Although it's a Sunday, we consider this the last day of our vacation week. (Somehow it seems wrong to consider Sunday a vacation day but never mind.) We set off on an expected short visit to our own Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. We arrived just before official opening for the day today and hope to plan our visits that way often in future: early arrivals get prime parking spots, no lines at the gate, and the animals are active. The flamingos were more interesting today than at any time we have seen them before, close to their enclosure wall as well. The cheetas were also busy: chasing, pacing, and one even jumped up into a tree — also something we'd not seen before. We were shooting photographs a good part of the time, taking it easy and trying not to overheat in the mid-July sun and humidity. It was in the Primate, Cat & Aquatics building that I got my two "shots of the day." A newly-arrived clouded leopard was exploring its indoor enclosure giving me many opportunities to capture its image. I consider the clouded leopard to be the most beautiful of the great cats. At any rate, I shot many exposures of the animal using my little Canon PowerShot G11 and was rewarded with two pictures that I love: a lovely still portrait and a more dynamic image of the cat. Then we went home to hide from the heat. Tomorrow it's back to the daily grind. It won't take long for the stress to build back up but at least we'll have pictures to remind us of happier times!
I usually find myself on Sundays getting organized for the week ahead – not very relaxing at all ! The top shot of the leopard is gorgeous – it looks almost doleful. I hope I never see a leopard rushing at me like the bottom shot 🙂
That clouded leopard is beautiful. I have never seen one like that!
Doleful? Yes, I had the same impression. We were told the leopard was a recent arrival at the zoo. Cats have very expressive faces and I wonder if we aren't perceiving sadness so much as anxiety. Whatever it is actually feeling, there is something showing in that face. And I agree… we have good reason have anxieties of our own should we see a big cat moving quickly in our direction! — JG
What a gorgeous cat! I am glad you will have pictures of your vacation to remind you of the fun you had! It is very hard to get back to the daily grind fo things. I am usually a bit down after time away.
My, my, what big eyes you have. This cat is certainly taking in everything around him. I've never seen a clouded leopard before, but when the photo appeared on my screen, my eyes immediately went to the design on his body. It reminds me of a snake skin. The markings are so unusual, and it almost seems as though the head belongs with another body. Very beautiful. Do you know if this is a "natural" leopard, or are Clouded Leopards "designed" by man? Beautiful.
Oh that's a very natural cat, Sugar! Clouded Leopards are native to Southeast Asia where they apparently hunt both on the ground and from trees. They are medium-sized animals weighing from 35 to 50 lbs (all muscle). The only impact humans seem to have had on them is to make them endangered, in part because of their beautiful fur. — JG
Returning to work this morning has been a "downer" since the alarm went off for the first time in a week — the high personal cost of employment. — JG
I hope this is a very well maintained zoo to bring in an endangered animal. I'm sure all the animals were anxious the day you were there since it was the "Grand Opening", and the noise and commotion of all those humans would cause even a HUMAN to feel threatened! Love his snake skin fur, though. Hopefully all the animals will settle down and adapt; otherwise, the zoo will have to ship the stressed-out ones to smaller zoos.
And you sound as though you really needed that week off from work. I'm sorry that you're back in the grind. I'm lucky in that I can do most of my work at home, but it also leaves for the loneliness of not having any interactions with fellow employees. Sometimes I think that having an office would be nice because then you have the ability to make new friends. I'm sorry you had to go back, though. Is there some way you can get some paid time off…medical issues (stress), sick leave, some type of study you're involved in or upgrading of skills? I wish you the best.
Oh goodness… I hope you didn't understand! I said we arrived at the zoo just before it opened for the day, it wasn't a Grand Opening — just another Sunday! The leopard, however, is a new arrival at the zoo which has had a fine building for great cats for several decades. They take good care of their animals and help prevent extinction of threatened species — kind of the "Arc" role that large modern zoos fulfill.I've worked with others in an office setting and I've had my own one-man operation. I went from a place where I worked with people I liked to that single setting and that was hard. It's not always like that, however, and when folks don't appreciate what you do and even stab you in the back, well it's then when it becomes easy to part company with co-workers! Thanks for your thoughts. — JG
So beautiful! We've not been to a zoo in a long while.