Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Los Angeles Zoo, Los Angeles, CA (May 21, 2012)

Goin' On A Lion Hunt

African Lioness

     On Monday, I went to one of my favorite types of places to visit and photograph, a zoo.  I have been to this zoo, the Los Angeles Zoo many times and have my must see exhibits that I visit every time I go there.  Some of these exhibits are the gorillas, the lions, the chimps, and especially the sumatran tigers.  The tigers are my favorite to photograph cause they are almost always active when I visit and seem to play with all the enrichment that is in there enclosure like their waterfall, little stream, pool, and toys.  

 Sumatran Tiger

     On this trip to the zoo I went with my Mother-In-Law whom hadn't been to the L.A. Zoo since she was a teenager and my Brother-In-Law whom had never been until monday even though they live within an hour of the zoo.  It was a pretty nice day at the because it wasn't too crowded, quite a few of the animals were out and active and so was the sun.  It was also my first time seeing the two new exhibits the zoo has opened with in the last couple of years, the revamped elephant exhibit and the new reptile house.

Giant River Otter

     One "treat" we got to experience while at the zoo was the viewing of three giant river otter pups being feed by the zoo staff in the nursery.  We also got to see two sumatran tiger cubs (one pictured above) playing with one of their parents in the tiger enclosure.  More images from my day at the zoo are in the Los Angeles Zoo May 2012 gallery on my site.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Davey's Locker Whale Watching (May 18th, 2012)

Whale Watching or Watching for Whales?

 California Sea Lion

     Got an e-mail and facebook post from Davey's Locker Whale Watching tours this week talking about how a pod of 7 orca's were spotted in the San Pedro, CA coastal area and that they should be in the Newport Beach area the next day and if you can make it out to go on a tour, you should.  Unfortunately, for me I had to work that day but was still looking at the sighting logs and saw they were still seeing other whales in the area.  Since I have a four day weekend I decided to make a trip down there and see what we could find.  The last couple of trips I have gone on haven't produced much in the way of whales but it is always nice to be out in the sun and on the water.

Pacific Common Dolphin

     So more about today's trip.  Well it started out with promise the sun was shinning, not too much wind, and it was warm.  Then the tour group before us lets us know that they were able to view a couple whales (humpbacks and grey's) which go me excited.  Once we got out past the break water it got a little rough and bumpy.  It didn't take too long for us to come across a couple pods of pacific common dolphin which were very energetic and looking to play in the wake of the boat.  We followed them for a while as we moved up the coast trying to find the whales they had located on the last tour.  By the time we got to the buoy pictured above it was time to head back with no sight of whales.  During the trek up to the buoy I was able to film this little video of the dolphins playing on my phone.  Sound not that great but still amazing to see how fast they can move.

     When we headed back to the south there was still no sight of whales and our time limit out on the water was coming to an end so our captain headed toward the dock.   Then a thought came to mind that these tour should be changed from "whale watching" tours to "watching for whales" tours.  It makes more sense to me because you are out there to see if you can find them which doesn't always happen.  My rationale behind this comes from something my Uncle Lee says about fishing.  Fishing is called fishing because you don't always catch a fish with your pole.  If you did it would be called catching and not fishing.  

     To view a few more images from this trip check out my smugmug gallery Newport Beach Whale Watching May 2012.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Morro Bay, CA (April 12-15, 2012)

A Little Camping We Go
(Morro Bay State Park)

Our Campsite at Sunset

     I am a little behind in posting to my blog due to many reasons but this is the start of me getting caught up.  In April the gang from high school went on our 3rd annual trip to Morro Bay.  This trip happens anywhere from the middle of March to the middle of April.  It is one of the events of the year Ashley (my fiance') and I really look forward to, not only because I get to see the guys from high school but because Morro Bay is such a beautiful place to visit and Ashley and I just love the ocean and the outdoors.  Unfortunately, this year Ashley was unable to go with me on the trip.  

 Montana de Oro Mountains

     This years trip started out with a bad weather forecast of rain for the whole weekend which would of been a first for this trip.  The first year we had some sprinkling the first night but nothing after that and the second year we had awesome weather the whole trip.  On the way up it began to rain and pour, off and on, once we hit the Santa Barbara area.  To say the least that was just the beginning of the fun we were going to have that first night.  Once we got to the campground we hit a break in the weather where we were able to put up our tents and unpack everything without getting wet.  Everything was going good with a drizzle here and there until we went to bed.  At about 4 a.m. a "monsoon" hit our campground and woke me up.  It was cool, crazy, and scary all at the same time.  The wind was howling, my tent was shaking violently, and it was pouring rain so hard that branches from the trees in our campsite were coming down.  Not to mention the thunder was deafening and the lightning lite up the whole sky.  All I tried to do was keep all my stuff away from the walls of the tent so water didn't leak in.  I also tried to just sit there and enjoy mother nature while also not thinking about how badly I had to go to the bathroom right at that moment when I was woke up.

Morro Rock

     The next few days were spent catching up and reliving the gold old days around the campfire.  On the last full day of the trip before we headed back home I went on a little hike and found a couple viewpoints of Morro Rock and played around with framing the rock with it's surrounding scenery.  I also came across some other spots that I will definitely have to revisit when I have more time to observe wildlife and different lighting.   

Morro Rock

     If you are ever up in the Central California coastal area definitely stop by the fishing town and see what it has to offer you.  More images from this weekend can be found in my smugmug gallery Morro Bay, CA in the photoblog catagory.