photography, memories, friends, fun, perseverance, life goes on, Nature's beautiful creatures, a second look, making memories, following the rules

Monkey business…

When I was a kid swinging on the monkey bars at the playground I’m sure that I thought I looked just like these ‘swingers’ at the zoo the other day.  Their acrobatics were amazing, they were constantly in motion.  I still remember what it feels like to swing like that, but my swinging days are in the distant past.

05-28-20swinger205-28-20swinger505-28-20swinger105-29-20swingeragain

05-28-20monleyview05-29-20thinking05-28-20swinger305-28-20swinger4And then they sat and posed, and seemed to be thinking.  Maybe about Herman?  I was attracted to the color in the feature photo and then realized it was a memorial to Herman, “A Gentle Soul and a Friend to Many”.

'scene' along the way, a second look, friends, live and learn, memories, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography

Mixed feelings…

Mixed feelings is what I had when we saw our first animal at the zoo and stopped to take pictures.  It was the clouded leopard, which we see in the feature photo.  Of course he is beautiful, and on my first trip to the zoo with the photo group I was so happy to get pictures that looked right through the glass or the bars of the cages and only saw the animals themselves.  The excitement to find that you could do that was the take-away for me on that first visit.  But this time when I saw this leopard he was in exactly the same position laying on that log.  The pictures I took on Tuesday are nearly identical to the ones I took a couple of years ago.  I thought of all I had done in those years, and it broke my heart that such a magnificent creature was still in the same place.  I understand the good that zoos do, but for a little while my heart broke for this one creature.  He is safe and cared for, but I wanted to see his eyes.  I wondered what he was thinking…05-29-20leopardeyes05-26-20cloudedleopard205-29-20leopard2

And the next creature we came to continued this theme, because I took this same picture of him several years ago also.  It’s not an alligator, and when I took it’s picture I made a mental note of what it’s actually called, and promptly forgot.  Twice.05-29-20notanalligator

Soon we came to this bear, and again, I took nearly this same photo before.  Actually I think he didn’t look up at me last time.05-26-20bear

And the Malayan Tiger pacing in and out of it’s den was distressing.05-29-20malayantiger

But any mixed feelings I was having left me when we got to the orangutans.  Maybe it’s their interaction with each other that made the difference, but it cheered me up to see them.  We can’t know for sure what he was thinking, but is that a smile?05-29-20orangwithleaves

friends, fun, Nature's beautiful creatures, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, second chances, technology

Zoo babies…

I love orangutans, I’ve said it before.  The babies especially, for obvious reasons.  They weren’t very active when we were there on Tuesday.  This little guy was hanging on the underside of a rope ladder beside his mother.  It made for challenging shots, and I had hoped to stop by their area again before we went home but we didn’t get the chance.  Thanks to Lightroom there are a few usable ones.05-26-20ontherpes2 05-26-20ontherpes305-26-20ontherpes405-26-20ontherpes505-26-20ontherpes605-26-20ontherpes05-26-20rangutan

I hope I get to visit the San Diego Zoo again one of these days.  That’s where I saw orangutan newborns in preemie diapers playing in the nursery.  I fell in love on the spot and it stuck with me all these years…

adventure, following the rules, friends, fun, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

Safari…

I’m pretty sure that this safari at Zoo Tampa is the only sort of safari I will ever experience.  I’ve been there before of course, but this was the first time the animals in the Africa section ever caught my eye so much.  Usually the giraffes are more interested in the people feeding them, and I usually take a picture or two of elephants standing around and then I move on.  But not yesterday.  A friend got tickets to a limited admission event for seniors held at the zoo yesterday.  The social distancing mandates weren’t a problem with the 500 ticket limit in place, and despite the heat even the animals seemed to cooperate and we had a great day.05-26-20rhino05-26-20safari305-26-20twoheads05-26-20giraffe

And the  elephants were also doing their part.  Who wouldn’t enjoy seeing a baby elephant, even if you have to take a lot of elephant butt shots to get a photo?05-26-20babyelephant

We especially enjoyed it when they moved on to their watering hole.  Seeing the baby elephant frolicking in the water was so fun, even if the adults were making photos a challenge at times.  But perseverance pays off now and then.05-26-20wateringhole05-26-20wateringhole205-26-20babyfeature05-26-20wateringhole3

Trust me, we weren’t wishing to join them in the water even with the heat.  Nope, it was a bit aromatic as we watched…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Osprey, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron, turtles

Left-overs…

To spend a day out shooting pictures and ‘only’ come home with 668 is not particularly a lot.  But it’s a lot to go through and it leaves you with pictures that are left over, that didn’t quite fit the story you were telling, or you simply missed them.  Or maybe they just wanted to stand alone.

All day long we had a running debate over whether or not the bird we were looking at was a tri-color heron or not.  But once we did see one we didn’t have to debate anymore.05-21-2005-21-20tricolor

Green herons seem more rare of a sighting, or maybe they just hide better, but I was happy to see this one.   And this pale colored one was a mystery to me, but Merlin says it’s a black crowned night heron.05-21-20greenheron05-21-20greenheron205-21-20blackcrwned

Soft shelled turtles aren’t particularly cute, but we were amazed to see this one camouflaged in the algae.  And the orange shell of these turtles stood out too.05-21-20sftshellalgae05-21-20orangeshell

An osprey flying over with its catch in its talons is always a goal to see.  But if he stops to eat in a tree it’s the next best thing.05-21-20osprey-fish05-21-20osprey-fish2

I missed the excitement when this hawk stole this snake from an ibis.  I did get to see him make short work of it.05-21-20hawk-snake

A butterfly is always a pretty picture, and this green dragonfly was my favorite dragonfly picture of the day, but I somehow failed to export it so I missed it on my dragonfly post.  But it’s too pretty not to post.05-21-20butterfly05-21-20greenongreen

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Circle B Bar Reserve, Florida landmarks, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky

The big picture…

Of course I can’t resist a close up view of creatures that you would never be able to see in detail other than in a photograph.  It’s a challenge to try to get a sharp image like that.  But I also like landscapes.  Open spaces.  My very first trip to Florida was thirty years ago, and I wasn’t impressed.  I thought it was too flat, but that’s not how I see it anymore.  I see gorgeous skies, and I still marvel over the palm trees.  And the sunshine that lures you out your door…05-21-20view405-21-20egret05-21-20view205-21-20view105-21-20view305-21-20anhingaview05-21-20cameratotersA photographer will recognize that the woman in this picture is toting a big camera/lens combination.  As were half the people we saw at Circle B recently.  Sunrise at the B would be fun to do, but at two hours away it might be better easier to wait until daylight savings time.