San Diego Zoo Safari Park Cutting Room Floor

May 7, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Flamingos at Wild Animal Park


        Last month I ran a trilogy of blog posts that featured photos I took at San Diego’s Wild Animal Park. I had some great pics of the butterfly jungle, birds, and the Animals of Africa exhibit. This post will feature a random assortment of photos that, for one reason or another I didn’t like. Mostly the problem was composition or the quality of the subject matter. At any rate, this post will contain those very photos that didn’t make it into the first round, yet I still wanted to give a chance to see the light of day. Yes, I know that on game day you don’t want to have to sit through the JV squad getting their mandatory play time, but even sporting policy will have to answer to me sooner or later.

Egret at Wild Animal Park

Egret With Mating Plumage

See through dress at wild animal park

Uh… No.

Lorikeet Feeding at Wild Animal Park

Feeding The Lorikeets

Blackbird at Wild Animal Park

Somethimes Feathers Get Ruffled

Gorilla at Wild Animal Park


Giraffes at Wild Animal Park

Bring On The Giraffes

Lion at Wild Animal Park

The King Of The Jungle, Or So She Thinks

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

April 22, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Tiger At San Diego Zoo Safari Park


        Since this was my first trip to The Wild Animal Park since the 1970’s, it was all new to me. We spent 8 hours there and saw less than half the park. Next time I go, it will be on a two day weekend pass, and I’ll rent a Segway as well, even though a two hour rental is $80, I think it’ll be worth it in time saved and energy conserved because I was dragging ass after walking around and mostly standing all day.

Giraffes At At San Diego Zoo Safari Park


        Giraffes have a prehensile tongue, so they can control it like we control a finger. For this photo they just used their tongue like a tongue.

Cheetah At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

You, My Friend Are A Cheetah

        Cheetahs are the fastest land animal on the planet, and probably the solar system. Regardless of speed, I think all cats, wild and domestic, share the trait of the upside-down V mouth. Noticing the angle of the upside down V is something I’ve enjoyed doing since childhood.

Rhinoceros At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The Thinker And The Stinker

        The horn of a rhinoceros is made out of keratin, which is this same thing our hair and fingernails are made of. This rhino seems to lead a splendid life of leisure.

Lions At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Lions Are The King Of The Jungle

        If you find yourself needing to flee from a lion, I would suggest climbing a tree. It seems that lions CAN climb trees, but they don’t ALWAYS climb trees. These are better odds then staying on the ground where ALL the lions will eat you every time.

Giraffes At San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park

A Few More Giraffes

        I try to keep repetition to a minimum on my posts, but this post does have a couple of the same animals. Besides, giraffes are cool, as are the other animal repeats you are about to see.

Tiger At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

2010 Is The Year Of The Tiger

        Tigers are my favorite cat, and favorite year on the Chinese lunar calendar. The tigers were WAY far a away from the viewing area, so I was at 450mm, and I was shooting through a chain-link fence that I wanted to make disappear, so I used my smallest available f/stop, which was f/5.6.

Elephant At San Diego Zoo Safari Park


        This elephant was the only one I had a clear shot of of the four or so that were walking around. The background is distracting, but the curve of his trunk in this photo is what spoke to me so it found a place in this post.

Lion At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The Lion Says Goodnight

        And so ends the trilogy of posts from my day at The San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park. I’m going to put out a fourth, “special feature” post with photos that did not quite make the grade for one reason or another, but would have been rad if I had gotten it right. To view the first post, featuring butterflies, click here, and for the second post full of birds, click here. Cheers!

Birds Of San Diego Zoo Safari Park

April 21, 2010 by · 6 Comments 

Victoria Crowned Pigeon at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

        This colorful post consists of birds I photographed while on safari at San Diego Zoo Safari Park this past weekend. I feel pretty confident about my identification of all the birds in these photos except for the one above and the one below. If anyone knows for sure what kind of birds they are, let me know.
        UPDATE: The top photo is a Victoria Crowned Pigeon & the black bird below is a Boat Tailed Grackle.

