Tag Archives: zebra wiener

Fun times at The Wilds

23 Jul

Trivia question: The largest wildlife conservation center in North America, a place where African, Asian, and North American species roam freely on over 9,000 acres, is in what U.S. state?

Did you guess Florida, California, or somewhere with way better weather than middle-of-nowhere Ohio? You’re wrong. The answer is Ohio (middle-of-nowhere Ohio, to be exact).

Last week we drove approximately 3 hours from Cincinnati to visit The Wilds, the largest wildlife conservation center in North America. Though it’s partnered with the Columbus Zoo, there’s nothing zoo-like about it — all the animals roam freely in open pastures. The only way to see them is through scheduled bus tours, which drive you through the pastures for 2 hours like you’re on a safari (or at Jurassic Park). They have open-air buses for the authentic safari experience, but since it was 90+ degrees F (33C) on the day we went, we opted for the “climate-controlled” buses. I put “climate-controlled” in quotation marks because whatever air-conditioning system they had on board did not seem to be working and I was a hot, sweaty mess by the end of the tour. If you want to get up close and personal with the animals (and have $125 burning a hole in your pocket), you can take the Wildside Tour. We first encountered a Wildside truck being surrounded by Persian onagers.

wildside onagers.pngAs we circled back around our bus met the same fate.

persian onagers.pngThey were everywhere! Apparently they were attracted to the bus because the exhaust kept the flies off them. Two of them parked themselves right in front of our bus and would not move.

onagers bus.pngOur driver had to call Animal Management to come and lure them away so we could continue on with the tour.

We got off the bus for a bit to see the parakeets and some other animals.

parakeets the wilds.pngCheetah!

cheetah the wilds.pngThey were feeding the African painted dogs while we were there.

painted dogs the wilds.pngZebra (with a less impressive wiener than the zebra we saw in San Diego. Sorry, it had to be said!)

zebra the wilds.png

zebra close up.pngFrom a distance we saw the ostrich harassing the Wildside Tour, so we knew he was gonna be fun.

ostrich wildside.pngHe kept trying to stick his head in our driver’s little window.ostrich bus.pngostrich funny.pngWe had a great view!

ostrich the wilds.pngHow often do you get to see an ostrich and a giraffe together?giraffe ostrich.png

giraffe the wilds.pngSouthern white rhino

white rhino the wilds.pngScimitar-horned oryx have wicked horns!oryx the wilds.pngThey’re native to North Africa and still thought it was way too hot in Ohio.

Baby scimitar-horned oryx with tiny horns!

oryx babies.png

Almost all my photos were taken from the bus, so you can see how close we were able to get to a lot of the animals. If you ever find yourself in middle-of-nowhere Ohio, I highly recommend a visit to The Wilds. Just maybe not on one of the hottest days of the year.

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So I got a new camera…

19 Jan

This is going to be a heavy photo post, because, well, everyone likes photos. That, and I finally got my new camera.

Remember when I was obsessed with finding a good deal on a DSLR on Black Friday? Well, there were no deals. I also realized I don’t really need a $500+ camera to accomplish what I want in my photos — specifically, shallow depth of field.

I believe my fascination with such photos started with this one:

I took it with the fancy Nikon I rented for my photojournalism class. To me it screamed “Look, I’m a good photographer with a good camera!” My photojournalism professor told me it sucked. (OK, not really, but he said I shouldn’t use it as my photo for the week. I’m hoping that’s because the assignment was a news photo and this picture doesn’t fully depict the giant sinkhole on Montrose Avenue.)

Ever since I took that picture I got it into my head that I could only take cool photos like that with an expensive DSLR. And then I got a super zoom camera and I fell in love. I could manually change the settings, get my shallow depth of field photos, and, well, super zoom. I’d have to buy an expensive lens to super zoom on a DSLR. So now I’m going to show off my mad photography skills in a series of random pictures from my trip back to the states.

Below you will find a photo of the best chicken wings in the world. And in true American fashion, they were all you can eat. They try to tempt you with other flavors, but the only kind you should ever get are garlic ranch. They serve garlic ranch wings in heaven, except in heaven they don’t give you a massive stomach ache or contain any calories. (And if you’re wondering why I photographed chicken wings, it’s because they are the best chicken wings in the world. Also, it was the first day I had my camera.)

This photo was not taken with my new camera, but I’m including it anyway because I made awesome Christmas cookies this year.

After Christmas Stephen and I took a trip to California where I fully got to break in my super zoom camera with dozens of photos of sea lions.

We went to the San Diego Zoo because they have PANDAS. They also had this in the parking lot. God bless America.

We had to wait in a long queue to see the pandas, but when life offers you the opportunity to see pandas, even if you’ve already held a baby panda in China and nothing can ever top that, you get in that queue (OK, line, since we were in America). We were politely told to take our photo then move out of the way so other people could take their photo and move. I think I took 20 photos of the same panda doing the same thing.

This might be the best photo I took of the trip. “What could be better than a panda?” you ask. Well, this:

I swear the only editing I did was add my blog address, so that when people google image “giant zebra wiener” they know what blog to go to.

I have no idea who this guy is, but I thought it made for a nice shot, especially the birds.

And then I got obsessed with shallow depth of field again and Stephen had to tell me to stop taking pictures of rocks. But doesn’t it look cool?!

We took a two-hour boat cruise around the harbor which was a total waste of money except I got this lovely shot of the sun setting under the Coronado Bridge.

We went to LA for the day where we did touristy things like complaining about all the tourists and I took too many photos of birds at Venice Beach.

That is all. Now that I have my new camera, I’ll try to make more photo posts, but, as usual, no promises. I still have photos saved on my desktop for that post I promised to write about Venice in August.