Doing it while there's time! Mare Island Museum & more.

The next two days look busy, but that’s nothing new for a retired lifestyle. Ask any retiree! They’ll probably say they are busier now than before. That’s because active people need to fill their time. I’m no different. So, what better use of my free time right now than to show you the pictures from the Mare Island Museum in Vallejo as promised in yesterday’s post.

Even though I’d been to Mare Island a few times before, I never visited the museum. I guess I was too busy taking photos. But since I’ve gained experience taking photos indoors without flash and tripod, this seemed like a good time to investigate what was in this large building.

What a surprise! Not only does the museum house Mare Island’s history, it also serves as a meeting place and banquet hall. Here are some images:

Additional photos from Mare Island.

That’s it for now! Time to relax!

No horse on this island: Mare Island, Vallejo

It’s been a few years, and I wondered how much this former naval shipyard may have changed. Mare Island, in Vallejo,was America’s first such military post on the West Coast. Established in 1854, it was closed in 1996.

When I first visited, the transformation to a multi-use of commercial, residential and other uses had begun. During one visit, we caught the sunset as it gleamed through broken windows. The old buildings were already decaying. I also visited the island to view Osprey as they nested. (Of course, I can’t find those pictures. I did notice from the pictures I did find that my shooting and editing abilities have progressed!)

So, at our recent visit, I wasn’t surprised to find small changes. Some of the buildings that were behind chain-link fencing were re-opened and turned into businesses. Some older buildings remained as was.

Window reflections told stories:

We toured the USS LCS (L) (3) 102: “A Mighty Midget.” This Landing Craft Support ship was a shallow craft vessel designed to provide close-in fire support for our troops going ashore in the amphibious landings in the Pacific during WWII. Dedicated volunteers are restoring the ship and giving tours:

We also toured the Mare Island Museum, and I’ll show you those images in my next post. Stay tuned for part two!

A zoo morning: Sacramento Zoo

It wasn’t our first outing of 2020, but it was a great zoo morning. In my January 13 post, I told you that Marlene and I had planned to go to the Sacramento Zoo for our first outing of 2020, but I left my D7100 at my kid’s house. So we went on January 14 instead, and had a great time.

I left the F/4 300 mm lens at home and just carried my walk around 18 – 200 mm lens instead. It was lighter and much more manageable. To capture a group of flamingos, I didn’t have to stand a block away! Best, there were no school tours!

I’m still getting used to shooting through glass enclosures. It’s a challenges with reflections, but the animals come right up to you, hence no need for a prime 300 mm lens.

To add to my excitement, I was able to photograph one of the two jaguars. They are difficult to capture via the camera because when they are out, they are in constant motion, but this morning one stopped for a few seconds!

The lions were out enjoying their larger enclosure. The docents told us that once in the new estate, Kamu, the male lion, has been roaring more often. We heard him several times. Here are both our lions in their new habitat. Do you think Kamu is trying to tell me something?

Next are one of my favorites, the Wolfs Guenon. They are so cute.

And speaking of cute, we have the Meerkats!

Fairly new at the zoo are two males Okapi. These are normally solitary animals, but the zoo docents told us that these two have formed a friendship and visit over the fence.

And we also saw:

I’ll end this zoo visit with images of one of the snow leopards. I think this may be the male, Blizzard, but I’m not sure.