Friday, July 8, 2011

Our Zoo Traditions

Our family loves the Zoo. We live about 45 minutes from the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon. As a child I enjoyed this zoo very much. here is a picture of me and my sister on one of our zoo trips in 1979, I was six, and my sister Amy was four.

As teen, I volunteered at the zoo for two and a half years, first as a children's zoo volunteer, and then as a "Zoo Teen". Volunteering at the zoo was a wonderful experience, not only did I learn so much about the animals I worked with, but was also able to earn "behind the scene" tours of the tigers, bears, and primates.

As a young mother, I still lived in Portland, and took my children, who were still stroller age on outings to the zoo once or twice every week. They loved seeing the animals and enjoyed the nice stroll through the zoo grounds. Now that we live a bit further away, our trips to the zoo are only once or twice a year. My daughter requested a trip to the zoo this year for her birthday, the weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold. We had a wonderful time looking at all of the animals and walking through all of the zoo's trails. We took lots of great pictures. My daughter has recently become fond of taking pictures and had quite a fun time taking pictures throughout the zoo.

One of our first stops was the black bear exhibit- there were four bears, and they were all pretty young, here is one of the bigger bears below. One of the cubs was frolicking in a small pool of water, he was so playful. We watched these bears for quite some time, we decided they act quite a bit like our two black labs.

Here is a picture of me and my sister Amy, in 1979, at the Oregon Zoo Bear Exhibit.

We really enjoyed the Cascade exhibit, a lovely trail, with animals native to the cascades along the way through a pretty forest trail.

At the end of the cascade exhibit is a wonderful exhibit of farm life, here are Gary and the kids by the tractor.

The farm area also had a wonderful display of a raised bed garden area, the gardener in me loved this little set up, I snapped quite a few pictures to get ideas for my own garden. Here is one of the pictures.

Here is a picture of an animal hutch, I had to take a picture as I would love to have something like it built one day for quail or rabbits.

Here I am with Gary and the kids outside of the Garden exhibit.

Anyone who has read my blog much, knows that I am always amazed at God's miracles in the garden, the same can be said of me when I look at all of the creatures at the zoo, I am truly amazed at what God has created.

God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God Saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25

Each animal is so unique, and so amazing, I was staring at the giraffes and just awe struck by the massive height, and the perfect design of their long necks, how sweet the mother giraffe was being with her child- I can only say Amazing!!

We saw an absolutely darling baby elephant just done playing in the water. So cute!!

Midway through we stopped for lunch, here Sarah and Joe are planning the rest of our route on the zoo map.

Here the kids are outside of the Lion exhibit, unfortunately this Lion statue was all we saw of the Lions, the weather was a bit hotter at this point and a lot of the animals were seeking shelter from the sun.

Here Sarah stopped to get a picture of an interesting plant along the trail- the Oregon Zoo has wonderful gardens throughout!

Here is the Tiger, when I was a teen I went on a behind the scenes tour of the Tigers, they are massive up close.

This cat is an Ocelot- Gary took these wonderful pictures.

This is one of the wolves, being dog lovers we really enjoyed seeing the wolves.

One of our zoo traditions that we stop to do each trip is a photo session at the sculpture garden. I have a picture of my self as a young girl back in the 1970's at this sculpture garden, and have been taking pictures of my children at nearly every age by these same sculptures, great way to see how they have changed each year. Here is a picture of me in the sculpture garden in 1979.

Here are a few of our sculpture garden pictures from this years trip.

Here is Joseph resting on a bench beneath a tree in the sculpture gardens. Joseph loves any bench under a tree.

Before we leave the zoo, we always stop in at the gift shop. When the kids were little we started collecting the nice hard plastic animals, each trip we would pick one or two new ones for our collection. These are the sort of animals like Schleich makes. These are great toys to play with amongst the blocks, we still get them out everytime the younger cousins visit. This time we added an african wild dog. Here is the one we saw at the zoo.

At the end of the day we had quite a hike back to the car, we passed by this wonderful train outside the Forestry Center (another great place to visit by the Oregon Zoo) and had to get one last shot of the family.

We had a wonderful time at the zoo, and look forward to our next visit.


  1. What a nice outing! You all look like such a happy family.

  2. Gorgeous pics, old and new! I envy you being close to such an amazing zoo.

  3. Thanks Jane and Anna! It is wonderful being so close to our zoo, it is a great place to spend time.


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