Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Trip to the Zoo

There's a storm raging outside and the weather alert box behind me claims that there is quarter sized hail and 60 mph winds possibly converging overhead. Yay! But earlier today, while overcast, was perfect Zoo weather.
I got to try out my new Zoom Lens and Camera Backpack thingy. Both performed splendidly and I couldn't be happier with my presents!
That sentence was punctuated by a thunder-clap.
For the people playing at home: the lens is a Canon EF 28-135mm 3.5-5.6 IS USM, and the backpack thingy is a Lowepro Slingshot 100 AW. At this point I would comfortably recommend both products to anyone interested in that sort of thing.

Here are some of the results (cropped and/or resized to 600x800 to be used as backgrounds and screensavers on my portable devices):

This first entry is part of the long-standing 'Human Caveman' exhibit. Note the unshaven face, the scruffy hair, that 'devil-may-care' smirk. Be thankful for evolution!
And here was see a more advanced form of life. No brand-labeled marketing materials on this chap! This shot was taken through inches-thick plexi-glass. Be amazed!
A duck. I'm pretty sure it's a duck. The Aviary is never really labeled properly. This one has a house made of straw. The storks had the nest of sticks on top of one of the pagodas, but I never spotted the one made of bricks. Maybe the wolf never gets past the one of sticks. It's a pretty steep climb!
This duck(?) was making neat waves. I may not know species from a hand-cart, but I know pretty neat visuals when I see them!
Here I was trying to prove to myself that a fancy lens in manual mode can be made to focus through a chain-link fence and mesh webbing. Luckily this guy was pretty patient and let me take a few shots until I found the magic settings. I'm pretty sure it's a bird.
This guy is a polar bear. Yup. He seems pretty happy to be a polar bear. Beats being the sacrificial duck in a straw house!
This fellow was just hanging out on a guard-rail. He let me get pretty close before getting nervous, and I got quite a few lovely shots of his plumage. Since he has plumage I'm again pretty certain that this is a bird.
Maybe this was an exhibit, maybe it wasn't. But there was a meadow with a bunch of these little guys hanging out. No fences, but a few park-benches and grills... so... Uhm, Iowa Short-tailed Land Beaver?
I know this one! Hold on... I never forget a face. Uhm....
Unicorn. I shall call him Sprinkles! Sprinkles the happy Unicorn! (The name gets funnier if you've ever seen them pee.)
Zebra. Serious Zebra. Serious Zebra will get Sprinkles to maul you if you try make a joke about him or his friend Long-neck. So consider yourself warned, Buddy!
I love digital photography! In the few hours we were at the Zoo I took over 500 pictures. I couldn't even imagine doing something like that with a regular film camera. The backpack kept my new toy safe and secure, and was very happy to know that if the heavens HAD broken loose in the torrent that is currently bashing against my window, that the backpack has an integrated water-proof pouch that can be deployed and secured in seconds. :D
All in all... a good day!

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