Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Captive Audience

About two weeks ago I visited the Baton Rouge Zoo, though it was still too hot to be enjoyable. I think I've mentioned before that I don't care for zoos because animals in captivity can't possibly be happy--especially the birds. But they do serve an educational purpose, I suppose.

I connected on a deep level with a pair of parrots. I began with "HELLO" and they said something back and it went from there. We really hit if off. As I looked into their eyes I felt they were begging me to release them. See, this is how I torture myself at the zoo. I spent a good 10 minutes with them and finally waved and said, "GOODBYE!" As I walked away, their ear-splitting screeches broke my heart. I have never heard such mournful, distressing screams in my life. I am not exaggerating. It haunts me—even now.
The odd couple coming to check me out
Peacock
The sign said American Alligator, but his snout looks way too flat and long
In all my bayou exploits I never saw an alligator that looked like this!
Andean Condor with fencing in front
Crested Screamer (thank God they didn't scream)
Dik-Dik
So darn cute! 
Lappet-faced Vulture
Viewing face
I came home and noticed this face on my neighbor's tree
Double D is out of town this week and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous. I plan to take full advantage of my freedom and the weather by hunting down every flower, dragonfly, butterfly, and bird that will let me shoot it! Ha! 

Thanks again for the uplifting comments and emails. My heart can sing once again. Y'all are truly awesome! God bless. :)

40 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i like your 'hunting' week plans. :)

i am glad you are renewed. these shots are great, even if they hurt your heart a bit!

Starla said...

Hmmm...I'm wondering if the alligator is actually a Gavial, aka a Gharial? They have long flat snouts like that (males have a big ol' bulb on their nose...as I was taught by my then 3 y/o son...sigh...hehe)

Your pictures are lovely as usual. I had the hardest time taking pictures this past weekend of my oldest kiddo's cross country team. Their race was at night and NOTHING turned out. And the pictures of their team building activities in the gynm weren't much better. I think I need to take some lessons from you!!

Brian King said...

You took some awesome photos, Gail! I could have used the first one of the parrot for my post on shooting through fences. That's a great example...the beak is framed by the fence and you are naturally drawn to the parrot's eye. His foot clinging to the fence finishes it off nicely.

I've never seen an alligator with a snout like that, either.
It reminds me of a gar rather than an alligator.

Those Dik diks are small! I've seen them in wildlife documentaries.

Love the vulture shot, too! Great eye reflection!

Linda said...

Great set of images, Gail. I feel your pain regarding those parrots. They are probably not as unhappy as they sounded, though. Maybe they were just mad because you didn't feed them. :)

I absolutely loved the "Odd Couple." Made me smile. The peacock, Andean condor, and crested screamer are just wonderful photos. The Dik-Dik has eyes many a woman would envy. And the alligator...I've never seen one quite like that either. Makes you wonder if the sign was wrong.

hootnonny said...

What a bunch of "colorful" critters!
Have a great week on your hunt...take lots of prisoners.

Kerry said...

Oh wow Gail. These are terrific. I avoid zoos too, although these days I do think they try to make them better. Wish I could've seen you as you hit it off with that amazing parrot; now you must go back.

Thank god the screamer didn't scream indeed!

I look forward to seeing the results of your hunt.

Evelyn S. said...

Love the fascinating eyes....!

Marco Alpha said...

Hello,
Very nice shots of the animals of the Zoo. The shot of the condor is very nice. It's great to see and I love it all.

Many greetings,
Marco

Rosemary Aubut said...

Love them all but especially the odd couple! Can't say what kind of gator that is but not familiar with it here in FL.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

I know your feelings about the parrots! The eyes do talk. Lovely pictures - so much color. People watching the creatures while they watch us!! Love the colors on a peacock!! So glad you're feeling better!!

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Fantastic photography ~ Wow! ~ (A Creative Harbor)

thanks for coming by and commenting ^_^

ps. I don't like zoos or pet stores ~ enjoy the week ^_^

Danielle said...

Happy Hunting!! I don't particularly care for zoos either...although that is what my daughter has chosen as a career path (zookeeper). I do however love our wildlife park here. It is solely for injured animals native to Florida..except Lu the Hippo...who was made a citizen of Florida by the Governor so he could stay. Anyway...your photos as always are wonderful...and I have never seen an alligator like that either.My daughter says the alligator is more than likely a Crocodile.

bailey-road.com said...

I love the odd couple.
I do feel that most modern zoos consider the psychological welfare of an animal as well as the physical needs in designing the various habitats.

