Nancy Merrill has chosen birds as the subject for this week’s Photo A Week Challenge and many of you will know that the only way I’ll take a picture of a bird is either from a safe distance or from behind a window or similar barrier. My life-long fear of birds has kept me at a distance from these beautiful creatures but it doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate them or enjoy capturing the occasional image. However, these birds were definitely not in a mood to be trifled with.
One angry bird! This swan did not appreciate an over-inquisitive visitor to the Chicago Botanic Garden getting too close to its young ones.
Never get between a hawk and its dinner. This angry bird evidently didn’t welcome anyone else getting near the plat du jour.
This bird, at Brookfield Zoo, was decidedly cheesed-off about something. It kept marching up and down and making a lot of noise and I, for one, wasn’t about to get in its way.
Also at Brookfield Zoo, this eagle obviously considered it an invasion of his privacy when I used the long lens to get some candid shots.
When I posted a few giraffe pictures recently for Jennifer Nichole Wells’ One Word Photo Challenge, fellow blogger, Scillagrace, pointed out that I had omitted to include any which show the giraffe’s prodigious tongue. Going back to the photo files I managed to find a few that give only an idea of just how long it really is. A giraffe’s prehensile tongue can measure anything up to 18 to 20 inches in length. Very useful for reaching those tasty leaves on the topmost branches of a tree in the wild but at the zoo the food is put within easy reach so there’s not much call for any kind of strenuous tongue activity.
Back to the alphabet for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge which this week features the letters K and L. Many of the images that I’ve used for this challenge were taken some years ago and it’s been interesting for me to wander through the old photo files to see just what kind of things caught my eye back in the day.
A Komodo Dragon named Faust, on display at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago in 2006.
This picture of a kangaroo was taken so long ago I can’t remember where I saw it. Possibly Brookfield Zoo.
A more recent picture, of a koi fish, was taken at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
The king of the jungle, a lion at Brookfield Zoo gazes out at an admiring crowd, sizing us up perhaps as a possible source of lunch. He looks very lazy but I’m sure he was ready to leap into action if the need arose.
A lamb at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, Illinois.
A rather alarming llama appearing to get somewhat confrontational at Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm in South Barrington.
I really had to go out on a limb for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week. Keeping to my chosen theme, animals, bugs and birds, I struggled to find anything in the photo files that started with the letters I or J especially the letter I, so I hope you will pardon me if I have jumped to any conclusions in identifying the following. Hopefully, anyone more knowledgeable about bird and animal species can correct me.
Could this be a glossy ibis? I captured the image many years ago in an avian sanctuary at Cypress Gardens in Florida. Unfortunately the b/w treatment has taken away all distinguishing colors but the original picture shows that the bird was grey with an iridescent sheen to the feathers. There was also a red strip on the upper part of the bill. If you have followed my blog for any amount of time you will be wondering why I was in a cage full of birds. Despite my life-long fear of our feathered friends, the opportunity to get some close-up shots of so many beautiful creatures prompted me, in a moment of insanity, to plunge in, so to speak. My husband accompanied me (someone had to be there to carry me out if I fainted!) and we crept around trying not to disturb the inhabitants. I was terrified!!! I only managed to take a few shots before my courage completely deserted me and had to be led out with my eyes shut.
The animals pictured above are, I’m fairly sure, Siberian ibex. This was a shot that I took on slide film many, many years ago at Brookfield Zoo when they had a high, rocky enclosure know as IbexIsland. It was demolished in 2008 to make room for the new bear exhibit. I don’t know what happened to the ibex.
Jellyfish, pictured at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
A junco and blue jay in our garden. These shots were taken with a long lens from the safety of our living-room window.
The letters for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week are G or H and, keeping to my chosen theme of nature and more specifically animals, bugs and the like, I didn’t have too hard a time coming up with the goods.
The patterns on this giraffe make for great camouflage among the leaves at Brookfield Zoo.
Despite being stripped of his brilliant color by the b/w treatment of this image, a greedy goldfinch in our garden still makes a good subject for the letter G.
A giant grasshopper; at least it appears that way thanks to this close encounter at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
A hopeful hen looking for food and a handsome horse waiting to do a little light work at the Volkening Heritage Farm in Spring Valley Nature Center, Schaumburg.
A hungry hawk making short work of a hapless sparrow.
This picture of a huge hippo was taken back in the day when Brookfield Zoo still kept a number of large mammals. Somehow the whole zoo-going experience just hasn’t been the same without these giants.