Yes, the Portland, OR Zoo has a large petting area for city kids that have never seen or petted farm animals. There are two cows, a dozen goats and as many sheep. There’s even a chicken coop that the kids can see but are not allowed to pet. The goat area is really cool because the attendants let about 6 kids at a time into the fenced in enclosure and hand each child a brush. The goats have the best kept coats in the state. They are so very tame of course as the kids love grooming them.
Here’s a nice photo of one of the extremely wooly sheep staring at me from a barn entrance.
It’s the small things in life that are truly a blessing, the purr of a kitty on your lap, the giggle of an infant enchanted with a new discovery. I still get blessed seeing nature presenting itself to me when I’m totally alone. Sometimes I get lucky and have a camera with me. Other times I can only soak in the moment and store it in my memory.
Yesterday, I decided to visit the zoo while it was raining. There were only a handfull of visitors there with me so I enjoyed a delightful walk as I visited as many animals as I could see & photograph. Most of the PlexiGlas viewing windows were steamed up, making photography impossible. One of the exceptions was the eagle viewing area. Normally the two magnificent eagles that live there keep their distance from the throng of zoo visitors milling about the walkways and paths. My visit yesterday was different. There were no crowds to disturb the eagles. One of the birds flew to a branch just 4 feet from where I was watching, camera in hand. He sat there watching me with great interest. It makes you wonder who was on display.
This is the closest I’ve ever been to an eagle. The resulting photos were sharp & clear, actually showing the raindrops collecting on the back of the sitting bird. I processed the shot with the eagle staring off into some distant world, totally as ease with my presence. I was thrilled to get this opportunity.
I return to my local zoo yesterday for a peaceful walk in the rain as I gathered more photographs for my blog. There’s always a story in each photo representing a time, place & set of circumstances. That’s why I’m just as likely to photograph people and plants as I am the actual zoo animals. The zoo staff does a great job of creating a natural environment for visitors. I, for one, appreciate the effort.
In this late Fall, early Winter season, there’s still brilliant color available in nature. I spotted these gorgeous red leaves yesterday that were truly radiant. I captured their image while they were in their prime. They represent the seasonal colors of the holidays.
Ok, one more photo from today’s zoo visit and I’m calling it for the day. I don’t want to use up all my photos in one day’s worth of posts. I could see this photograph on my computer screen before I even pressed the shutter button. The artificial lighting against the animal’s fur was just too good. The animal is actually known as as red-handed tamarin even though his hands are a golden color. Don’t even try and figure out that one. LOL Look how the animal’s fur resembles the log under it. He/she just sat there staring right at me. I may have been the first visitor of the day. It helps that I never use flash. That way you don’t blind & startle the animal. I like the composition, detail and sharpness of this shot. That little Sony NEX-5N is one sweet camera.
I did it. I ventured out in a steady rain to get some new material for my blog. I was running out of good stuff and decided to check out the zoo in wetter than usual conditions. It taught me a lesson because I could count the visitors on one hand and still managed to get some good shots. You guys are a tough audience so I want you to keep coming for a fresh outlook at The Pacific Northwest.
Here’s one of my best photographs of the day of an adult Caracal. She was nesting under a boulder to keep out of the rain and simply stared straight at me. She must have thought I was crazy for being out in the rain. I like the color and detail of the photo plus, as usual, the direct eye contact.
With this latest series of storms we’re making national news. Locals laugh at this because it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Storms simply line up out in the Pacific Ocean and hit us relentlessly. Hey, it’s the Pacific Northwest, if you like the great weather July-October you’ve got to pay the Piper the rest of the year.
It’s rain on the coast and in my valley home but that translates to snow on the mountain. Mt Hood opens its ski season on Thanksgiving day and it only gets better from there. That accumulation of snowpack provides us with abundant water for the dry season. We are living in a virtual garden paradise here, get used to the rain. 🙂
Rose Tu is now in labor. She’s been pregnant now for over two years and a delivery is eminent. Zookeepers expect to see the Portland. OR Zoo will have a new baby elephant within 48 hours. This is Rose Tu’s second pregnancy. Our zoo’s claim to fame is the largest herd of elephants born in captivity anywhere in the United States. More to follow…..