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Der erste Advent (Adventskalender, December 3)

Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt…

Today, the Advent calendar provides a friend for the little black cat. Maybe when I’m not looking, they run around the barn and chase each other, but when I pay attention, the gray cat only sits there.

Adventskalender, December 3

See, the scene is already getting more interesting.

In other news, Ganesh and I went to the zoo’s new Asia Trail today, stopping by the Small Mammal House and the Elephant House on the way. Very few people visit the zoo at 10:30 am on a Sunday morning when it’s 38 degrees (F) out. Except for the photo clubs apparently because there were a bunch of people in the Small Mammal House, taking pictures with those professional-looking cameras that have real lenses and such. There was a lot to photograph among the small mammals. The Meerkats had a baby, and they were all tumbling over each other around it. So very cute. Aside from playing with the tiny baby Meerkat, the other scheduled activity was digging. Lots of digging. There was also at least one baby Golden Tamarind (I’m not sure I’m spelling this right), and the parents were handing it back and forth, and carrying it on their backs. The rock cavies were very preoccupied, sitting on rock shelves and looking like deep thinkers. All bunched up together, blending into the rocks and thinking profound thoughts no doubt.

Outside the Small Mammal House, we also had a wonderful encounter with one of the zoo’s beavers. He came out of the water and went around sniffing the fallen branches and leaves, possibly looking for a snack. I stood a mere few feet from this lovely animal, which looked a lot larger than they do on TV. He even sat up a couple of times and did that adorable sniffing-around thing rodents do. Of course I love watching the beavers, they are the largest rodents in North America.

And speaking of large rodents, we took a moment to say hi to the capybaras in the Elephant House. The zoo is planning to expand the elephants’ enclosure (finally! those magnificent animals need lots more space) but this also means that the other animals sharing the space will have to find other zoos to live in. The giraffe has already moved to Tampa and the capybaras may soon leave Washington, if they can find a properly accredited space for them elsewhere. I will be sad if they do go, as I love watching them. If you have a chance, go see them now, before they move away as well. It’s the world’s largest rodent, how can you say no to that?


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