Back to Whipsnade (June, 2018)

It won’t be a terrible surprise to any followers that yet again, following a hiatus post the April poetry-writing flurry, the thing that brings me back to posting is an urge to share more photographs from yet another Zoo visit : )

This post features shots from a visit to the Whipsnade Zoo which I first visited back in 2015. There were wonderfully familiar sights, but also some new experiences with the Zoo having finished renovations and extensions that were still coming up in 2015. Not to mention the acquisition of a few new animals – such as the beautiful new Amur Tigress (unfortunately not pictured here as she spent a majority of the time having a nice little nap in the corner of the enclosure).

It was a wonderful day… for many a reason. A gloriously sunny day. Some fun sightings. Fresh air and (relative) peace and quiet… Though I hope these humble offerings help highlight at least one, the most important one even – these glorious and gorgeous and amazing creatures!

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GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XII: A Forest Among the Towers

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt has us visiting a fun challenge from last year – The Haibun – It’s not the easiest form to describe (apologies if the link provided send you down a rabbit hole like it did me ; p) but it is an interesting one to employ. The combination of short prose and haiku poetry lends it a character that certainly helps it stand apart from my usual poetry, so I’m happy to try it again today. If you’re looking to learn more, I really liked the essay by Aimee Nezhukumatathil that NaPoWriMo shared today.

I live in a congested desert. Beaten and blinded by a harsh sun. Deafened by the roar of a million beating hearts and tired lungs. Trapping myself in concrete and steel and rubber.

The sun is glowing
The streets full of life and noise
I begin my day

The day ahead is long. There are mountains to wade through. Oceans to recall. A plethora of faces and names and dates to sift, absorb, categorise, sort and toss aside.

Oaken thrown awaits
Within my fort of papers
The pen is my sword

Yet in all the hustle and strife and boredom and gray there is something else too. Even amongst the dust covered steel of the city there is life. Unflinching, unbeaten, unbending, unbreaking.

Out nearby window
The trees are basking in light
Stood mighty and proud

As far almost as the eye can see. There is an army of trees. Hiding the sprawl and the struggle. Flushing the drab pallet of gray and brown and tan with splashes and shades of green and yellow.

A sea washes over
Flooding my view of towers
Painting a new scene

I am lost in the full branches. Mesmerised by the rays bouncing off the leaves. The bleating of metal monsters fades amongst the thought of chirping birds.

The sun seems welcome
And the noises fade away
My mind is quiet

GloPoWriMo: Day VI: Top Of The World

A short little hike
From a hillside home
There is place atop the world
A small little plateau
Cut into a mountain
Decorated with pines and birds

There lies a table of sorts
With a natural marquee
And carpet made of green
There I once sat in silence
Breathed in the world
I sat and I dreamed

Before the hounds began to bark
The day’s noise began
And the sun shook the sleep from its eyes
I sat by my table
With a cup of tea
I looked down on the world and spied

I spied clouds of cotton
Mountains of brown and gold
And a blanket of green and blue
I saw everything that can be
Far away from man
And the things we do

I sat at my table
In my little nook in nature
Atop the whole of the world
I sat at that table
I smiled at the sun
And I enjoyed the songs of the birds

I Am A Leaf On The Wind

Across the avenues and boulevards
Their bodies lay strewn about
Pushed to the side and brushed away
Without a whimper or a shout

In their falling there is beauty
And passersby will gaze
But once fallen they are forgotten
And left lying still for days

There was a time they stood tall
Atop their lofty perches
Sheltering those below and within
Mighty Oaks and Elms and Birches

But time did break their bonds and bodies
Made them pale and weak
And so they left this mortal coil
And slowly fell to sleep

Soon others will stand in their stead
But as seasons go so will they
For this is how life marches on
For this is its way

 

(P.S. To all you Firefly/Serenity/Wash fan out there – Sorry for the mislead ; p)

Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Gardens (Better Late Than Never II)

Alright I definitely have to get more organised about posting my photographs after a session/trip… Because here we go again. Posting from the back log – This time from my visit to the Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Gardens (again sometime in 2016 while I was living in England). Hopefully from now on I learn my lesson and post more regularly. As a bonus though, this post is particularly Otter-heavy… So gets ready for the awwwws : D

Compared to the other Wildlife Parks and Zoos I had occasion to visit the Cotswolds was definitely one of the better ones. Being somewhat out in the country meant that it had large spaces and bigger enclosures for most of the animals, and a really large selection too. Though if you’re a “completionist” like me be sure to pack a lunch and some comfortable walking shoes, because it will take you all day to check out the park… and there are many animals you’ll want to visit repeatedly depending on the time of day.

Chester Zoo – March 2015 (Better Late Than Never?)

Pardon the date in the post. As it should make evident, I took these pictures a while back on a visit to Chester Zoo in England. The trip was a fun from what I recollect. Unfortunately it was also cold and shaky hands make for bad photography. So while it was somewhat memorable, it wasn’t all that successful.

