Pole Dancing Bear

Been away for a bit – nothing serious, just everyday life getting in the way of blogging.

I thought I’d post this video from the USGS. Some enterprising individual put it to music and I thought it was cute.

Until next time,


Ft. Logan Building #6

The land was first occupied by the U.S. Army in 1887, following a request by citizens of Denver, CO for a fort in an area they felt was still isolated from the rest of the country. This despite the fact that the government had started closing some of its more isolated forts now that most Native Americans had been moved onto reservations.

A temporary barracks and guardhouse were completed by the soldiers of the 18th Infantry in December of that same year. I believe this building was added to the fort by the 18th Engineers in the 1930’s. There is at least one building left on the grounds that was built in 1889 and I will go back to photograph that at a later date.

The fort was closed in 1946 and the Veteran’s Administration used the fort’s hospital building from then until 1951, when they moved into new digs in Denver. In 1949, 214 acres on the western edge of the post became Fort Logan National Cemetery. This included the original 3.2 acre post cemetery first used in 1889.

Today over 200 acres of the original fort now are home to the State of Colorado and the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan as well as some other social programs run by the state. Many of the buildings currently on the property were built in the 1960’s when the state was deeded the land.

Photo Deets: Nifty fifty, 1/800, f/4, ISO400 as a sliver of afternoon light broke through a large, overcast sky.

Until next time,

Aesop Revisited

This photo reminds me of the old fable where a poor man believes he is going to be eaten by a lion but instead realizes the lion is injured; he saves the lion by pulling out a thorn from his paw. Later, the lion returns the favor by not attacking when the man is captured and “fed to the lions”. They get married, have kids, and live happily ever after.

Or something like that.

This lion looks like she is suffering from a thorn in the paw. Her facial expression and her upturned paw combine to make me believe she is hurt. Fear Not, Oh Ye Hysterical PETA Members! In fact, I have captured her mid-yawn, and her paw is simply how she left it after licking it. I got the exact shot I was thinking of when I first saw her.

And for all you pedant’s out there who are going to give me a hard time because the lion in the fable was a male and my lion here is female, well, all I have to say is, “Lassie!” Yeah, that’s right. LASSIE!

400mm, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO500

Until next time,


First time I brought a guest to the zoo, she sat along the window pane to the orangutan enclosure and one of the females came right up and sat down opposite her. Within minutes they were both slowly pawing at the glass and leaning their heads toward each other. It was an incredible moment and one which was only recorded on a HI-8 camcorder – no photos.

Lesson learned – I always consider bringing a camera with me now whenever I leave the house. It’s a routine, and it gets occasional groans from my family. Oh well – part of the price I pay for this “hobby”.

Deets – I found this guy outside the enclosure just hanging around in the hammock. There were no openings from which to take shots. So I looked for the cleanest part of the window, pressed the lens up against the viewing glass, and fired away. I love looking into his eyes. 400mm, 1/125, f5.6, ISO800.

Arctic Wolf

I love wolves, probably because I love dogs. I’ve always had them, ever since I was little (dogs, that is!). All kinds, too.

This one reminds me of a Samoyed I once owned. Probably the happiest dog I’ve ever owned. Seriously, he could make the entire Disney empire look depressed and in need of meds. While this guy isn’t quite that happy, he does resemble my dog.

I was surprised to find the wolves active; they’re usually very sedate whenever I visit the zoo. It was a hot July day and the wolves were moving briskly through the enclosure. I caught this one pausing and snapped away.

Photo Deets: Heavily cropped, I also thought about Ps’ing away the grass stain and dirt from around his eyes, but in the end decided against it. I may have to revisit that decision though, as that dirt blob is really bugging me. I was also able to get my lens close enough to the wire barricade that the lens couldn’t focus on it, effectively turning it invisible in the shot. 400mm, 1/640, f/8, ISO100, on a monopod.

Mountain Eastern Bluebird

Watching and photographing this little guy was a treat. It started with his not-as-colorful mate, flying out of the nest-hole to a nearby branch when she realized I was close by. Then this guy came by, first delivering some food to the nest and then taking her place on the branch. While the female flew back into the nest-hole, he obliged me by keeping still, occasionally hopping to a new branch, but mostly just watching me and effectively moving me away from the nest. A true protector.

I love the detail in this photo. Not much info to reveal – taken on Father’s Day 2008. 400mm, with a monopod, 1/30s, ISO100. I don’t remember if IS was on, but it probably was, since this was one of the first images I took with my set-up.

**Update** – I have since learned that this is actually an Eastern Bluebird, and not a Mountain Bluebird. A simple Google Images search will show you why.

Until next time,



I feel hot. Bright sun hot. Sweaty hot. Oppressively hot. The panting, the bowed head, the highlights, all combine to convey summer heat. For me, anyway. How about you? Feel like a cool drink?