tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Nov. 7th, 2008 09:42 pm)
Okay, okay, I'm late, but here they are!

The bug house has a new exhibit; Bees! Sort of a T-shaped structure with tall windows so you can see straight through to the comb on both sides. There's a tube that leads outside so the bees can go do their thing. Hard to take pics of though because of the lighting; the side with the best lighting is the side you can't stand in front of because, well, then you block the light. Anyway. Here's the best shots.

I thought it was weird how these red-eared turtles were all at the same angle. These guys are hard to get pics of too, and I was ecstatic that they held still for a few good pics.

And this dude is a Manchurian brown bear. He's 24 years old, and his story is somewhere in the zoo blog, but if I remember right, he was at the zoo, went somewhere else (maybe Germany?) and now he's back. This is the first time I've seen him, and he had a yummy bone to chew on.

And here's a spectacled bear taking a nap.

tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Oct. 26th, 2008 07:20 pm)
Went to the zoo. First time in, oh, at least three weeks. Wandered around a bit. Not a lot of great pics today; the sun was obnoxiously bright today. And in Balboa Park on Sundays, their International Houses (that is, houses sponsored by different countries) are open with food that's free (though they ask for donations) and entertainment. Got some Polish sausage, some awesome goat cheese on cream cheese and bread from Norway, and some yummy barn brack and pumpkin spice bread from Ireland.

Anyway. Zoo. I did get right up to the glass with these bonobos. Aren't they cute? And there was a small group of students there learning how to monitor animal interactions and write them down. They had a watch beeping every minute or so, and were saying things like, "Mikasa is in Zone 3. Tuuk followed Lolita. That wasn't play, that was close contact." etc, etc. Really quite interesting.

Darn the glare, though. Made it terribly hard to get pics.

I do like the colors in this one, though. This is a Chinese takin. They always remind me a bit of the banthas from Star Wars.

One last pic behind the cut for arachnophobes. )
Since I'm sure you're all going through withdrawal because of the lack of zoo pics (blame my new work schedule. Boo.) here's some!

So, I made it to the National Zoo right about 10am this morning, 'cause, ya know, I had my heart set on seeing one of these, my favoritest animal in the whole wide world:

These are Przewalski's horses. The Wild Animal Park has some, but they're not on the tour bus route anymore so they're very hard to see. The NZ ones obviously aren't. The WAP people said these are particularly nasty critters. Mean. They bite.

Everybody go "Awwww!" Here's a little rock cavy hanging out in the Small Mammal house.

And what could be better than a giant beetle? A giant beetle made of lots of little beetles! There was a big beetle on the wall, but this is a close-up. Nifty, huh?

In the Amazonia building, they had aquariums, which included this ginormous fish.

But, I'd have to say this nifty iguana is my pic o' the day.

tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Sep. 11th, 2008 05:40 pm)

Went to the arboretum near the zoo yesterday. They have all these lovely peppers in pots. I don't really like to eat peppers, but they're very photogenic.

And this one is actually from last week. Yes, I've been lazy. But I wandered by the ampitheater where they have the animal show, and they were taking down extra lights and stuff from the summer show so they had the show just outside. So I got to see critters like this binturong, or bearcat, walking along the railing. These guys are from Vietnam and apparently smell like popcorn. I couldn't get that close to find out.

And this guy is new; I haven't seen him before. A long-tailed hornbill in the children's zoo right next to the red pandas and the otters.

And I took lots of pics of the turtles in the turtletorium (yes, it's really called a turtletorium) and this is the only one that turned out clear. It looks a bit primeval, and reminds me of the dinosaur and Grand Canyon dioramas on the train ride in Disneyland. There's actually five turtles in that pic; the fourth is in the water and the fifth is hiding in the back.

tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Jul. 30th, 2008 11:43 pm)
Went to the zoo with D today. I was shocked and amazed to see this guy actually right up next to the glass; I've only ever seen him up on top of the hill and pacing. I suppose I always go too close to lunchtime.

More dead leaf mantis. Much better now that can use my camera to manually focus things.

A stick insect with a nifty head.

And Clyde doing an impression of a mop. This is just a cool pic.

tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Jul. 17th, 2008 05:05 pm)
Went to the zoo yesterday. Crowded as heck. Yuck. But I still managed to find some critters.

Say it with me now . . . AWWWWWW!!!! These are baby fossas, born June 19th, in the nursery because their mom didn't care for them. The zoo does good with breeding these guys; I think this is the third litter I've seen.

