Monday, January 31, 2011
Wendy and I were enjoying the elephants when we spotted this:
And that lead our eyes to this:
We talked to the keeper and she told us they need a good nail file and foot care session every other week!
This next one is just a bit gross (hide your eyes if you are of delicate constitution)
Nothing quite like a big ole pile of toe nail dust.... :P
And then a sweet little elephant smile, because now her toesies are beautiful!
In comparison with their wild cousins, elephants in zoos move less and use thus don't wear the soles of their feet and their toe nails out as intensely as nature had actually planned. The soles and the nails grow continuously and thus they have to be, just as for humans, occasionally cut back.
The toenails are cut with a grooved knife, files and rasps. The nails and the soles of the feet have to be given a new healthy and natural form. The removal of small stones in the soles and nails is also part of regular foot care during daily care for the elephants.
Daily care for and direct contact with the elephants helps to create the extremely important trust between elephant handlers and their animals. That is why foot care should be integrated into the daily work processes too.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Now that we're all awake from our nap, let's get a little bit of exercise.
The most movement seemed to be with our bird friends.
What a face, huh?
I'm posting two photos of the same California Condor to illustrate what a difference the background makes.
Just by walking to the side a bit, I was able to capture this next photo....much more impactful, don't you think?
Course a 10 foot wingspan is pretty impactful as well.
I snapped that one just as he swam into a little 'spotlight'
And remember getting down to the animal's level makes for a great photo -- (or duck's level or CHILD'S level)
It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
We noticed quite a bit of snoozin goin on! (That first photo is a YAWN not a GROWL)
This next one is depicting QUITE a kangaroo nap, don't you think?
From Long lashed kangaroos, to downy soft duckies...
Here's a lovely little series I'm calling "THE YAWN"
Raise your hand if that sort of makes you want to yawn yourself?
The grizzly was waffling in and out of awakeness. (Hey, shouldn't he be hibernating anyway?)
Getting the perfect nap
# The first consideration is psychological: Recognize that you’re not being lazy; napping will make you more productive and more alert after you wake up.
# Try to nap in the morning or just after lunch; human circadian rhythms make late afternoons a more likely time to fall into deep (slow-wave) sleep, which will leave you groggy.
# Avoid consuming large quantities of caffeine as well as foods that are heavy in fat and sugar, which meddle with a person’s ability to fall asleep.
# Instead, in the hour or two before your nap time, eat foods high in calcium and protein, which promote sleep.
# Find a clean, quiet place where passersby and phones won’t disturb you.
# Try to darken your nap zone, or wear an eyeshade. Darkness stimulates melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.
# Remember that body temperature drops when you fall asleep. Raise the room temperature or use a blanket.
# Once you are relaxed and in position to fall asleep, set your alarm for the desired duration (see below).
How long is a good nap?
# THE NANO-NAP: 10 to 20 seconds. Sleep studies haven’t yet concluded whether there are benefits to these brief intervals, like when you nod off on someone’s shoulder on the train.
# THE MICRO-NAP: two to five minutes. Shown to be surprisingly effective at shedding sleepiness.
# THE MINI-NAP: five to 20 minutes. Increases alertness, stamina, motor learning, and motor performance.
# THE ORIGINAL POWER NAP: 20 minutes. Includes the benefits of the micro and the mini, but additionally improves muscle memory and clears the brain of useless built-up information, which helps with long-term memory (remembering facts, events, and names).
# THE LAZY MAN’S NAP: 50 to 90 minutes. Includes slow-wave plus REM sleep; good for improving perceptual processing; also when the system is flooded with human growth hormone, great for repairing bones and muscles.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Do you ever wonder what the zoo animals think of US?
"Geez....look at that lady with the camera. Shouldn't she be home mopping the floor?
"Does that lady REALLY need that ice cream cone?"
"I bet she wishes she had ears as FABULOUS as mine!"
"Wouldn't that little girl be a tasty little morsel???"
"Step in here for a moment, maybe you won't feel quite so cocky..."
"Are you looking at ME??"
"They wouldn't be smiling quite so much if that fence wasn't there."
"Thanks a lot for waking me up. Grrr..."
