ZZzzz is for zoo

What to do on a hot, bright June day in the Land of 10,000 Lakes? Go to the Minnesota Zoo! What better idea than to see exotic animals in a natural setting while enjoying a beautiful day away from the blue glow of the computer screen and the hubbub of the office. It was vacation, after all.

The zoo was all excitement. Dozens of school buses and minvans were wedged into the parking lot. Families with strollers and adults with “chaperone” tags were clamoring for tickets. Once inside, one could hear see the boundless energy of thousands of elementary school children in their last week of school unleashed in the zoo’s broad walkways.

Weaving our way through the maze of youthful zoologists, we were privileged to hear some of their observations, including: “It smells like poop here” and, after glancing at the tortoises,  “Are those real?”

This brought back youthful memories of school visits to the Bronx Zoo and watching  many and sundry creatures doing what came naturally: grazing, grooming, walking, swinging, flitting, et cetera.

Well, on a hot, bright June day, what we saw at the Minnesota Zoo was a lot of ZZZzzzzzzzz-ing.

AHEM — Can you keep it down? I’m trying to nap here.
WARNING: Exposure to sun can induce sleepiness. Do not operate heavy equipment, including self, while exposed.
TIRED TIGER — A refreshing swim calls for a nap on a bed of grass in the shade.
CARIBOU — After scanning the great expanse of the caribou exhibit for some time, we finally caught these two. Napping. This may be one of my favorite zoo photos ever.

Weekly photo challenge: Unfocused

Unfocused. This week’s prompt could apply to so much. A life. A moment. An image. We’ll hone in on the last-named.

ALL A BLUR — From the archives — the then-brand new Sony got its shakedown cruise at the Little Rock Zoo back in 2009. Operator error, but still worth saving.
DEPTH — Love it or hate it, autofocus has its charms. In this case, gave a sense of separation even if it didn’t quite latch onto the intended target. Another shot from that 2009 trip to the zoo.
MORNING COMMUTE — As dad would say, it was a “soft morning.” Whipped out the camera en route to work this morning on an oddly foggy day. No, the photographer was not driving.)

It’s still early in the challenge, but here are some favs so far:

Bunny says “no.”
http://natureintheburbs.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/weekly-photo-challenge-unfocused/#comment-477

Portrait
http://cardinalguzman.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/unfocused-weekly-photo-challenge/

Lily:
http://ayearinmyshoes.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/wordpress-weekly-photos-challenge-unfocused/

Water and light:
http://windagainstcurrent.com/2012/05/04/weekly-photo-challenge-unfocused/

Black cat
http://laavventura.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/weekly-photo-challenge-unfocused/

Whirl of lights
http://mindblur.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/unfocused-for-now-it-will-change/

Lighthouse
http://mikehardisty.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/weekly-photo-challenge-unfocused/

Bottles
http://colderweather.net/2012/05/04/weekly-photo-challenge-unfocused/#comment-2487