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Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter Trip to Yuko-En

Over Easter Erin, her parents, Abby and I went to Yuko-En on the Elkhorn, a local Japanese style walking garden. We were hopeful the cherry blossoms would be in full bloom, but came away mildly disappointed. Some of the cherry blossoms had started to pop, but for the most part it wasn't quite time. The Judas trees were in full bloom though.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Red-tailed Hawk and Blue Jay

All this spring at work, I've been seeing a couple of red-tailed hawks out my office window. A couple of times I've also seen one on a light post on my way home. Up until today, I either didn't have my camera with me, or had the camera and just plain failed. Today I finally had some success!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Startrails

I wrote about Startrails last year on my old blog, which I think I'm going to either abandon or transition into just posting an occasional picture.

Last night I captured another, this time with Polaris in the picture (it's the bright trail near the center of the concentric circles) over the course of 4 hours. I think it could still use a few more hours, but this one definitely is more filled out. This time I used my 6d with the 17-40 attached, ISO 100, f4, 75 second exposure.

Friday, April 4, 2014


I was a little late in deciding to take a picture of their sign

Well, drive-thru safari. In Texas.

I'm separating this into its own post because it is lengthy and picture heavy. If you find any incorrect identifications please let me know. I spent way too much time on it already, and may have gotten a bit sloppy as time went on. We probably should have spent a few bucks on the guide book they had. Oh well, identification is a challenge that I enjoy.

Anyway, back to the post... I have to say, Erin is the vacation planning master. She found a drive-thru safari, the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, just outside of San Antonio. It is a 400+ acre ranch, with about 6 miles of roads inside. It took us about 45 minutes to get there from Sean's place, then we had to wait about an hour and a half in the car line to get in. Luckily we were prepared for the wait (they had a warning on their website since it was spring break), and had candy and drinks and we found some music to set the mood via Songza. After the long wait we finally got in, and spent about 2 and half hours on the drive-thru portion and another 30 minutes in the walking area.

This only scratches the surface... but it was worth it. Picture by Sean

I took a little over 1300 pictures, (Lots of continuous drive), which perhaps makes for an appalling keeper rate but it was a rare opportunity so I didn't want to miss a chance to at least have a decent snapshot of every animal. I also went super camera dork, putting both my DSLR's to work (6d with 100-400, XS with 17-40) and scooting back and forth across the back seat.

Index Links

I've indexed the individual animals since this post is almost 60 pictures. Also note that each animal heading is a link to the corresponding Wikipedia article. My favorite photos are of the addax, ring-tailed lemurs, reticulated giraffes, emu, rhea, ostrich, kob and sika deer.

Addax | American Bison | Arabian Oryx | Bactrian Camel | Barbary Sheep | Blue Wildebeest | Bongo | Bull | Dama Gazelle | Damaraland Zebra | Donkey | Emu | Fallow Deer | Impala | Kob | Llama | Longhorn | Nile Lechwe | Nilgai | Ostrich | Reticulated Giraffe | Rhea | Ring-tailed Lemur | Saanen Goat | Sable Antelope | Scimitar Oryx | Sika Deer | Springbok | Waterbuck | Watusi | White Rhinoceros


Some of the addax were quite bold (friendly?) and would accept food straight out of the bags of food or even people's hands. The ranch says to drop it on the ground. People listen good. Oh and it looks like a little boy with a bowl cut. Or maybe Moe.

It does make for a cute photo