for your kind words, Shakti!

      August 14, 2013 at 8:25 pm

  10. I love these pictures! So much fun! We went to a Zoo in Colorado Springs where they had the giraffes below you and I had never been to one like that! So cool :)

    July 25, 2013 at 12:19 am

    • Isn’t that a remarkable thing, Amanda? Did you have the opportunity to give them something to eat? Giraffe tongues are quite the things. They’re such gentle creatures, too. Yep – so cool.

      August 14, 2013 at 8:28 pm

  11. Loved the pics in here! can’t decide who is more adorable in these pics- Anna or the gentle giant! :)

    November 25, 2013 at 5:08 am

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