Hermosillo has something similar to a zoo except that it is called an ecológico instead of a zoológico. For those of you who care about the history of words, "zoo" is actually the accepted abbreviation of the proper term "zoological garden." I find this odd since I've never thought of a zoo as anything near being a garden. Also, in Spanish, they can't really abbreviate zoológico to zoo because it would be pronounced as if it were two syllables (SO-OH) which defeates the purpose of it being an abbreviation, or it would be pronounced like we do in English (another Spanglish word) with another problem arrising. You see, in Spanish, the 'z' is prounounced like the 's.' That means the word would become "soo" which is way too close to the actual Spanish word "su." So instead of asking if we could go to the zoo, you would actually end up asking if we could go to "your." Then we've got a whole "Who's on first" thing going on. That just wouldn't work out for anyone. Why do I bother rambling about such things? Well, to avoid any of the aforementioned problems, someone in Hermosillo decided to start a ecological garden instead of a zoological garden to skip any and all potential problems with future abbreviations. Of course, if you did abbreviate "ecológico" to "eco," you'd be telling people you want to go to the echo, and again we have a problem. I digress, though.
The ecológico was much more than a zoo. It was full of informational exhibits about the land, minerals, water and vegetation of the area. Take a look.
Yes, Polly still wants a cracker. Even when he's in Mexico, he's largely confined to the zoo. It's a little to much of a desert in Hermosillo for this fellow to be a native.
There are many kinds of minerals mined in the state of Sonora, but I took a photo of this one because of its name: apatite. Maybe I was hungry--wait--that would be appetite. Sorry. This particular mineral contributes to strong teeth and bones, but it's not nearly as tasty as a cold glass of milk. It is also used in fertilizer. How about that? The same stuff that makes my food grow is responsible for making my body strong.
Do you ever wonder what frogs dream about? I didn't until I took this picture. Ever since, I've been wondering what this guy was thinking about. I was dreaming about enjoying Christmas on the beach. Was he wishing he could be skiing the Greatest Snow on Earth? Any frog mind readers in the house?
When I was at Park City Television, I had the chance to visit the Living Planet Aquarium a couple of times. They have a number of these pancake-with-eyes looking creatures. After being able to touch the Southern Stingrays at LPA, these guys were fairly boring. (Yes, I highly recommend a visit to the LPA for all of you who are within reasonable reach of the Salt Lake valley.)
Tyler was intrigued by the pelicans. They were a lot quicker in the water than I had imagined. They don't have the physique of Michael Phelps or anything. The mohawk doesn't help enough with wind-resistance to make them the fastest in flight, but the big feet are a bit help swimming.
A big-horned sheep was close to the last think I expected to find at a zoo in Mexico, but here he is. He seemed right at home, and he is actually native to the region.
You foxy thing! There were close to a dozen of these foxes sitting on top of palapas in one part of the zoo. It was a warm day, and they all looked like they were trying to get a tan. I wanted one, too, but I'm a Jensen. I don't tan; I only turn pink or red. Lucky me. Hopefully my kids will have some of Megan's Mexican skin genes in them! I don't want them to be called tomato while growing up.
To be fair, these little guys weren't actually caged at the zoo. They just happened to live there. Ants are facinating to me. They are extremely efficient little things. These ants were carrying leafs across the sidewalk and up a tree. Why you would carry leafs up a tree, I'm not sure. None of them wanted to answer that question on or off camera.
One animal not afraid to act for the cameras is the monkey. This guy was all over the place. Walking down the sidewalk, he was just sitting, waiting for someone to pay a little attention to him. As soon as we stopped at the fence, the curtain went up, and he pulled out all the tricks in his little bag. He swung on the branches and the rope and the ladders. He slid down part of the rope like it was a zipline. It was fun to watch. It was a far cry from the poor monkeys that used to be stuck swinging on metal pipes at the old Hogle Zoo. This group of monkeys looked very content in their almost-natural habitat.
Hippos means horse in Greek. In English, hippos are something you won't likely see at the Oakely 4th of July Rodeo. Maybe hippo riding will replace bull riding one day, though. That would be fun to see. The hippos in this zoo were close enough that I could have brushed their teeth for them. Sadly, there wasn't much left of the teeth they had because they liked to chew on the metal bars around them. They still need their teeth brushed, though. Talk about bad breath.
This furry animal is known as a chubby bunny in some circles. Luckily, his son has some chubby bunny cheeks, as well. Ty loved his first zoo experience.
This furry animal does not like to be called a chubby bunny. Tigers are beautiful animals. Siberians are some of my favorite. I think this is one of the first animals I ever drew. There's just something about them.
This is an antelope. No funny quips here. I don't know much about them except that they are not really a cross between an ant and a canteloupe.
This is a shot of Hermosillo at sunset from the zoo. The colors don't do it justice. It was a beautiful night with so many layers of color across the sky and off the mountains in the distance. The typical sunset colors were contrasted perfectly by the white of the many buildings and the green of the different trees. Good stuff.
Palo Verde trees are one of the many native trees that are near extinction. They used to cover the deserts of northern Mexico. There were also Iron Wood and Mesquite trees all over the place before the city started to expand. Aside from having green branches like the name implies, Palo Verde also provided an early american version of paper. The bark is like papyrus. We brought some back, but I don't know where it is.
There's a look at our trip to the Hermosillo ecológico. Fun, wasn't it?