Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Went to the Animal Fair; The Birds and Beasts Were There

Hey, remember when I said I went to the zoo, ages and ages ago?  What ever happened to that?

I'd been to the Columbus Zoo before, but there's a polar bear exhibit there now that wasn't there before.  So we brush past Jack Hannah's face on posters and follow the big footprints up the hill to the place where white giants roam.

The remarkable thing about this exhibit is that it used to be a church.  And though they've trussed up the outside of the building with wood panels and "arctic supplies," once you've seen what it was, it can't be unseen.  Look closer - you can even tell where they would have hung the cross.

The congregation is still there, they've just moved to a lot closer to the street.  If you stand at the highest point of the exhibit and look towards the entrance, you can see the new church, one lonely little building sandwiched in between parking lots and animal signs.

Don't be too sad about it, though.  The zoo and that church have a long, happily entwined relationship.  It's Mr. Hannah's home church, after all, and the zoo used to let the church have their Easter Sunday sunrise service in the park.  I'm sure the church enjoys the new home.  And perhaps the polar bears are comforted to know they're walking on blessed grounds.    

If you follow the signs to the mine shaft, you'll end up below the exhibit, at the underwater viewing area.  For a brief moment, when we first walk into the glass bubble, a big, white, polar bear butt brushes across the ceiling before it disappears.  We wait for him to come back, but he's long gone, off to seek shady refuge for an afternoon nap.  All that's left behind are the fish, swimming through the clouds like Atmospheric Beasts. 


Weezer said...

This is absolutely beautiful. I'm so so so loving your blog. Is this in Columbus, OHIO?
Your photos are wonderful. Thanks, really, for sharing all this.

Purple Cow said...

Great photos. Loved the flying fish. What an interesting thing to do to a church!