Friday, July 13, 2012

Déjà Zoo

When my kids were young, we often went to the Bronx Zoo on weekends. It was a place that I had gone when I was a kid and it had just undergone a major redesign/update when my own children were young. We became members of the NY Zoological Society (now the Wildlife Conservation Society) so that we could go to the zoo and the aquarium as often as we wanted.

As youngsters, my children loved and spent a lot of time in the newly opened Children's Zoo and of course I took many pictures of them - in a bird's nest, in a turtle shell, on a spider web, and listening with fenic fox ears.

Now jump ahead to this week. My wife and I had the grandtwins for the day and decided to spend our day with them at the Bronx Zoo. Naturally, one of the first places we took them to (after becoming members for the first time in 22 years) was the children's zoo. It had been more than two decades since we were here last, but it seemed like just yesterday as the memories came flooding back from the moment we approached the entrance. The first thing we saw was the "birds nests" built for children to climb into and have their picture taken. The photograph of my son and daughter in that bird's nest popped into my mind and I could see it clear as day! Unfortunately, a large camp group was there having their turns so rather than wait, we moved on.

As we moved through the magnificent area that is the children's zoo, the memories kept coming and coming. I remember my kids crawling through the prairie dog tunnels and popping their heads up in the children sized holes. And the hollow log which the twins crawled through, over and over and over. With each new area, I mentally pictured my son and daughter playing in that area or spending time watching the animals on display. It was as if time had suspended here and waited for us to return. What two and a half year old wouldn't want to climb - and bounce - on a huge rope spider web? Our grandtwins were no exception. And if you think that grandma and grandpa weren't having as much fun as the boys, think again! Watching them explore and discover - new things at every turn - was a treat for us.

They were fascinated to watch the wallabies hop and stood waiting each time one was standing still - wanting to see it again. And of course, they had to show me that they could jump as well. When they came to the tortoise enclosure they stayed for a long time. These tortoises were so much larger than the one their dad has at home! They stood and watched them and reported to me on their every move. Next they saw the fenic foxes and had a chance to recreate another of the photos that I have of their father - listening to the world through the ears of a fenic fox. (My son would again encounter fenic fixes when he was a zoo volunteer in another zoo during his college days.) Next were the reptiles, and I was a bit concerned since one of the twins used to have nightmares about a snake, but he was fascinated and stared at the snake for quite some time.

Then there are the shots of my kids in the turtle shells - so naturally I had to photograph the grandtwins like that as well ...

Unfortunately, the photos I took of my kids at this age were way back in the non-digital photography era and still sit with thousands of others I took over the years and have not yet digitized. One of the advantages of digital photography is that they are easy to file, store, categorize and have at your fingertips. (But that is the subject of another blog post yet to be written.)

To see more shots of our day at the Bronx Zoo - and the children's zoo - click here.


No comments:

Post a Comment