Cactus collection at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo greenhouse.
We read some tips on taking photos through fences and headed out to the zoo in Bridgeport to try our hand at some different wildlife.
The Amur Tiger and Amur Leopard are both part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan, where endangered animals are part of a captive breeding program to help ensure their survival.
The zoo is home to a number of un-releasable birds, including this Bald Eagle and Barn Owl. Both quite distinctive, Guinea Fowl and Peafowl roam free around the zoo grounds.
Click on any photo for a larger view or slide show.
A fast approaching thunderstorm shortened our visit so we’ll have to go back to see the Toucan, Ocelot, and the not yet open Pampas Plains exhibit that was having some finishing touches worked on the day we were there.
The sparkle and shine on a car can prove to be a photography problem, especially on a sunny day. Reflections of the clouds, other passers by, and the photographer appear in every shiny detail.
The 2015 Middletown Cruise on Main was a great opportunity to learn how to navigate some of the challenges. Some photos with too much glare just can’t be corrected.
Leaning inside a car (NO TOUCHING ALLOWED) was one option, which is how I got this image that shouted out “The Jetsons” to me. Their theme song is now stuck in my head along with a vision of George zooming home from Spacely Space Sprockets above the ground in his aerocar.
Leaning in the open window also got me this fabulous console and the bonus fuzzy dice.
Sometimes the reflection makes an opportunity.
According to the Middletown Press thousands of spectators turned out to see the cars this gorgeous May evening. Going early turned out to be a great idea; the crowd thickened as darkness approached. I waited quite awhile to get this hood ornament.
This was a fun event that we’ll put on the calendar for next year.
A Bluebird invited us to “come on in” as he flitted off into the meadow at the entrance to the Audubon Center at Bent of the River in Southbury.
Butterflies proved elusive as they examined the blooming milkweed, with seemingly random flight patterns.
We were last here in March when there was a foot of snow on the ground. On Sunday the meadow was overrun with flowers reaching for the sun.
We seldom leave the house without a destination in mind. Mindful of the holiday traffic, today we headed south with a plan to cross the Connecticut River on the East Haddam Bridge then poke around headed towards Lyme.
As we were approaching the bridge cars were stopped ahead of us with the gate signaling that the swing bridge was about to open or close. The line of cars was short so we were able to turn into Eagle Landing State Park hoping to get some shots.
The bridge was just opening as we parked. After two boats passed through and the bridge closed we strolled down the park. We spotted the Osprey who reside on top of the moving portion of the bridge on the community funded platform.
Other small birds were hanging around.
The Becky Thatcher headed north which could only mean that the Essex Steam Train would be coming into Deep River Landing to swap passengers.
We jumped in the car and made it to Deep River Landing well ahead of the train.
Click on any photo for larger view.
A little further south we saw the train again as it passed Pratt Cove.
Lyme will have to wait for another day.
A small pond at the rear of Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford is hosting a growing flock of Red-winged Blackbirds. I was drawn in by the racket they were making then an adult male worked to divert my attention away from his family.
(Click any photo for larger view or slideshow.)
Last year’s cat-tails make good camouflage for the drab females and young.
Last week I photographed Swallows feeding their young at a nest box. At Hammonasset Beach State Park the Menunkatuck Audubon Society has placed nesting boxes with the openings facing away from the path where human visitors are invited to observe.
Yesterday, the young from one of those boxes had made it to the roof. At the neighboring boxes all of the activity was on the side away from observation, with the parents bringing a steady supply of food. (Click photo for larger view.)
The duck seemed oblivious to what was going on around him. At first it looked like a piece of trash when his head was tucked under his wing, but then his head popped up.
Before taking off again.
Click on any photo for a larger view.
I spent an enjoyable morning yesterday watching birds along the lower Connecticut River in a few spots from Essex to Deep River. There was a lovely breeze bringing cool air off the water and keeping the mosquitoes at bay.
This Snowy Egret plodded back in forth in an inlet swamp, constantly poking into the undergrowth. I didn’t see the meal but there was some swallowing going on.
Undeterred by the breeze the Swallows were in nearly constant motion gathering bugs from the air, both over the water and a nearby cemetery. A hungry mouth alerted to an incoming parent.
The parents were harder to catch but they stopped long enough to drop off a snack.