animals

Black (& White) Friday: Graceful and Deadly

This is a new take on an old friend. I think I’ve shared this image at some point in the past, but in colour. So, I decided to try it out in black and white and I think I really like the result.

I’m not sure if it’s simply because I’m Canadian and we have these big fluffy guys in our Great White North, but I’m fascinated by polar bears. They’re such massive animals that truly live at the top of the food chain. This was shot at the Toronto Zoo, and though I’ve written about my feelings on captive animals in the past, this will likely be my only opportunity to see these beautiful beasts up close.

I love animals and nature so much, and I feel that this image captures the true innocence and grace of the polar bear.

polar bear b/w

Black (& White) Friday: The Museum

This is just a simple scene I captured outside of the Museum of Nature here in Ottawa a few weeks ago. This is the same place where I took the image of a dinosaur, here.

The museum is shaped like a castle and has an amazing crystal over the main entrance that houses replicas of different types of animals and fish throughout the year. You can see it directly above the man walking along the side walk.

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Captivating, or Captive?

What is it that intrigues us so much about animals? Especially exotic animals?

As a child, I remember taking class trips into the city to visit the zoo and being so excited that I could barely sleep the night before. And now, I see that same excitement in the eyes of my own children. Maybe it’s because of the rarity of so many of these animals to us Westerners, or maybe it’s because it lets us spend a short amount of time in a dream world of lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

But as adults, I hear an all-too-often refrain of sadness after we parents visit zoos and other animal parks, perhaps because we come face-to-face with the reality that we are in essence paying an admission to view prisoners with a life sentence.

This year, the Toronto zoo lost a long and difficult fight against keeping its elephants. A fight that was led by none other than Bob Barker. At first I was sympathetic to the arguments for keeping them here, after all, they’d been here for years. But after watching a very interesting documentary on the transportation of these animals to their new home in California, and learning that they are used to travelling dozens of kilometres per day vs being penned up in a 1sq kilometre pen, my opinion of the battle quickly changed.

We also have a water park called Marineland, which had come under extreme scrutiny over the past year for the horrific  conditions in which it kept its animals. Over the span of several weeks, nearly every animal trainer at Marineland had quit and confirmed that the allegations were true.

The only positive I feel that I can take from these visits with my children is that they can be a great learning experience for our young generation. It gives them the opportunity to explore parts of our world that they wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to do, and it potentially plants the seed for the next Jane Goodall.

I know that many of you live in parts of the world where there are renowned zoos and sanctuaries, so it would be fantastic to get your opinions and insights.

As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Dogs In The City

I’ve never really understood how one could care for a dog when living in the city. Having grown up in the country, I am used to opening my back door and letting my four-legged pals run free until they decided to come back in for a meal or to escape the heat of the summer.

I often think that it must be so hard for animals to live in the city. It certainly isn’t their natural habitat, and I always wonder how comfortable they feel as they mingle with hundreds of feet on the sidewalks each day.

I don’t actively seek out dogs when I’m out shooting, but I seem to have accumulated a bit of a dog photo collection. My personal favorite is the first one. See if you can figure out why. Hint – read the sign, and then look at the expression on his face… yowzers!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Tomorrow is Canada’s birthday… happy Canada Day!

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