Thursday, July 3, 2014

Trip to the Zoo

It felt like May weather when I headed into town for coffee.  Thermometer on the car showed 52  degrees on July 3rd!  Donned a sweatshirt to keep warm.

The last couple days I had been thinking of visiting the zoo.  Cameras had been in the trunk of the car.  Problem was  the overcast skies and threatening rain.  Today was a clear day.

As I headed to the Zoo from coffee (about 9am), the temperature had climbed up into the upper 60s.  Great weather for walking around the zoo.  Had different sneakers as shoes - hoping that they would be better for walking at the zoo.

From my visit in March, I knew my 18-200 mm lens would be the best one for general photos.  Brought the new fisheye lens and the super telephoto just in case.  With all of the flowers in bloom, I wish I had grabbed the macro for the shoot.  Some of my flower photos were a little out of focus.  Also, I think I was relating on the auto focus too much.  Anyway, I was able to get some pretty good flora shots

As usual, there is lots of construction at the zoo.  There's  a whole new African Grassland exhibit being constructed.  Construction of the new exhibit derailed the Zoo Railroad.  Was sorry to see that as I was thinking of riding when I needed a break from my walking.

The zoo grounds are sprinkled with ornamental zoo creatures.  The Rhino at the Garden of Senses seemed to call me - use the fisheye lens and see what I get.  As you can see - I got an intersting photo of the rhino sculpture with my shadow.  Its one of the problems with the lens in bright sunshine - difficult to keep your shadow out of the photo (if you want to shoot with the sun to your back).  So, It almost looks like the rhino may change my shadow!

Next, I crossed the bridge to check out the koi in the pond and monkeys on the their island.  Across the bridge were the sea lions.  It was a good spot to test my legs.  Skipped the pachyderm exhibit - knew it would make the hike too long.  Had plenty of walking and hills to climb to get back to the car.

At this time, I could feel that I had gotten a bit dehydrated.  Stopped at one of the snack bars for a large cup of PowerAde.  Helped me a bit.  Bought the souvenir cup so I could get a reasonable refill.

The Madagascar exhibit was disappointing.  Too dark in the building.  So, it was on to the orangutan and gorilla buildings.  The orangutans seemed to be hiding.  Was able to get a couple good shots in the Gorilla House.

On to the Cat House.  I had skipped this house in March - had enough for the day.  Glad I checked it out today - got an awesome photo of the spotted leopard.  Was able to get some shots of tigers and lion.  Was productive visit to the Cat House.

It was able a climb the path back up to the entrance level of the zoo.  Legs were about toast by the time I was back up there.  Took a quick walk through the Aquarium (mostly to get more jelly fish shots).  I was after noon, the aquarium was packed with screaming kids.  Took my photo and glad to be out of there.  Stopped at the snack bar for a Powerade refill and hot dog. 

By the tie I left the zoo and walked to the car, my legs were like rubber.  I could hardly walk.  And, just what I needed, there was an idiot in a F 1500 pick-up parking to my left.  He had "aimed" the truck at the parking space.  The vehicle was over the line and caused some problems getting into the car. 

Had one more stop on my way home.  Stopped at the bike shop to show them the new fisheye lens.  Took a couple of photos inside the shop with the new lens.  Was going to visit longer but they were busy and I could hardly move.  Time for me to get home.

Slowly, I will get through all of the zoo.  I have not been in the Jungle this year.  Need to see the rest of the desert dome. There's still the Pachyderm Hill and the farm (and petting zoo).  The day also would have been a great day for a bike ride (temperature and light wind) but thinlk I ended up with a bigger work-out today hiking in the zoo.

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