Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Exploring San Diego - Wedding Kimonos at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park

There is an exhibit of Japanese wedding kimonos on display right now at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. The new expansion of the garden itself is also now open. We stopped in for a brief visit this afternoon. The detail on these is pretty amazing. These were displayed behind glass so we were not able to shots of the whole kimono, there was way too much glare.

There were also some flower arrangements on display.


Exploring San Diego - Marston House Museum & Gardens

Considered to be one of the finest examples of Arts and Crafts style architecture, the Marston House was designed and built in 1905 by architects William Sterling Hebbard and Irving Gill. In 1987 the Marston family donated the house to the City of San Diego for use as a museum. Guided tours of the house are offered.

The house is surrounded by about 5 acres of gardens and lawn areas.

Click here to see a few more images of the Marston House and Gardens, at Balboa Park in San Diego.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

What A Difference A Little Over 2 Years Can Make

On July 2, 2011 I had the opportunity to see the then-3-month-old Malayan Tiger cubs at the San Diego Zoo, a few weeks before they went out on public display. I posted a few pictures from that day in a blog post back in 2011, but I thought a comparison might be fun to show just how much they can grow up in what seems to us to be a short period of time.

Here's Connor when he was just 3 months old (he was born April 2, 2011). I guess I didn't really notice it at the time, but he was looking right at me. 

Fast forward a couple of years, to August 18, 2013, and I think I'm starting to see a pattern here. He's still looking right at me.

There are lots more pictures of Connor, his brother Christopher, and all the rest of the Malayan Tigers at the San Diego Zoo in other posts on this blog. Check out the Archive at the bottom of the page.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Big Cats (and a Red Panda) - San Diego Zoo

Here are a few shots of the big cats from the San Diego Zoo this morning. When I first arrived the tiger was napping at the top of the hill, so that meant it was time to check out the leopards and mountain lions. I ran into a friend at the tiger enclosure, and we headed off to Cat Canyon.

We passed by the Red Panda on the way.

The California Mountain Lions (Puma, Cougar, or several other names) were a bit more visible, at least for a bit.

I happened to be in front of the Amur Leopard just as an Arctic Wolf walked by with a keeper on the roadway below. That always gets their attention.

I went back and hung out with the tiger for a while, but did not get many shots. On the way back to the exit I did catch a glimpse of the Fishing Cat.

Click here to see a few more images from Sunday, September 15, 2013 at the San Diego Zoo.

Tiga the Tiger - Saturday, Sep 7, 2013

Here are a few shots of Tiga, the young female Malayan Tiger at the San Diego Zoo, from Saturday, September 7.

Click here to see a few more images from Saturday September 7, 2013 at the San Diego Zoo.

Holiday Weekend at the San Diego Zoo - Part 2

I went back to the San Diego Zoo on Monday morning of the recent Labor Day weekend. Over the last year or so I've met a few others who like to photograph the big cats, and we've become friends. We see each other almost every weekend, and many of us seem to wind up at the same place at the same time, and then when things get quiet we'll often wander off for cold drinks or coffee together. Nothing was planned, but on Monday it just worked out that we all showed up at the tiger enclosure first thing in the morning, and about 6 or 7 of us wound up spending the entire day there. We probably spent much more time talking than we did shooting pictures, since tigers spend more time napping than they do walking around, but we had a great time. We even had a chance to spend a few minutes in the off-exhibit area with Tiga.

Here are a few shots of Connor, the just-over-2-years-old male Malayan Tiger.

From a technical standpoint this is not such a great shot, but it does work to show just how big those cow femur bones are. They get these for a mid-day snack a few days a week. Those things weigh about 8-10 pounds, and the tigers can walk, run and even jump with the bones in their mouths as if they weighed nothing. To help put things in perspective, Connor weighs about 260 pounds right now.

Connor seems to truly enjoys these things. He can easily spend half an hour to 45 minutes just sitting there chewing on a bone. Every now and then you can hear a loud snap as he breaks through part of it.

Tiga, the young female, came out later in the afternoon.

It was warm, so she hung out in the pool for a while.

Tiga likes to spend time at the lower glass window viewing area, she seems to really like watching little kids. We don't like trying to get shots through the glass, so we wait at the middle viewing area for her to occasionally poke her head around the corner. Sometimes we have to wait quite a while, but it's generally worth it.

Click here to see more Malayan Tiger images (and one shot of a duck in an odd position) from Monday, September 2, 2013 at the San Diego Zoo.

Holiday Weekend at the San Diego Zoo - Part 1

I spent both Saturday and Monday of the recent Labor Day weekend at the San Diego Zoo, most of the time with the big cats.

When we first got there on Saturday morning the tiger was napping, so we headed over to see what the other big cats were up to. The Amur Leopards were up and about. 

So were the Snow Leopards.

Orson the big Jaguar was finally in a good spot for a photo.

It was going to be a warm day, and by 10:30am they already had the misters going for the Siberian Lynx.

I was showing some new friends around the Zoo on Saturday morning, and we were able to spend a few minutes "behind the scenes" so to speak with Connor, the Malayan Tiger. I didn't have a chance to pull out a smaller camera, so I had to step back to about 9 feet for my 300mm lens to focus. This was as much of his face as I could get.

Later that afternoon Connor decided to go for a swim. Usually I don't get shots like this, my fixed-length 300mm lens is too long, but this time I had loaned it to one of my new friends, and was using her shorter zoom lens instead.

Click here to see a few more images from Saturday, August 31, 2013 at the San Diego Zoo.

Feeding Time

I'm not sure if those are technically teeth, but they sure do look sharp.

In case anyone doesn't recognize what that is in the close-up above, here's a wider view. Actually, the color in the background might have given it away. This is how flamingos feed their young, the mother drips something called "crop milk" into the young one's mouth from from its beak. It doesn't look like milk at all, it's a dark reddish color. They can hold this position for quite a long time.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

An Evening Stroll Around Little Italy, San Diego

San Diego has a great Little Italy. It was a fun place to wander around when I first came to San Diego in 1980, and just keeps getting better. Heather and I were joined tonight by a friend for a little walk with our cameras to see what we could find.

Our first stop was the Mona Lisa market to pick up some cheese, oil-cured olives, chopped tomatoes and other essentials.

From there we wandered down India Street to the Burger Lounge for some dinner. The light fixtures caught my attention. And, the burgers were good too. Why go all the way to Little Italy for burgers, and not Italian food? Well, I cook Italian food at home fairly often, but it rarely occurs to me to make burgers at home.

We checked out some window displays, shot a few pictures, and then it was time for some gelato at our favorite place, Pappalecco, on the corner of Cedar and State.

Click here to see a few more images from San Diego's Little Italy on September 12, 2013.

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.