Monday, February 25, 2013

A Day at the Zoo

A friend of mine wanted to go to the Zoo yesterday.  Since it has been a while since I've been to the decided, I ended up going with him.  Probably a good thing too as my membership is about to expire (but I'll renew it).  The weather was fairly nice but it snowed a little bit but not really enough to be noticeable.  It was still fairly warm (for February).  At any rate, enough about the weather, how about some pictures?
 Somehow it wouldn't be a trip to the Zoo for me without a picture of the gazelle statue.  This is a statue created by Marshall Fredericks (he is the sculptor who has done a bunch of other stuff in the area).
 More of overview of the little garden the statue sits in.
 My friend wanted to go to the butterfly house mostly, so I followed him there.  The original building was designed by William H. Creaser.  Inside there is a butterfly garden, an aviary and a few other galleries.  I've never really wandered around the galleries before and I didn't really yesterday either...maybe some day.
 The building itself is fairly ornate and I thought for a second it might be a Kahn building but it's not.  It certainly has some of his characteristics.
 The monkey statues outside are also done by Marshall Fredericks.  They look pretty cool.
 And another one.
 The entrance has a mosaic using Pewabic tiles.  The thing in the center above the light is a peacock (I probably should have tried to get a better picture of it).  I like the look overall.
 I think in one of the remodellings, they added this lattice.  It probably would have looked nicer had the left things well enough alone.  It still belies it's classic 1920's architecture though.
 The cieling in the butterfly house.  It lets in enough light that I didn't have to bump up the film speed too much.
 One of the butterflies.  I'm not about to try to name the different species but I will enjoy their looks.
 Some of the detail on the inside of the building.
 Another type of butterfly.  While butterflies are cool, I wanted to see some of the other animals, so I moved on.
 But I had to check out the aviary as well.  I believe this is a Macau parrot.  He looks pretty cool.
 Next I headed to the Amphibian House.  This building is known as the National Amphibian Conservation Center but I'm not sure of architect.  It is a pretty neat looking building and sort of blends in to its surroundings.
 Another angle of that building.  The study of amphibians is important because they are bellweathers of the health of wetlands.
 Again, I'm not sure of the species of frog, toad or newt so I'm just going to enjoy the pictures.
 I believe this is a common bullfrog.
 One of the more colorful frogs.
 This picture unfortunately doesn't do justice to the size of this particular frog.
 Just outside of the Amphibian House is this statue.  Not sure on sculptor.
 Over the past year, they created a pathway that goes through the wetland to make another sort of exhibit.  On the path is this eagle statue.
 My next stop was the reptile house.  This is another Marshall Fredericks sculpture.
 This is a type of rattlesnake.  I'm glad that he is on that side of the glass but he is still pretty cool to look at.
 A diamondback rattlesnake.
 If you look closely, you can see a Missisaugua rattlesnake.  This represents Michigan's only venomous reptile.  Like most rattlesnakes, they are reclusive and will not attack unless provoked.  Also like most rattlesnakes, they are endangered.
 A closeup of the cobra.  There is kind of interesting story behind this picture.  I was trying to snap a picture of him as he was climbing on a branch.  The branch fell down and scared the hell out of me.  Fortunately, the glass is pretty thick.
 I liked this picture of a pair of lizards.  They almost look like they are spooning.
 Another type of lizard.
 And another type.  I had a few more pictures from this building but taking pictures in here proves difficult.
 The ship of the desert.
 One of the bald eagles at the zoo.  I kind of wish I had taken pictures of the other one because his white head is starting to come out nicely.  This one was standing too regal for me though.
 While it's cool that the Zoo has eagles, I think I've been getting spoiled by seeing them in the while.  For some reason, they look more elegant in the wild.  Certainly they look more wild.
 A fairly typical eagle pose.
 Trying to get a closeup of his head.
 Even though this eagle is in capitivity and is missing half of a wing, he still can stand pretty proud.
 Probably one of the coolest exhibits at the Zoo is the artic exhibit.  It covers a pretty wide area and they have a handful of polar bears, some artic foxes and a couple of seals.
 The polar bear exhibit is also dedicated to Michigan's Polar Bear regiment that fought in Russia after the Revolution.  There is a plaque there.
 As I was wandering through the Zoo, I caught a glimpse of this hawk.  Sadly, I couldn't get a good angle for a picture.
 Next I headed over to the lion exhibit.  The new exhibit is pretty cool but the glass makes picture taking a little more difficult but I think it makes for some neat effects.  This
 And a lioness.  You should have seen the male's eyes perk up as she started to stir about.
 One more shot of the male lion.
 A pair of snow monkeys.
 So then I had to wander over to the tiger enclosure.  I know that you typically associate tigers with warm climates, but this is a Siberian tiger and they are used to the colder weather.  Based on the fact that she is more active in the winter, I think she prefers it.
 And the look that says, "If there weren't that moat between you and I, I'd be having a nice dinner".
 It's still amazing how many characteristics of the big cats that the house cats have.
 Another shot of the tiger as she prowls the enclosure.  One of the things I like about the Detroit Zoo is that the enclosures look more natural.  For the most part there aren't bars or things to get in the way but sometimes that is detrimental as the animals have places to hide.  In fact, the Detroit Zoo was one of the first to go to more natural enclosures for its animals.
 The Horace Rackham Fountain is probably a centerpiece of the Detroit Zoo.  Horace Rackham was one of the earliest major shareholders in Ford Motor Company and as a result, he became very rich.  He was the first president of the Detroit Zoo and he was the one that donated the land for the Zoo.  When he died in 1933, his wife commissioned the fountain in his honor.  The sculptures were made by Corrado Parducci and the fountain was designed by Frederick Schnaple.  It was completed in 1939.  There are quite a few other buildings named after him.
 One of the otters.  When I first arrived at the zoo, they were sleeping so I decided to stop there before leaving and fortunately, they were moving around.
And a shot of the tower before leaving......

Huh?  Where are the wolverines you ask?  Next post....

No comments: