It was an ordinary quiet morning here in Kansas’ largest city. Then I heard my dog Lucas barking. Not the “I want to come in” bark. Not the “I see something across the street” bark. Not even the “there is a squirrel in that tree” bark. This was definitely the “there is a large unusual creature in the yard!” bark. I went out to see, and there it was. Was it a cat with strange markings? No, it was a raccoon in a tree. Unlike the fire incident in July, this time I sprinted back in the house, grabbed my camera out of the bag, switched to my 70-200mm zoom, and ran back out. Unfortunately, I looked down to see there was no memory card in the camera. I ran back in, found a card, inserted it, formatted it, and ran back out. The raccoon was still there, in a heated standoff with Lucas. I was able to get a few pretty good portraits. Things were getting pretty tense, and visions of rabies shots began dancing in my head, so Lucas and I retreated to the house and let the stressed raccoon go about his/her business. I believe these are the first raccoon images in my portfolio.
All the animals hid their faces. Naw, I just made that up. Saturday afternoon I had a couple of free hours, but it was the middle of the day, with not a cloud in the sky. What can you photograph in harsh mid-day light, where the sky is not important? I gave the zoo a chance. We actually have a very highly regarded modern zoo in Wichita, and I haven’t been there in a couple of years so it was quite enjoyable. One of the newer additions is a pair of grizzly bears, which you can actually get quite close to. The only thing separating them from the people is a big deep trench (which it looks like he could jump, but I guess not.) This means no fences or railings to shoot through, although if I had a longer lens I might have been able to isolate some nice head shots. I’m not sure what use photographing animals in zoos serves other than being fun, I suspect true wildlife photographers would look upon this in disdain. It was a fun change of pace at least.
Power failure. Burned out cable modem. Lingering illness. Such is the stuff of this Monday. I finally am back online. I’d like to tell you that this photo was taken somewhere in east Africa. I could tell you it was in Africa. But the fact is it was taken at our local zoo, through glass. We actually have a very highly regarded zoo, and the gorilla exhibit is well designed. I need to go back.
I stumbled upon this scene in St. Thomas. The word “Iguana” is derived from a Spanish form of the original Taino name for the species “Iwana”, which means “outlaw”. Ok, I made that last part up.