19 February 2009

A departure from slumber

The cougar display at the zoo is frustrating; it's a large enclosure made out of (effectively) telephone poles and heavy metal mesh, which is all well and good for purposes of cougar containment, but it's rather lacking something in terms of photographic opportunity; the second, "stop here" fence being positioned so that there's no way to get a camera right up to to the mesh, pretty much guaranteeing that there will be out-of-focus mesh lines blurring across the picture.
Then we throw in that the cougars have a cave and platforms; the platforms are either above head height or in the midst of trees, and the top of the cave is maybe at my knee level.
So, yes, full marks for habitat design—the inhabitants do generally seem happy and indolent in the fashion of contented cats—but photographically I am just compelled to grump about it.
Cougars are not generally morning people. (The first three of these were taken about 12h25.) Nor is giving them coffee widely regarded as a good plan.
Some of them are more readily awakened than others, though. (That white stuff? Snow. Shooting into a cave with snow in the foreground? Argh.)
But I don't want to wake up!
Quarter after one, and we have two awake cougars but neither of them is really looking greatly pleased about either that or the presence of yet another ground ape. It's February, it's snowy, there should be peace and quiet!

This is so far my leading contender for "picture I hope I am sensible enough never to try to take if the fence or other effective barrier isn't there".

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