Friday, August 21, 2015

Field trip

 Off to the animal park!  We went to visit Boulder Ridge animal preserve yesterday.  It's very near here and really interesting.  We can get very close to the animals and even feed them if you're so inclined to stick your hand in a giraffe's mouth.
 Again, if there is something to climb, Adelaide will find it.  They both took after this bear statue. Notice the notebook in Elizabeth's hand.  She was drawing pictures of each animal we saw. Bison, ostrich, emu, zebra, antelope, alligators, tortoise, porcupine, exotic birds, snakes, camels, giraffes, African cattle with lllloooonnnnngggg horns, pygmy goats, wildebeest, fenec fox, peacocks, and some I'm forgetting, I'm sure.  What's nice is most are close enough to touch and feed.
Except this guy.  The alligator looked to need dental care.   I commented he looked like he had been eating something very crunchy and maybe it was a child. (THAT got me a look from the woman standing next to me!)
We stood there discussing one of my favorite picture books.  If you have a fussy eater in your life, this is a good one.  The title always delivers!

 While Elizabeth drew
 Adelaide made friends with the iguana.  Notice the iguana's mouth.  He/she would put its paw up on the glass if Adelaide touched the glass.  She was mouthing a message to 'her' and the iguana responded with mouth movements.  This won Adelaide over completely.  "Grandma! I can talk iguana!"  and she named her Lana the Iguana and we had a hard time moving Adelaide on.  As we left she had to go one more time to say good-bye to Lana.
 The parakeets were wild birds.  I like birds but these were very aggressive and fought each other for the feed sticks, bit us and swarmed to the terror of the little kids who were inside.
 They were crazy aggressive.Here they were going after my shoes!
 One little boy was terrified and threw down his stick and this is the immediate result. Like I said, I like birds but these were quite scary.
 We could feed the animals.  And get this close to them. This guy liked his salad and Elizabeth wasn't afraid to feed it to him.
 If I was a little kid and had to pick a favorite animal I think after seeing these beauties so close I'd go with giraffe. What a feat in engineering this animal is!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Race for Paris

The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton

This is a good one.  The Race for Paris is a story based on true life experiences of female photographers in Europe during World War II.  I’m usually willing to read most fiction set during World War II because I’m always looking for a twist, something I didn’t know or consciously realize before.   And I’m fascinated with photography and especially the women pioneers in the field.   This story covers both.
Jane is a reporter for a Nashville newspaper and Liv is an Associated Press photographer.  They are posted  behind the lines, where women were supposed to be, covering the war in France.  Driven to be in Paris to document the liberation of Paris, Liv and Jane decide to go AWOL and with the help of Fletcher, a British photographer,  they make their way through the French countryside and into Paris, always dodging the Military Police who are looking for them thanks to Liv’s husband, a newspaper publisher back in New York.
If you’re a decent cook you can taste a recipe when you read it.  If you appreciate photography you can see a photo that is described to you.  The author was very careful to make sure we can see the photos Liv shot.  The friendship forged between Jane, Fletcher and Liv was transformative.  But how could it not be when in the middle of a war they put their lives in each other’s hands every day?   We see wartime photos everyday but often forget someone had to be in the thick of the battle to take that photo.
This story is based on the lives of real female wartime photographers, Margaret Bourke-White, Martha Gellhorn, Lee Miller.  It hit the spot for me in both of my WWII criteria.