Photography . . . Travel . . .

Friday, April 22, 2011

Was it something I said?

I went to the San Diego Zoo this morning, and after looking at some of the pictures, I'm wondering if I might have really upset some of the animals. Take this river otter, for example, he doesn't look all that thrilled to see me.




This brown bear doesn't look all that happy either. He's practically foaming at the mouth.




This last little guy (I can't remember what he's called - some sort of sloth I think), looks positively diabolical. He just can't wait to get out of that cage and maul someone.




Of course I'm just kidding . . . but I had to do something when I got three shots like this all in the space of a couple hours.


It was pretty crowded there today, probably one of the busier days of the year. My plan was to catch the Keeper Talk at the Tigers at 11:30, but once I got there the crowd in front of the enclosure was so thick I knew I would never get a shot. Next up was going to be the baby hippo. He was in the water with his mother, they were right up against the glass, but with a steady stream of people packed in too tightly to even think about a picture. Too bad, because it was the cleanest I've seen the water in a long time.


That crazy peacock was at it again with one of the female mallards, who again was having no part of it.




Before he got all excited and started charging the front of the enclosure, the brown bear actually looked quite peaceful and almost friendly. He kind of looks like a big dog.




Lots of stuff was in bloom, this is a great time of year to visit the Zoo. All year round is good, though, and they do have one of the largest botanical collections around.




This guy, who I found in the hummingbird house, appears to be focusing in on a tasty snack.




I couldn't leave without getting at least one shot of a flamingo, one of my favorite birds at the Zoo.




Click here to see more images from today (including a real flamingo) and lots more of the grizzlies and brown bear, and some calmer shots of the river otters too.
  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Renaissance Faire - Escondido, CA - April 10, 2011

I went back to the Renaissance Faire in Escondido on Sunday. The main thing to see is the people, you can really tell that they enjoy what they do - and it certainly does show on their faces. I think that's what makes it so much fun to spend time at these gatherings, talking with the participants and just soaking up the atmosphere. Here are a few images from today. 

























So, maybe if you're the kind of person who always has to have their life firmly grounded in reality the Renaissance Faire might not be for you. But, if you're the kind of person who can go out walking in the woods and wonder about just what sort of fantastic creatures you might happen upon . . . well, then maybe this is just the place. You have to look quickly though, sometimes it's just a fleeting glance and then it's gone.
  



Click here to see lots more images from Sunday, April 10, 2011 at the Renaissance Faire in Escondido, CA.  Scroll down to the entry for April 3rd to see more from that day as well.
     

Saturday, April 9, 2011

San Diego Botanic Garden - SD-DSLR Monthly Group Shoot

The San Diego DSLR Photo Group held its monthly Group Shoot this morning - at the San Diego Botanic Garden, in Encinitas. These get-togethers are as much a social gathering as they are a chance to get out and shoot some photos. We generally spend the morning wandering around someplace scenic, visiting and shooting as we go.


It had been raining a lot on Thursday and Friday, but we show up for these things regardless. There were a lot of clouds both off shore and backed up against the mountains in the morning when I left the house, but it was fairly sunny at the Garden. It had rained during the night, the plants were still wet, and everything was nice and clean. 








While I was there I met a local photographer who was there by himself, not part of our group. While we were talking a lizard decided to warm up on a nearby rock. The light was pretty harsh, and I didn't have any sort of reflector or flash with me to help balance it out. My new friend was kind enough to loan me his flash for a couple of shots. I'm pretty sure you would not be able to see that colorful blue underbelly on this lizard if I had not been able to use it.




Speaking of blue . . .






All in all it was a pretty good morning, spent walking around a very lush garden, taking pictures with a bunch of friends, followed by a group lunch at a local restaurant.






Click here to see more images from the San Diego Botanic Garden on April 9, 2011.


If you would like to see more images from the rest of the group, click here for the San Diego DSLR Photo Group website.
  
    

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Renaissance Faire - Escondido, CA - April 3, 2011

I went to the Renaissance Faire on Sunday - it's always a fun place to walk around and take pictures. Lots of interesting people and colorful costumes. This particular faire was held in Escondido, in a park full of oak trees. It runs over 2 weekends, and I plan to return this coming weekend as well. 




This next lovely lady was all smiles . . . 




 . . .  but as soon as she turned around you could tell she was ready for almost anything.




Here's a swordsman, deep in thought, getting ready for the big battle.










Way in the back corner of the faire are the pirate encampments. To me they're actually one of the most fun groups to visit. One of the camps is called the Pirates of Treasure Cove, and their mission, besides having a lot of fun, is to promote literacy - by getting kids to read about pirates. I think it's a great idea, and they are very passionate about what they do. They welcome people of all ages into their camp, and have a large table set up with books for kids to look at. If you go to the Renaissance Faire in California look for them, and support them with a donation. It's a good cause.








This guy was showing me his chain mail vest earlier in the day. It weighed 45 pounds, and he said that he had formed and closed every link by hand, with just pliers. I can't begin to imagine how long it must have taken.




Some costumes were more elaborate than others, but they all take this quite seriously.




Even the ducks get armored up.








Click here for more images from the Renaissance Faire in Escondido, California on Sunday April 3rd. The faire will be running this coming weekend, April 9-10, and will return again in the Fall, October 29-30 and November 5-6, at Felicita Park in Escondido, California.
   

A Few Images From the San Diego Zoo

Heather and I spent a couple of hours walking around the Zoo on Saturday morning. It was very crowded with Spring Break visitors, so we didn't stay too long. Here are few images, starting with some little birds from the Hummingbird House.






One of the flamingos was taking a nap (sort of).




Mom hippo Funani was teaching baby hippo Adhama how to hold his breath, or swim, or something like that anyway. This one is not very clear since it was shot through the plexiglass viewing wall.


  
Click here for a few more images from Saturday, April 2nd at the San Diego Zoo.
   

Spring Is In The Air (But I think this peacock may need glasses)

I don't think there is any shortage of peahens at the San Diego Zoo to keep the peacocks company, but when we were there on Saturday you would have thought they had all left town. This peacock was making all kinds of noise and displaying his feathers, but there wasn't a peahen in sight.






A young girl standing next to me wondered to her mother "where his girl was". I said something about how last year I had seen the exact same behavior by one of the peacocks to a female mallard duck, and just a few minutes later we saw this. He was definitely interested in the duck, which of course was not buying it at all. At one point he even grabbed the duck by the back of the head.


    

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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.

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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 frank@frankbaiamonte.com 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.