Friday, March 09, 2018

October 23, 2017

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Road trip!  My plan was that this image was going to give you info about where we were going.

But the camera cleverly focused on the raindrops on the windshield rather than the road signs.  You can see nice clear drops on the dark green bits.  Sigh.



The above was cropped from this image, before I enhanced this one with some text laid on over the blur.  Southward bound for Cincinnati (via Dayton).



Northern Ohio is flat.



The sky was dramatic.  It wasn't scarily stormy, but it rained a good bit.





Lighter in the south............




We stayed in a pleasant and quirky Airbnb in Cincinnati.  Our host had done a bunch of Halloween decorating.  You can tell it's us staying here, by the Cheerios and bran flakes.....  :-)

Why were we in Cincinnati?  Here's a clue.....



A closer look at the table end of the window.



The bouquet is black roses with eyeballs in their centers.  :-)



We turned on the tv, which happened to be playing the evening news, and we knew we'd come to the right place.  Fiona!

Fiona is a little hippo at the Cincinnati zoo who was born six weeks premature in January 2017.  She was too weak to stand to nurse, so people had to take over her raising.  She was so very little, and humans had no history of successfully raising a premature hippo.  The entire "village," near and far, stepped up to help Fiona.

Nurses from the children's hospital's neonatal unit helped set IVs and offered advice for dealing with premies.  The Smithsonian searched its milk database for info about the content of hippo milk.

Fiona was so little.  Hippos are extremely social, and babies are never alone.  Fiona's human caretakers spent 24/7 with her for weeks and weeks, in steamy-hot conditions, as she was unable to thermoregulate so her environment had to keep her warm).

It was touch and go.  Many times they feared they would lose her.

Hippos spend a large proportion of their days in water.  They got Fiona into the water (in a very small wading pool) as soon as possible, and that seemed to make a difference.  They were concerned when her wobbly baby head went below the surface, but she knew just what to do -- under water you seal your nose and close your ears, and then you hold your head up so your nostrils are above the water to breathe.  "Hey, guys, I'm a hippo!  I've got this!"

She began to improve, and she began to gain weight, and she turned into a feisty strong healthy hippo girl.

They were able to reintroduce her to her mother, and then to her dad, so she could live a hippo life with other hippos, as is meet and right.

Fiona has been all over social media basically since she was born.  People have been following her story from all over the world.  Fiona's fans have been coming to Cincinnati from everywhere to see her ever since she was able to be in the big hippo pool.



Some time in the spring of 2017 our daughter told me to look for Fiona on Instagram.  We'd been following her story for months.

One day in early October, my better half said "Want to go see Fiona?"  Wow.  Well.  That would be different!  Sure, let's go see Fiona!

And so we did.  :-)



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