02 January 2008

In my efforts to clog blogger.com's servers with the produce of my Christmas gift, I have another visual blog entry this week.

So, as I have said, or rather, sung (to the tune of Israel Houghton, if that really IS his name) before, I am a Friend of the Zoo. And in my effort to bilk the zoo (of which I am supposed to be a Friend) out of all its money, I visit the zoo, along with my very patient wife, almost weekly, weather permitting (and sometimes weather reluctant) (three...no, four...parentheticals in two sentences, this is going too far!). It is good exercise and I get to say "hola" to the binturong.

Last Saturday, I took the camera along, and will post some highlights.

First, the fallow deer. They were huddled together, assumedly to keep warm.

Across from the old Ape House is a waterfowl exhibit; I can't recall what sort of bird this is, but it is some sort of stork or crane, and we recognize this particular one because the top of his bill is unfortunately broken off. At least he's in captivity, and will likely survive despite this.

Along with the exotic ducks and other waterfowl in the aforementioned exhibit are a group of freeloading domestic ducks. They fly in and hang out with the foreigners (whose wings I assume are clipped), probably eat their food. Freaking welfare ducks! Although I rather like ducks...one of them let out a cackling quack-laugh that was so loud the stork/crane above almost fell forward into the pond, but he caught himself.

Over in the former "Great Cat Walk" area (now the designated Asia exhibit) we saw the Red Panda, who as usual was out pacing back and forth, looking a little pissy, probably wishing he was as big as a real bear and somewhat less cute, so he could inspire fear and awe. His legs always struck me as bear-like, kind of thick and dark. Looks like a bear chassis with a squirrel body on top.

And here was an exhibit that caused us to quicken our pace...the Sumatran tiger, hiding inside his hollow log.

Here he is wishing for a taste of freedom, like his cousin in San Francisco, so that he could eat me. No such luck, pal.

Here come the candidates for "Most Pitiable". The Australian bird exhibit contained a bunch of very, very cold birds. Here was a black swan, who let out the whiniest little honk noises you've ever heard.

This white swan had the right idea. Excellent camoflauge, anyway!

Here's a seagull doing a little "invetigation" (name that British comedy series). Yes, Mr. Gull, the waterfall is in fact frozen.

Here he is again, after realizing the above, letting fly with some very salty language about those softies that got the gig in the heated Discovery Barn.

Some rather weird looking ducks trotting about....

And the winner of "Most Pitiable" goes to this weird looking bird, that walked up to us, shivering.

Off to the Discovery Barn, and the meerkats are as always dutifully on watch.

Weird little rats, aren't they?

These macaws are about the noisiest animals in the zoo. I play electric guitar, I shoot off noisy firearms, but when these things get going in that enclosed space it is ear-splitting.

I forget what these things are called, but they are some kind of rodent. Kind of like a porked-up guinea pig.

Closeup of one...I think he is somewhat perturbed by the fact that he shares an exhibit with the macaws. Getting pooped on by loud, obnoxious parrots has to put a damper on your mood. These poor things must all be deaf by now.

Picture didn't come out great here, but this is one of those funky Asian squirrels. I've frequently conjectured that "Cho Cho Beef" on skewers is actually a filet of one of these guys.

The squirrel monkeys can't really be captured by still images, as they jump around like crazy and do the most comically impressive acrobatic stunts. Here is one taking a very brief break:

Break is done, now he's considering whether to push his fellow inmate off the branch.

No, these frogs are not made of porcelain. Well, at least I assume. I didn't actually touch them to find out.

This goat always amuses me. Stubby legs, stout body, big head. Kind of a caricature more than an animal. I communicated such observations to him, and he promptly told me to sod off and turned his back to me. I didn't know goats were so touchy.

Lastly, here is a sea lion digging the rays.

And when we got home, an animal of similar proportions. My cat, immensely annoyed by the presence of sunlight during the daytime, trying to block out the light:


Percussivity said...

Have you considered a career as a nature photographer? Of course you'd have to actually find the animals yourself and that could prove tricky if not expensive, but you have a good eye.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

I know precious little about photography...eager to learn more, of course, but all of the settings like aperture, exposure, and even focus were handled by that nifty little camera. And yeah, it would actually be a bit trickier had the animals not actually been caged and set along a walking path so conveniently. And most of the credit goes to the animals, who I think were bored out of their skulls since a total of 4-5 people seemed to be at the zoo that day, so they were quite willing to model for me.