I was recently on vacation with my family here in Nebraska. We were graced with some pretty terrific weather for that trip. I was sifting through my photos and noticed that I had a recurring theme on our day at the zoo. That theme was water. Pools of it. Waterfalls shooting their cargo down. I thought I would share some photos of the experience with you and see what you thought of them.
Around here, it is a pretty common misconception that you will find little or no life in the desert, let alone water. Shoot, when you talk about deserts here, the only life many people think of are scorpions, and snakes. The Henry Doorly zoo in Omaha Nebraska has sought to change that impression by creating the world’s largest geodesic dome. Within that dome you will find three different desert environments. Within all three of them there is variety of life, and an abundance of water.
While the types of life, and the availability of water and the ways creatures of all kinds obtained it was different, one thing was the same throughout the deserts. Water was everywhere if you knew where to find it.
Underneath this gigantic dome is another exhibit called “Kingdoms of the Night”. Within this place is the largest indoor swamp ever created. The day/night lighting cycle has been reversed in this place to allow visitors to experience nocturnal creatures and habitats in their normal state of activity. The sites, sounds, and smells are all authentic, and most everyone’s pulse will speed up just a little as they catch eyes watching them as they pass by. Alligators are bountiful here, as are other creatures that make their existence in the night time environment.
To the right you can see part of a large family of beaver huddled together on a piece of dry land in this eerie place. This exhibit gives patrons the chance to view things in a way far safer than you could out in the wild.
Moving out of the darkness and exiting the giant dome, we made our way to another area of the zoo that features water prominently. The Scott Aquarium is the largest aquarium in a zoo in the world. Like most of their exhibits, the zoo manages to help you experience everything from the waters of the poles, to the Amazon.
Of course water doesn’t just have to be life-sustaining. Water can be breath-taking, and beautiful in its own right. Nothing shows water’s beauty off quite like a waterfall, and there were some great examples at the zoo. I snapped a couple of shots, the first in the desert, and another in the Lied Jungle that really show the beauty of water.
Of course the zoo offers so much more than water. It is one of the best places to go in the state of Nebraska, and my family really enjoyed their visit. Maybe my pictures sparked some interest in visiting one of the best zoos in the Midwest. If you do go, I would love to see some pictures.
- Waterfall, Moss, and Mists…. (chessiesphotos.wordpress.com)
- Family travel in Nebraska: the 50 state series (familytravellogue.com)
- Photo competition: Water (newscientist.com)