Sunday, April 13, 2008

Virtual Fieldtrip - Bison, and Zebras, and Emus - Oh My!

Please come with me on a virtual field trip to an exotic zoo in Morristown, TN. It's called Briarwood Ranch and boasts hundreds of exotic and endangered animals. Hundreds of acres of land provide for a day of fun feeding lots of different creatures.

Kelly, Wendy, all of the children, and myself spent a day at Brairwood Ranch. It was a day to remember. Come along and I'll share our day with you...

First, we climbed onto a large wagon. Immediately, we were surrounded by animals who knew of the goodies awaiting them...buckets of animal food! Within 30 seconds the wagon was surrounded by all kinds of animals...

There were bison.

Endangered deer from all over the world.
Texas longhorns. (Really, do not mess with Texas!)
Billy Goats.
We even had a few bunnies on the wagon! Right, Zach?

The driver drove the tractor-pulled-wagon into the ranch and then he stopped off-and-on. We saw many different animals along the way, and each stop seemed to surprise us with a new kind. Everyone got to feed the animals! We all had an absolute BLAST!

The funniest thing that happened that day was when a HUGE bison galloped right beside the wagon and jumped on top of a HUGE Texas longhorn. One of the boys said, "Look Mom! The bison's trying to get a piggy-back!" I nearly fell off my wagon - no pun intended! Ha-ha! How could I say, "No honey, he's not trying to get a piggyback. You see, it's mating season for the bison!" Let's just say we left the ranch with every child thinking that bison take piggybacks on Texas longhorns! Geez!

Here's a few (well, more like a LOT) of pictures of us feeding the animals:

Caleb and the emu.

Eli and the emu.

Franklin feeding the emu.

Wes doesn't want to get too close. He figures the animals can eat their food off the ground. Come 'n get it!

Weston feeds the llama. Then, he says, "Now, llama - go get food from my mama."
Here little llama, llama, llama... C'mere girl....

Eli and Caleb call from the wagon.

Franklin is patient, and it pays off. Some of the animals were a little skittish, but they always seemed to flock to Franklin.
Kelly giving a rub!
Oh my, help me Lord! Please don't let it eat my ear!
Mason feeding a sweet little billy goat.

And, a bison...
Eli gets to pet all of the animals around the wagon.
Braden is thinking...this is too close for comfort.

Franklin petting a wild deer that is found only in Africa...except for the few on this ranch in TN. They were beautiful!

Mason feeding a zebra. Yes, it's really Mason. Yes, it's really a zebra! How cool is that!?

Franklin feeding a .... hmmm... not sure... but he's feeding something! Here's a few more pictures of everyone enjoying the day together.

Caleb and Weston - so excited about the wild tractor ride!

Sam, Braden, and Wes. Sam and Wes are twins, but they are so different in front of the camera.
Weston and Me - Mommy

The three sisters! Me, Kelly and Wendy. Who do you think is the oldest?!?
Weston and Caleb
Wes and Kelly
Kelly and Wendy - my two sissies!!

Don't ask... That's me...
Camden and Sam - Let me out! Let me out!
Me and Mason - he's growing up!

Franklin is ready to feed more animals!

Eli snapping some shots!

Mason and Sam - cozy cousins!
Kelly - I think someone almost lost a finger! Nibble, nibble, munch...
Braden (our 4 year old that thinks his mother wears pajamas to church) and Me - Mommy
Eli and Weston - Best Buds!

Mason...all smiles!
Sam (He's such a Ham!) and Kelly :-)
Sam - the Ham! It's Sam, I am!

After feeding all of the wild animals, our guide allowed us to feed some of their very dangerous and extremely rare animals. It was frightening because they were very aggressive about getting their food! Get out of the way! It was hard to get good shots because they all ate the food so quickly, but this was the best I could do...

Hey, I think I have found I way to save on our grocery budget! Just buy some animal feed! In fact, I might open my own wild animal farm and allow people to purchase buckets of food! "Come Feed Tennessee's Most Amazing Wild Beasts and Critters! Only $5 a bucket for food! Or 10 for $10 - that's $1 a bucket people! Come on, what a deal!" Any takers?

I've decided the boys could really be country boys! Today reminded my of that old John Denver song, "Thank God, I'm a Country Boy." Don't we all look like we would enjoy life on a farm with lots of animals?

We had a wonderful day together. It was amazing to see God's creation up close. It was great to relax, have fun, and be silly! What a joy!

Finally, I had to share this picture. It made me think of what I must look like if I think about something too long... Hmmmm...

Thanks for sharing our day with us! If you are ever in Tennessee, we will take you there for a REAL field trip!


Anonymous said...

Robin, looks like fun. However, I don't think someone who won't even get a dog could live on a farm with lots of wild animals! Love You! Amy

Becki party of 5 said...

Thanks for the virtual field trip! Maybe we'll take you up on your offer and come for the real thing one of these days! :)