Walking Backwards

February 23rd, 2012

A recent trip to the Bronx Zoo on a cold day in January was a perfect way to stave off the winter blues.

The day began with the good fortune of being able to enter at the charming Rainey Gates, a rare opportunity usually not available in the warmer months when the parking spots at this entrance fill early. As we approached the Rockefeller Fountain, an impressive structure with elaborate sculpture that was relocated to the zoo from Italy in 1903, we entered a unique place that would afford us a truly special day.

We were officially welcomed by the very vocal sea lions, who were more active than I ever remember seeing them in spring, summer or fall. As we slowly went through the exhibit called Madagascar!, observing the lemurs with great interest, I tried to recall the last time the word lemur had even crossed my mind. At almost every indoor location we had an excellent view of the animals, often getting close enough that it was easy to forget there was glass between them and us. The crowds were light, and the mood indoors and outdoors was relaxed.

I’m sure the gorilla, who stood directly in front of me seemingly oblivious to the human beings just a few feet away, was the most impressive animal I saw. That was thrilling! Still, as always, the giraffe house was my favorite stop. The giraffes with that funky but delightful phony scenery behind them put on the best show. I always find it fascinating to watch their expressive faces and their graceful, dance-like movements. This visit, I got to see two giraffes neck (yes, that’s the right word) and a youngster have lunch courtesy of his mother.

As I said, the humans were pretty chill too. I saw few grumpy grown-ups or unhappy children. Many of them made their own fun, including the little boys who grinned widely as they entertained themselves by walking backwards through the park. I guess no one told them that the Bronx Zoo could only be enjoyed in the warm weather.


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger photos.