Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Amur Leopards (San Diego Zoo)

My timing at the Amur Leopards was even better today than it was last week. All three of the 11-month old leopards were chasing each other around the enclosure. Sometimes they caught up to each other.

I'll give these 3 a separate post here, scroll down to see the Tigers and some other shots from this morning at the San Diego Zoo as well. 

Click here to see more images from this morning at the San Diego Zoo.

Malayan Tigers, a Hippo, a Peacock, and a Crocodile (San Diego Zoo)

Things didn't quite go according to plan today. After being out at the Renaissance Faire most of the day Saturday, my original intention was to spend some time today cleaning around the house and organizing my garage. I got distracted it seems. It also seems it doesn't take much to do that.

At one point all three of the tigers decided to nose around under this large fake log looking for a piece of beef heart that they missed earlier. That's Mek, the mother, on the far right. Her cubs are now just over a year old, and around 180 lbs. She's about 200 lbs., so they're catching up quickly. The two males will probably get to around 250 lbs.

I think Christopher is getting a little too close to his mother.

I can't say I was really surprised with what happened next.

Funani the Hippo was sitting out in the middle of the pool. Her son Adhama was nearby, poking his head up for a breath every now and then.

This Crocodile lives in a glassed-in enclosure next to the Pygmy Hippos. There was a fair amount of glare and reflection on the glass today - I had to wait for people with really colorful shirts to walk on so they didn't show up in the shots.

On my way out I spotted that crazy peacock who likes to annoy the ducks. 

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

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Renaissance Faire, Escondido, CA

We went to the Renaissance Faire in Escondido today. Heather and I always enjoy wandering around these events, and today was no exception. I didn't get many photos that I liked, though, as the sun was very bright and harsh. Here are a few that I was able to salvage.

The Dancers of the Blue Lotus always put on a good show.

The battle this year was a little different from what they've done in prior years. This time it was the Pirates working with the Vikings to take on the Queen of England's troops. Unfortunately it did not end well for the Pirates.

The English had hired the Swiss mercenaries, who showed up with their pikes. They had a bunch of archers as well.

There were even a few heavily armored knights.

Did I mention that it didn't end well for the pirates?

Well, at least the Queen's Lady in Waiting seemed pleased with the outcome.

As did the Swiss Pikemen.

On our way back to the car we came across the ladies of Willowglen. This is one of my favorites at the Ren Faire, and the group was actually bigger than this, but I couldn't step back any further to get the rest of them in the picture. Check the link below to previous events, I have some better pictures in there.

Click here to see a few more pictures from the Renaissance Faire in Escondido today.

You can also click here to see pictures from previous Renaissance Faires and other events. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Particularly Good Day At The San Diego Zoo - Amur Leopards and Malayan Tigers

I think I had a particularly good day at the Zoo today, with both the Malayan Tigers and the Amur Leopards being up and about.

When I first got to the Tigers the one-year-olds were sleeping on a rock in the center of the exhibit, and their mother Mek was sleeping in the cave by the upper pond. After about half an hour they got up, and then a little later the keeper showed up with a tray of snacks, and that got their attention.

Mother Mek (on the right) and son Christopher.

Time for a family huddle.

I'm not quite sure what these two were discussing here, but I'm guessing that Mek wanted to be left alone. This is not the first time I've seen that reaction from her.

Connor likes to hang out by the lower pond during the Keeper Talk sessions.

The Zoo has recently gotten three young Amur Leopards. They are extremely endangered, from what I looked up there are only about 7 - 12 of them left in China and maybe 20 - 25 left in Russia. The three of them (siblings) are in one of the older cat enclosures at the bottom of what used to be called Cat Canyon, so it's pretty tough to get a decent photo through old-style cage. Besides dealing with making the cage disappear (not always successfully), I only had my 300mm lens with me, and this one was staying pretty close to the front of the cage, almost too close for my lens. Still, I think I managed to get a few that I like.

She hardly stopped moving the whole time I was there, climbing all over the logs and rocks in the enclosure. That including climbing up into a fig tree that really wasn't strong enough to hold her, and then climbing straight up the front of the cage itself. (With the 9.5' minimum focus distance on my lens she was way to close for me to get a shot of that.)

This truly is a spectacular looking cat.

She has a pretty good set of claws too.

Since we've got a cat theme going here, we can finish up with the biggest of them all. I walked up to the upper mesa to see if the Jaguar was out, but she was more like out cold in a corner, as was the Northern Chinese Leopard. I did manage a couple shots of the Lions though.

I think I got there right after the keeper gave them some snacks. A few seconds after I  took the shot above he rolled over and went to sleep, with his girlfriend hanging out beside him.

Click here to see more images from the San Diego Zoo on Sunday, April 22, 2012.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wandering Around Liberty Station (Former Naval Training Center San Diego) With A Camera And Some Good Friends

Heather and I met up with our friends LaRee, Rae and Robert for an early dinner on Friday at Tin Fish. Afterwards we grabbed our cameras and tripods and spent a few hours wandering around the former Naval Training Center San Diego, now restored and called Liberty Station.

The rose garden at the base of the large flagpole was particularly nice.

I've always thought that the long arcades were one of the best architectural features of the old Naval Training Center.

We made a stop on our way home at the end of Harbor Island to check out the downtown San Diego skyline. We got there just as the baseball game was wrapping up, and managed to see a few fireworks peaking over the buildings in the distance.

Click here to see more images from the former Naval Training Center San Diego, now restored and housing shops, offices, restaurants and galleries.

You can also click here to see more images taken along San Diego Bay after dark.

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.