Wednesday, January 15, 2014

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Monkeying around

It has been a while since I joined in with Auntie Leila and the girls to share some contentment.

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

 at Like Mother, Like Daughter! 
{pretty & happy}
Yesterday, our monthly  museum science classes resumed. The night before my friend dropped off her kids so they could ride in to Houston with us. This has to be half of the fun: a mid week sleep over with your pals! 

After an early drive into Houston, Lilly and I decided to spend our waiting time together at the Houston Zoo.

We walked over from the museum and arrived just as they opened. No one told the animals, they slept in. We were disappointed that we saw none of the cats, big or little,  unless I cheat and add meerkats to the feline family, which I can't. Oh, did you know a family group of meerkats is called a gang, mob or clan? They are always a treat. Lilly wanted one for a pet, but the keeper told her that she couldn't have one ...she'd have to have a whole gang.

The elephants were up getting their bath. We were not disappointed with these old pals as Lilly will sit and watch the elephants as long as I would let her, 
which today was about twenty minutes.

The giraffes were up and out. I guess the giraffes have no choice as their garage doors open for them to exit, and close behind them. Unfortunately, they never do anything too terribly exciting.

I would have stayed longer to watch the sea lions, but they didn't impress Lilly. I thought they were lots of fun. She didn't and wasn't interested in watching the sea lions perform tricks for food, no matter how much I tried to convince her this was a rare treat to watch.

I enjoy these times with just us. It's fun to only have one person to watch, feed, (buy tickets for) and keep up with. We have nice talks and discuss fun three year old view points.

I did not convince her these were lemurs. She was quite indignant and disappointed that her very own mom did not know what a raccoon was.

The monkeys were all very tired, or very lazy. She suggested they were actually sad, and not just tired or bored.

I think she might have a point:

I'd rather think they were still waiting for breakfast.

I only saw one orangutan, and she came home with me.

today's stamp for reentering the zoo- a monkey. 
Her very own to take home.

pre historic monkey

The weather was the perfect spring like weather ... in January. I don't want to look at the forecasts, I'll just hope we have days like this for months! Perfect for our picnic lunch.

The afternoon exhibit was interesting. It was the cave paintings of Lascaux. In the 1940's in France, some boys' dog disappeared in a small cave in the ground, and soon reappeared. The boys decided to check it out and discovered cave paintings that the experts estimate to be about 18,000 years old.
Houston Museum of Natural Science has a full 1/10th scale model of the caves, and a room of reproduced paintings, as well as many photos, stories, hands on tools to understand more about this discovery. Enough for a full day study.  I wish we had studied a little before arriving, but it didn't enter my list of priorities. It would have made it a better experience. As it was, it was pretty interesting.

One of the moms in our group treated a us to a docent who made the exhibit come to life.

 This painting  below was interesting: a field of horses was painted first, then at some other time, maybe even some other tribe of peoples, came and painted the black cow in front of the horses. 
It is fun/ funny to listen to the guesses of whats and whys and how they knows of things from eighteen thousand years ago, and to listen to the questions home school kids come up with to challenge the hypothesis. The docent said he really enjoyed working with our group for all the delightful questions.

We were told about the mutation in humans toward blue eyes and light hair a necessity for living in areas without much sun, so that the lighter skin could soak in vitamin D. Interesting..

Very life like statues, we expected them to move!

Our docent suggested the reindeer below were crossing a river, or even asked us to consider whether is could be one deer crossing at different time points. The ancient artist used the coloring and slant of the wall to represent water of a river. Our docent wanted us to realize that cavemen were just like us. They were not dumb, as he was taught as a child;  they were sophisticated and talented. For example: see lady's hat above and clothing they wore so long ago.

Okay, one last thing, a weird fact about Lascaux:


The cave is closed to the public after signs of deterioration appear, caused by carbon dioxide from the breath of visitors. 
HMNS had an interactive exhibit to show how this worked. Lots of food for thought.


  1. What a joyful adventure with your daughter in the zoo! I wonder about the monkeys, too, looking at the photos...

    Isn't it nice to walk away from a museum with lots of answers but also with lots of questions?

    Thank you for sharing. Very beautiful photos, indeed, especially that of the little orangutan :-)

    Blessings to your days.

  2. Thank you, Marcia. Wishing you a blessed day as well!

  3. Wow, what a day! Sounds like a wonderful exhibit. I'll have to look into that, it seems like something that would be a great day trip for us.

  4. Looks like a fun day for you and your daughter! I especially like the reindeer picture.