At the zoo

This past Saturday was my birthday, so my partner and I went to the Bronx Zoo to celebrate. I’ve been doing a not-so-good job of exploring New York since my friend left. It’s so easy to stay in my little (BIG!) Brooklyn neighborhood, but I really do feel better when I get a change of scenery.

I got really excited about practicing my DSLR camera skills, but unfortunately, just as we got to the subway stop and pulled out the camera, can you guess what we discovered? No, it wasn’t the battery. That was fully charged. And it wasn’t the lens either, we’d even brought two! It was the SD card!!!!! The smallest but most important piece! This is a valuable reminder to always check your memory (and the camera’s) before going on an expedition. Thank goodness for phone cameras!

At the Bronx Zoo

As we walked to the Bronx Zoo, I could not get Simon & Garfunkel’s “At the Zoo” out of my head. I haven’t listened to it since high school, but as I sang the lyrics, I realized the song is about the very city where I now live! It refers to┬áCentral Park Zoo, but apparently the Bronx Zoo licensed it for advertisements in the 1970s. For some reason, I feel like I connect a lot more with this song now. Living here sometimes can feel like a zoo, with all the people-watching and daily interactions.

One of my favorite parts of the zoo were the illustrations used to educate visitors.

Breath-taking watercolors with hand-writing make you feel like you are peering into a scientist’s notebook.
Large Malay Mouse Deer
This line drawing shows the form of the deer so well. This is a nocturnal animal, so this lightbox really stands out in the dark exhibit.
Rodrigues Fruit Bat
These bat drawings really frame the text well. The information bars are an unusual narrow format fit into a rail by the exhibit, so these illustrations are a nice way to deal with the negative space.
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I love the one gestural ibex that isn’t filled in with white.
African Wild Dogs
The movement in these wild dogs and the highlights on their fur are so great!
African Wild Dogs Sign
Had to fit in one more. The signs here are just too beautiful not to show!
Gelada
An interactive exhibit with gorgeous illustration.

The sea lion feeding was perhaps the most exciting part of the day. These gals are just so amazing to see whipping through the water.

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This crane was so graceful.

There were so many other incredible sights and sounds, but to sum it up, here’s a page from my sketchbook that I drew afterwards, brimming with inspiration from everything I took in at the Bronx Zoo.

Sketchbook

2 thoughts on “At the zoo”

  1. Happy birthday, Celeste!!! What a great way to celebrate the day. I love all the photos you took of the various illustrations. I’m sure the artists would be thrilled to know someone is appreciating them so deeply. Looking forward to having another celebration for you when I can make it into the city. ­čÖé

    1. Thanks! I’m so excited for when you visit the city! And yes, the illustrations at the Bronx Zoo are amazing. I actually wish I had taken more pictures of them. x) I hope you’re able to visit there sometime!

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