Hiking and the Zoo

I did some hiking this weekend with my new boots. They are incredible! I need to remember to get new boots a little earlier next time. While I was out on the trail, I ran into a painted turtle. I think this was the first painted turtle I've seen in New England where it wasn't just sticking its head out of the water. This dude was strutting across the trail like he owned the place. I crept in to get a picture, but when I was about 10 feet away he must have either heard me or felt the vibration from my foot steps because he quickly pulled his head and legs into his shell. Shortly there after he peed out the back of his shell onto the trail. I wonder if recoiling into his shell squishes his bladder, or if I scared him. I hope I didn't scare him since I just wanted a picture. This brought back memories of when I was little and would pickup toads. It seemed that without fail they would pee into my hand. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why I kept picking up every toad I saw even knowing that they would pee on me. I guess I wasn't the brightest kid.

Today on Fathers Day I went to Southwick's Zoo. I would have gone with my dad, except that he's 2000 miles away :-( Anyways when I got there I found out it was free since I was a father. I was about to explain that I wasn't a father and pay, but the young lady did this little shake of her head and give me a wink so I felt obliged to accept my free ticket. I see on their website than I can make donations to this zoo so I plan on doing later tonight. I'm not a huge fan of zoos since I always feel a little bad for the animals being caged, but I do recognize that animals in zoos today are treated well. They usually live longer lives in captivity than they would in the wild. Also you need to consider the amount of benefit kids and adults get from the educational experience that zoos offer. With that said if I was one of those animals I'd gladly take the shorter life in my natural habitat rather than those cages.


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