Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Sunday morning walk around the San Diego Zoo

I spent a few hours walking around the Zoo this morning. The monitor lizard was out in the sun warming up. This thing is huge.

The Galapagos tortoises were enjoying their breakfast. They can chomp through that stuff pretty quickly.

Mom and new baby hippo (born Jan 26, 2011) were out sitting on the sand by their pool. That thing that looks like a giant rock in the background is Mom.

I stopped by the pond at the bottom of the canyon below the raptors to check out the some of the birds - lots of flamingos, and lots of other birds too..

I made it a point to get back to Tiger River in time for the keeper talk, and it was worth the wait. The keeper tossed a rabbit to the female tiger, who ran down the log to catch it and then carried it to a quiet corner to enjoy her mid-morning snack. I did get a few shots of the tiger with the rabbit in her mouth, but I don't think I'll post those pictures here. Here's Daniai (I think) watching - she knows something tasty is on the way.

On my way out I stopped in to check out the pygmy hippos. They're really small compared to Otis, who lives in the big hippo pool, but up close like this they don't look like anything you would want to come face to face with.

Click here to see more images from my Sunday morning walk around the San Diego Zoo.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baby seals and some flying birds - A few hours at La Jolla

We had a little break in the storm this afternoon so I drove down to La Jolla to see if I could get some shots of the baby seals at the Children's Pool. It was raining when I first arrived, but I waited in the car for about 1/2 an hour and then it cleared up for about 45 minutes before getting dark again. There were lots of seals hauled out on the beach, and several of the young ones - even a couple of little ones playing in the surf with mom. 

This one seemed to be having a great time rolling around in the sand.

Mom and baby playing in the surf.

There were lots of gulls and pelicans out too.

This one was getting a bit too close I think.

Here's one coming in for a landing on the sand. That's the sea wall in the background.

The pelicans seem to like flying in formation. This reminded me of seeing the Navy aircraft flying in front of the downtown skyline 2 weeks ago.

Click here to see more from my afternoon in La Jolla at the Children's Pool.

Calli the Cat

I was getting my camera gear ready to go out this afternoon when I spotted Calli sitting on the couch.

Click here if you would like to see an assortment of pictures of Aldo and Calli.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I took an old friend for a walk around the Zoo today.

The "old friend" in question is actually a Nikon 300mm lens that has been sitting unused in a cabinet since mid-2007 when I switched from shooting film to digital. For various reasons I decided then to go with a different brand of dSLR, but kept my Nikon film gear "just in case". I finally got around to buying a Nikon digital SLR today, and as soon as the battery was charged I dug out the old lens and ran down to the San Diego Zoo. The lens is big and heavy (almost 3 lbs., not counting the camera body) and walking around the Zoo with it is actually a bit of workout. I still haven't figured out all of the controls on the new camera, but here are a few from my first hour or so with it, this afternoon at the San Diego Zoo. I didn't get there until 4PM, so the light was getting low in the canyons, but really nice up on the mesas. 

This next one is cropped a bit, the others are all straight from the camera.

Anyone planning a trip to the San Diego Zoo this time of year should really try to be at the meerkat enclosure right before the sun drops down and shades the enclosure in the late afternoon.

I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time with my "old friend" at the Zoo and Wild Animal Park. 

Click here for a few more images from this afternoon at the San Diego Zoo.

A Few From Sunday - the Presidio and a Nice Sunset

I spent some time wandering around the Presidio on Sunday. To many people it's one of the most recognizable places in San Diego. The building is often confused with the San Diego Mission, which is actually a few miles away, and this building is no where near as old. The Presidio hill was the site of the Spanish military commander's headquarters, but this structure was built in 1929 as a museum, which is what it is still today.

Click here to see a few more images from the Presidio.

After I finished up at the Presidio on Sunday I drove north to La Jolla to see what I could find, and wound up at the Salk Institute just as the sun was setting.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Few More From The Centennial of Naval Aviation

I went back and edited a few of my shots from Saturday, mostly tighter crops, and some with a few other clean-ups and enhancements. Here are some of them.

Before the flying started a pair of LCAC's showed up, here's one with the downtown skyline in the background.

Here's a slightly enhanced shot of the Blue Angels leaving town.

Here's a tighter crop of one of the shots of the Leap Frogs. The colors are all as shot, no enhancement necessary there.

Here's a tight crop of an Osprey hovering in front of the downtown skyline.

Here's another tight crop, this time of a helicopter. If you look behind and below you can see just how much heat the engines throw off.

The naval aircraft weren't the only things flying on Saturday.

Click here to see more from my second gallery from the Centennial of Naval Aviation. Note that some of these are the same shots as in the first gallery, just cropped and/or edited a bit.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Centennial of Naval Aviation - San Diego - Feb 12, 2011

The US Navy put on quite a show this afternoon as part of their celebration of 100 years of naval aviation. The highlight was a Parade of Flight, with almost 200 planes flying over San Diego Bay. A group of us from the San Diego DSLR Photography Group got together to watch this from Shelter Island. At the same time other members of the Group were on Coronado and other parts of San Diego Bay.

The air show opened with a fly-over by the Blue Angels. They didn't do their whole show, just a quick trip out from their practice area in Yuma, AZ, over the Coronado Bridge, up over the Bay, and back home. Here they come . . . 

. . . and there they go.

The B-17 was impressive. They had quite a few WWII vintage aircraft in the air.

The Navy Leap Frogs dropped in.

There was a demonstration of helicopter aerial refueling.

There were lots of people on the shorelines, lots of boats on the Bay, and lots of helicopters in the air.

From our vantage point on Shelter Island we had a nice view of the downtown San Diego skyline as well as of Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado. We also had a great view of the rising moon, and occasionally a few planes passing in front of it.

The aircraft just kept on coming, there was said to be close to 200 in all. 

The last flight of the afternoon was the air wing from the carrier Stennis flying in from the west. It's a little tough to see in this picture, and that is not all of it. The formation was almost a mile long.

The Parade of Flight was a great demonstration of naval aviation over the years, with aircraft dating back to well before WWII flying overhead. We knew it would be crowded so we went down to Shelter Island early, arriving at 9:30AM even though the fly-over didn't start until 1:00PM. As it was, we got some of the last parking spots around. After parking down by the water we walked a few blocks to Red Sails Inn and had breakfast, then back to the water to wait. Afterwards the traffic looked so bad that we decided to walk over to Point Loma Seafoods for a late lunch/early dinner rather than sit in a long line of cars. We got back to the water at about 5:00PM, the traffic leaving Shelter Island was still moving very slowly. The sunset was looking nice, so we set up our tripods and took a few more shots.

Click here to see lots more images from the Centennial of Naval Aviation Parade of Flight over San Diego Bay on Saturday, February 12, 2011.

Some Recent Flower Pictures

Here are some recent flower pictures. The close-up of the jade plant flowers is from our backyard.

I found this next one this afternoon as we were walking to lunch after the air show. This is actually a rather tight crop of a much wider view.

Click here and here to see more flower pictures.

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.

Blog Archive


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. You can also see more on my Instagram page @frankbaiamonte.

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.