"Oh ya, you'd like to pet me wouldn't you? Come on over here sweetie....these teeth aren't sharp at all..."
If I Could Talk To The Animals
If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it
Chatting to a chimp in chimpanzee
Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah
What a neat achievement that would be.
If we could talk to the animals, learn their languages
Maybe take an animal degree.
We'd study elephant and eagle, buffalo and beagle,
Alligator, guinea pig, and flea.
We would converse in polar bear and python,
And we could curse in fluent kangaroo.
If people asked us, can you speak in rhinoceros,
We'd say, "Of courserous, can't you?"
If we could talk to the animals, learn their languages
Think of all the things we could discuss
If we could walk with the animals, talk with the animals,
Grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals,
And they could squeak and squawk and speak and talk to us.I
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Now I ask you why? Why? WHY? Are there always flamingos at the entrance to a zoo....?
Seriously, have you noticed that?
Maybe cuz they are a sunny little burst of cheerfulness? Or because you can get so close?
Don't know. But my friend Wendy and I enjoyed a stop there during our trip to the World Famous San Diego Zoo!
How can you possibly resist snapping some photos? (Especially if you are me and have a Photo Blog that you have to feed DAILY?)
I noticed a sun spot on this next little guy (gal?) so I dialed down the exposure and took advantage of that spotlight effect.
You know though, I think my favorite part of that shot is the pink glow in the water. Kookie but true!
I'm calling this next one "The Last Nap of the Headless Flamingo."
And just in case that got you in the mood to read a little bit of The Last Ride of the Headless Horseman:
Here's an excerpt from The Legend of Sleepy Hallow:
"Just then he heard the black steed panting and blowing close behind him; he even fancied that he felt his hot breath. Ichabod cast a look behind to see if his pursuer should vanish, according to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone. Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups, and in the very act of hurling his head at him. Ichabod endeavored to dodge the horrible missile, but too late. It encountered his cranium with a tremendous crash,--he was tumbled headlong into the dust, and Gunpowder, the black steed, and the goblin rider, passed by like a whirlwind."
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
One thing that wide angle lenses are really good for is to get a wide view of a close space.
The above photo is with my 24-70 lens (this is a wide angle as well)
But look at this standing in the exact same spot with the 15 mm lens.
(I think this would be great to use in a bride's dressing room where space is tight.)
a 15mm lens is also great for WIDE landscapes....
(Okay - sorry I was goofing around for a minute...this distortion is easily corrected by Photoshop though!)
I love the medium of photography, for with its unique realism, it gives me the power to go beyond conventional ways of seeing and understanding and say - This is real, too.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I've been wanting a 15mm fisheye lens. For awhile now.
The Vice President of my company (hubby) suggested I rent one to give it a try before I put it OFFICIALLY on my wish list.
So I did.
Did you know you can rent lenses, cameras, lighting, backdrops, etc -- just about ANYTHING you want for a day or a week? Well you can.
There are plenty of online rental places that ship it straight to your door. I happen to live pretty close to Calumet Camera so I zipped to their shop to do my renting.
$30 for the whole weekend. Yay.
Notice how the front glass is bowed? Looks like a fish eye don't you think?
It can give things a rounded appearance:
Like this shot of my straight and tall owl house. Kinda fun, huh?
It is REALLY wide -- so you can get fun angles that you'd never capture with a regular lens.
Like the inside of my dryer...
Or the dishwasher...
Or even a precious little poodle nose!
It gives a nice bend to the horizon too if you want.
Tomorrow I'll show you how to use it seriously - today we're just goofing around.
*And lastly, speaking of WIDE ANGLE --see my little pink slippers in the next shot? Yep. Yep. That's pretty wide!)
A fisheye lens is a wide-angle lens that takes in an extremely wide, hemispherical image. Originally developed for use in meteorology to study cloud formation and called "whole-sky lenses", fisheye lenses quickly became popular in general photography for their unique, distorted appearance.
They are often used by photographers shooting broad landscapes to suggest the curve of the Earth.
All the ultra-wide angle lenses suffer from some amount of barrel distortion but this can easily be corrected by software for moderately wide angles of view.