Thursday, April 8, 2010

On Beyond Zebra...

... you discover the Okapi.

Earlier this week, before Mike had to head back to the classroom, we took a trip to the Bronx Zoo. We wandered around for about 4hrs, trying to see as much as possible, but sometimes the animals just aren't in the mood to cooperate.
You know how it goes.
I wish I had brought my telephoto lens, but I didn't want to be "that person" with the giant camera. I needn't have worried tho, as there were dozens of people hauling huge cameras around. There was even a guy with one of those giant white telephoto lenses that you see on the sidelines at sporting events. Crazy.
The real problem I find is shooting through the necessary glass and netting. Glare, fingerprints, haze, and general obstruction in 90% of my shots. Not to mention all the crowding children blocking your shots, or having their clothing reflected on the face of your perfect gorilla close-up... grrrrrrrrrrr.

Anyhoo, I thought I'd post a few of the pictures that sorta did come out.
Snow leopard with sun-flare on the glass. This leopard absolutely refused to look at the people on the other side of the glass. Instead she was waiting to hear the sound of the gate that would signal her 5PM feeding...
A red panda, or as the direct translation goes, "Small bear cat." So freakin' cute. All I can say is, WANT!
I am a cute little monkey investigating this thing I found on this branch. Look at me being cute!
How beautiful is she?
This was the amazing part, because all the kids were at one part of the glass where two gorillas were playing, and I went over to an empty area in frustration over not having any kind of shot. Then, this female wandered over, picking up curly kale as she went, and just sat down right in front of me. I barely got my camera in focus before screaming children came over, but I was also torn between taking pictures and just staring into her eyes and having a real experience. I did my best to ignore the irritated looks on parents' faces because I was blocking their child's chance to see her for another 30 seconds.

Sharing her curly kale?
I so wanted to put my hand to the glass and go all Dian Fossey "Gorillas in the Mist" at this point, but felt a little silly trying to have a moment surrounded by the crowd of people.

The peacocks are in no way actually caged in. They can hop over their little fence with ease, and so sometimes you will encounter a peacock on a path or on a roof while you are wandering the zoo.  As Mike and I were leaving, there was a peacock strutting around, so of course I stalked it trying to get as many shots of his tail as possible.

Mike documented my efforts.
But see what I mean about the fence? Look how low it is in the background of the shot? And that's the main part of their enclosure. This one had just wandered over to the side.

I also tried to get a little artsy on the way home, taking pictures of the elevated subway platform tracks.
So that's my trip to the Bronx Zoo. My mother has professed her desire to go there, so maybe I'll bring the big lens on my next trip and hope for some better shots. To see some of the rest of the pictures I took, including lemurs, birds, and more monkeys, you can go through my Flickr account. Hope that link worked without giving you access to my editing, etc... hmm.
I guess I'll just have to trust you.


Claire Marie said...

INCREDIBLE pictures!! I can never get pictures this good at the zoo! But you've given me inspiration for my impending trip to the San Diego zoo.

I just added you as a contact on Flickr, too, hope you don't mind... I just love these pictures!

Melissa's Espresso Shot said...

Now I want to go to the zoo!
I know what you mean about crowds though. It kind of takes away from the moment.

Jennifer said...

Love these!

I'm making potato soup with leeks and bacon (ok, turkey bacon) tonight. I will think of you.

RocknRollGourmet said...

Thanks guys!

Jenn - I'm eating burgers w/ Mike's friends tonight. I'd kinda rather have your soup.
I can never eat a whole burger.

Jennifer said...

If the recipe is good I'll send it your way (with notes on the inevitable modifications). I hope the burgers are tasty, if over-sized.

Erin said...

love the pics. love the zoo. what's not to love about your post?

Chuck said...

These were some really good shots. Haven't been to the zoo in a while so now I am tempted to go. Thanks for the nudge!

A Write Life said...

Great photos. Loved the gorilla!