This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “baby

A Trip to Whipsnade!

At the beginning of the week my friends from work and I went on a trip to Whipsnade Zoo!

This was the first time i’d ever been to Whipsnade, despite living in Bedfordshire for 4 years whilst at University, and I was super excited to see all the animals!

We started by stopping by for some lemur breakfast. The Lemurs jumped about everywhere and walked along the barriers at the sides of the path, often hitting us with their tails, as they munched away at their food. I didn’t really know a lot about lemurs and so was very excited to learn new things, including the fact that the smallest lemur is the same size as your little finger! How crazy is that?!?

IMG_1326

Afterwards we moved on to the chimps who also happened to be having breakfast! They were so cheeky and mischievous, especially one who kept stealing everyone else’s food. The dominant male got angry at the cheeky chimp for trying to steal food off him which led to a comical display from the cheeky chimp who threw himself on his back like he was playing dead. Sometimes the food would also fall into the moat next to their island and then the chimps showed off their intelligence by picking up sticks to hit the food towards them.

IMG_1352bw IMG_1354 IMG_1367

Then we wandered to see some white rhinos and I learnt why they’re actually called white rhinos! It’s all to do with a misunderstanding on the Africaans use of the word ‘wijde’ which was in reference to this species wide mouth, but it sounded rather like ‘White’ and so the White Rhino got it’s name. The Black Rhino was named to be opposite despite neither being particularly different colours.

IMG_1379

We wandered about looking at the various animals and we’re extremely impressed with all the different enclosures, the paddocks were huge and decorated beautifully too, the illusive wolves had a gorgeous forest, the penguins had probably the best pool view i’ve seen and all the animals had lots of things to keep them busy throughout the day.

IMG_1393

A Mara, one of the free roaming animals in the Zoo.

We saw a brown bear go swimming which was wonderful to see. It bumbled through the forest and I was running along side ready for the perfect shot, my friend was hoping it would go in the water and so we all waited with bated breath. The bear was snuffing the air and definitely took it’s time, but eventually went into the cool waters and I got some adorable photographs of it having a nice soak.

IMG_1429

We also saw the sealion show, they were great at showing just how agile and amazing they are, they told us the difference between sealions and seals, how they train them for the vets and also how we can help them in the wild. It was really interesting as well as being pretty cool to watch.

We also saw the talk at the animal farm where they brought out many different cute, fluffy creatures for us all to stroke including baby rabbits, ferrets and pygmy goats! They even flew an owl around our heads which hovered right in front of our faces! It was so cool!

IMG_1474

We even took a stream train ride through the park! This is feel was rather overpriced for how long the journey was, but it was really rather fun! We not only learnt about the animals we passed but also about the steam engine we were riding. It’s definitely a fun way to go around and see the animals, i’d recommend it at least once, but maybe not more than that.

We carried on walking around seeing all sorts of different animals, but our feet were getting weary and it was nearly closing time so we wandered over to the gift shop. However the gift shop was closed before we even got there! We were not very impressed by that fact, but decided it was probably for the best anyway as we all needed to save money.

IMG_1532

I spent the rest of the afternoon at a friends house playing with her pet snake and eating far too much rubbish.

I had such a fun day, took so many lovely pictures and can’t wait to go again!

Claire x


Teenie Tiny Baby Monkeys!

In my last few weeks (maybe a month) of being at the Zoo there were many new arrivals! Of course I just couldn’t resist in taking pictures of them and I’m even planning on going to Whipsnade tomorrow as I hear there’s loads of babies there too! 

Last thursday I took a special trip to the rain forest exhibit to take pictures of some adorable baby Emperor Tamarins. These were only just over a week old and absolutely TINY! They’re a small enough species of monkey to fit in the palm of your hand anyway, but the babies really are miniscule. 

IMG_1228

 

There were two born as these tamarins usually do give birth to twins. When they are first born they do not have the distinctive white moustache that Emperor Tamarins are well known for, but that begins growing soon after. 

IMG_1202

 

After birth the mum gets a nice rest as it is usually the dad that does most of the carrying, just passing them back to mum when they start calling for food. In ZSL London Zoos Rainforest Exhibit the whole family help out with the babysitting duties, including some Golden Lion Headed Tamarins as well! 

IMG_1222

 

The two babies are already growing quickly and starting to be more aware of their surroundings, I will have to go back soon and document their progress! 

I can’t wait to see the wonders of Whipsnade, nor can I wait to take many photographs! 

Claire x


The Importance of Understanding your Camera and Sloth Babies!

I’ve always had real trouble with photography in low light situations and always blamed it on my old camera, plus they always say that light is a photographers best friend! But sometimes good lighting is just not possible, especially when not based in a studio.

I recently took my camera to work with me to take pictures of all the cute baby animals we have running around at the moment. I was getting quite frustrated at my camera not being able to cope with the light levels in the perfectly lit room, no matter how much I changed my shutter speed and aperture I just couldn’t get a clear, well lit photograph of the sloth and its baby (see attempts below). But there was an old gentleman, and regular at the zoo, who then told me about ISO.

IMG_9557 IMG_9567

 

Both unfortunately blurry and dark. 

I had heard of ISO but had always thought that it would seriously reduce the quality of my photographs, something which is of course true if you’re not using it properly, as I wasn’t. After hearing his brief explanation I decided to change my settings and finally got some good photographs! I just wish i’d played with it earlier on in the day.

