I was at the Albuquerque Zoo / BioPark (with friends) for a concert last night and it couldn't have been much better. The weather cooperated, the concert was, well...spicy in a cajun sort of way and knee-slappin' fun, Gail brought the food (and a table and tablecloth AND a candle), Ed provided drinks, I donated carrots and dark chocolate (an interesting gourmet combination) and the crowd was friendly and colorful.
It was a night of toe tappin', arm swingin' music, covert people watchin', friendly camaraderie and dang good food and drink - all done in camp chairs spread as far as you could see on green grass beneath peacock laden trees. (I am choosing to leave out lengthy commentary on forgetting my hair tie and considering a bungie as an option to pull my hair off my neck, inadvertantly locking my keys in my trunk and not realizing it until the end of the night, and other self-inflicted and unimportant incidentals of an otherwise marvelous night).
Back to the topic....yes, peacocks. In the trees. And some struttin' their stuff on the ground too. Real peacocks, not men. Birds with beautiful long feathers. (sheesh)
AND, cottontails...genuine honest-to-gosh, look-like-they're-stuffed-but-they're-real cotton tailed bunny rabbits. (wanderin' free near the condor aviary, which made me a bit nervous); they were hoppin' all over the place, and so cute!
And, that's not all, we also saw New Mexico's famed grey wolf, an endangered species. We saw two, in fact, and they were beautiful animals the size of a german shepherd.
And flamingos (just like in the picture >), and bald eagles and monkeys (not in the same cage)....and more!
Now, in case you are wondering, the animals - with the exception of the peacocks, were not sharing the concert venue with us, they were safely sequestered in their respective "natural habitat" spaces SURROUNDING the concert venue. Now, why doesn't that give me a sense of comfort? Anyway, during a break in the concert (before dark), we were able to wander some parts of the zoo and visit with some of the non-human zoo inhabitants. They weren't much for conversation, but they did stop for a minute and look at us curiously - well, the bunnies didn't, they were too busy hoppin'around , probably lookin' for a partner and a place (altho something tells me that they aren't real particular) to continue their prolific habits. (speaking of strutting peacocks, how about bouncing bunnies?)
I would have watched those bouncing bunnies all night, but it was suggested that I should listen for the lions; I took the advise very seriously. It made me wonder just how close the lion enclosure was AND if cajun music was especially appealing to the huge felines AND if the cages were securely locked. I suddenly had a vision of lions roaring in a kind of sing-a-long effort, then came the thought of the wolves howling in harmony - and then, how long would it be before the monkeys started banging on bongos?!? We could have had our own zoo symphony, a sort of Doctor Doolittle band.
And we did, but not with the wild animals or Doctor Doolittle: "The cajun band, Fuefollet, is just like a classic gumbo, Cajun music is fresh, spicy, and full of flavor! “Feufollet” is no different. Their blends of music tantalize the ears and captivate the mind. With each new album the band dances farther into the kitchen to rewrite the book of traditional Cajun affairs.
Their newest album screams “bam” and awakens our senses to the future of Cajun Music. During the show this quintet will re-teach us the traditional Cajun and open our eyes and hearts to future of this unique musical genre that is taking the nation by storm." (quoted from the Albuquerque Zoo Concert website)
Fue follet is french, in English we would say "will o'the wisp".
Will o'the wisp is a term used to describe the ghostly lights sometimes seen at night or twilight over bogs, swamps, or marshes. It looks like a flickering lamp, and is sometimes said to recede if approached. Today's city version of "will o'the wisp" is the Jack-O-Lantern.
A zoo with Jack-O-Lanterns flickering, now that's a thought: not sure who would be more scared, the humans or the animals. Which leads to a follow up thought (or two) - if zoo's are designed to protect humans from wild animals, 1) why do we have them in the first place - we could just leave the animals where they belong and reduce the risk to city-living humans greatly, and 2) why are the animals protectively situated behind bars and in cages and beyond moats and wide expanses of 'natural habitat' and fences, while we are allowed to wander aimlessly through their midst - at night, no less?!?!? Oh, never mind.
All I can say is that the musical version of a jack-o-lantern lit up our spirits and caused our souls to dance. The Louisiana-based Feufollet was fun, unique and entertaining. You can find out more about them by clicking here .
And that's all the thinkin' this redhead can do right now, so to sum this up....
Last night I thoroughly enjoyed spicy gumbo music served up with ghostly lights while sitting on a camp chair midst silent lions, odorous flamingos, accomodating friends and cotton-tailed bunny rabbits - all in the middle of a zoo and under the cover of peacock-decorated trees and a clouded sky. By candlelight. Barefoot. Without a hair tie. And with the realization that there are some things in life you can't get enough of. "Please sir, I want some more....."