Thursday, April 30, 2009

Creatures Great and Small

To culminate our March lion unit, I wanted to take the children to a local zoo to see a real lion. A zoo trip would also add variety to our study of birds this month, and our entire family enjoys outings that involve animals. Last Thursday, with Don having the week off from daytime work, it was the perfect opportunity to sing, "Daddy's taking us to the zoo..." as the four of us drove to Boston to visit Franklin Park Zoo.

The Lord blessed us with a sunny day (we had expected some rain) and free admission thanks to the pass from our local library. In spite of icy winds, we were able to enjoy several hours of siteseeing, covering the entire zoo without finding it to be too much or too little. Our first stop was a close encounter with an ostrich - one of the most distinct members of the bird family!

Soon we spotted one lion and two tigers (no bears, oh my). The lion was sleeping, as lions often do, but it was still exciting to see a real one before our eyes after learning so much about them. (And don't worry, this picture was taken with a zoom lens through a thick sheet of glass!)

We saw all kinds of interesting birds, from chickens and swans to condors, ibis, flamingos, and free-ranging peacocks. In the Bird's World building, we were dazzled by birds with brilliant colors, and amused by a duck that sounded just like a cat!

Thanks to the exhibits in the Tropical Forest, we also came face-to-face with a mandrill, a gorilla, a couple of silly monkeys!

I have been to about eight different zoos in recent years, yet each time I discover new creatures of which I had never heard. Observing the vast variety of nature is a powerful reminder to me of God's awesome creativity. What human could have conceived of feathers, fins, stripes, spots, and all of the amazing and amusing creatures that exist? From the mighty lion to the silly ostrich to the common sparrow, it took the wisdom and ingenuity of an Almighty Creator to make each one unique. What an awesome God we serve!

How many are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.

Psalm 104:24

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