Put me in the zoo

The boys were being magnificently well behaved yesterday, so we decided to reward them with a trip to the zoo.

Jim brought his new toy lust object valuable career-building tool–a Leica M8–along to capture the action.


The background may look like a diorama, but it was actually a replica African savanna habitat (well, as close to a replica as one can get in lushly wet Portland, anyway). And here Fisher and I are with a 100% non-replica MEERKAT! Yes! I got to be within popcorn-flinging distance of an actual "terrier-sized member of the mongoose family." Color me, as you can see from this photo, happy.

(Note: zoo meerkats are roughly 10,000 times better-fed looking and sleeker of fur than are their wild counterparts.)

The Oregon Zoo may not be the largest or fanciest zoo on the planet, but it was still a wonderful place to spend the day (and, we hope, many future days… we bought a family membership). The habitats seem very well-done (says she who knows so little of such things) and the zoo is laid out in an appealing way and beautifully landscaped throughout.

We started out with a visit to the "Steller Cove," which is not a misspelled astronomical hyperbolic comparison as you might think, but rather a reference to the area’s largest denizens, the Steller sea lions. (Silly me, I thought they were Steller sea cows. Sea cows. Moo. "I’m a manatee!")


Two male (?) sea lions were
wrestling (?) on the bottom of their tank, with Rhys (in do-rag) and Fisher observing.


Then they suddenly exploded upward toward the surface–an amazing sight, these two majestic and HUGE animals swooping at such a speed through the water. The twenty or so people gathered around the tank all went "WHOA!" in stereo.


This little kid (whom we don’t know) got up close and personal with a beaver. (Shut up.) Isn’t this a cute picture?


The Humboldt penguin habitat was possibly the stinkiest place I’ve ever been.


But it had this cool take-pictures-here area, which I think would be an insanely wonderful location for band photos. (Relatedly, somewhat: Jim’s got his Web site up at last. Go check out his "People" (bands ‘n’ weddings) and "Places" (real estate ‘n’ his first love, street photography): James Newman Photo.


I made friends with this goat. Ba-a-a-a-a-a-d idea. (Not really. I just wanted to say that. Ba-a-a-a-a-a-d pun.)

Now, here’s the thing about going to the zoo with Jim. Most people go to the zoo, they take photos of elephants or cranky tigers or whatever. My friend Brian takes photos of animals in captivity that come out so well he’s selling prints of them (check it out). But, as I recently told Brian, we go to the zoo and we come home with pictures of large people eating ice cream.


Oh come on! Look at his shirt! You couldn’t have passed up the opportunity either!

About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
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7 Responses to Put me in the zoo

  1. sam says:

    Is it okay if the last picture is my favorite?

  2. Laelaps says:

    Thanks for the plug, and I love the 1st one of you with the meerkat (and the last one is pretty damn funny, too). It is sometimes more fun to watch the people watching the animals like you mentioned though; perhaps my favorite such moment was one one mom tried to explain to her child that a rhinoceros was a dinosaur.

  3. Herm says:

    Marvelous, marvelous post. Almost makes up for how much I miss my Herms and nephews.

  4. dcjoe says:

    Hey, Augie is the same size as that kid. And he’s only five months old!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Did you see the bats? We don’t usually do zoos, but our homeschool coop was going, and so did we. But I’m going to have to go back to show Paul the bats. I have never seen such an exhibit! We love bats, but I had never seen so many up close and well-lit like that! I think it’s truly an amazing exhibit. I watched for about 45 minutes!

  6. Lori V. says:

    They have BATS? And I didn’t go before I left Portland?!!? Crap!

  7. RedMolly says:

    The bats were wonderful–my favorite exhibit after the cougars (which were marvelously lively, running around swatting at each other and frisking about over logs and such). But I don’t think we got any good pictures from the BatCave. We’ll have to go back and try another time.

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