Gad, what a hot day! We decided to take it a little easier than we might otherwise have on a sunny Sunday and went on another "photo safari." I thought we would wind up at Hinckley Lake –one of our favorite places– but She Who Must be Obeyed had suffered several nasty bug bites last night at a star party. Yes, She actually went with me to an astronomy club meeting; this one was the Aurora Astronomical Society and a Saturday night meeting. We did not expect a star party as it had been cloudy all day. The overcast parted enough, however, that after sunset we could look at Mars, Saturn, and the Moon through several telescopes members had set up. The meeting place, the Moebius Nature Center, was immediately adjacent to a wetland area which was perfect for rearing large clouds of insects. I escaped with nary a bite but, as noted, not She!
At any rate, the bug bites suppressed any wish on Her part to go into natural areas where blood-thirsty insects might swarm, so we went back to the zoo. Two visits in as many weeks! We continued our visit there, checking out areas we missed last weekend. I had in hand my Canon Digital Rebel XT with its brand-new, never-used, 70 – 200mm Canon "L" lens I was so eager to test.
We had a lovely, though sweaty, day photographing the animals and plants of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. My first photos with the lens were actually grab-shots of wild, domestic buzzards visiting an open-air environment where keepers had scattered carrion for captive birds to devour. Our native turkey vultures put on quite a show, soaring and speeding through the air. The captive African variety –rendered flightless– were tame by comparison. Because of their speed riding strong winds I was only able to catch three images of our local birds: the first and third were out of focus but the "middle" shot was good and gave me an idea of the potential the new glass holds.
Walking along we viewed giraffes, sea lions, reindeer, wolves, bears, and more, photographing them all. A very pleasant way to spend the time and learn about the habits and features of the creatures. We entered the greenhouse that serves as seasonal habitat to a tropical butterfly exhibit. Outdoors the temperature was around 90 (F) degrees with humidity around 40 percent; it was hot but tolerable. In there, among the tropical plants and butterflies, it was hotter and misting sprays sent the humidity through the roof. We could only tolerate a few minutes. During that time an exquisite iridescent blue butterfly –a blue morpho– settled on to a board of the wooden walkway, just ahead of me. It flattened its wings and posed! Picture time! Before I moved on I gently coaxed the beauty on to my index finger and it took flight … we didn't want it to become a patch of blue goo.
We were drained by the heat and so left a little before noon and headed back to Whole Foods Market where yesterday we had purchased some food and She picked up some makeup. The makeup color choice was a bit too dark for her so we were returning the pretty tube. Then we sought lunch and enjoyed custom stir-fries at the Heinen's in-store cafe. Customers pick out most of the ingredients salad bar style and the staff cooks them up adding one's choice of proteins, rice, noodles, sauce, etc. Yummy! Before leaving we picked up a nice bottle of Monkey Business Merlot. Dinner should also be scrumptious.
Following lunch it was back home to look at our digital photos and enjoy the cool, quiet environs here. In all a fine day of buzzards and butterflies.