A Visit to Lodi: Micke Grove Park & the Deshmesh Sikh Temple

About an hour south of Sacramento is a municipal park that houses a Japanese Garden and a small zoo. Of course we, Ray, Richard and I, had to go visit Lodi and Micke Grove Park. This park is part of the San Joaquin County park system and home to a Fun Town for children, zoo, Japanese Garden, small lake, golf course, softball fields, water play features, horseshoe pits, museum and children’s playgrounds. We walked the garden and zoo.

The garden was small but beautiful. However, it was either in super sunshine or dark shade. In retrospect, bracketing would have been what to do, but I didn’t take my tripod. Here are some images. I liked the water reflections.

Next we went about a block to the zoo. It was a lot smaller than our Sacramento Zoo, the enclosures were thicker so we couldn’t have the fencing disappear, but it was interesting.

Some of the birds.

They did have a snow leopard.

After leaving the park, we had lunch and then went to visit the Deshmesh Sikh Temple which we happen to spot on our way to the park. They were very courteous and let us inside with our cameras.

It was a fun day in Lodi. There is more to Micke Grove Park to see though. We just might be back!

Sometimes the animals don’t cooperate: The Sacramento Zoo

They are just like kids—when they don’t want to do something, they won’t. I’m talking about the zoo animals. Remember, I warned you that since I’m a zoo member now, I would be going there more often. The Tuesday group went there recently, and the animals were not cooperative.

I could see the lion looking out the door of its interior enclosure, but she didn’t come out. The red panda stayed behind the bushes since it was busy eating. The snow leopard was too close to the front of her cage so the lens couldn’t get passed the bars and the orangutans were nowhere to be seen. I could go on and on. But you do take your chances when you visit the zoo.

However the pelicans put on a show when they tried to get a duck out of their swim spot. The gorillas were grooming each other, and an unusual duck walked by.

Through this, I’m learning a valuable lesson—patience! To get great animal pictures you have to watch and wait. I hope to apply this to all my shoots. I’m at the point where I want to take my photography from good to great and the zoo is a wonderful place to practice. I’m also hoping the new, used lens I just ordered will help me have that patience and see it pay off!



On the road again: Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks and Fresno, final chapter

Sometimes things are not what you think them to be! We found this to be true in Fresno, California. Typically thought of as a farming community in a not so well off county. We expected a small town with little to attract tourists. Boy, were we wrong!

Fresno really impressed us. There was much to do and enjoy. The town has grown and will continue to grow. There was only one disappointment: The Tower District which is supposed to be the hub of Fresno night life complete with the iconic Tower Theater. We went there during the late evening, hoping to catch some of the sights before dark. Then I wanted to shoot all the neon that the brochure pictured. The Tower Theater was not well kept and dirty, and after the fourth police car went through, we decided to leave.

But everything else was as promised and enjoyable. I’ll probably post a large amount of images just to get through the highlights. You’ll see sights from the Old Fresno Water Tower, downtown Fresno, the Forestiere Underground Gardens, the Shinzen Japanese Gardens and Fresno Zoo. That was all we had time for. And, yes it was hot there. So, we went out in the mornings and evenings.

Take a look at Fresno, and find out more about each place by visiting the links.Because, sometimes you can be surprised!

Talking with the animals: Sacramento Zoo, Sacramento, California

It’s not big as far as zoos go, but that’s the beauty of it. You can get around the Sacramento Zoo in about 2 hours–more if you have children with you. You know kids like to snack and play at the playground.

Marlene and I went to the zoo to shoot (gently with a camera) the animals. I had taken the grandkids there a few weeks before and discovered you’re either a grandparent or photographer! However, we were surprised by the bus loads of school kids there on a Thursday morning. It made shooting a little more difficult, but it was fun to watch the children as they reacted to the animals.

So we walked, talked and shot the zoo’s inhabitants. It may be small, but it’s mighty.