Boat Tailed Grackle at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Boat Tailed Grackle

        This photo was snapped while my companion and I ate our gourmet lunch. Even though I had money specifically for what I knew would be overpriced food, it really didn’t help ease the sting of the price tag. The problem is that when I got to places like The Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Zoo or to street festival events, I really look forward to eating while I’m there. So, just for you curious types that would like to what I ate, where I ate it and what I paid for it: I ate at the Mombasa Island Cooker where I enjoyed (out on the covered terrace of course) a gourmet western cheeseburger, garlic fries and a glass of merlot, for which I paid $16.

Lorikeet at San Diego Zoo Safari Park


        The lorikeet exhibit was one of the more interactive and “touchable” things to do at The Wild Animal Park. You can wander through the exhibit and most of the lorikeets will come up to you, much like pigeons do at parks and bus stations. If you have $3 to spend, you may purchase cups of nectar that you can hold out in your hand, which entices the lorikeets to land on you, walk down your arm and drink.

African Crowned Crane at San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park

African Crowned Crane

        There are a lot of these African crowned cranes in the park, and they seem to like to travel in pairs. Photographically speaking, subjects that have both black AND white in them make proper exposure very difficult. In the photo above, the highlights are a bit blown out, in order to accommodate the deep black feathers.

Shoebill at San Diego Zoo Safari Park


        The shoebills in The Wild Animal Park were the only birds that I found to be a little bit scary. For starters, the top of their head came up to about my chin and their bill is about the size of an encyclopedia. (An “encyclopedia” is a large book full of facts compiled by learned individuals that people used to use as a reference to write reports or settle arguments. An encyclopedia should NOT be compared to the graffiti-on-the-wall WIKIPEDIA, which is an online dumping ground of psuedo-facts written by anyone with at least monkey-level typing skills.) Anyway, a bird that can stand on tippy-toes and look me in the eye with a blunt instrument for a beak gets respect, and a healthy dose of fear out of me.

Black Crowned Night Heron at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Black Crowned Night Heron

        According to this website, the black crowned night heron is a local (San Diego) bird that happens to fly into the Wild Animal Park to hunt and hang out. I’m not sure about any effects this has on the non-native animals that are actually brought into the park, but I watched this heron snatch this baby bird from a nest and then eat it. It actually caused quite a ruckus from the people watching as well as the momma bird that tried, in vain to get her baby back.

Butterfly Jungle At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

April 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Zebra Longwing Butterfly (Heliconius charitonia) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Zebra Longwing (Heliconius charitonia)

        San Diego Zoo Safari Park, in Encondito, CA just wrapped up a special “Butterfly Jungle” exhibit this past weekend. The entire park, including the butterfly jungle was a great experience and took up an entire Saturday as well as a few days to sort and select my favorite pics from that day. I found that I had too many keepers for one blog post. I’m going to split that exhausting day into three posts: Butterflies, birds and mammals, in that order.
        This post will feature butterflies. These pics were snapped at 1/500th or faster, and most were at full 450mm zoom. That means the ISO was pretty high (1600-3200 ISO) so there is a bit of noise. Since I know next to nothing about what makes a butterfly tick, I won’t sully their wonderful colors or elegant, nectar slurping lives with any more of my words except to say, “Enjoy.”

Orange Barred Tiger Butterfly (Dryadula Phaetusa) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Orange-Barred Tiger (Dryadula phaetusa)

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly(Papilio cresphontes) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

Malachite Butterfly (Siproeta stelenes) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes)

Paper Kite Butterfly (Idea leuconoe) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Paper Kite Butterfly (Idea leuconoe)”

Malachite Butterfly (Siproeta stelenes) & Blue Morpho Butterfly (Morpho peleides) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Malachite (Siproeta stelenes) & Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides)

Postman Butterfly (Heliconius Melpomene) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Postman (Heliconius melpomene)