Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Enjoying the ‘Good Old Days’

R & J's Good Old Days Petting Zoo.

For those of my followers who aren’t aware, I am pregnant – 8 and a half months along to be exact (which explains the lack of blogging adventures from me this year). This will be my last blog until after I come back from maternity leave. You won’t have to wait long, however, because the minute I’m back I plan on missing deer, not catching fish, and tripping over air just for your amusement!

I had to make my temporary blogging departure a good one. Since no one would let me shoot any animals while pregnant, I chose to spend a day petting them. (I know that sounds harsh – but remember my actual hunting record. I don’t see many frightened animals when they cross my path – or any for that matter).

I invited my friend Autumn, her three children, and my 12-year-old friend, Hunter (you may remember her from my letterboxing adventures), to go to R & J’s Good Old Days Petting Zoo with me.

Our tour guide, young Lauren Klein, met us at the beginning of the first barn and so began our journey. We first viewed pigs (huge, fat ones) and their adorable little piglets. Then we saw a goat, and what looked like an ox crossed with a camel. It’s 2010 and I figured anything was possible, although I’m not sure why anyone would want to breed those two animals. As it turns out, the ox-camel creature was in fact a zebu. They are domestic breeds of oxen found in India. Somehow this guy made it all the way to Mexico, NY!

Cute little piglets!

These animals are spoiled!

This is what a zebu looks like! I should have gotten a better picture of his hump.

Before leaving the first barn we saw some more pigs (and some more cute little piglets in the maternity ward), a rooster, donkeys and more goats.

Evan feeding the donkeys.

Hanging out with the pigs in the maternity ward :)

Our next stop was the barn where the kids could interact more closely with the animals. As we entered, we were greeted by a friendly pot-belled pig named Cheeto. The kids got to hold chicks, little bunnies, rabbits and watch a tortoise move. The excitement of watching a tortoise move two steps in twenty minutes is indescribable, so I’ll spare you all the astonishing details.

Greeted by Cheeto!

Eion and Evan playing with an adorable little bunny.

I think he wants one! Sorry mom!

Not so sure she does.

I'm pretty sure this is an angora rabbit - but don't quote me on that!

Employee Donna Woodruff hands a chick to Hunter.

He was plotting his escape here, he tried right after I took the photo but was unsuccesful.

Beautiful little creature.

Lauren using cheetos to bribe Cheeto to "sit". He listens better than my dogs!

The boys loved the tortoise!

After the tortoise excitement, I found Hunter in the goat pen wrangling up a goat. It was the closest thing to a rodeo I’ve seen in years. Instead of following suit of the younger kids, and holding out a handful of feed hoping that a shy little goat will finally come over to her, she took matters into her own hands. Luckily everyone survived and there was a big payoff for the goat at the end when Hunter gave him a handful of delicious treats.

He thinks he's safe...

Not for long! Hunter caught him!

Next we met Joe the Camel. Can I just say that camels are MUCH bigger in person. I guess I don’t get out much, but I always pictured a camel as the size of a pony, or a donkey. I was wrong. It’s a good thing I do these blogging adventures, because I learn a lot. I also learned Joe had a fondness for my friend’s stroller.

Joe tried to eat Ben...

...but he opted for the stroller instead!

We stopped by the llama and alpaca corral, where I watched Merle the llama try to put the moves on everyone who walked by. He made you feel like the only one, until you walked away and he was planting kisses on the next person. What a Player.

Merle's first kiss attack on Hunter.

Probably his 4th or 5th kiss by this point.

Hunter had to have a little chat with Merle to let him down gently, he just wasn't her type.

So he moved on to me!

The Mrs. looked on disapprovingly while she watched over their little one. Looks like Merle is sleeping in the dog house tonight.

Cutest little alpaca I've ever seen!

Straight out of a Dr. Suess book!

After we left the llamas and alpacas, probably breaking Merle’s heart, we headed over to the elk pasture. The kids had a blast feeding bread to the elk, especially the bold ones who stuck their faces between the openings in the gate to get closer to the food.

The kids waiting for the elk to run down the pasture for feeding time.

They loved bread!

Why hello there.

"Feed us!!"

I never realized how beautiful elk were until seeing them up close.

No animals were as bold as the cows that followed us on our last adventure of the day – the hayride. A few of them tried to get up on the wagon to get the food. It’s a good thing they don’t have the coordination to accomplish such a task or else Hunter would be wrangling cows – which are much bigger than goats.

He chased us down the trail.

He ran to the end and waited for the tractor to stop. He knows what comes next!

He kept trying to get up on the wagon.

Roger, owner of R & J's, gives in to one of the cows and feeds him some bread.

Someone needs to teach them not to beg.

While the cows continuously attempted to get on the wagon, we got to throw food to the fallow deer. There were tons of them and they were beautiful! There were some spotted, light brown and even some white deer!

All of the different colored fallow deer!

These were the brave deer, the rest hid in the back hoping a piece would fly to them.

Happy little fallow deer.

Finally, after exhausting the food supply, we headed back to the farm. The cows showed no interest in us by this point and left to go hang out under the shade of a big tree. When we got back to the farm we did the most logical thing after a rough day of hanging out with animals – we got some grub at the food mobile! No adventure is ever complete unless a hearty meal comes after. In our case the hearty meal was French fries and soda. I said hearty not healthy. They also had hamburgers, hot dogs, fried dough and much more!

Hunter waits for her food at the food mobile.

I want to thank the owners of R & J’s, Roger and Janet Delong, for providing such a great time at their petting zoo. It’s such a hidden little gem in Oswego County. They just opened this past year and if you haven’t been there yet – then you need to get moving! Admission is very reasonable and there is so much to do that even the adults have fun. They are open on weekends, and their address is 590 Co. Rte. 41, Mexico, NY 13114 (they are on the corner of Co. Rte. 41 and Spath Rd.). Their website is http://www.randjsgoodolddays.com/.

I can't forget to mention they have pony rides!

They have many more animals, like this buffalo above, I just didn't have time to photograph them all or write about them. Make sure you check it out for yourself!