Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, July 24, 2011

(Mostly) Reptiles at the San Diego Zoo

I wandered around the San Diego Zoo today with a couple of friends from out of town. Their main goal was to see the tigers, but before we got to Tiger River we spent some time with the reptiles.

The Komodo Dragon (I guess this is technically a monitor lizard) was up by the glass, watching all the people walk by (and probably wondering which one would make a nice snack).

I think this is some sort of iguana. The red eyes are interesting.

We got there pretty early, so we had time to walk all the way around the outdoor reptile exhibits and the Reptile House. There was some glare on the glass at times, but it's always fun to see the snakes up close . . . when they're behind a strong piece of glass. 

This cobra was pretty cool.

We did see some birds along the way as well, including this one half-hidden behind some bushes.

Finally, some tigers. It was pretty crowded, and even though we stayed at this one spot for over an hour I only took a few shots. I stepped back and let some other people in, but I did manage to get my friend to a prime viewing spot right on the rail, and she got lots of pictures, so we got what we came for. Here's a shot of Mek and one of her 3.5 month old cubs. I'm not sure if this is Christopher or Conner. Either way, I think he's grown a bit since I saw him last week.

Here's a close-up of Mek.

And here's a close-up of Danai, the other adult female Malayan tiger at the Zoo.

We even got to see some great little birds in the hummingbird house.

All in all it was a pretty good day to wander around the Zoo.

Click here to see a few more images from the San Diego Zoo on Sunday, July 24, 2011, including some interesting shots of the Galapagos Tortoises.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Esmeralda - Chilean Navy Tall Ship in San Diego

The Chilean Navy's tall ship Esmeralda was in San Diego for a few days this week. On Friday night after dinner Heather and I took a short walk along the waterfront so that we could take a look at what is said to be the second tallest and longest sailing ship in the world. We were too late to go on board for a tour, and all I had was a compact camera for a quick handheld shot, but at least we did get a look at it. It was tied up at the Cruise Ship Terminal, and the gate to the wharf was closed, so this was about as close as we were going to get.


Tigers at the San Diego Zoo

I made a quick trip to the San Diego Zoo on Saturday morning, mostly just to check out the tigers. When I got to Tiger River at 11:00AM the 2 cubs, Christopher and Conner, were napping at the top of the enclosure, pretty much out of sight. Mom tiger Mek must have been checking her watch, because she showed up a few minutes early at the spot where the keeper generally tosses food during the 11:30AM "Keeper Talk". Here she is watching for a chunk of beef heart that is about to be tossed her way.

The boys stayed up at the top of the hill. After finishing her snack Mom went up to have a chat with one of her sons. I'm not sure what they were discussing, but the little guy seems to have that "yeah, Mom . . . whatever" look on his face.

Shortly after that Mek and the boys went in, and Danai, the other adult female tiger, came out into the enclosure.

I only got a few shots this time, not enough to warrant a separate gallery, so no link to more pictures this time. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Liberty Station / Former Naval Training Center San Diego - Evening Photos

A group of us from the San Diego DSLR Photo Group got together on Tuesday night for another evening of dinner and photography. We met at Tin Fish Restaurant in Liberty Station, on the site of the former Naval Training Center San Diego. The food is primarily seafood with a Portuguese influence, and a few Portuguese dishes as well. I tried the ervihlas, a sort of stew with peas, potato and linguica sausage, topped with a poached egg. It was quite good.

The sky was perfect for evening photos on Tuesday, with lots of fluffy clouds and patches of deep blue mixed in. Way more interesting than a solid blue sky.

The almost full moon added a little to mix.

Click here to see more images from our evening at Liberty Station.

Cabrillo Monument / Point Loma Lighthouse - SD-DSLR Photo Group Monthly Group Shoot

The San Diego DSLR Photo Group met at the Cabrillo National Monument at the end of Point Loma this month for its monthly Group Shoot. In addition to the monument commemorating Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, the first European to enter San Diego Bay, this is also the location of the Point Loma Lighthouse.

Just behind and below the old lighthouse is a restroom with what has to be probably one of the best views in all of San Diego.

Click here to see a few more images from our morning wandering around the Cabrillo Monument and the old Point Loma Lighthouse on Saturday 9 July.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Former Naval Training Center San Diego

The former Naval Training Center in San Diego, now known as Liberty Station, is one of the nicest examples I've seen of adaptive re-use in San Diego. The old buildings have been restored, but keeping the exterior architectural details, and are now used as retail, restaurant, office and gallery space. I took a short walk with my camera and tripod around some of the buildings just after sunset on Wednesday night. 

