At times I feel terrible for certain zoo animals in captivity. Certain species just don’t adjust well to being in a static environment, and gawked at constantly by the general public. This chimp seems bored out of his mind, seemingly frozen like a statue, indifferent to his surroundings. I wish I had the answer to help make all animals free, safe and happy. I don’t have the solution.


Male Gerenuk Beauty Shot

No doubt this is the best photo I’ve taken of a male gerenuk. Sometimes you just get lucky & it all comes together.

I thought I’d add a comment here. This shot was taken with my Fuji X-E1 55-200mm F/3.5-4.8. I’m at least 65-80 feet away from the gerenuk. Because of that I’m heavily cropping the original image to achieve a pleasing composition. In an ideal world I’d full frame the shot and compose in the viewfinder, producing a high quality image without the need to crop. I don’t have the funds to purchase a 400-500mm telephoto so my 200mm will have to get me as close as I can get. The sharpness of the Fujinon lens combined with its Optical Image Stabilization allows for a sharp final image. If it wasn’t sharp after cropping this much it winds up in the trash. That’s my number one criteria for a keeper, sharpness.

Gerenuk Male

Rescued Eagles

Bald eagles are protected birds as well as our national symbol. The only way the zoo could obtain these fine specimens was to save them from death. Each bird is missing one eye caused by the unfortunate accident that brought them to the staff veterinary.

It’s a tough shot from some 90 feet away but sometimes you catch both birds looking with their remaining good eyes pointing in the same direction. I took at least 6 shots this day and was happy to process this frame. As always it require a bunch of post process editing to remove any hint of the chain link fence directly behind them. It’s worth the effort for a good shot. Fuji X-E1 55-200mm F/3.5-4.8

Rescue Eagles 2

Remembering Nicole

Tiger 06“Nikki” left us suddenly a few weeks ago after a massive seizure. She was 15 years old and loved by zookeepers and visitors alike. She leaves behind her twin brother, Mikhail”, who hasn’t been the same since losing his sister. Zoo keepers are on constant watch to make sure his behavior doesn’t indicate a problem.

I’ve been photographing Mikki & Nikki for about 5 years. I’ve seem them both fight and rub cheeks in passing. They snoozed side by side in their outdoor cave covered in fresh straw each and every day. I still can’t believe Nikki is gone.

ObserverI got an opportunity to talk with one of the zoo’s observers yesterday. She too loves the big cats and shared her concerns for Mikki. She was charting Mikki’s behavior when I sat down next to her as she kept a constant eye of the big male.

Child 2aI was there this past Fall when Mikki & Nikki celebrated their 15th birthday on Halloween Day. There was a subsequent birthday party for the coinciding holiday including a costume contest. The zoo even had a giant tiger in costume to help with the little kids. We all love the tigers.



Catfight 04

Touching Tigers

Share Your World – 2014 Week 15

For your blog do you basically use Windows or Mac, laptop, desktop, pad, or phone?

I use a 21.5″ iMac with the latest operating system. The computer is almost 8 years old and still runs like new.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I pretty well followed my dream of becoming an electronic technician.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up in a rural area outside a small town. I had a very enjoyable childhood learning to be creative in my play. We made everything from crossbows to customized bicycles.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I think I feel my age. I’m about to turn 65 and experience plenty of aches & pains. On the other side of the coin I’m very fit because I walk a lot as part of my exercise regimen.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for the return of my health that coincided with the return of sunny, warm weather. I look forward to my 65th birthday in May.

Foods Native To Oregon: Fiddleheads

Fiddlehead Fern IIFiddleheads are the edible young fern fronds (crosiers) that rise from the plant each year in the spring.  They are called fiddleheads because they are usually tightly coiled and resemble the head of a fiddle.  Three edible fiddlehead species grow in the United States. Ostrich Fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris,is the species most commonly harvested and commercially marketed, but it does not grow in the Pacific Northwest.  Bracken fern, Pteridium aquilinum, and lady fern, Athyrium filix-femina are the two edible fiddlehead species in the Pacific Northwest. The fiddlehead is and has been an important food and medicine for Native Americans, Asians, and many other people throughout the world.  Other parts of these ferns, such as the rhizome are also edible, and the mature fronds can also be used in many ways.  

Zuri Checking Me Out

Zuri is our female black rhino at the Oregon Zoo. She’s incredibly shy, having poor eyesight but excellent hearing and a good sense of smell. She normally tucks herself in the far corner of her outdoor area when visitors are present.

We’ve built up a rapport over the years where she will come out into the open and stop to pose for me. She’s looking right at me in this shot. She’s a beautiful, majestic animal.

Zuri 12