Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Treat -- A Trip to Rochester's Seneca Park Zoo

None of these count as real sightings as they were all taken at the zoo and many through fences but it was a day for the "pussy cats" to be out!!  This lovely female Bengal tiger had just finished most of her lunch and was coming back for more.  (She was for you, Priscilla!!)

I had not been to the Seneca Park Zoo here in Rochester for probably 30 plus years even as much as I like zoos in general.  It has changed incredibly from those days.  Going to zoos now is so different from years ago when the animals were in very cramped quarters with very little landscaping.  Now in many zoos, it is hard to even spot the animals (which gives you a more natural feel for sure) as there are lots of plants and landscape elements so that critters can find shade, shelter and a break from prying eyes and crying babies.  The Seneca Park Zoo was designed by the famous Frederick Law Olmsted who also designed Maplewood Park and Highland Park here in Rochester as well as Central Park in NYC.  Much of the character of this naturalistic design is still present and even though the temps were in the high 80s, it was very shady and pleasant with a nice breeze.  The zoo sits right next to the Genesee River and is part of  Seneca Park, from which it derives its name.

This is another tiger view just for Priscilla who loves her tigers.  All the animals in the zoo looked very well cared for and content with shiny coats and sleek bodies.  The hyenas certainly looked better fed than they did in the wild!

There are two female lions and one male lion at the zoo and they are fairly new occupants.  They are all very young (around two) and we did eventually see all three of them although everyone was seeking shade today.

Even the cougar posed for me today -- she had also just finished her noontime meal.

And of course the beautiful snow leopard from Asia with the very long tail and huge paws (like snowshoes I guess).  They were cooling themselves off in a spray mist that was going.  
Not to be missed were these two absolutely beautiful American Bald Eagles who unfortunately had each had a wing broken in the wild.  They seem to be thriving here and had beautiful markings.

Even the Snow Owl was out today and just beautiful.  From what I read while south, there was a huge influx of these birds into the northeast this past winter.  I have never seen one in the wild but Warren had many times when we lived in Batavia and he drove to Niagara Falls every day.  I do love the raptors.

There were flowers everywhere and lots of my favorite iris. The flower to the right was a flowering tree that we used to call a "tulip tree" when I was growing up but will have to do a little research to find out it's name. (Note:  it is indeed a tulip tree or tulip poplar but really a member of the magnolia family and the tallest tree in the Eastern US although it prefers it a little south of here!  It was a beautiful flower well hidden in the leaves.

I couldn't help but take a picture of this absolutely stunning stained glass window that was the size of a full door.  Outside of Tiffany windows, it was one of the most striking I have seen.  It was on the exit from the building that housed snakes, birds and some of the other more tropical species.  This was looking out from the inside.  I will have to find out who did this!  (Note:  It was done by Mr. Peter McGrain.)

After our trip, we headed to Joe's Crab Shack for lunch.  What a fun place and practically empty on a holiday (everyone barbecuing we figured).  The food was absolutely excellent.  This is a chain restaurant we hadn't been to before and is relatively new to the Rochester area.


MarthaVA said...

Thank you for the tour of the zoo. I was born and raised in Rochester, left when I married at 19. I would love to go back and live, but it's just not possible at this point in life. Hubby still has some relatives there. Mine were from Maine and moved there before I was born. The only family I have there is in the cemetery. I miss Rochester, the lake, and Abbotts! Virginia is nice, but it's not Upstate NY.

Judy Warner said...

Perhaps some ideas for the Nature in Chains challenge? :)