Zoo vs Sanctuary vs Nature Center

Zoo versus sanctuary versus nature center versus the outdoors. I enjoy observing and photographing animals. I most likely will not see exotic animals in the wild. So watching these animals that were born in the zoo is my next best thing.

Here in Sacramento there are different places to observe wild animals. As a member of the Sacramento Zoo I frequently photograph the over 500 animals. In the almost 40 years I have been here this zoo has continued to change and improve the habitats of its animals. Being an AZA accredited zoo means 21st century guidelines need to be met. Efforts are now being made to move to a new location to allow this continued growth and expansion. In May a proposal is being submitted. Shall the Sacramento Zoo remain where it is and update and stay small or move to a location allowing it to grow? I am proud of this zoo and will support either option.

Stripes and more stripes

The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary receives animals that can not be released back into the wild. It is a safe place for wild animals. I have visited here a couple of times, and while it doesn’t have the variety of animals it does have its own charm. Animals are given names. In its early history a bear named Smokey caused a bit of a commotion as I found out by reading the following from their website.

Smokey became famous when the U.S. government contended only the “Smokey” known for forest fire prevention could use that name. The community rallied behind the Folsom Smokey and worldwide publicity brought even more support. Eventually the government relented and Smokey retained his name. Smokey passed away in 1984.

Folsom Zoo Sanctuary that does not have a large following. Plenty of local schools come here.
Zoo docent pointing out that bears like to eat ears of corn. Quite juicy.


Photographers are challenged to capture enclosure-free looking images here. Even using a wide open aperture it is hard to get past the cage bars.

Brown Bear enjoying corn on the cob!
Peacocks have free roaming privileges to visit Henry the Bear!
Peacock spotted.
Cougar staring contest!
Looks like kids are in cages.
Deer are found in a gully within the Folsom Zoo

The Sacramento Zoo enclosures can be masked by camera settings most of the time. Though I hear there are plans to change out the enclosures to glass. Wonder why since there is the talk of moving the zoo?

I captures these Wolf Guenons through a fence. So cute!
This African Lion was taken through a fence. This fellow likes to pose!
I have been privileged to see many of this lioness’s cubs.
Located in Carmichael the Effie Yeaw Nature Center is a popular place. Many families visit, and school field trips are developed to support science, and social science curriculums.

Many times a staff member will accommodate photographers and bring a bird out for show.

Barn Owl

Roaming the nature trails I can see deer, wild turkeys, hares, and sometime coyotes.

Plenty of birds to be heard and sometimes seen. Woodpeckers, turkey vultures, and some unknown to me birds.

Showing off those tail feathers!

Often I will meet up with a group of bird watchers. Butterflies, and caterpillars can be found. Walk down to the American River and you can spot ducks, egrets and an occasional turkey vulture enjoying a feast.

Turkey Vultures carefully observing their prey.
Fishing in the American River
Foggy morning fishermen heading toward the American River
Families exploring nature
My grandchildren a couple of years ago

I like the way the sun hits this buck.
Frogs found in the pond near the entrance.Fou
First photograph I sold of this abandoned bee hive.

I am glad that there is a variety of ways to enjoy nature, and view animals here in Sacramento. I know that a wild life safari to Africa is not in my future. Besides, I could not even hold up the size lens I would need to capture great images. So I am content to visit these different settings for my nature fix! What is your feeling about where you seek out animals.

I had hopes of going to the Sacramento Zoo last week with my photo friends. But now I am the full time care person for my dog Libby. I believe that the tumor on her spine is pressing against a nerve and probably making her foot tingle. Unfortunately she can’t talk. Her rear right back paw is not heeling after the toe amputation, and every day is more alarming than the previous day.

I am now changing her bandage using a wet-to-dry method. This is a many step procedure. She is such a good patient. Someone has to watch her 24/7. She has a way of pulling off the bandage, and trying to tend to the wound herself even with an extra large cone. The other day I woke up to bloody paw prints throughout my house.

Her very wounded paw.

Almost looked like a crime scene. Got out my Simple Solution pet stain remover. This stuff works great! Now Libby and I are sleeping in our “Rest Haven” with a cone on and a leash attached to my wrist. Heeling her foot is the only way to keep her alive. And I hope that when her foot heels she does not go after it again!