IMG_9542IMG_9577

I did get a couple of good shots on a low ISO

Well since that day I’ve done a bit of research into ISO so I can learn exactly what it is and how to use it.

So what exactly is ISO?

ISO is the speed of the film, not to be confused with frame rate but instead it’s how sensitive the film would be to light. So a Low ISO would correspond to an insensitive film that would require more light to create a good quality image, whereas a High ISO would be a far more sensitive film needing less light for the same image quality. But even though you may need a higher ISO in certain situations, the higher ISO does also create grainier images and so it is best to keep the ISO as low as possible for the shot.

Of course if using a Tripod for a still subject it would be fine to use the lowest ISO possible, but for handheld camera work and moving objects it’s best to experiment to find the perfect balance between brightness and noise in the photograph.

IMG_9593

It really is so important to understand all the workings of your camera, I’ve had mine for nearly 7 years and I’m only just learning how to really get the most out of it! I plan to carry on learning about all aspects of photography and hopefully it will improve my photographs, in fact i think it already is!

But it’s not only understanding your camera, it’s also understanding your subject so I also plan to study the animals i’m wanting to take photographs of as well. There’s not all that much known about sloth babies, as they have about an 80% mortality rate in just the first week of being born, and a lot of that percentage is from the mother dropping them! I believe this is the first sloth baby in our zoo for around 50 years. So not only is the sloth baby proving to be vital research for myself into the animal kingdom, but also for the keepers who are learning new things about how they develop, grow and learn too! It’s all very exciting.

IMG_9588

I plan to take my camera to work again very soon and experiment more with the ISO settings, plus i want to get even more adorable photographs of various animals!

Claire x


Springing into Spring

I made a cute little spring treasury on Etsy and thought i’d share it on here with my reasons for picking each object. 🙂 You can find my treasury here.

I tried to look for pastel colours, flowers, and a bright cheerful feeling, all the things that just shout spring to me! There were so many cute items it was hard to narrow it down, but in the end this is what I came up with:

Spring Paper Flowers

It’s kind of hard to believe these aren’t real. Who wouldn’t want these to brighten up their living room? They wont die like real flowers and can come in a range of colours to suit your room! Definitely a good choice if you always forget to water or buy new plants like me.

Woodland Stone and Branch Bracelet

I love how unusual this bracelet is. The branch with the first hint of flower is adorable and reminds me of the trees just starting to blossom.

Bright flower Necklace

Want a big bright statement piece that makes winter vanish to memory? Then this is surely the necklace for you. Its bright, fun and cheerful and just makes me smile.

Vanilla and Turquoise Flower Necklace

This necklace is cute and fresh, just what you need to chase away the cold british winter. The straw like string adds a touch of the unusual and the flowers add that cute feminine touch. All together a very adorable little necklace.

Robins Egg Earrings

Spring is a time for new life, eggs are being laid and flowers are blossoming, so why not feel part of it by wearing some ‘eggs’ on your ears? Not only are these adorable, but I think they would go perfectly with the necklace above!

Spring Bird Mobile

Well we’ve had the eggs so we obviously needed some birds as well! I love the twig and flowers at the top of this mobile and the birds finish it off beautifully. I can just see this in a little girls nursery, but to be honest i’d really want to steal this for myself. It is definitely one to enjoy no matter what your age is.

Flower Charm Necklace

Want to look like a flowery meadow? Well then this is the necklace for you. Crammed full of cute little flowers this statement necklace is bound to turn heads and make any outfit look fantastic.

Blush Angel Dress

This is the kind of dress I can imagine wearing on a warm spring day/evening whilst prancing around a meadow. It’s just stunning. Maybe the weather isn’t quite warm enough for it yet, but it’s getting there. Although I’m not sure if i’d dare wear it out of the house myself for fear of ruining it!

Snowdrop Chandelier Earrings

It’s impossible not to think about snowdrops when spring is mentioned and these earrings seem to mimic them beautifully. Bring a touch of classy elegance to your outfit by wearing these, i’d personally wear them with my hair up just to make sure they’re noticed!

Lavender Fairy Dress

I don’t know what to really say about this dress other than just simply ‘Wow’. The delicate lace and pastel colours seem to compliment the freshness of spring and really does make me think of flower fairies dancing in the evening light.

Little Mint Deer Necklace

From classic to just plain cute! Everyone loves deers and this necklace is just adorable!

Baby Duck Figurine

Another animal that reminds me of spring is the little baby ducklings! If I could I’d buy lots of these little figurines and make a line of them that I could imagine were waddling towards a nice little picturesque pond.

Pink Daisy Necklace

Another statement necklace with some bold pink flowers and green beads. A modern, but some how classic, look to really attract the compliments.

Hydrangea Blossom Diamond Ring

Gold, Silver, Diamond. What more does a girl want? This delicate little ring would certainly draw in my attention and leave me completely green in envy! The vein detail on the flower really finishes this piece off and I can imagine I would spend hours tracing them with my eyes.

Vintage Lace Wedding Headband

It may be listed as a wedding Item, but I would wear this despite not even being engaged yet. I love the messy vintage glamour this seems to exude. What better way to feel at one with nature than to be wearing this gorgeous piece.

Flowers and Pearls Necklace

Another statement necklace for the demure woman in you. A string of pearls with a bunch of flowers, a fresh addition to a smart outfit.

I hope you like these Items as much as I do, I had a lot of fun putting it together.

Till next time!

Claire x