Eyes of The Ape | Seattle Animal Photography 

Sitting through ‘Dumbo’ for the second time this weekend (Roman has decided it’s his favorite Disney flick for the moment), I was thinking a lot about circus and zoo animals and their various states of captivity. Instead of wrapping my thoughts around how depressing that topic can be for me, I thought I’d go back to this photo this evening for some therapeutic processing time. I find the big apes intriguing, and I can never resist taking a shot or two of them when I’m at the zoo. But I hate seeing them look so bored and listless, and so wish I was seeing them in their natural habitat but that will never happen for me. I don’t want my child to grow up in a world where gorillas and tigers and elephants (and all those animals that fill childhood literature and picture books) only exist in captivity in zoos…even with all their benefits of breeding programs and conservation awareness. That will be a very sad day for us all.

Anyway, I thought I’d go for my high contrast black and white edit version to share with you; it seems timeless and draws me in to that expressive and fascinating face. Since this is actually being written in the wee hours of the morning again, I must sign off; Folklife festival shenanigans at Seattle Center today. Have a safe
Memorial Day, all my (ape) friends!

xo ~ K

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. ~ Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe, letter to President Franklin Pierce


Some Spring Thoughts | Seattle Animal Photography 

My boy and I had a lovely day together at the zoo recently, and I’m looking forward to more sunny spring days here where I can get out and about taking photos. Once I figure out what my naughty stomach is doing to me, and once I’ve shaken this cold and got some energy back, maybe that will be possible. And this is assuming we have some more nice days…we have had some wacky weather lately.

The giraffe shot was taken with my brother in mind, since he understands the ‘skill involved’ within that shot. Although, since the funny-looking fellow seemed to be looking right at me, I’m not sure what to make of his ‘gesture’ personally. Catching the bear basking in the spring sun made for an adorable sight, but take a peek at the long claws on his paw in that photo…

                                                                                                                                                                                  When I go to the zoo, I always have mixed feelings come up. I am happy to take my little boy so that he may see all these rare, many almost extinct, fascinating animals; I want him to learn about the different amazing creatures in the animal kingdom, and hopefully learn to appreciate that zoos are there to help with conservation, education, and breeding programs.

He’s excited to see the animals that fill the pages of children’s story books, and see that they really do exist. But I’m constantly reminded of the sad truth behind keeping these animals in their enclosures, in zoos, in wildlife preserves…we need them because all kinds of animals, birds and marine life are losing their right to live wild and free, safe from poachers, hunters, polluters and land developers. I read an article in TIME Magazine recently entitled ‘Nature Is Over’ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2108014-1,00.html and the whole concept made my heart sink. I don’t want nature to disappear. How could that be??! I don’t want my child to know a future where humans have obliterated all that is natural around us. I think that will be a sad, sad day. I also think it will be a very grave day; we are already seeing the impact we have had on the world around us and it’s not looking pretty. And by the way, did you go and see ‘The Lorax’ movie yet? If not why not?!!

*I love this link to The Lorax Project, so check it out… http://www.seussville.com/loraxproject/

Spring brings us that feeling that growth and new beginnings are possible; we see the flowers blooming, buds opening on trees, the grass is greener, and people get busy in their gardens (I seriously need my energy back to do something with ours – it’s looking shameful!). It’s the change in the trees, the sky, the light, the life that is in nature around us that brings those feelings and inspiration. I feel grateful to live in a city that embraces the natural world within and around it; we have so many parks and green spaces, we are surrounded by mountains and water. I doubt I can ever get my little family to the depths of the Amazon or the plains of Africa to see all the wildlife and natural wonders that I’d like us to see, but I can appreciate the nature that I see around me all the time, and hope that Roman always sees the wonder in it too.

xo  ~ K

“In Nature there are no rewards nor punishments; there are consequences.” – Robert Green Ingersoll