This is one I haven't gotten a picture of; a fishing cat. He has a waterfall and a big pond off to the right, out of the picture.

This is a guenon right up against the glass. These monkeys like to be around water.

And this dude is an alligator snapping turtle. He doesn't have a name, I asked the keeper feeding the fish he shares the pond with. Just a number. Anyway, he usually lurks in the bottom of the pool at the entrance to the Children's zoo, but I was lucky enough to catch him on a rare trip topside.

Didn't go to the zoo, but I did stop by the rose garden because I had to get outside for a while. It's hard to take a bad picture there so I uploaded a bunch.

The fountain was off for some reason, and I found these floating in there and thought it was nifty.

And now I'm off to see James Patrick Kelly read at Mysterious Galaxy for the Clarion class.
. . . is a free ticket to Sea World!

Okay . . . was it worth getting sopping wet, twice, thanks to the efforts of a pilot whale, to get pics that look like dolphins are flying like birds? You tell me. (Oh, and the camera is totally fine. I put it in the case when I knew the water was coming. I did get salt water in my eye though. Ow.)

Dolphins in another pool. This might be my pic of the day.

Cut because there's lots of pics. )
tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Jun. 11th, 2008 06:32 pm)
Went to the cactus garden, and look what I found! A cicada! I figured it's a sign. Would've missed him except he kept making noise and it led me right to him.

Lots of bees and flowers, too.

And this dove found a prickly place to have a nest.

And then I went to the zoo, and saw them feed the anteaters. This is Lucy. Check out her tongue; you can see it curving all the way around the tray.

And I have a new favorite critter, this little white-faced capuchin monkey. Awwwww. He came up to the glass and said hi to me.

tcastleb: (Vulture)
( May. 28th, 2008 10:50 pm)
I did go to the zoo last week. I just got lazy about posting.

Here's Clyde right up near the glass. That's his son Satu you can see in the background.

Here's Janey, who was raised by humans. She likes to come up to the glass and see what people have in their purses and backpacks. She's also a different breed of orangutan than the others, but they get along well.

I got lucky and saw the gorillas being fairly active. I was surprised to see how much the little ones have grown. I actually haven't seen them in a while because they have two troops, and the smaller one seems to be out on Wednesdays, but since I went on a Thursday, I got to see these guys. Junior here liked to jump up and smack the glass, or pound on the glass until his mother stopped him. The crowd loved it.

Here's the silverback. It was actually hard to get pics of these guys because of the glare on the glass. I tweaked this pic colorwise a little.

I like this bird, too, which was in the aviary. I don't remember what it is though.

And have I mentioned that the zoo is also a botanical garden? I liked this view, which is across from the flamingos.

tcastleb: (Vulture)
( May. 16th, 2008 07:28 pm)
Alas, I was remiss in posting yesterday.

Here's Kenai the Arctic wolf. They're readying the ampitheater for the summer show, so they were doing a show and tell just outside of it, so we all got to get up close to the critters. Kenai has a dog buddy to keep him calm and to keep him company. His brother is over at the other theater. And the trainers get the crowd to start howling and then the wolf howls. I just learned that wolves howl in discord, so he waits for the crowd to go and then howls a pitch they aren't.

This pic isn't the best, but it's the first time I've actually seen this little Kazhakstan fox.

And here's a New Guinea singing dog, one of two the zoo has, and becoming endangered because of habitat loss and breeding with regular dogs.

The zoo has two other canine species; African wild dogs (my favorites!), Michael J., the little fennec fox in the children's zoo. The four hyenas, which are always sleeping when I walk by, aren't dogs, even though they look like it; they're closer to mongoose and meerkats.

And there are more pics here. )
Bonus points for knowing where the quote's from.  I listened to the audio book in the car.  Quite interesting, and I like the characters a whole lot better now.


Had to work this morning, so no zoo, but here's a pic from last week.  The rose garden is blooming, and it's gorgeous.  Here are some more pics I took.  Zoo tomorrow, hopefully.
tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Apr. 30th, 2008 10:21 pm)
Overall, it turned out to be a great day for pics, even though it was cloudy and windy and not your stereotypical San Diego weather.

It was ape and monkey day. This one, I think, is one of my favorites of all time now. It's damn near perfect, I think, and I didn't crop or alter it at all. This is Clyde, the big male orangutan.

