Saturday, 9 June 2012

Martin's menagerie

I gave the moths a rest yesterday and we did the best thing you can do in Leeds on a dull and rainy day: took a trip to Tropical World at Roundhay Park. Penny and I hadn't been for ages. In fact, I think the last time we were there, the old Mynah bird was still in residence, squawking its famous cry of 'Roundy Paaark'.

It's half-term and the antics of the visiting children were almost as diverting as the butterflies, birds and other beasts on display. It's a marvellous facility and a great tribute to Leeds city council and those generous donors Marjorie Ziff and her late husband Arnold. Needless to say, among its attractions are meerkats, including recently-born young. You can get very close and they don't take a blind bit of notice.

There's also a good selection of creatures to curdle the kids' blood enjoyably. It was salutary to hear a Mum keeping her obstreperous daughter in order by warning her that this crocodile might pounce on her. The only pouncing we saw was on ice creams as the sun finally came out.


Phil said...

Hi Martin, There used to be a magnificent Philippine Jade Vine there, with long racemes of dangling jade green flowers. Is it still there? Might've been a bit late to see its flowers, though. I think it blooms in May. Saw it when my daughter was at Leeds Met,. a few years ago. Great place to visit. Didn't one of the Atkinson Grimshaws paint a rather lovely picture of the park, that's in the art gallery in Leeds, or does my memory receive me....?

Phil said...

.... I mean deceive me...! Finger trouble...

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Phil! Excellent to hear from you. Sorry not to have been over your way lately, which I will remedy. Yes, I'm pretty sure the Jade Vine is there, amid a riot of other greenery, inhabited by strange questing birds as well as the drifting butterflies. It really is a good place.

And yes, Atkinson Grimshaw did quite a few of his wonderful moonlight paintings in Roundhay or inspired by Roundhay. My Mum and Dad both came from there and I love it dearly.

When will the sun come out and stay out?

All warmest wishes meanwhile