No bones about it ~

Well, no bones except in the clownfish. Sometimes I wish I had been a marine biologist studying invertebrates. These photos remind me of the old aquarium in La Jolla, California, right next door to the Salk Institute. That little Art Deco building housed a circular array of only a dozen or so medium-sized tanks, and those tanks were filled with anemones of many colors. The effect was breathtaking. These iPhone photographs were taken at the Denver Zoo’s Tropical Discovery building.

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Lionfish ~

lionfish

My 60 mm lens, despite its wide aperture, simply couldn’t let in enough light to capture decent photographs of the animals in the dark tanks of the Denver Zoo’s Tropical Discovery house. Things improved after I switched to my iPhone. I’m frequently disappointed in the performance of my iPhone’s camera, and then it pulls off something like this. A biological note: Lionfish, like so many other beautiful invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians, are venomous.

Lolling lizards ~

No leaping going on while I was present. I hope to return to get some sharper photos and get down a couple of identifications that I missed. Although a crocodile is technically not a lizard, I figure it’s close enough to fit with the rest of these. Although the one here appeared positively blissed out, there’s really no other way for a crocodile to look when its mouth and eyes are closed, is there?

Vainglory ~

There is a photographer, Brad Wilson, who photographs wild animals in the studio against a plain backdrop. These peacocks (two of which are technically pea hens) were perched a few feet above me atop a brick wall. Since the day was overcast, the camera exposure rendered the sky almost white. So I decided to take it white all the way, crop the images, and turn them into portraits in the manner of Brad Wilson. To see some of his work, go to https://www.boredpanda.com/animal-photography-studio-brad-wilson/.

A peek at South Park ~

For yesterday’s drive I skirted Denver on the west side and took U.S. Hwy. 285 over to Kenosha Pass and down to South Park. I’d been keen to see this part of Colorado ever since I read a magazine writer’s comment that, though he’d been many places in the world, the view down across South Park from the pass was his favorite. Not ever having watched the animated series “South Park,” I didn’t know that it was named after a real place. (There is also a North Park, northwest of Rocky Mountain National Park.) The designation “park” here refers to a broad plateau or basin ringed by mountains.

I stopped to eat lunch at Fairplay, then took state route 9 up through Alma (10,578 feet elev.), and over Hoosier Pass (as it turns out, there are two Hoosier Passes in Colorado, both of them—I presume—originally sited in Indiana, then trucked west and greatly enlarged). A series of hairpin turns on the other side of the pass takes you down to Breckinridge. There were still golden-leafed aspens along 285 east of Kenosha Pass and in Breckinridge; elsewhere, the aspens were mostly bare. Given the abundance of stands on the slopes, it must have looked spectacular a couple of weeks ago. Now I know an ideal driving route for seeing the fall colors in Colorado.