Part of the itinerary during our granddaughter’s visit a few weeks ago was a trip to Brookfield Zoo. I think the temperature was in the nineties so we didn’t stay long. Summer is never the best time to go to the zoo. I don’t know who was feeling the more lethargic, us or the animals. We didn’t get to see everything this time but you can bet that I will be making the most of my senior membership later on this year when the weather cools off a bit.
This week, the subject for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge is horns and, as I discovered when I went through the photo files, they come in all shapes and sizes.
The only longhorn that we saw in Texas was this one, stuffed and mounted, on display outside a restaurant in San Antonio.
Personally, I’m always happy to have a fence between me and any animal that has horns like either of these two critters.
One close encounter with a bison in South Dakota was more than enough for me. This one was safely lounging in an enclosure at Brookfield Zoo.
These are some of the prettiest horns I’ve seen, belonging to an addax antelope, also at Brookfield Zoo.
And last but not least, some impressive horns on an energetic goat waiting for food to be delivered on a pulley system at a farm in Lowell, Indiana. The grandkids had a great time sending up bucket after bucket.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to Horns.
This week’s topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Pairs and that reminds of the song that begins “The animals went in two by two, hurrah, hurrah.” So here are a few pairs that might have made it onto the ark, including a pair of seals that look like they are not exactly on speaking terms and a couple of lions that might just have slept through the whole thing.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, go to Pairs. Images were captured at Brookfield Zoo, Como Park Zoo and Busse Woods in Elk Grove Village.
During our recent trip to Minnesota we were pleasantly surprised when we made a last-minute decision to visit Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in Saint Paul. The conservatory was our main focus but when we realized that the zoo was right next door, we thought, “why not.” The fact that there was no admission fee for either place made a visit there even more enticing.
Besides the splendid plant collections inside the conservatory, there was a beautiful Japanese Garden and a spectacular show of water lilies outside the Visitor Center.
Although the zoo may not be as large as some, it had an amazing collection of animals in natural enclosures that allowed for some nice close-up photography opportunities.
Both the zoo and conservatory are operated by the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department and are open year-round.
I can highly recommend a visit to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. It’s a great place for family fun as it also includes a small amusement park and carousel.
The subject for Tourmaline’s One Word Photo Challenge this week is Seal. This is my eldest granddaughter’s favorite animal. At least, for now.
For more on the One Word Photo Challenge go to Seal
Under normal circumstances nothing would induce me to visit somewhere like Brookfield Zoo on a sunny, mild Sunday, but when the Grandkids visit on a weekend and Sunday is the only available day, I have to brave the crowds and make the best of it. As I suspected it would be, the place was packed! Luckily my Granddaughter is old enough to get around under her own steam and doesn’t tire easily so we got in a solid three hours of walking and seeing all kinds of wild and wonderful creatures. She even enticed me into the Australia House, something I swore I’d never do again after Mom and I were dive bombed by a giant bat, but I’m glad I chanced it as I got a nice shot of this kookaburra.
I always enjoy watching the giraffes. We caught this one in a confrontation with a couple of geese. The giraffe was a young one and was naturally curious about the two noisy interlopers in its enclosure. He bent down to get a closer look but the goose took exception and put up a bit of a fight. The youngster jumped back in alarm and then ambled off to chew on a few twigs.
My Granddaughter loves dogs so this one, an African painted dog, naturally caught her eye. No, I don’t think Momma will let you bring this one home!
Next up were the bison. I haven’t been this close to one of these animals since the time I found myself on the outside of an enclosure just a few yards away from one that they’d neglected to round up with the others, in Custer State Park, South Dakota. It was looking for its buddies and had snuck up on me, there being only one other hapless photographer between me and it. Needless to say, I made a slow, backwards retreat to the car.
Granddaughter likes to get into the spirit of the thing.
On to everyone’s favorite, Tropic World. Well, everyone except me. I’m never very comfortable in here, with the birds flying about, but luckily they didn’t come too close and I was able to focus my attention on the animals.
The gorillas are always most impressive. especially the large silver-backed male who kept a wary eye on us and his family. There were several young ones playing about and I could feel for the mother as she tried to catch a few moments peace and quiet before they were back, jumping on top of her.
As is very often the case, many of the larger animals were taking a siesta and there wasn’t much action to be seen in either the bear or big cat enclosures.
It was a different story over by the sea lions. They were being put through their paces by some of the keepers and were demonstrating their fish-catching and flipper waving skills. Unfortunately there was a thick mesh screen separating us from the action but I found that if I zoomed in close enough with the camera, it magically disappeared. All in all, quite a successful day, with one satisfied kid (after we’d stopped at the gift shop) and plenty of pictures to share.
The Chicago Bears may be a dismal disappointment (again) this year, but these Chicago bears are anything but. A firm favorite with visitors to both Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos, the Polar bears are always a big attraction and never fail to please their fans which is why I picked them for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter P – Needs to have at least 5 letters and start with P