a mice day, and penguins in the park


We went to the Central Park Zoo this afternoon. The animals were delightful, but the people (almost all of them escorted by baby people) were pretty wonderful too. Barry said that he thinks everyone should be required to go to a zoo once a month. It would improve the species.

Actually, even in Manhattan it isn't really necessary to go all the way to a zoo to visit wildlife. I captured the picture above, of two baby field mice, while I was enjoying a small sandwich standing next to the granite wall on the side of the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesday afternoon.

My attention was first caught by rustling in the underbrush which was followed by the appearance of several of the tiniest birds I had ever seen. The baby wrens were soon joined in their grazing for scraps by these two mice, and for five minutes or so it was touch and go, neither group interested in joining the other for lunch.

They were more afraid of each other than they were of me, so I was unable to include them all in the same viewing screen, even after I had sacrified some breadcrumbs of my own.

Oh yes, about the Zoo. The Rainforest installation was magnificent, especially for someone as crazy about birds as I am, but the penguin room was my absolute favorite, outranking the sunbathing polar bear or even all of the monkeys combined. Somebody in that Zoo has a thing about penguins, and I understand the obsession perfectly: There must have been nearly a hundred there, waddling on the rocks or torpedoing through the cold water, all under a painted Antarctic sky.

Unfortunately the gay male penguin couple was not identified by a plaque, and since Roy and Silo obviously couldn't be distinguished by a superior taste in costuming, we were unable to locate them.

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Published on July 3, 2004 6:01 PM.

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