Favorite Zoos – Photo Prompt

When my children were little (I mean, really little, like 1-3 years old), we lived in the Chicago suburbs and within an easy drive to the Brookfield Zoo. I don’t remember too much from those visits as I was too preoccupied keeping those two little ones corralled in a double stroller. However, I do know at that time, the Brookfield Zoo was known as one of the top zoos in the country.

By the time my children were in elementary school, we were living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo¬†became a favorite pastime. Long gone were the days of that double stroller, and keeping my eyes peeled on the little kids. I was finally able to enjoy the zoo experience and focus on the animals. Our visits continued into adulthood …

giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Colorado Springs Colorado

My daughter feeding a giraffe at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is located in an absolutely beautiful place. But be forewarned, the zoo is built into the side of a mountain, and therefore, has some hilly walkways and elevation changes to navigate. Even for those of us used to the 6,000 foot plus altitude, those hills can make even the fittest person huff and puff.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Colorado Springs Colorado

Giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Now that my children live in Phoenix, Arizona, we like to make a day of it and visit the Wildlife World Zoo. This place is huge and constantly expanding.

ostrich at Wildlife World Zoo Phoenix

The first time my son introduced me to his then girlfriend, now wife, was during a visit to the Wildlife World Zoo. It was a great day watching their blossoming relationship.

Me and my son at Wildlife World Zoo – during this visit, I met his then girlfriend, now wife, for the first time.

monkey at the Wildlife World Zoo in Phoenix Arizona

During that particular visit to the Wildlife World Zoo, my focus was more on getting to know the young gal that my son was falling in love with than photographing the animals.

So a few months later, I connected with my blogging pal, Nancy, for a photographic day at the zoo. We enjoyed a very fun day and took tons of photographs, but guess what? I can’t find the images from that day ūüė•

ostrich Wildlife World Zoo Phoenix ArizonaThis past weekend, I spent well over an hour going through two external hard-drives looking for that file to no avail. I have one more external drive to check which is located at my son’s house.

It’s always a good idea to keep an external hard-drive filled with photographs and important documents off-site at another location.

If I still can’t find those photographs on that external hard-drive, that means Nancy and I will HAVE TO do a repeat. I’m sure neither of us will complain too loudly about a trip to the zoo. Will we Nancy? Maybe we’ll even throw in a visit to the Phoenix Zoo, which I haven’t visited yet.

Drive-through Wildlife Parks

Another great way to see animals up close is via a drive-through wildlife park. Of course, I always prefer to see animals in the wild, but we can’t nor shouldn’t get as close to the animals in the wild as we can in a park or zoo.

The first and only time I’ve visited a drive-through wildlife park was a couple of years ago when we were meandering around the state of Idaho.¬†Yellowstone Bear World was a wonderful way to see a bunch of bears and cubs in addition to a variety of other animals.

Yellowstone Bear World Idaho

Gosh, I’m handsome!

Yellowstone Bear World Idaho

This moose was laying close to the fence, allowing me to get very close to her.

Yellowstone Bear World is a relatively small park and a two hour visit was enough to satisfy my camera. Even though small, I’m really glad I made time for this excursion. Next on my ‘must see’ list is Bearizonia in northern Arizona.

Since my sister and her daughter came to Arizona to attend my son’s wedding this past August, they not only visited the Grand Canyon but stopped in at Bearizonia per my recommendation. They were not disappointed and encouraged me to visit. As many times as Al and I have camped near the Grand Canyon and Williams, something has always come up that thwarted my visit to this wildlife park… sigh! Therefore, it still remains on ‘my list’.

Favorite zoo or wildlife park

Do you have a favorite zoo or wildlife park that you like to visit? For this weeks photo challenge / theme, I’ve chosen the prompt zoo.¬†Feel free to share a link in the comments below or link back to this page on your own post.

leopard

Wandering Wednesday – Ingrid’s Inspirations

Each Wednesday I post a different photo prompt / challenge as a way for bloggers to share their love of photography and engage with other like-minded bloggers. Maybe this will help inspire you to pick up your camera in search of a composition or a reason to go through your photo archives. Whether you shoot with your phone, a DSLR or something in-between, don’t be shy, share and connect¬†ūü§ó

Next weeks prompt – Around Home …. get out and shoot or peruse those archives!

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Wandering Wednesday

Can you believe I shot over 4,800 photographs during our five week stay camped near the Arizona РUtah border? That’s almost 1,000 photos a week. Yikes! Thank goodness digital photography is free, but then again, if I were paying for film I assure you that shutter wouldn’t have clicked nearly that often.

I‚Äôll admit, I am bad at culling and deleting photographs which does present a problem for my poor laptop. So as the hard-drive on my computer fills up, I transfer the files to a couple of external drives which frees up the laptop … much to my computer’s delight.

During the past week, I’ve been hard at work performing this task of photo file transfer, and while at it, I started reviewing some photographs from years past. Oh what fond memories, and I realized I need a reason to sift through these photos more often.

slot canyon

Question of the day

So the big question of the day is what should I do with all these photographs? What do YOU do with all your photographs? Since I live in a RV, space is obviously an issue. Therefore, I rarely print out any of my photographs, but I do like to share them. Although I have shared a great number of photographss here on the blog, there are still bunches of photographs that haven’t been shared, and photos I’ve even forgotten about. Hmm! The wheels in my head started turning ….

Through the Lens

Looking at life and landscapes through the lens of my camera has made me more observant. I see and notice things more acutely. My camera and this blog have given me added purpose … reason to explore, reason to photograph, reason to visit new places, reason to connect with YOU.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to make Wednesday’s my day to post photos with a theme in mind … kind of like the photo challenges and prompts we’ve been exposed to via blogging on WordPress. I’ll come up with an inspiration and share photos from either my archives or go in search with camera in hand – a purpose. I’m hoping you’ll join in and share your own photos pertaining to the weeks inspirational subject.

taking a selfie with the self timer on a digital camera

Let’s share and connect … join me in sharing photographs every Wednesday. Feel free to link back to this site, and/or leave a comment, but be sure your Gravatar is linked correctly so we can easily pop over and visit your site!

If you don’t write a blog, that’s okay, I’d still love for you to join in the Wandering Wednesday¬†photo inspiration and hopefully leave a comment. Perhaps the inspiration will give you purpose to pick up your camera or smart phone for a little shutter clicking or maybe it’ll serve as the impetus to go through your own collection of photographs.

Shutter Time

For my first photo inspiration, let’s post a photograph (s) of an animal / wildlife. This could be a simple photograph of a cute little bunny rabbit in your backyard, or your favorite pet, or that of a wild animal seen in nature or at a zoo. More than anything else, I hope the photograph is an image that’s special to you … an image that provokes emotion, or a fond memory, or the making of the image challenges you in some way.

Ingrid’s Inspiration

We’ve been camped in a RV Park in Prescott, Arizona for the past six weeks and I’ve barely touched my camera. Far cry from my shutter clicking in April, huh! RV Parks are usually not my preferred method of accommodation. I’d much rather be in a national park, national forest or state park surrounded by nature, but sometimes life dictates otherwise …. and those full hook-ups are awfully nice…. oh yeah, love the hook-ups!

pronghorn aka antelope in Arizona

Even though a RV Park is not normally at the top of my list, I’m extremely happy with my summer ‘home’.¬† I’m beyond pleased with my RV site as well as my view here in Prescott Valley, Arizona. There’s a fenced open field just across the road from my RV site where cattle and antelope graze.

pronghorn in ArizonaTaken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200   106mm (35mm equivalent 590mm)

I was ecstatic to capture a couple of images of this sweet pregnant gal grazing. Antelope (proper name is pronghorn) are usually skittish and capturing a closeup image can be challenging, but with my zoom lens and a very slight crop, I think this photograph of her turned out well. Check out those eyelashes!

The day after these photos were taken, I didn’t see her again. I’m sure she delivered her little one by now and is staying hidden. But trust me, I’m forever on the lookout.

Wandering Wednesday’s Photo Inspiration

I’ve put together a list of upcoming photo inspirations (or should I call them themes, challenges, prompts¬†ūü§Ē) for the next few Wednesday’s. I hope you’ll join me by sharing your photos.

  • Water
  • Flowers
  • Patriotic
  • Food

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Three’s company, or not!

I Googled the meaning of adventure.¬† The word adventure could be used to describe an unusual and exciting, sometimes hazardous, experience or activity.¬† Hmm, I pondered that for a moment.¬† Quite frankly, I think life’s an adventure it’s just some days¬†are filled with more excitement than others.

hot air balloons

This photo was taken right out my RV door while still in my nighty!

It’s been an interesting couple of days around our little home.¬† One might even use the term adventurous to describe our exciting and unusual morning(s).

adventureIt was around 4:00 a.m.¬†Wednesday morning as I laid in bed.¬†¬†I wasn’t¬†in a deep sleep, but not necessarily awake.¬† I’m laying on my side with my back to hubby when I feel Al lightly drum his fingers down my arm.¬† Then he rested his hand before continuing the light drumming back up, then down, then gone.¬† As I laid their half asleep yet half awake, I thought to myself…. how strange.¬† He’s never done that before.¬† Oh well, and quickly fell into a deep slumber.

Around 5:30 a.m. I’m awakened by Al’s chuckling.¬† He says, “What are you doing?”¬† Groggily, I responded with a, “What are you talking about”.¬† He says, “You know… that light tickling drumming with your fingers down my arm”.¬† “Honey, I’m laying on my stomach and in this position even the most talented of contortionists wouldn’t be able to even touch your arm let alone¬†roll fingers”.

Say what?¬† Somewhat startled, we¬†quickly became WIDE awake.¬† We¬†swiftly sat up and looked around.¬† Apparently, we weren’t alone.¬†¬†It became obvious¬†I wouldn’t¬†be going back to sleep anytime soon, and¬†thus¬†I got up¬†to start the¬†coffee and frantically¬†looked around for¬†any unwanted¬†guest.

It was a particularly beautiful morning.¬† While looking out¬†the RV bedroom window,¬†I sat in bed having my coffee.¬†The lovely sight of colorful balloons temporarily eased any concerns of a third party in bed with us. It was the perfect day for an adventurous hot air balloon ride.¬†I watched as a dozen balloons¬†floated by. ¬†Ah, one day I’ll¬†go up in¬†one of those baskets.

adventure

the view out my bedroom window

While I was enjoying coffee with a view, Al continued the critter hunt to no avail and eventually we went about our day…. that is until it was time for lunch.¬†¬†Was it¬†the smell of food that finally lured Lorenzo out¬†into the open?¬† The next five minutes unfolded like a¬†scene out of¬†an episode¬†of the Three Stooges as Al and I escorted Mr. Lorenzo Lizard to the nearest exit.

lizard

“Hey, you could’ve at least fed me before kicking me out!”

With the bedroom mystery solved, that night we¬†were able to enjoy¬†a good nights sleep… that is¬†until about 3:00 a.m.¬† That’s when Donatella Donkey and her family decided to munch on the weeds next to our RV.

donkey

Dad on the left (yes that’s dad, I double checked – he’s just cold or shy at the moment), mom middle, child on the right

donkeyWith the beautiful spring weather we’ve enjoyed in Phoenix, we’ve slept with the windows open at night.¬† Therefore, the braying ….¬†hee-haw sound of the donkey right outside our window had Al and¬†me laughing.¬† We literally¬†could hear them pulling the grass and munching, but that braying sound was/is hysterical. And it’s loud.

If you’ve never heard a donkey bray, click here to be entertained.¬† Trust me, it’s worth the click to listen to these guys.

These donkeys aka wild burros casually roam about the desert in the northwest part of the Phoenix valley near Lake Pleasant.

Ah, but our little adventurous encounters didn’t end there.¬† We have the tale of Millie who was so brazenly bold as to mosey from behind my chair over to the slatted vent under the frig all the while¬†exchanging eye contact with hubby….. the hussy!

mouseOnce behind the vent, she continued looking at Al for another minute before disappearing.¬† Al found the encounter rather humorous but that didn’t stop him from setting a mouse trap that night.¬† It¬†remained empty the next morning.¬† Perhaps Miss Millie heeded the evacuation notice.

The next day it was time for me to bake.¬†¬†Since I’ve been following¬†a Paleo¬†based diet, I like to keep the freezer stocked with fresh-baked¬†scones or muffins¬†made from almond or coconut flour.¬† I recently purchased a special silicon bagel/donut mold and was looking forward to giving it a try.¬† In an RV, storage needs to be fully utilized.¬† I stow my cookie sheets and muffin pans including the new donut mold in the RV oven when not in use.¬† When I emptied the oven to lite the pilot light,¬†I excitedly reached for my new bagel mold….. “What’s this – crumbs?”¬† Miss Millie Mouse had nibbled on my brand new, never been used silicon donut mold and chewed a hole in one of the rings.fuming madTo say I was fuming is putting it mildly.¬†¬†Expletives¬†were flying out of my mouth.¬†¬†Words that would make a sailor blush.¬† Millie was immediately sentenced to death via the guillotine.¬† The next day, it was another very early morning wake up¬†for me when a¬†SNAP was heard!¬† Remember, adventure sometimes means hazardous?

So there you have it.¬† Adventure comes in many forms.¬† Just another day in the life of an RV’er and why do things always seem to happen in threes?

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