Sunday, September 19, 2010

Detroit Zoo Trip

2010-09-08 Senior Day at Detroit Zoo

Well, this is not a birding blog, but we did encounter a few native birds along the way - mostly Turkey Vultures, House Sparrows, and a few gulls. And we got some cool pics in the aviary, but if you just want to read about Michigan birds, go to one of my other blogs. On the other hand, any day outdoors may produce unexpected results, so read on. This was a great day (hey, aren't they all?)! The neat thing about having a blog is that you can write what you want!

We learned about the free Senior Day at the Detroit Zoo from the Channel 4 newscast the night before. Free admission, free parking and free rides on the train! Geez! If they had handed out free lunches as well, we would never have found a place to park!

Judy had been pestering me to go back to the zoo. We had both decided that we would go after the kids were back in school. This was perfect! I guess the zoo holds two free Senior Days each year. Great idea! Thanks to all involved! The weather was quite pleasantly cool; it made for nice walking!

We hiked around and managed to see almost all of the animals. As we were nearing the end of the enclosures we had not yet seen, we stopped by the prairie dog unit. Cool! The p-doggies were "out and about"! I think they had just been thrown a bunch of leaves and they came out to chow down. We were taking lots of our best pics ever of these guys! Normally they just peek out of their holes.

Suddenly a golf cart rolls up and a photographer gets out to shoot the p-doggies.  I checked out the guy and told Judy to look at the fancy camera stuff. Ah, yes, another pro; we see them all the time during special birding times. He might get better pics than us, but we always love our experiences and have our own pics for memories - not pro stuff, but "just fine". The pics that precede and follow are Judy's pics with her Kodak 12x cam. I say "great stuff"!

(This guy is as photogenic as his camera equipment!)

I have seen some fancy cams at birding locations before, but this was quite impressive! It's sure not your home video cam! So I turn and look at the cart. I am amazed who I see!

Dr. Bob? Is that you?

Yes, it was Steve Garagiola of Channel 4 NBC news.!

Steve got out of the cart so we could celebrate and take photos. I've always enjoyed Steve's style of presenting news.

This was a really nice thing to do! Unasked! I was impressed that a man driven by daily deadlines would take the time!

And, I was really glad when Judy asked him her perpetual question (she asks me every time we see him on the news)! "Are you related to Joe Garagiola?" I always (kiddingly) say: "Ask him". (Right .. when will you ever be able to personally ask a TV anchor something? Well she did - and he is (follow the highlighted links).

What fun and an amazing meeting! We never met a TV anchor before, and probably will not again. We are so happy that Steve is so personable as to get out and pose for pics with us regular folks. It was obvious that we had nothing to do with his story line, but that is just how he is. Thanks, Steve!!!

And we want to thank his lovely assistant for using Judy's camera to snap a couple of pics of us together!

Oops! Time to go!

And off they went, leaving us some cool memories. Fun!!!

By the time we got home and turned on the news, Steve was many miles away and live-covering the aftermath of the massive fires that had been wind-swept across Detroit a few days before. I don't know why they call them anchors - they are certainly not weighed down in one spot!


By the way, I know I have a few birding blogs to publish. It turns out they are not so easy as this one. 1) I shoot way too many pics, and only look for the best, so I have lots of post-processing to do; 2) The zoo is easy. They label everything; 3) Specifically about this day, it is more about our experiences here, and not what we need to identify. Interesting! Words flow much better with knowledge.

(I'll probably add the aviary pics later. Yeah, I am post-processing... The neatest was the gray bird that turned metallic blue when the flash fired!)