Renae said...

WOW - GREAT photographs! You are very good at it. I sort of don't like animals cage up either.

Rosie Grey said...

What a gorgeous post, Gail! I always love coming! I can't wait to see what you will be doing with your freedom week! :-) Have a great time!!

ladyfi said...

That peacock shot is stunning!

I always feel so sorry for the animals in the zoo.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What incredible bird shots. But your story about the parrots does make me sad for them.

Buttons said...

Oh I love the photos and it makes me sad too but I guess no one would see them without a zoo. Hard decision.
I am glad you are feeling more like yourself and are going to capture those special moments with your camera. B

Lynn said...

Love the colors : know you will have a good time this week. Happy Monday, Gail.

mitlearmoments said...

Spectacular images!!! Great captures...glad you are in better spirits...I was out taking photos --the hummingbirds are out YAY...Big hugs to you, xoxo Mitzi

Patrice said...

Great shots, Gail - I love that peacock!

Deanna said...

Oh you did take some really gorgeous shots of the animals & birds at the zoo. I hear what you are sayin' about animals caged, but wonder if some of them are better off in a zoo, well fed and taken care of. That red parrot is a stunner.
Have fun this week.

Linda R said...

I am loving all these photos my friend. Looks like you had a great time at the Zoo..

Hugs~

Stewart M said...

I also have a real sense of confusion about zoos - I like the animals, but not the place. It's one of the reasons I (as you have done) make of point of being very clear that the pictures are of captive animals.

Dubai was remarkable - if a little "plastic" feeling

SM

Barbara Shallue said...

These are wonderful! I feel the same way about animals, but truly love zoos for their educational purposes. I'm glad so many have tried to make the animals feel more at home. That dik-dik is precious and those last two cracked me up. I sense I missed something while I was away so I'm off to play catch up!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Love your "free" week plans -- hope you share the results! We used to go out of our way to visit zoos when we traveled, but not so much any more -- unless they are rehabbing animals or saving endangered species or something, I don't think they're right any more. It is the apes and gorillas and orangs than still haunt me from the last time we visited one. (Way too close to us and I'm not being facetious.)

Arti said...

Those are wonderful captures but you connecting with the Parrot's and the way you have described the incident is so heart warming.
A happy experience for you.
Have a nice week ahead Gail :)

Nancy Claeys said...

Our zoo (in Omaha) has an aviary where the birds can fly freely beneath a huge net canape. I'm not much for zoos either. Enjoy your week and refresh. :)

Dianne said...

some zoos do great work at protecting and saving animals and I try to remember that

I love the odd pair, they're wonderful

Lisa Gordon said...

Gail, that macaw is gorgeous!
That vulture is actually kinda cute. :-)
What a great place for photos.

Phil said...

Some brill photos there Gail. Some people say that animals and birds don't have expressions but you certainly captured some there for me. The parrot looks infinitley sad and the vulture curious? Some zoos (most zoos) do or should do valuable conservation work for threatened species so there is a place for them and also in education as you say. Keep up the good work, pictures and words.

Phil said...

Sorry, forgot to say the croc looks like Indian alligator or croc to me. Maybe you should ask the zoo if they should label it properly in the name of education.

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Gina @ Kleinworth & Co. said...

What beautiful captures of some most amazing & interesting creatures.

Mary said...

Oh so many great pictures of amazing critters. Each is so different and interesting. I have not ever seen a dik dik. Cuties.

missing moments said...

Oh, so agree ... hate to see them in captivity. Especially the parrots ... they are so darn smart! Great photos and glad you are feeling better. Those Hummingbird ear rings are awesome. Have a great week!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I'm not a fan of zoos either; would rather stay home and enjoy my own.

Dave said...

Don't worry about those parrots. They are confidence tricksters I'll bet! That odd couple were strange huh? Funny how that happens in the animal world - Dave

Tricia said...

I feel the same way about zoos, but then think that perhaps the educational benefits will lead people to want to save animals in the wild though too. That said, you sure got some great photos! I love the dik-dik...what a cute little thing.

Tricia Hays said...

I have to agree w/ you on animals not being happy in a zoo... I'd like to say more, but mama taught me not to say anything if I couldn't say something nice.
They're just so beautiful, all the animals, but particularly this striped face beauty... they should be FREE... in the wild that is!

That's one very odd couple, to be sure! What a hoot!

Look at the faces on the Dik-Dik... oh my goodness =)