Frank B. Baiamonte

Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Curious Cat - Malayan Tiger at the San Diego Zoo

There is a small group of us who can generally be found at the Malayan Tiger enclosure at the San Diego Zoo on Saturday mornings.  In fact, you're more likely to see us than you are to see the tiger.  We don't mind waiting hours for him to show up, and we're often rewarded with a few good pictures for our patience.  We'll just hang out and talk, either between ourselves or with other Zoo visitors.  Every now and then though, Connor surprises us by peering around a corner to see just who's out there, and to keep us on our toes.  He really does look like he's curious to know what's happening on the other side of the barrier.

Sometimes he sneaks up on us from the right, on the log that comes down from the upper pond.

Other times he peers around the corner from the left.

Over the course of a year the lighting in the enclosure changes a lot.  Late summer and early autumn are often very harsh in the late morning and mid-day, but nice in the early morning and later in the afternoon.  Last Saturday we had some particularly nice light around 2:00pm, with lots of sunlight reflecting up from the water in the lower pond and off the light colored rock walls.  And, we were also lucky enough to have a tiger show up at just the right time.

Here's something a little different.

Click here to see more of Connor, the San Diego Zoo's Malayan Tiger, from Saturday, September 20, 2014.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Few More Recent Images From The San Diego Zoo

Here are some images from a few recent trips to the San Diego Zoo.

Check out his eyes. It looks like he's coming up with some sort plan.

I wonder where this leads?

Now I remember, it's Connor, the Zoo's Malayan Tiger.

Click here to see a few more from the San Diego Zoo on August 31 and September 1, 2014.

I caught these Gharials hanging out in the pond the other day on my way down Tiger Trail. I thought that the symmetry was quite interesting.

Click here to see a few more images from the San Diego Zoo on September 6, 2014.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Green Flash Brewery - San Diego

A group of us from our local photo club took a tour of the Green Flash Brewery this afternoon.  It was a lot of fun, and we learned a bit about how beer is made at the same time.

At various stops along the tour they rolled out trays of samples.

Someone left this beer unattended on a counter, so of course several of took turns using it as a prop for our shots.

The highlight of the tour (after the samples) was the 40F cold storage room.  It was in the high 90's in parts of San Diego today.

Click here to see a few more images from our tour of the Green Flash Brewery in the Mira Mesa area of San Diego, California.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My iPhone Is Watching Me

I guess I knew, or assumed anyway, that my iPhone 5 was tracking where I was going, but I didn't realize to just what extent.  I hadn't been using this handy pull-down screen much, mostly because I forget about the feature.  The few times that I did look at it were on weekday mornings, and this is the usual message.  "Right now, it would take you about 36 minutes to drive to work."

The other day I noticed this instead, which I like the idea of a lot better.

I guess this makes my wallpaper choice for the phone all the more appropriate.


Some Recent San Diego Zoo Pictures

Here are some images from recent visits to the San Diego Zoo.  It's obvious I spent most of my time with Connor, the Malayan Tiger, but I did catch a few other cool things, including the Inca Terns, and the Hippos, which were really active.

Click here to see more images from the San Diego Zoo taken between June 28 and July 13, 2014.

Click here to see more images from the San Diego Zoo taken on August 2, 2014.

My friend Stan has named this female Black-Casqued Hornbill Phyllis, as in Phyllis Diller. When you see and hear her (the bird, this is), it's obvious why. 

I hadn't noticed the Inca Terns before, but I think they're now my new favorite birds.

Here's something you really don't want to see when you're out for a swim.

There is a remotely-controlled water cannon mounted above the hippo pool, they seem to enjoy getting right into the stream of water, either on the top of their snout or into their mouths. There's a lot of room between those upper and lower teeth.

Click here for more images from the San Diego Zoo taken between August 9 and August 16, 2014. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Two Weeks in Spain - May 2014 - Barcelona

We spent two weeks in Spain in mid-May this year. We flew in to Barcelona, where we spent 5 nights, then traveled by train to Zaragoza, where we stayed 3 nights. Our last stop was Madrid, where we spent 5 nights before flying back to San Diego. We took a day trip to Girona from Barcelona, and another to Segovia from Madrid. 

Most of our time there was spent exploring on foot, basically wandering around checking out the cities, the architecture, the people, and the food. We tend to use guidebooks more just to get rough ideas, rather than following any sort of strict itinerary. More often than not, by the time the end of the day rolls around it doesn't look at all like what we thought it might when we first left the hotel in the morning. We don't view that as a bad thing.

We walked past this door on one of the main streets in Barcelona one evening, and I stopped to take a look through the glass. Next thing I knew a gentleman inside opened the door and asked if we wanted to take a quick look. He said we could have just a couple of minutes, but we weren't about to say no.

Here's what we saw when we stepped inside. Quite an entry hall. This building is just next door to Gaudi's Casa Batllo on Passeig de Gracia. 

We took a tour of the Palau de la Musica Catala, an amazing concert hall.

The exterior of the building is just as ornate as the interior.

Not your average ticket window.

The Santa Caterina Market was a great place to wander into for a late lunch after our tour of the Palau.

We had a great lunch at one of the little restaurants along the outer edge of the market. No tables, just seats at a long bar with views in towards the Market.

The Gothic church Santa Maria del Mar was built over a 55-year period in the 14th Century, consecrated in 1384. The church was heavily damaged in wars in both 1714 and 1936, and restoration was only completed in 1990.

I learned many years ago that when you go into one of these old churches you always want to look up. Of course, that was exactly what the architects wanted people to do, and why they are designed the way that they are.

Here's a view of Barcelona looking out to the sea from the hill above Gaudi's Park Guell. The wider green strip of trees just to the left of center is Passeig de Gracia, one of the major streets running from the Modernist expansion area of the city towards the older Gothic Quarter nearer the sea. Just to the right of that the narrow strip of green are the trees along the Rambla. Our hotel, the Doubletree Alexandra, was just off the Rambla a few blocks from the end closest to where this was taken from. It's a great hotel in a perfect location.

All this sightseeing made us hungry, so we spent a fair amount of time sampling the local cuisine. Some of my favorites were the many varieties of tentacled sea creatures, in this case grilled cuttlefish, or pulpito al la plancha. Seasoned with just some good olive oil, lemon and a bit of sea salt, it was quite tasty. Heather and I don't even have to fight over who gets the last piece - she prefers the bodies and I prefer the tentacles, so it all works out. This was at the tapas counter at Cerveceria Catalana, on Carrer de Mallorca. 

Barcelona is great city for people who enjoy walking around finding new things to see and do. We could easily have spent several more days there.

We spent a fair amount of time in Barcelona visiting the various examples of the architecture of Antoni Gaudi, including Casa Batllo, Casa Perdrera and the Sagrada Famiglia. I'll put those in a separate post, as well as another for our visit to Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona football club.

Click here to see more images from Barcelona, Spain in May of 2014.

About Me

My Photo
San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.


All of the content and images on this site (c) Frank B. Baiamonte. If you would like to use any of these images please contact me via email at to discuss terms of usage. Note that images from the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are not available for commercial usage.

Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.