Ziggy Anxiously Awaits 2014

Our newest arrival at the Oregon Zoo is Ziggy, the second baby river otter born this year to Tilly. She gave birth to Mo earlier in 2013. The locals in Portland, Oregon loved watching Mo growing up and especially the swimming lessons. Little Ziggy is being constantly groomed by her mother as she builds a comfortable nest of straw for her newborn. We look forward to his adventures in 2014.


To Be A Toad

Every time I think of a frog or a toad I’m reminded of the Muppet known as Kermit the Frog. He starred on Sesame Street for years with his Muppet friends. Kermit sang of what it meant to be Green and be a frog. I find frogs/toads interesting photographic subjects because of their elaborately camouflaged bodies and behavior that shows them sitting still while I get a good chance to capture their likeness. The Western Toad is one of my favorites.

Western Toad Closeup

Year’s End Memories

I had a nice Christmas to wrap up a bit of a stressful year. As our recession took its toll on millions of Americans my finances took a beating after it ended. It seems living on a fixed income is easier during recessions but upon recovery the price of living jumps and strains what little money I have. There was a forced move to a better, cheaper place right at Thanksgiving this year.

I celebrated my holiday with an outpouring of love shown to me by my friends at the Oregon Zoo as well as my senior friends at McDonald’s. My zoo membership was extended another two years due to their generosity.

I added to my family of friends as I increased the frequency of my zoo visits, getting to know the staff as well as a number of zoo visitors personally. They became a part of my life as I shared their company on frequent occasions. During my last visit there just yesterday I had the opportunity to capture a few of the decorations and chat with the staff in the zoo’s lobby. They had everything so beautifully decorated that I took a few pictures of things around me that captures the essence of the season.

I replaced the tiger portrait on the wall with one of my own due to distracting reflections caused by the bright lights hanging on the wall. The new versions fits in and has no glass reflections.

Zoo Lobby Lights 1

Zoo Lights 1

The Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker

On occasion I like to post my personal reviews of items I’m researching or that I have purchased. If it’s ordinary it doesn’t get reviewed by me. Only the best is recommended here. Keep in mind that these are my opinions based on my use and experience.

I stumbled upon this little gem of an amplified speaker on Christmas day. I watched as my friend, Warren, unboxed this gift from his parents. I took notice because Warren is an authority on all tech gadgets. He had it unboxed, plugged into its charger and playing in 5 minutes or less.

It’s a wireless, bluetooth stereo speaker system for things like computers, tablets, mp3 players or smartphones that have bluetooth capability. Bose is famous for their high tech quality speakers so as Warren paired with his smartphone the room was suddenly filled with deep , rich bass and treble sounds that amazed us all.

This unit is rechargeable, with a tiny power pack obviously designed to travel. A full charge is reported to last a full 8 hours and takes 4 hours to fully charge. The unit can be used while charging. This is no cheaply made product. Its case is made of solid aluminum that resembles the quality build of Apple products. It’s also not cheap at $199.95. I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for. Good enough is a cop out on quality products. I believe this speaker is worth the price.

Pairing this mini speaker system takes less than 10 seconds and can handle up to 6 devices of your choice. There is an auxiliary input jack for devices that are not bluetooth compatible. Check it out at your local store and prepared to be amazed. 🙂


One Each: Male Lion

Zawadi Mundo is our one and only male African lion at the Oregon Zoo. He’s the proud father of three bouncing, crawling, & gnawing female cubs. I’m waiting as patiently as I can to get my first look at these newborns that will be quite a bit larger than when their eyes first opened this past Fall.

Male Lion 01a

Living With Jack

Happiness is a warm, purring kitty. At least that’s what I’ve been told all my life. From a cat’s perspective I suppose it’s: “Happiness is a warm human’s lap”!

Jack is such a curious kitty! He’s learned to pose for my camera and “working it” to the point of being quite the ham! His favorite trick is lying on his side and slowly “swimming” toward the camera. I haven’t figured out yet whether it’s because he sees his own reflection in the lens and wants a better look at that handsome stud muffin. 🙂

Jack Framed

I Wonder How Bob’s Doing Harry?

Reading the minds of animals would not be a gift I would enjoy. In the case of Harry & Todd here that’s especially true. Humans are so complex and do things that make no sense at all.

People stuff their faces during the holidays, somehow justifying that this is “normal & acceptable behavior”! Animals, like our Lorikeets here, stop when they’ve had enough, even though those silly humans keep cramming those nectar cups in our faces.

Harry & Todd

Crocodile Owner Says Hi

Bruce Shwedick
The Crocodilian Conservation Center of Florida, Inc. sent me an email thanking me for the morning I spent with him at the Oregon Zoo. He was grateful for my short tour as well as the information I shared. I posted 3 of the 4 pictures I deemed worthy to post of his crocodile, Lance.  www.crocodilequest.org
Crocodile Owner 1
Crocodile Lance 1

White-faced Saki Monkies

With these little monkeys being in an enclosed environment they were not affected with the cold temperatures outside. There were very few hardy zoo visitors in attendance this particular morning so the animals reacted to my camera favorably.

White-faced Saki Monkey

White-faced Saki Monkey 2