Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Photo Essay: Lincoln Park Zoo

My 11-year-old is off from school already this week, and wanted to go to the zoo (Who knew?). So yesterday we spent the morning at Lincoln Park Zoo. I hadn't been there in years, and I felt as if I was retracing the foot steps of my younger self, as the zoo was nearly empty, and the only visitors around were young mothers with toddlers. That used to be me.

What amazes me about taking photos is that often a photo makes you see things you didn't see before - for instance here I was focused on capturing the sea lion and the glorious blue surface of the pool, but when I look at the photo now, I love how the reflection of the skyscrapers mingles with the world of the sea lion. And throughout these photos, a vantage point emerges that I hadn't even contemplated: animals in the city.

That sea lion did us the courtesy of not only poking his head out of the water (see above), but also of swimming by right when we were in the underground viewing area.

One of the pavilions at Lincoln Park Zoo - it has such a serene, end-of-season feel to it.

Lincoln Park is famous for its Zoolights before Christmas, and if you click that link you'll see that the season is far from over as the zoo really comes to life after dark on December evenings. It was nice though that we got our own version of Zoolights here early in the morning with the sun pouring through this giant red teddy bear decoration.

One ice sculpture was still standing...

... for the rest it was too hot at 41F.

The polar bear was swimming his morning laps, again amidst the reflection of the city around him.

The Pygmy Hippo Viewing Area in the Regenstein African Journey: No hippo in sight, but a stunning crowd of fish, although sadly I couldn't find a plaque anywhere that told me what kind of fish.

Three silhouettes: bare trees, a giraffe, and the John Hancock Tower.

You gotta wonder...

The Farm-in-the Zoo - the smell in the cow barn almost startled me with its familiarity. Not only because we used to watch the cows being fed with the kids when they were smaller but also because I grew up with that smell, riding my bike by the barns in Bavaria on my way to school. Very different silhouettes there, i.e. the peaks of the Alps in the distance, but still, the same smell.


  1. We love zoos! We used to go travel to zoos all over the U.S. when my daughter was younger. (Now an animal science major in college, so I guess she was paying attention?)

    Never made it to Lincoln Park, so thanks for the opportunity.:)

  2. I love the polar bear and the... um, gorilla? Is that a gorilla? Well, anyway, he's so cute!

  3. I love the zoo and these pics are great. i'll have to go to the Calgary zoo sometime soon.

  4. Great photos--I especially like the one with the city reflection! I was at Lincoln Park Zoo for a school field trip many years (decades!) ago :)

  5. Awesome photos! I really enjoyed these!

  6. Gorgeous! I love the ones of the polar bear and the ape.

  7. Annette, thank you for these wonderful pictures! Being from the west coast, I have never spent time at Lincoln Park Zoo.

    But I have spent some time in Bavaria. And what a beautiful place to be from I might say!

    Thank you Annette for sharing a piece of your special time with your son. :)

  8. Wonderful pictures, Annette! We used to love taking our boys to the zoo and visiting all of the animals. Thanks for sharing your visit!

  9. LOVE your photo essays!! Spectacular!!!!

  10. Lovely! I haven't been to the zoo in ages. You've inspired me to change that soon. Thanks, Annette!

  11. These are amazing photos, and you are right. They do tell a story beyond just the animals in the images. Speaking of the John Hancock Tower, did you know a group of giraffes is also called a Tower?

    (From my story A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, which Debra also mentioned) :-)

  12. What a fabulous idea to visit a zoo! Your photos are beautiful - thank you so much for sharing them :-)

  13. What amazing pictures- I loved the things you captured within the pics- like the skyscraper reflected in the water & the gorilla pondering. Great shots!

    My kids' favorite place was the zoo in Singapore- that was a MUST visit every time we were there.

    Sorry I have been absent- am trying to catch up on blog reading, will slowly but surely get to back posts :)