Nature Refreshed

The long wet winter is nearing an end. I am out looking for signs of Spring. Close to my house is the Jensen Botanical Garden. In the fall I brought Libby here to walk along the path. Eucalyptus trees abound, but not much else. This totally changes in the Spring.

It was our first trip out with Libby since she developed a lame back leg. Hard to get her in and out of the car. I bought a set of steps to help, but when I tried tempting her in the house she said, “No way!” With her new Help Em Up harness I was able to get her into the car without picking her up. I was thrilled to be able to get out and about with my Libby. She also developed cabin fever and was happy to find a new place to sniff. Then that morning when she she needed to have her toe amputated. (Refer to previous post – Breakfast Interrupted). Now for the next few weeks we used the steps to get her in and out of the car to visit her Dr. Hart, Dr. Trip and Dr. Faith at Reagor Vet Hospital

Do you remember the song?

There is a tree with nesting Great Egrets in Lincoln. Captured some Great Egrets improving their nest.

All these nests in one tree!

Bringing in some nesting material.

Honey, I’m home!

I’ll publish this now. Nature continues in the next post!

Simple breakfast interrupted

Each morning I wake up to my dear husband bringing me fresh squeezed orange juice. Right now we are just picking the last of the oranges off of our tree.

This morning I awoke to the sound of my grass being mowed. Thought, since I’m not sleeping in I may as well make French toast for me and my husband. I haven’t made breakfast in forever. Usually French toast using rye bread is something I reserve for my grandchildren.

I have patiently taught all my grandchildren how to make French toast.

Eli making French Toast


But it hasn’t occurred to me to just make it for us grownups. But this time I just felt like starting the day off in grand style. Table set, coffee made, orange from our tree sliced, real maple syrup poured, and French toast cooked.

And just as I was ready to drink my coffee and read the paper I glanced down at my Libby Love and noticed a large red gash on her foot. OMG.

Libby Love

Called the vet, and had 15 minutes (for a 25 minute drive) to get her to the doctor. Once there, the doctor took one look and said, “This is bad!” The toe will need to be amputated. There is nothing left to stitch up. I did not expect this outcome.

We left her there, and waited at home to hear that she was out of surgery. In a few minutes we will be picking up my darling dog. Libby has been through so much since November. What we thought was a blown out knee turned into either a bone infection, or tumor. Now I suspect that it is a tumor that is increasingly pressing on her nerve. My guess is that she doesn’t understand why her foot feel wrong.

My dear little, very expensive cone head, Libby

I know what that means, because I am just 4 weeks from my spinal surgery. No such surgery available for my poor dog. Now we have recovery time and hope that she doesn’t do this again.

Lumbar Spine Decompressed

No more tingling feeling! Sometimes tingling can be caused by excitement. That’s good. But the tingling, numbing feeling I lived with is not. Surgery on March 8th went well. New equipment now makes this microscopic surgery possible. Nerves are given room to be “happy”. My doctor’s term. Herniated disc relieved.

I went home with a bunch of pain medications, walker, and instructions. No bending, twisting, lifting and stretching. Given all the information regarding taking opioids I was very careful, and only needed relief for a couple of days. At my 1 week follow-up a new med was added to try and alleviate back pain. 12 days out and I am much improved. I expect physical therapy will start after my 6 week follow up appointment. Muscles are healing. Back pain is telling me so.

Started getting out for short trips. We had a sudden burst of spring-like weather and so on Sunday we drove over to the American River at Sailor Bar. Got my Fuji x100F out for a couple of pics. I realize that taking photographs will also be limited while I heal. Eye-level only for a while. My CTT group had a virtual outing this week. We were asked to post photos and explain our processing ideas. Here is my contribution.

My husband is serving as my driver while I am recovering from surgery. No one wants to be driving around while taking pain meds. And also with my limited flexibility I will not twist and turn easily. Sunday, the weather was nice and we went out Sailor Bar. Located a short mile from my house. This is off the American River. When I processed the photo I wanted it to look old fashioned so I used some of my quick plug-in tools. First I went to Lightroom and cropped the image. Took it to Topaz Studio where I added a wood-like texture. Brought it to Luminar where I found a Sepia tone, and added a slight vignette.

This is my original photograph.

Here is the processed image.

This next one may make a 1000 piece puzzle to drive some to drink. I wanted the rocks and texture to pop.

Looking down.

Better?

Hope to be out and about with more photographs to come.

See you soon!

Drop me a comment. Would love to respond.