Here's a bonobo. Watching these critters was somewhat creepy, because to me they look far more human than any of the other apes. I really like this pic too.

more pics )
tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Apr. 23rd, 2008 09:39 pm)
Just wanted to say thanks to all those who continue to enjoy these. I'm sorry I don't reply to all the comments (I get lazy) but I do appreciate your notice and I'm glad you like them.

Here's one I know you haven't seen. This is a binturong, also called a bearcat, from Vietnam. They have one in the show, and it goes up and down a pole, which is notable because it can turn its back feet around to go down. Like, cats can't go down a tree because their claws go the wrong direction. Anyway. The one in the show is called Popcorn in Vietnamese, because they evidently smell like popcorn. This is the first time I've actually seen it out and moving around.

Buerger's tree kangaroo. Looks a lot like the stuffed one I have. The one next door to this one had a baby in its pouch (this one's a male) but she didn't turn around so I didn't get a pic of it. Saw it on the news, though, so I went to look.

more pics )
tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Apr. 16th, 2008 08:43 pm)
Went to the beach. Low tide, which means I got to see lots of nifty little critters in the rocks. I waited about a half hour for this guy to come out from under a rock to get a pic--worth the wait, don't you think?

And an anemone (lots of anemones around)

And a fishy

And a bee.

Went to the zoo, but only long enough to take a few pics of reptiles like this iguana.

tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Apr. 2nd, 2008 06:04 pm)
Zoo pics!

Got a few critters I don't usually get. Birds are hard, but here's a couple of cozy fruit doves.

This is a Central American agouti, who lives in the same exhibit as the anteaters.

Arabian wildcat napping in the sunshine.

And a monkey--I think it's called a black mangaby.

And just because the guanacos are so photogenic . . .

tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Mar. 12th, 2008 11:23 pm)
Zoo pics!

This is a golden mantella, I think. Frogs are hard to get, both because of the lighting and the water spot-covered exhibits.

I forget what this guy is called, but it's some sort of turtle, and I finally got a good pic of him.

Aaaand, just because peacocks are pretty.

This is the first time I've ever seen the echidna awake and moving. He shuffles. It's kind of cute.

The green guy is an ocellated lizard, and the guy on the right is NOT a snake. It's a legless lizard called a glass lizard.

And, speaking of snakes, you can tell spring is coming because all the snakes were much more lively today, including this king cobra.

And my favorite pic of the day, cut for arachnophobes. )
tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Mar. 7th, 2008 05:06 pm)
Although I did go to the zoo today, I didn't like any of the pictures I took, save for this nice red-crowned crane who came up as close to the barrier as he could.

But before I went to the zoo, I went to the cactus garden. Lots of things were in bloom, like these purple flowers. Maybe I should have tried the filter, but the light gives them an odd, surreal look.

Then I took this lovely picture of a hummingbird.

Huh? You mean he's a bit hard to see? Well, look a little bit closer. )
tcastleb: (Mina)
( Feb. 21st, 2008 01:44 pm)
Look, I made a new icon with my kitty, Mina.

Wanted to go to Disneyland today, but with the threat of rain, I decided to stay in town. Been hankering to go visit the Birch Aquarium anyhow, so I did that instead.

And, for [ profile] kelly_yoyo I found this guy, who was darn hard to get a pic of. Actually, all the fishies were hard to get pics of because of trying to use the flash and the flash showing up on the glass. The color is better without the flash, but the critters move, so they turn out blurry. -sigh- With the flash, it's actually a bit dark. The picture program I use has an "auto adjust" option, so I hit that, and they turn out all right.

This is a bell jellyfish. They were nifty.

This was my favorite critter--a sea dragon, a rather leafy-looking sea horse.

Check out the camouflage on this stonefish.

This is the biggest exhibit, properly called the Kelp Tank.

And a lionfish. Bonus points for those who know a certain SF TV show with a pet lionfish. Extra bonus points if you know what said fishy's name is/was.

And this statue outside kept reminding me of Star Trek IV. Likely also because I got a bunch of original Star Trek DVD's from the library and had a mini Trek-a-thon.

tcastleb: (Vulture)
( Feb. 20th, 2008 01:06 pm)
Since there is much wind and drizzle, today will not be a Zoo Day. :>(

However, here's a couple good ones I took on my visit last Friday to tide you over. Me and [ profile] graashoppa were lucky enough to see the polar bears in ome underwater action.

Aaaand . . . a goat in the petting zoo.



tcastleb: (Default)


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