Thursday, March 10, 2011


Yesterday, Phyllis and I visited the Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, Florida. Phyllis had read about is and realized that it was only an hour away from where we live so it seemed like a good place to check out. We are left our house at 8AM, wanting to be there when they opened at 9:30 AM. Photographing animals in a zoo or a place such as this has some inherent problems. We did not want to add to them by arriving when the sun would be directly overhead (11-12 PM). This would mean a harsh light that would wash out the colors of both vegetation and the animals. We loaded up our bags and were on our way. We have photographed at places like this before. You are able to drive your car through the park, staying on a clearly defined road, and see/photograph the animal up close. This can provide some great opportunities to photograph animals that you would not normally be able to see without a trip to where they live all over the world.

We arrived at the gate right on time and gave the very pleasant women our admission fee ($26 each). As we were pulling away to start our safari, she tells us to make sure we keep our doors and windows closed. This was a little bit of a shock. They tell you in their advertisements to take your cameras. They ever have a large yellow clearly marked 'Camera Store' at the entrance but you have to keep your windows closed?? This might have been nice to put in their ads. This is the first one of these places where we were told to do this. I mean the lions and tigers and other man eaters are never allowed to wander out in the open. We knew that but there are other animals that are usually not threatening: although in Washington state, we did have a water buffalo become quite enamored with our rental and started rubbing up against it with love in its eyes. But that had been the extent of danger we have ever found in a wild animal park. But now we have traveled the hour and paid our money so we decided to travel on.

When we shoot in any type of enclosed environment, we always try to mask the cage or fences: (lots of fence here), which makes this type of photography very challenging but also fun to try. I would recommend this park for families with children, there are some things for them to do.  It has some amusement rides and a gift store. There is a restaurant but we didn't eat there. There is a walk through part that is ok not great. I am not sure if it was just something that day or what but the walk through  smelled really bad, like the water was dirty. I am not speaking of the usual smells associated with these places. It was something a little stronger. I'm guessing/hoping it was just yesterday and not an every day occurrence.

Our images are below and we hope you enjoy them. One is of an ibis who just flew in for lunch, as you will see. It is one of my favorite bird action shots ever captured.

Comments are always welcomed but if you're going to ask how we got such clear images shooting through a window, I will have to plead the fifth. I do not want to incriminate myself (wink wink) !!! Enough said about that.

Nile Lechwe Africa

As is many places here in Florida large shorebirds just fly in and out at will. This Egret was a wild bird not part of the park.

An  AOUDAD from Africa

 Asiatic Water Buffalos Asia

A Camel

A Charging Wildebeest Arica, I loved the dirt being thrown around and that 3 of his hoofs are off the ground

Southern White Rhinoceros

Grant Zebras  Africa

Giraffe, Sahara Desert
                                              Ibis but not the one I mentioned. It's coming up
                                                                   Crane  Florida
IBIS WITH CATCH.. I  noticed this Ibis hunting for food, usually insects or small fish, When he struck the water with his beak I hit the shutter button. Ion my LCD screen I knew I had something but until I saw it on my computer did I see the bug and water droplets. I love this shot, a lot more then the insect , I would guess. (click on image to enlarge)
                             Flamingos  I love these birds and always try to get something a little different.
                      I think I did just that with these, hope you enjoy them

                                                                     THE END!!!


Kriti said...

I am running out of words to compliment you with Jim - Can you give me a break with some really shoddy shots please? This was such a treat...

JIM said...

lolololo I'll try cannot make any promises. I actually liked some of these especially the Ibis.

Thank you Kriti :)

Sherry said...

I love the wildebeest and 'The End'!! The shots of the zebras are fab! I'm with Kriti...give us some shotty shots!

FAYErydust said...

next time invite us when you go to safari :p

Anonymous said...

AMAZING Photos! As always! Love the shots! The flamingo's are stunning!

Jim said...

Next to elephants , giraffe have to be my favourite photography animal subject,oh and zebra, and flamingos, oh yes the ibis, oh dang, any wild animal ! Love 'em all JIM.

JIM said...

Thank you all..
Sherry & Kriti you should see the ones I delete :)
Faye.. I will but it might be along trip for you.. lol
Mitzi...I can never pass them up but I always try to give them an artistic look, I just think they are so interesting

Jim lol

I agree completely , I was only going to use 4 or 5 images but could not edit out any. I love photographing them. Hopefully it shows

Mari S. Wilbur said...

What a terrific outing!! Animals, sunshine, and warm weather. All the photos are wonderful. I have to cast my vote (as an avid horsewoman) for the Zebra that's making eye contact with you. Your last photo is a perfect way to end the series too. Thank your for sharing your sunny day of fun.

Mari S. Wilbur said...

Wow!!! I just checked out "IBIS WITH CATCH" large size. What an amazing catch. Perfect timing, Jim. Your photos are always amazing.

alejandro guzman said...

First time visitor and am impressed at your shuttering ability! Got to love an ending so stripy...

Cheers A

Aaron said...

Hey Jim,
As always great photos. You make me excited to go to the zoo :)
Which picture control do you use for your animals, neutral, standard, or vivid.
Do you tweak for control, saturation, or sharpening?
Can't wait for your next set.

rimly said...

Jim, your photographs tell a story of their own. I love the one of the 3 Ibis. Amazing pictures! had a laugh about that water Buffalo enamored by your rental. LOL!

Angel Eyes said...

I love THE END great shots as always you are Fabulous!!!

melissa said...

i love those flamingos jim... and everything you've posted there... they look so alive, it's like being there myself... i've never used animals as subjects in my art works before except for a few fishes i think... hmmm... i think i'll start something as interesting as the zebra's butt :P

bellissime fotografie ;)

Sailor said...

Beautiful pictures!

Abhisek Panda said...

WOW Jim what a treat for the eyes.......wildlife photography is my favourite and these photographs are super awesome.I love Nile Lechwe,the flamingos,the Wildebeest,the Zebra,the Giraffe and all the wild animals and birds....above all I love your photography :D