"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

May 14, 2008

Como Zoo

(Sorry it's so graphics heavy. Hope most of you have broadband. :D )

I went to Como Park yesterday. I haven't been there in a long time, over ten years. Since I've been wanting to go on a longer ride and it's about 10 miles from my house, I decided it would be a good destination. I thought I'd get there, poke around the zoo and conservatory for a little bit, take a few photos, and head back, feeling a bit bored by it all. Because, really, that's what happened last time I was there.

Completely different reaction yesterday. When I arrived, I looked up at the building that houses the visitor's center and the conservatory and was a bit stunned by it all. Everything about it just looked and felt so idyllic. The architecture of the main building, the blue skies with a few puffy white clouds, the busy sidewalks teeming with visitors. There's a carousel housed next to the main building. It was a part of the Minnesota State Fair for 75 years and was rescued a few years ago by preservationists and donated to the city of St. Paul when the owner auctioned off the carousel. Carnival music echoed from that carousel and floated over the scene, completing the picture.

I walked around for the next two or three hours going from exhibit to exhibit in that stunned daze. The animals in the zoo are housed in various buildings and outdoor areas; the large cats building, the primate building, the African hoofed animals building (giraffes and zebras), etc. Children were everywhere. Now, normally, I'm a crabby curmudgeon about kids and don't find them cute or endearing at all. But even I had to smile at the little boy who yelled "It stinks in there!" as he emerged from the aquatic animals building and the little girl who squealed "Look at that one! It's so cuuuute!" as she spotted a spider monkey.

I didn't look around the conservatory for long. I've never been much into plants. It's very pretty though. It's a two-story (maybe three-story) glass-ceiling building filled with plants, many of which reach almost to the top. Mostly, I just glanced at the scenery and made my way to the Japanese Garden. It's stunningly beautiful. I wish I could describe it better but a picture will have to do. Eventually, I left while thinking, 'This is the awesomest place in the world.'

Not a great picture but it's the entrance to the complex.

The Carousel

The building the carousel is in

The Conservatory

In the middle of the Japanese Garden

Didn't mention it before but part of the park is devoted to kiddie rides & playground equipment.



Spider Monkeys (I think)


Sea Lion (aka Sparky)


Roxiticus Desperate Housewives said...

Ooh, nice shots...you did a much better job of posting your zoo photos than I did!

Here to vote for you in Battle of the Blogs...good luck!


CarmenSinCity said...

Nice pictures!!! I love them.

franscud said...

Wow, that is a pretty neat place. I have mixed feelings about zoos, but it's nevertheless cool to see the animals. Funny how a long forgotten place can appear magical when revisited.

Berryvox said...

Roxy & Carmen - Most of them turned out blurry but those were decent. :)

Francis - Yeah, I can understand the stance of the animal rights activists who oppose zoos and circuses. You never know what kind of human handlers are going to pop up.

FerdC ~ The Best Parts said...

Really nice!
I'm glad you are sharing these pix with us. I learned in my singlehood after my divorce that it is no fun going on trips if there is no one to share them with.
So, I'm glad you are bringing us along!

The Fearless Blog said...

GREAT PHOTOS, seemed like a beautiful day. Hope you had lots of fun!


Looks like fun! Thanks for sharing the photos!

Berryvox said...

Ferd - Heh, I'm the complete opposite. I like going where I please when I please. It's a little easier when you're alone.

TFB & HNWMom - It was definitely a fun day. :)

Titania Starlight said...

These are awesome. I love animals. I think they act better then humans.

That is a very pretty zoo. I could spend all day just chilling out in the Japanese garden. :o)

Berryvox said...

Titania - It is pretty. :) Yeah, the Japanese garden and the primate exhibit are my favorite areas.