Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Absolutely Awesome Activity!

Our friend Julieanne set up a tour of James Coffey's house for us. Her husband George maintains aquatic tanks for people and James is one of his clients. This man's basement is a reptile lovers DREAM! When you walk in there is a tank with a crocodile (about 4 ft), alligator (maybe 3 1/2 feet) and a caimen (the smallest, maybe 3 feet), it is so weird to walk in and be greeted by such fierce predators! James showed us a bunch of animal skins, pelts and skeltons, the kids were really fascinated! We headed into the next room where there were boas, an albino python, a huge fishtank, and a huge tank full of lizards. He had done an amazing job of building enclosures for all of his creatures. There were also display cases full of embolmed animals and more skeltons. He uses the animals to make replicas for display, teaching purposed and movies. We watched as he fed crickets to the lizards! He answered all the kids questions.

Next we headed into the back room. A HUGE tortoise was happily munching on an apple. Our attention was soon drawn to the 4 tanks FULL of mice, dinner for the snakes! Emily and Hannah both commented that it was a good thing our friends the Ridimans weren't with us because they would have wanted to rescue the very cute little mice! Kas has many a story of her girls "saving" rodents from being fed to larger predators at the pet store and I doubt yesterday would have been any different, I know Tabby would have charmed the grandfatherly James out of at least the cutest of the bunch! Besides the tortoise, the room held numerous snakes (probably close to 20) and box after box of tarantulas! James had just recently finished working on a book on tarantulas and shared some of his knowledge with the kids. There were also some more reptiles (a blue tongued skink and a leopard gecko are the only two whose names I can remember!). We saw numerous skins and sheds from his assorted "zoo"!

Like I said, an absolutely awesome outing! Cade was in heaven and I could see the wheels in Miss Emily's head just a turning (she wants to do animal rescue when she is older). From the outside of the house you would have never guessed the treasures that it held!

Once we were finished we headed up to pick up my dad from dialysis. It was the first time I had more than two of the kids with me and I could tell it was overwhelming for my dad! Unfortunately our schedule is starting to fill up on Tuesday mornings, so it is likely it will happen again soon. I will have to figure out a way to "bribe" the little ones into being quiet at dad's! Guess I could always threaten to go back and feed them to the alligator, crocodile and caimen!

On an amusing sidenote, James is missing his one thumb. Of course we all "assumed" it must have been lunch for one of his many "pets" but when one of the kids asked he said he lost the thumb to a punch press when he was younger and working!

No comments: