It has become a tradition for Martine and I to go every October to Oak Glen in San Bernardino County to buy fresh-picked apples, a pumpkin for Halloween, and (for Martine at least) to eat a giant piece of apple pie a la mode at Apple Annie’s Restaurant in Oak Tree Village. Also at Oak Tree Village is a petting zoo that Martine loves to visit.
I had hoped to find some Honey Crisp apples, but they’ve been sold out for a couple of weeks. I had to settle for some Pippins and Fujis from Snow-Line Orchard, my favorite purveyor of pomes.
For starters, I decided to rent a car. My 1994 Nissan Pathfinder needs some maintenance, and Oak Glen is a hundred miles east of where we live. I know it costs money, but the thought of getting into car trouble somewhere in the so-called “Inland Empire” makes it worthwhile. Eventually, I’ll have to get a new car, but I have too many irons in the fire right now to contemplate such a large expenditure.
In all, we spent an hour at the petting zoo, looking at (and feeding) goats, a donkey, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, roosters, chickens, a Jersey cow, alpacas, Barbary sheep, and aoudads. I enjoy seeing Martine enjoy herself this way, talking to the animals and trying to tell them where some dropped food is that they can eat. The animals have their own agenda, and are well enough fed without the corn we have to offer them; but watching Martine become a happy little girl before my eyes is a precious experience for me.
The momma and baby goat shown in the above picture were like royalty in the petting zoo. Everyone was trying to feed them, but neither of them were hungry. Nonetheless, they accepted the homage of the crowd. And the baby’s fur was so silky smooth.