Thursday, November 20, 2014

I saw something amazing......

It was advertised in the newsletter of the zoo..... Warhorse was going to be there for 30 minutes as an introduction to the show coming to our area in April of next year.

Knowing  it was a  “puppet” I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it blew me away. Having been around horses since I can remember, it didn’t take  more than a second to forget I was looking at a person-animated contraption. It moved like the real thing! It was incredible! You know it's not an actual horse, but the movements are so real.....

The sounds it made were dead-on, the movements that accompanied them, were a perfect match in timing as well as transferring what was going on. You could close your eyes, and see him move through the crowd, just by the sounds.... the sniff of discovering someone new, the little grumble of surprise when the person moved, the snort of anxiety when touched and the whinny that seemed to come from its toes....... awesome!!

I was too slow to catch the whole movement, but when "it" reared, everything was going in the right order, complete with the shifting of the hind legs to carry the shift in weight.

The crew was funny. They had a question/answer session with the crowd, and it was hilarious. They weren't making fun of anything, it was just the way they answered....
For example, they introduced themselves as follows..... (From right to left)

I'm the head, expression and sound starter since the horses' lungs are 3 times as powerful as a humans, we need all sets of lungs to make the sounds real. As I have direct sight of what is going on, I start most movements. You could say, I'm the brains.
Since I'm in the middle, I start the feet moving, in accordance of the head movements, so I'm the front legs, shoulders and take over the sound when the head runs out of air.
I'm the horses ass and also control the tail. I have to think real quick, because even though there is a certain script, that's not to say the the middleman starts out with the same foot every time... I also finish up the sound when the middle man runs out of air.

Since we have different tasks, different parts of our bodies cramp up, so at the end of the performance we are a pretty pathetic bunch.

They also explained that as a team, the puppeteers stay together, but the work is so exhausting that, to keep them healthy, there are 3 teams rotating  for the 7 shows per week. (In the actual show the horse also carries gear and a rider).

I'm not much for dressing up and "going to a show", but this coming April, you just may find me going to this.  I have the movie taped, and the "how it's made" documentary, but haven't had time (or inclination) to watch it... I have been waiting for winter, so I can bundle up on the couch, with a pot of tea........ It's coming...... I know it is.... Last night we had frost!

Even though this was the main reason for going to the zoo yesterday, I had to check up on my favorite animals. The zoo was nice and quiet, the weather was cold, but not so that it kept me from going. (It probably should have, because I haven't gotten warm yet, and I've been home for almost 24 hours. LOL!) There was no wind, it did not rain, but the sun didn't show its face either, and it was 42 degrees, so a little on the brisk side after all....... It was so relaxing though. I took the Ka, so I wasn't tired before I got there, but I still started off with a cup of tea, overlooking the safari basin. Believe it or not, I was the only one in the outdoor dining area, but it was so hot inside that I couldn't breathe.... Go figure! Than I started my trek through the zoo, with an eye on the clock so I wouldn't miss the WarHorse presentation. This was a little bit of downer, because I'm not used to keeping track of time when I'm there. Usually they have to drag me out, half hour after the joint closes......

The lynx kittens, aren't kittens anymore. They're nowhere near grown ups yet, but the fuzzballs I visited in June are definitely gone.

I didnn't get to see the wolves....  The night-cabins were closed, so I didn't think it was their choice, but so far, I haven't seen any of them since that first visit, when they were freaked out from the amount of people, and hiding in the back of the enclosure. I'll see them, I'm sure of that, I'll just have to keep going back..... probably over and over and over! :-)

The wolverines were ornery as ever towards eachother, but they were both outside. The male was playing, the female walked around close to the night hut.. I think it's the colder weather, and the fact that there were maybe 100 people in the zoo all day..... They still don't seem to like each other much, but the female at least came outside and at one point walked right up to the fence and looked up at me. So cool! At the end of their area, there is an elevated platform, with hanging chairs, where you can sit and watch (Or sit, spin and scream, depending on who's in the chair) and their night space is to the side of it. Every once in a while the female would go in for a bit, and the male would follow after a while, and they were fighting, screaming and hissing and you could feel the structure shake..... They were either having one heck of a row, or we're welcoming baby wolverines in about 6 months LOL.

AND, big news in the zoo was that there are, once again, baby lions! This time though, I think they got it right. The part of the path that goes by the lion enclosure was closed to the public. YEAH!!!! I was so happy to see that! They even turned off the loudspeaker in that area! The cubs were born on the 14th, and it is now the 20th..... I hope they make it this time. For their sake, I hope it's a mellow winter....

Well, that's it for me for now..... We have Sisterday planned for tomorrow, and I still have to sort the pictures I took yesterday. I think my camera is on the verge of giving up. It can't decide what shutterspeed it needs (2 pictures taken right after eachother, one is too dark, and the next is overexposed), and there are A LOT of out-of-focus pictures. (More than normal, and I DO have the antishake thingy set....) I hope it will hold out for a while yet. We just picked up the Neon from the shop, and there is NO way in hades that I will be able to afford a new camera in the next 2 years. This one shouldn't be bad though, it's only 2 years and a week old!

Have a great rest of the week, stay thawed, and don't forget to hug a loved one!


1 comment:

  1. That´s an amazing, if slightly spooky, contraption even better than the enormous T rex we saw in Domburg last summer though the dinosaur only had 2 human legs which contributed a lot to the feeling of shock-horror reality.

    I´m glad the lion cubs are being better protected this time around.

    PS We must go to the zoo together some time. Are dogs allowed in your zoo? They are in Krefeld. Email me if you´re interested.