Tag Archive for zoo

Photo Friday: Spi-DERP!

Just look at this dumbass spider:

SpiDERP

DERP!

The little hairs, the eyes looking crossed, the bucktooth-like mandibles, all crack me up. Just the same:

KILL IT WITH FIRE!

When we flee the state, it probably won’t be to a place where things like this live. If I found one on our walls, I would bust out the 12 gauge.

This tarantula is on exhibit at the St Louis Zoo. My family visited the zoo last week and had a great time despite the temps climbing to 110°F. Admission is free, and though some of the exhibits require paid tickets, they’re very reasonable. For ten bucks a head, you can see just about everything in the zoo. A great deal for families, and a far cry from the insane expense of the Six Flags park just down the highway. We killed about six hours walking around the place, and there were still a few things we missed. That gives us an excuse to go back sometime, probably after they finish revamping the River’s Edge section of the zoo.

I debated hauling my camera bag and extra lenses due to the heat, and I’m glad I toughed it out. With the changes from indoor to outdoor exhibits and the variety of distances in viewing the animals, it was very helpful switching from the 18-55mm kit lens to the 55-250mm zoom. Having a few different camera bags available really pays off.

I took a lot of photos that day, but this one gets the nod. I’ll post the rest when I have time. Right now I have a column and two short stories to finish, and writing trumps screwing around with photos.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Photo Friday: Zoo Trip

We took the rugrats to the zoo last weekend, and unlike our first visit, I made sure the camera was fully charged and ready to go. One of the first shots upon arrival turned out to be a keeper.

Plotting Their Escape

Two tamarins plot their escape

I shot this with my 50mm prime lens, no flash. I thought it came out quite well, and was pleased another photographer marked it as a favorite just a minute or so after it hit Flickr.

While the tamarins made the official Photo Friday photo, I thought I would post some other favorites.

Lazy Day

Chill meerkat

This meerkat was chilling right up near the glass. I crouched down in front of him and snapped this shot while he watched one of the kids moving around. The meerkat exhibit is small but popular, and they even have a Meerkat Cam so folks can watch them from home.

Warm Day

A tiger pants in the shade

The tigers are usually pretty bored. We’ve only been there twice, and both times one just chilled while the other paced around. It was a very warm day for a Midwest October, and this one stayed in the shade and panted a bit to cool off. They’re gorgeous tigers, and it’s too bad they’re not in a larger enclosure.

Wink Wink

Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more

I framed this shot through a mesh, and I didn’t even realize the tiger had one eye closed until I looked at it in Lightroom.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Naptime for the king of the jung—er, cage

This lion was taking a good power nap…

Now She Will Nag Him

"Henry! Get out there and mow the lawn!"

…and then the wife came to roust him up.

What’s really strange is from that perch, if the lioness turns the other direction she can see the zebra, and maybe even the antelope and giraffe in the next pen. That’s gotta be torture.

Finally, we have my favorite of the bunch. When we first walked in, two tamarins were getting it on. Unfortunately I didn’t get my camera up in time to capture the action. Then we went by the spider monkey cage…

Prostate Check

"Check your oil, sir?"

Who knew monkeys gave one another prostate exams?

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Pissing Off the Mandrill

I took my family to the Peoria Zoo on Monday, and they had more animals than I expected, including a couple of mandrills. If you’re not familiar, think “evil monkey with the colorful face and ass” and you’ve got the idea. Given that description, I just had to see the guy in action.

Imagine my disappointment when I found him scratching his balls.

No, really. The male sat a few feet behind the fence, legs spread wide, playing with his balls and grooming the fur on his inner thighs. A crowd gathered around and I made a few noises to get his attention to take a picture. At first, no luck. I clicked off a shot, typed up my caption and fired it off.

Then I looked up and found him staring right at me, and punching the ground to intimidate me.

Oh shit, I got his attention!

"Wanna go, bitch?"

The people near me backed away, and the Wife just shook her head, thinking “Now what’d you do?”

I had to be careful here. Sure, there’s a fence in the way, but have you ever seen an angry mandrill?

Check it:

"I will cut you!"

Wait, that ain’t right. That’s a pic from his misspent youth.

No, when a mandrill gets pissed, it’s a lot scarier.

When he started punching the ground and grunting at me, I was afraid this was coming next:

OH MY GOD HIDE THE CHILDREN WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

So, yeah. From ball-scratching boredom to tear-your-face-off anger in seconds. Evil monkey.

Though I can’t blame him. I’d be sensitive, too, if it looked like someone tried to ram a rainbow up my ass.

Mandrill Ass

Taste the rainbow!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.