Click here to see more images from the former Naval Training Center San Diego.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Maneki Neko - Japanese Beckoning Cats at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego

It seems like this is the weekend of the cats. First the tigers at the San Diego Zoo (see the previous two posts), and today the exhibit of Japanese beckoning cats (maneki neko) at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. I guess to round it all out I should probably get some pictures of Aldo and Calli before the long holiday weekend is over. For now, though, here are a few images of the huge collection of beckoning cats that is on temporary display. If you are anywhere near San Diego this one is worth the time and effort.

Many of these were behind glass, which made for some interesting reflections at times.

Click here to see a few more images from the collection of Japanese beckoning cats at the Mingei Museum.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Malayan Tiger Cubs - San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo has two new Malayan tiger cubs. Christopher and Conner were born 3 months ago today, and are now about 20 lbs. Their paws are already huge - I think these might be some pretty big kitties when they grow up. They're not out on display yet, but I got an opportunity to see them with one of the keepers this morning. I'll say in advance that the technical quality of the pictures is not that great. They're in an area behind either thick dusty glass or very thick metal wire cage, and the sunlight was glaring off the light colored metal. Pacing back and forth between me and the cubs was an agitated mother tiger - and she's huge.

(Edit 10/23/11: I went back re-edited these 3 photos a bit. I think they are a little sharper and clearer now. Not by much, but better than before.)

Oftentimes I can focus right through a cage or fence (see, for example, the lion in the previous post), but in this case there was just too much glare from the sun on the metal (that's what all that white stuff is). Who cares - check out the look on this guy's face.

A few minutes later he was further back gnawing on a little branch, and I could get closer to the cage and sort of shoot through it.

With a bit of patience (and a bit of cropping) I finally got one that's fairly clear. I really like getting the eye contact.

Even if I hadn't been able to get any pictures, it was worth every minute just to be able to see this guy and his mother up close like that.

Click here to see a few more images from the San Diego Zoo on July 2, 2011.

Saturday Morning Walk Around the San Diego Zoo

One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday or Sunday morning is to take a walk with my camera around the San Diego Zoo. There are a few spots I pretty much always hit, like Tiger River, and then I pick a few other areas and rotate them so I get to see something different from the last trip as well. This morning I started off in the reptile area, where I found some colorful lizards, and the Galapagos tortoises too.

I didn't realize that the big Galapagos tortoises liked to hang out in the pool, but it appears that they do.

It turns out the baby flamingos are not quite the color you might expect.

I always try to get to Tiger River a little early for the 11:30AM Keeper Talk. When I arrived at 11:00AM the female Malayan tiger Danai was napping on the hillside. Once the keeper showed up she got a lot more attentive. Maybe it was the fresh chunks of beef heart that were being tossed to her.

That blurry spot right in front of her nose is actually one of the chunks of meat on its way to her.

I also got a chance to get a look at the two little 3-month old tiger cubs that are not out on public display yet. I think they merit a separate post.

After the tigers I stopped by the hippo pool, and managed to grab a couple of shots of Funani and young son Adhama out for swim. This is certainly not something you ever want to see this close if you're out swimming in a river.

I took a trip up to the lion enclosure to see what I might find. It was already pretty hot by Noon or so, this guy had the right idea, a nap in the shade of a big tree.

I stopped in to the Hummingbird House on my way out, and found this.

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

Friday, July 1, 2011

Evening Photos at the Coronado Ferry Landing

A group of us from the San Diego DSLR Photo Group got together on Thursday night for some evening photos. Some of us got there early and had a light dinner beforehand at Il Fornaio. With all the cameras we had you might think that at least one of us got a shot of our food . . . but no, we didn't. We did get some nice shots of the downtown San Diego skyline across San Diego Bay, and later in the evening, a few shots of the Sea World fireworks off in the distance.

Here's the aircraft carrier USS MIdway (now a museum) sitting across the Bay.

At 9:50PM most summer evenings Sea World has a little fireworks display to signal the end of their day. We were several miles away, but I came prepared with a long lens for just this reason. 

Click here to see more images from my evening photography outing to the Ferry Landing in Coronado, California.

About Me

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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 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.