Thursday, August 22, 2013

Washington Park Attractions

It has been frustrating that I have not been able to get on-line due to the fact that our computer has been in a repair shop.  Nothing majorly wrong with it, just a software problem which took the technician several days to figure out.  We are still in Portland and keeping quite busy, between touring around and visiting family.  Last week we went to Washington Park which, like our Forest Park back home, has a number of attractions including a zoo and a variety of museums.  We purchased an admission ticket to the zoo and then boarded the zoo train for a ride over to Portland's International Rose Test Garden.  The garden is one of the largest in the nation and features over 6,000 rose bushes and 550 varieties.  There are miniature, tree, shrub and hybrids of many kinds- low bushes as well as climbers at least 6 feet in height. The garden rests on a hillside and is surrounded by tall conifers.  It is quite the setting for such an abundance of beauty!

The Oregon Zoo also sits in a similar setting, among tall pine trees with deep lush green ravines surrounding it.  The zoo advertises that it is green in more ways than one.  It is currently in the midst of a major construction project and that seemed to limit the variety of animals which we were able to see.  We did however, see some exhibits and animals which we had never seen before, as the Mandrill Monkey.
His snout is quite colorful!   He lives in dense rainforests and is an endangered because his home is being destroyed by farms, logging and roads.  He is also hunted for the bush meat trade.  The zoo recently had the birth of its 28th Asian elephant in the past 50 years, a record for North American zoos.  Baby Lily was born about 9 months ago.  She is pictured below nursing from her mother Rose-Tu.
Most interesting to us at the Oregon Zoo was the Rodriguez fruit bat exhibit.  The are quite rare and hail from an island in the western part of the Indian Ocean.  It was hard to pull ourselves away from them as they were actively engaged in a variety of activities, including feeding and mating.  What was interesting to us was that they washed themselves after feeding. It is another creature affected by deforestation.
As you can see in the picture above, the bat wraps himself around the fruit as he feeds from it.  We also saw another bat hanging upside down with his feet clamped on a piece of melon.  In Washington park is also an authentic Japanese Garden, I will write on that in my next posting.

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