Saturday, October 30, 2010

A day at the zoo

Friday came clear and sunny and I headed off to the zoo.  I had planned to get up early enough to go see the Annual Squishing of the Squash but I slept in late and missed it.  I did get to see the carnage left afterwards; looks like a good time was had by all.  Except for maybe the pumpkin.

I took the big fancy digital SLR with me.  I favor the big zoom lens, making it heavy and bulky, so I don't often take it out unless my main object is taking pictures.  The zoo is one of my favorite places to do this.

These are all straight out of the camera shots and I was shooting on auto so some are a bit overexposed. 

I pretty much know the zoo layout by heart.  I usually go towards the steller cove exhibit to start, but this time I decided to start with the northwest exhibits.  Bears, elk, cougar, eagles, salmon, wolves.

This was my favorite part of the whole day, and my favorite shot.  Across from the wolf and elk enclosure -- which makes me laugh that they are next to each other, separated only by a chain link fence -- there is some construction going on with big heavy earth moving equipment.  The wolf didn't seem to like the noise; you could hear him singing from a ways away.  I expressed my sympathies, he let me take a few shots and then he let me sing with him.

What makes me laugh more than the elk and wolf enclosures being separated by a chain link fence is that in the middle of the northwest exhibit -- you know, with the wolves, cougar, and bears -- is the petting zoo.

Don't you think he looks a little nervous?

The penguins were just relocated on Wednesday to the polar bears' winter pool.  No, the polar bears weren't also there.  Bummer.  You know, for taking pictures of them.

One cool thing about being there on a fall Friday afternoon -- other than how few people were there -- was that you got a different look at many of the animals.  The penguins were sunning themselves.  Several keepers were out doing various things; one guy was inputting data on his laptop on the chimpanzees and telling us which ones were which, their histories, and so on.  The lorikeet attendant pointed out a couple of babies and then she was holding one on its back in her arms and playing with it like it were a kitten.  (Sadly, there were almost no lorikeets out, one of my favorite exhibits -- I didn't realize the zoo closed at 4:00 and they all headed inside around 3:45 for their dinner.)

The Malaysian sun bear was begging for his dinner.  You can't tell from this picture, but they have a leopard patterned ruff on their chests and really long claws.  I call them the Zsa Zsa Gabor bears.

Not bad for being taken through thick plexiglass.

The elephants were all ready for their dinner too.

Except for baby Samudra, who still wanted to play and kept biting the other elephants in the butt.

One thing I most wanted to see on this trip to the zoo was the new Savannah exhibit.  The last time I was at the zoo was for the Turkey Trot, and the exhibit hadn't opened yet. 

All of the shots in the Savannah exhibit are taken through plexiglass.  I got this second shot when she spotted me.  Through the glass.  I wonder how long it took her to stop thinking "snack!" when she saw people on the observation deck. 

If she's stopped thinking it.

Sadly, the sun was shining through the plexiglass in front of where the male was sleeping on top of a big rock so none of those shots turned out the way I would have liked.  Although it does give it a certain dreamy quality, no?  Where he's indulging in all the snacks on the other side of the glass.  And I'm not entirely certain he couldn't have jumped from his rock over that plexiglass if he really wanted to. 

I got this one when she spotted me through the glass too.  I too was thinking "snack!" when she turned and came right for me. 

This was right after a man with kids referred to me as "the photographer." 

I always get that when I'm shooting with this camera.

It really was a beautiful day.  By closing time, everyone was snoozing in the sun.

Regardless of whether it was artificial or not.

One of the Stevie Wonder sea lions.  (Both the zoo's sea lions are blind.)

And then it was time to say "good bye!"

Remember to support your local zoo!

the CilleyGirl

P.S.  Hi Geralynne!!  Thanks for reading!


  1. Beautiful pictures.

    I love going to the zoo and going by myself is even better because you can sit and watch the penguins for a half an hour straight and not worry that your companions are getting antsy. Looks like you had gorgeous weather and had some good time with the animals. It has been forever since I have been to the Portland Zoo. Next time we are down there I will for sure remember to pay a visit.

  2. Looks like a great day at the zoo!!!

  3. Hmmm, these were all a lot brighter on my laptop.... Maybe if you click on them they'll come through better? Maybe Blogger's resolution isn't so good as the originals.

  4. I love the wolf shots! I don't think they were out last time I was there.

    Did you use the soapy soap in the aviary?? I don't know why, but to this day my friends and I still laugh at an incident a couple of years ago where the gal working reminded us, with the most serious look on her face, to use the "soapy soap".