Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Favourite Daytrip

Yesterday, the Eagle-eyed Scientist and I embarked on one of my favourite excursions. We headed northeast on Route 37, through Amish country, and crossed into Canada at the Ogdensburg bridge. We headed to Morrisburg to see how the dinosaurs were doing.

Prehistoric World is the labour of love of two brothers. Over the past 20 some-odd years, they have been building life-sized replicas of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures out of rebar, wire mesh, and poured concrete. They have literally turned their back yard into a walk through time, and they have done it on their own terms. They take great pride in the fact that they have created a venue for their art with their own hands and their own money. There have been no investors, no government grants, and no shareholders to tell them what they can or cannot do. They stopped advertising years ago, have no web presence, and operate only three months out of the year. They refer to themselves as artists, not businessmen, and they are the epitome of self-actualization.

The Maiasaura is still under construction, and is a little behind schedule, as the brothers are currently devoting their energy and attention to their elderly mother. After five months in the hospital, recuperating from a fractured femur, the brothers have taken on the task of caring for their Mom at home. This Rehab Nurse will tell you that their days are not easy, and that Maman is a lucky woman who raised two fine sons.

From Morrisburg, we headed straight north on Highway 31 to Little Ray's Reptiles, in Ottawa's south end. Little Ray has taken his business in the opposite direction from our friends at Prehistoric World, aggressively aiming for bigger and better.

His advertising amuses me.

Packing that much information onto a SmartCar is truly impressive.

The Eagle-Eyed Scientist appreciated the tactile beauty of the Albino Burmese Python. I appreciated it from a distance. Mom, you may want to scroll down quickly at this point.

Little Ray's Reptiles is a sanctuary for the orphans and refugees of the "exotic" pet trade. Most of their critters started out as someone's "cool" pet, who became homeless after the coolness wore off and the reality of caring for large hungry reptiles set in, and Little Ray stepped in to save their lives. For this, I have a deep and abiding admiration. So, I was more than a little confused when I saw that, as part of their ever-expanding business model, they are now selling iguanas, bearded dragons, and ball pythons.

No trip to Ottawa is complete without a little retail therapy at Ikea, so we made our obligatory pilgrimage to all things Swedish and wonderful. There's nothing like a little fine and sensible design to slough off the reptilian-induced heebie-jeebies!


Anonymous said...

Just as long as it is in a cage, will be fine.


Val said...