Wednesday, December 06, 2006

American Animals!

While I was in NYC I got adventurous and went outside of Manhatten. I discovered from my Rough Guide that the Bronx Zoo was regarded as one of the best zoos in the US. According to my guide it was one of the pioneer zoos in providing large natural enclosures that were close to natural habitat for the animals. Getting to the zoo seemed easy according to the guide so I set off. I took the subway to the recommended stop and found myself feeling quite out of place in the neighbourhood. Quite frankly I looked like a well dressed European tourist!

It was quite a cold and overcast day but the zoo was a pleasant place to walk around. Many of the animals were busy keeping warm but I was able to see quite a variety still. There were a great many peacocks there and I watched them for a while as they chased each other round the bushes - it was quite a comical sight.

The Tiger enclosure was amazing as it consisted of a glass screen which meant that you could feel as if you were standing in the pen with the big cats, though I'm glad I wasn't. This photo taken by my friend was caught as the tiger was pacing around in front of us and just a few feet away! From such close proximity you could really appreciate how beautiful these creatures are!

The bears, like many other animals were quite inactive though this was still thrilling to me as I have never seen a real Brown Bear. The Polar bear was out and about but also refused to come close and be photographed. The photo of the bears was the best I could get with my little camera but it quite amuses me as they look really lazy. The one on the rock looks like he crawled up there and it was such an effort he needed a rest!

The most active animals were in the warmer building such as the reptile house where I came face to face with many snakes. I thought the one above was absolutely beautiful. I just love the way the green gets lighter towards it's belly while it is a lovely emerald green along its back which is broken by those dramatic white markings. We were also saw the Caymen below. He looks so prehistoric but once again I think it is beautiful in it's own way.

I also visited the Natural History museum which is located west of Central Park and is packed full of wonderful natural treasures. The photo below shows the main entrance complete with topiary dinosaurs!

When I was a kid I loved dinosaurs and I still got a small thrill when I stepped through the entrance to be greeted by one and it was sooo tall! You can also see some of the wonderful architecture in the entrance hall of the museum in the photo below.

There were many more dinosaur skeletons in the museum and the one below is an allosaurus who was a formidible predator.

Of course the picture below is of the Tyrannosaurus Rex!

They also had a special display of living lizards at the museum. I can't remember the names of all of them but wanted to share some of my photos with you. The colours of the ones below are amazing.

I also loved the markings of the Gaboon Viper below, especially against the brilliant green of the other little snake. The Viper has wonderful camouflage and you can see his head to the right of the photos.

The last photo shows a little lizard that was a brilliant green with orange spots. it was great to see these living reptiles in the same museum that also housed those long dead dinosaurs.

I saw plenty of other interesting things as well but the photos weren't great so I haven't posted them. There was a special display of gold and minerals including a huge meterorite which was super smooth to the touch from the heat from entering the earths atmosphere and halls upon halls of information adn displays on animals. My favourite was the hall dedicated to the ocean which had a huge replica of a whale in it and was lit to look like it was underwater in the hall which you can see in the last picture below.
Anyway, I would definitely recommend a visit to both of these places should you get the opportunity. More NYC to come....

17 comments:

utenzi said...

Great pictures and commentary, Bob-kat. The last time I went to the Bronx Zoo was around 35 years ago. I'm sure it's quite different now. My favorite picture was of the green snake coiled on the branch. It looks so sinister in that picture!

Have a great time in NYC.

Michele sent me over to see the zoo and museum.

mar said...

It had to be Utenzi to like that snake!!!
Lovely tour (I would have gone very quickly through the reptile house!), loved the tiger, they are beautiful! and so are the bears, just keep your distance...

Anonymous said...

those are awesome pics! michele sent me.

TrueJerseyGirl said...

Great pics - sounds like you really enjoyed NYC. Its a beautiful city - I get there as often as I can!!!

Karen said...

Those are wonderful photos! They could be in a guide book - seriously!

Glad you had a good time. NYC is one of my favorite cities. Michele sent me!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

You have some excellent pictures, and managed to get really close in the zoo.

Michele sent me here.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great shots. Except the creepy snakes (good photography, they just make me fear for my life).

Hi from Michele's.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Those are some great pics of some neat animals. I've never been to the Bronx zoo, but I've been to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago many times. I sometimes feel conflicted about pulling these animals out of their natural habitats, though a lot of effort is made to ensure their conforts. Anyways, it's pretty cool to see a prowling tiger two feet away from you, seperated by only a plexiglass.

Michele sent me.

srp said...

Here from Michele.
These are great pics. I scrolled on down and read your other NYC adventures. My daughter & I stayed there for two weeks this summer. We were apartment and cat sitting for some friends who went to Bayreuth, Germany to visit with and hear my brother premier in Wagner's Ring Cycle.

They lived in Brooklyn, very close to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The Garden is breathtaking and I definitely want to go back in the spring and fall and winter, for that matter. Next time, though, we must get up to the Bronx Zoo for sure.

Did you have access to a computer while there? We found a great site; hopstop, you could put in the address of where you were and that of where you were going and it would give you the subway routes and bus routes and times to take. Very handy.

rampant bicycle said...

Somehow, this post brought back memories of all the field trips I ever loved. ;) Looks like a great time though.

Hello from Michele's!

Carmi said...

I want to frame your top-most picture of the snake. Drama and beauty all in one. You may have looked out of place int he neighborhood, but you were clearly in command with your camera: these images are, once again, pitch perfect.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

WONDERFUL, Bob-Kat. There was a point where my Grandmother lived very close to the Museum of Nayutal Hitotu...right there on the edge of the Park-(sort of)...so as a child, we use to go to that Museum....I LOVE these pictures...I especially love the ancient looking lizards---as you know I have some small very pre-historic looking lizards in my garden...!
It's great that you are looking through glass at the Big Cats and such....because it DOES give one the sense that you are right there with them as opposed to a chain link fence which I know is needed but it never lets you forget that they are "caged", you know?
You really took in soooo much in your short time in Manhatten...!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

OY! NATURAL HISTORY!!!! See what happens when you type with one finger---very quickly--and don't have your glasses on...LOL!!!! Sorry about that my dear....

Chatty said...

Fabulous shots. I used to go to the National Zoo in DC all the time. I haven't been in to a zoo in such a long time. Great pictures, thanks for sharing. I'll have to thank Michele for sending me.

craziequeen said...

Warn Fizzy!! She be terrified of snakes, she be!!

I think they are fantastic - the other side of glass......

and I got the Cayman straight away - the black ridges give it away!

cq
Michele sent me to see your wonderful photos electronically, my dear :-)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Deja vu time! I was here earlier and Michele has returned me!

rashbre said...

Great photolog and commntary of the visit to the Zoo. feels as if I was along for the journey. Thank you.