Still I’ve picked out a few worth publishing from the batch. Certainly a few gems in there I’m happy to add to the collection. Hopefully next time, if there ever is one, I’ll do the Zoo and its “Islands” justice.

I wish I had more to say on the visit. But time and other factors nudge me away from reminiscing. So hopefully these few shots speak for themselves.

What A Marwell-ous Day At the Zoo

Right, well, another Zoo post… I’m really making a habit of these aren’t I? Well… No regrets!!! : D

Here are some of my favourite shots from a visit to Marwell Zoo, in the English county of Hampshire. Tickets were quite affordable, compared to say ZSL, but then it was quite a drive away to get to. It wasn’t the sunny day one hopes for on a visit to the Zoo, but then it is England ; p

Quite honestly, Marwell was amazing. The animals had great enclosures and I’m sure during the summer it must be quite a sight to see many of them roaming in shared habitats. If you love near by or are planning a trip in that direction, take a day and go. You won’t regret it.

A Day at Whipsnade Zoo

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog you’ll know that I like, once in a while, to try my hand at photography. Now, I am by no means a professional. Barely even an amateur. But I do manage to get the odd picture or two that I can look at years on and feel quite pleased with.

One of my favourite things in the world to photograph is animals, and while I’d much rather photograph them in the wild, being a city a boy I rarely get the opportunity. So it is a delightful treat when I convince a friend to accompany me to the local Zoo.

Knowing of my love for the furry, slimy, scary and cuddly, a very dear friend decided to take me to Whipsnade Zoo, located in Bedfordshire. And I must say, if you haven’t been, you really should try to get out there. It is just breathtakingly gorgeous and seeing so many of the animals roaming in their large enclosures really warmed my heart. Many of the smaller herbivores were even roaming free about the whole compound, which was an especial treat! It may not be the great plains and jungles many of them are accustomed to, but it’s nice to see them being treated well. Or as well as can be hoped.

I hope some of these pictures inspire you to patronise this establishment for yourself. And take it from me, if you’re a real animal buff, get the ZSL Membership – 3 trips to either Whipsnade or the London Zoo and it’ll have paid for itself.

Weather Worn – Day XVII – NaPoWriMo 2014

Heavenly downpour
On sinners and saints alike
It falls torrential

Drenching all souls below
In it’s cleansing shower
Till not one stands clean

It pours down heavy
Breaking through the stormy clouds
Upon the dry ground

The winds blowing strong
Rending roots and beams from earth
Tearing lives and limbs

Cooling the dry earth
Making each who stands witness
Tremble with great awe

Great thunder comes with
Sending shocks through the timid
Making them run, hide

This is the power
The wrath of Mother Nature
Or is it her love?

None shall ever know
And none shall ever tame her
Though many may try

She is mystery
She is unpredictable
She is everything

More of the Delhi Zoo

It’s no surprise that I found myself once again wanting to visit the Delhi Zoo (having not that long ago been to the London Sea Life Aquarium). I simply love watching animals – their beautiful gaits, their fantastic plumage and coats, their seeming don’t-give-a-rat’s-behind attitude towards life – it’s simply a joy for me to watch. Even in a fairly small Zoo like the National Zoological Park I can easily while away several hours just clicking away and talking to myself (which is why its a good thing my friend decided to tag along with me today – or the other tourists would have had another strange creature to gawk at today). I really enjoy just watching the animals roam about their enclosures or even just loll about, basking in the sun.

What I cannot stand is people who do not treat these beautiful creatures with the respect they deserve. I mean, I understand that people pay the gate to come and see animals and take a break from their troubles, but I have no patience for people who treat the place like a circus! It was sad and frustrating to watch how much people disrespected the facilities – littering away; or the animals – with their shrieking and hollering. So what if the Tiger isn’t waking up and entertaining you – that’s not its job! And when the hooting turned into some dumb fool throwing a small stone at the Bengal Tiger (I kid you not it missed the animal by a foot and a half) I simply snapped and gave some people a piece of my mind. I had half a mind to spend the rest of the day following him around and chucking small pebbles at him. It was appalling. And there was no one around to even report him to.

That one negative experience aside, I loved my day out at the Zoo. From the big cats to a couple sparring Macaques and one really loopy acting Elephant, it was entertaining and truly fun. Maybe it’s just because of the kid in me, but I still see such magic and majesty in these animals. Bars or no bars. Those of you out there who haven’t visited because “it’s so lame” or “its  a waste of time” please believe me, you’re wrong. While I admit that some of the enclosures are more scantily inhabited than one would wish and it’s not the wonderful place you may remember as a child, it is still worth a half-day of walking about with a good friend.

I hope these pictures help persuade you to go support your local Zoological Park and maybe reclaim some of your own lost wonder : )