Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Day at the Zoo

On Saturday Dave surprised me with a trip to the NC Zoo for my birthday. You may think, "Diana...zoo, really? Why are you posting this?" But, Dave did a great job of knowing my love for photography and animals. I'm amazed by all types of animals...the way they look and act. The N.C. Zoo is quite amazing with spacious room and great care for the animals.

I believe you can find inspiration in all types of environments and situations. Every animal inspired me by their color, texture, and overall body form.

The wonderful patterns of the giraffe and zebra. Flamingos, which is my favorite picture of the bunch...love the colors! Their pink color comes from a chemical found in the food they eat, like shrimp and algae. I asked Dave if we would turn pink if we started eating algae...he paused, laughed, and said maybe our hair would.

Elephant covered in good ol' red clay dirt, which is plentiful in NC. Sweet chimp and monkey. The chimp show was rated-R, and I decided to keep this post PG. Yes, they were having lots of sex.

I don't know the scientific name, but it's a blue frog! There was also bright yellow and black ones. The colors are amazing. Also, this is a leaf imprint on a zoo pathway. I love how they took over-sized leaves and stamped them into the ground. Possible garden idea? See...inspiration is everywhere!

How do you feel about the zoo? I feel torn on the subject because I enjoy the zoo learning experience, but I also feel sad for the animals...even though they are well taken care of at the NC Zoo. Hard topic...thoughts?

11 comments:

Robin said...

Your photos are gorgeous, especially the flamingos and the frog, great colors (and don't let those folks are Clairol and Paul Mitchell hear your hair color theory).

I think zoos today are under much greater public scrutiny to maintain high living standards for their animals. Just look at your photos -- as close to their occupants' original habitats as possible, natural, with enough distance between you and them to protect everyone, cared for by zoologists and scientists -- and compare them to childhood photos of someone 40 or older (ahem, me, or your parents) at the zoo of their childhood. Cages with iron bars and cement floors. Little natural light or air. Dirty water, no shade, no "habitat" to speak of. Cared for by "handlers". We've come a long way... although no matter where they are, monkeys are still pretty stinky.

diana @ please sir said...

Thanks Robin! I agree - great comments and observations.

Freshly Found said...

Zoos are a hard one. Having just seen herds of elephant and giraffe in their natural habitat a few days ago, it does make me sad to see animals enclosed. But Robin is right - zookeeping has come a long way. And zoos give people an opportunity to see animals that they might otherwise never get to see.
First prize will be to come over to Africa and see these beautiful animals in their natural environment, observing not only their beauty, but the social dynamics in a herd.

Cicada Studio said...

I woke up thinking of the Bronx Zoo and how I should take my boys there one day soon. It's pretty thrilling for the kids. Beautiful photos- they seem to be happy to pose for you. Whenever I go, they hide behind trees, in their den or lay down!

FiestaLady said...

Very excellent pictures. Nicely done. I have been to the North Carolina Zoo and it is one of the finest in the United States. If you notice in today's world, so many animals are escaping their "pen" and running loose - even elephants. I do know some people that work at this Zoo and they are dedicated and caring people. Everything is done to make life pleasant for all animals.

diana @ please sir said...

Great comments - and I wish I could go to Africa to see them in their herd form! One day, one day!

That Girl Designs said...

Love, love, love to go to the zoo! These are great pictures Diana. That blue frog is nature at its most amazing. Nature is by far my biggest inspiration--for art and life!

littlebyRD said...

My son LOVES to go to the zoo here in Portland. It is also a very well maintained one and the animals are well cared for so it doesn't bother me in the least. I once visited a zoo in China and that was a different story.

Wildwood Girls said...

Beautiful photos! I actually wanted to be a zookeeper all the way up until college where my dream kind of fizzled (I still have it in there somewhere). I only agree with zoos if they are working towards education of the public and conservation of the animals. If it's a zoo where the animals are in tiny cages and not in naturalistic habitats, I get angry. We have two zoos here in Chicago. One (Brookfield Zoo) does a great job. The other (Lincoln Park), not so much.

diana @ please sir said...

That is great you want to be a zoo keeper - you can still do it!

Dianna said...

zoos are tough. i liked going when i was younger to see the animals up close & learn about them. but, i have been on a zoo boycott for over 10 years because it makes me too sad. even if they are treated well, they belong in the wild and not in captivity. i just can't bring myself to support that anymore.

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